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Automatic download of attachments

Making moves

Please disable this feature. We previously had the option of choosing whether to download the file or view it in a third party app via the temporary folders. Now it doesn't give us this option and all the files are filling up my desktop and it is a very annoying task to keep deleting all the unnecessary files.


Making moves

Seconded. My work frequently involves opening files (eg email attachments) to look at them. It seems nonsensical to me to force me to download the file, open it in the relevant program, and then delete it; when previous versions of Firefox already allowed for a much smoother workflow.

Making moves

Agreed, absolute nightmare to use for work now.

Making moves

Yes please revert this. There is a workaround to make it as it was but this was a bad move and should be scrapped before it even starts.

Making moves

I just wanted to start this topic, but I saw you already started it. It's obvious I'm not the only one having this problem. I have tried other browsers to see if they save attachments automatically as well, but Chrome for example doesn't save all the files automatically. Most annoying is when you open the same attachment in an e-mail all attachments are saved even when it is the same attachment over and over again. Firefox only adds a number when it is the same attachment. Mozilla Firefox doesn't determine what will be saved on my hard disk, I am. So if Firefox won't change this feature I will choose a different browser in a split second. However, I prefer Firefox and I have using it for so many years now so I hope that in the next update this feature of auto save is removed permanently and I have my freedom back to choose for myself what I want to save.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks @Dutchy (and others) for sharing your input here! It has been received and reviewed, and this will be fixed shortly with Firefox 102. Please feel free to follow Choose how Firefox handles the files you download from the web. or this Bugzilla post for more info as well as future updates.

Still not fixed 4 months later...?! Version 104.0.2...😒

@ReneeBay5000 wrote:

Still not fixed 4 months later...?! Version 104.0.2...😒

What are you looking to change? If you want Firefox go back to using the Windows Temp folder (or Linux /tmp folder) to store files when you choose "Open with [relevant application]", there is a preference for that but it's not on the Settings page, you need to go into the about:config editor. Here's how:

(A) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

More info on about:config: Configuration Editor for Firefox. Please keep in mind that changes made through this back door aren't fully supported and aren't guaranteed to continue working in the future.

(B) In the search box in the page, type or paste and pause while the list is filtered (available in Firefox 102+)

(C) Double-click the preference to switch the value from false to true (or click the toggle button toward the right end of the row)



Thanks for your suggestion which seems to have worked. I tried another option for changing something in the about:config settings suggested by someone else in this thread. It seemed to work for some but not me.

But what I really want to change is the "forced automatic download" feature that the person I replied to had promised would be fixed months and versions ago. I shouldn't have to rely on helpful, techy folks as yourself to tell me the secret way to get back to a feature that should be the main/default option. If folks want to use an "automatically download everything all the time even if it's the same file over and over again" option, they should have to take extra steps to set that up. I shouldn't have to go searching for a back way to undo it. Or, I guess I can just stop using Firefox...

Anyway, thanks for your help. Mozilla should just put these on their front page...😕

@ReneeBay5000 wrote:

But what I really want to change is the "forced automatic download" feature that the person I replied to had promised would be fixed months and versions ago.😕

I'm not sure what that is. In order to open a file with another application, it needs to be saved somewhere. The change in Firefox 98 was where it was saved. Firefox 102 made it a user choice. I'm not saying it's an easy-to-find choice...


We, or at least I am still not getting the download prompt asking where to put the file, if I even want to put the file anywhere, with the option to open it while keeping it in the temporary file folder. Yes I have gone through about config in the latest version of FireFox and set the value to true.

But look at it like this. The toolbar is no longer a default option in FireFox, and hasn't been for years, dozens of versions ago. However, I can always just go to settings or even simply right click and put the tool bar back if I want. I can get rid of spell checking, if I want, the safe search, or any other search engine that I want, if I even want the search bar anywhere on my window display or not. I can have the pocket arrow up there, or not, all fairly easy options, either directly available by just clicking around the window or going into one of the immediately visible options from the window. So why, this particular feature of Firefox, that might have been the deciding factor that pushed someone towards Firefox as opposed to Brave, Chrome, Explorer, Edge, why is it being hidden from users and then eliminated entirely. Why is the option brought back in this obscure about config option warning me of all the dangers of implementing it, and then not even working?

