Schedule Downloads on Android With This Chrome Flag

Schedule Downloads on Android With This Chrome Flag

Whenever I have to make a download something big using my phone — or, really, download anything to my phone — I always have weigh the question of “Will this burn through too much of my data plan?” against “How badly do I need this app (or game, or video) right now?”

While games and apps give you the option to delay your downloads until you’re on wifi rather than using your data plan doing the same for downloads initiated through your web browser is trickier; generally they will fire off the minute you tap on a link. Or they will, unless you activate a new setting in Chrome Android allowing you to delay them, too.

You can play with this setting right now. You can find it in either Chrome Beta or the slightly less stable Chrome Canary. Start by downloading the either browser to your Android device. Once you’ve done that, enter the following URL into Chrome’s address bar: chrome://flags/#download-later

If that’s too much to type, you can also just go with chrome://flags and search for the word “download.” However you get there, you’ll need to find and enable this flag:

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

Restart your browser. Now, when you download a file within Chrome (to your phone’s storage), you should see a prompt that asks you whether you’d like to download the file now, begin downloading it automatically once you’re connected to a wifi network, or schedule the download for a specific date and time in the future. Per a report from Techdows, the feature is a little finicky right now — they report they’ve only been able to get it to work once.

If you don’t want to fuss with this setting or can’t get it working, there are a number of apps you can use to replicate this functionality, including Advanced Download Manager and IDM. Your pick!

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