Why can't I just have the option to immediately open the file, while it is stored in the temporary folder where it will be automatically deleted if I don't want to save it after I'm done using, with a prompt briefly explaining this all to me, as FireFox had operated for years. Why is the option to have or not have FireFox operate this way not right there to be decided in FireFox's visible settings? Go ahead, make automatic downloads the default option with no prompt about whether to open or save, without the temporary file folder as the default location, make that standard in FireFox going forward. It's still annoying to me, but as long as I can just change it back the way I want it to with a one to three clicks, like I can with the tool bar, with the search bar, with the pocket tab storage, then I can let it all go. About Config isn't the most complicated thing, but it isn't made clear to the user at all, going to it gives the user warnings about performance and security, and then making the about config changes doesn't actually give me the option I wanted. The functionality FireFox used to have until it was arbitrarily taken away for what? Because other browsers don't have the option at all, so yours shouldn't be any different until the user base says otherwise? So it shouldn't be easy, reliable and togglable on and off in a clear way by default by users because...? Users generally like options with their software. Firefox seems determined not to give us this option, which is why I'm responding to this on Edge right now, instead of FireFox.

Thanks! But this really needs to be more accessible via a GUI option! Only nerds will search for how they can disable this behavior but it does affect large quantities of users! They will just cope somehow with having a downloads folder full of junk next to their deliberately, truly valuable downloads.

Making moves

Fully agree.  Saving everything is forcing me to spend a great deal of time cleaning up the mess.  With this change, Firefox is making me less productive.  Why do the developers think they can decide on my behalf to save files to my hard drive?  Please fix this Firefox.

Making moves

Just allow users the option to have a prompt come up before a download start. The option is enough. If the someone else wants automatic downloads then let them have that option.


Hi All, Mozilla has heard this complaint from many users who preferred the old workflow where some downloads were saved persistently and others were saved only temporarily. This past week a decision was transmitted to the developers that they should add a new option to address this frequent request. Here's my understanding of where Firefox is headed:

Firefox 97 and earlierFirefox 98-?Future version of Firefox
"Open with [relevant application]"
and "Use [relevant application]"
saved the file in the Windows Temp
folder (or Linux /tmp directory)
and passed that path to
relevant application.
"Open with [relevant application]"
and "Use [relevant application]"
save the file in the user's default
download folder (Settings page >
"Save files to:") and pass that
path to relevant application.
Continue with the Firefox 98
approach as the default,
but add an about:config
preference to revert to using
the Temp (or /tmp) folder for
Open/Use downloads.

I don't know when this will be finished. Possibly in time for the scheduled June 28th release of Firefox 102, possibly later.

P.S. I don't work for Mozilla and am most definitely not an official spokesperson so... don't shoot the messenger if this gets derailed for some reason.

That's good news. Hopefully version 100.01, or at least 101.

Making moves

Please understand that there are 2 kinds of people in this world. I'm talking about the new update where

👉users do not have option to save downloads into Temp folder and just directly open and NOT WORRY about CLEANING up junk files later.

👉On other hand there would be also people who are more WORRIED about LOSING FILES and data rather than cleaning junk files - which is fine.

‼️But instead of weirdly and secretly dropping a feature that is so widely used, it would be better to give it as a simple setting in options and let user decide what is more important for them. Currently the workaround is to disable option which can be removed anytime in future. Do the devs have a voting system for such improvements or only rely on A/B testing?

Making moves

What are you guys doing?!  Saving downloads is all messed up. Sometimes I just want to Open a file, and not save it.  I can't do that now.  Also, I want it to ask me where to Save a file, not just send it to the Downloads in the toolbar. Now I have to take the extra step to Open the file and then save it where I want. Please fix this. You are adding extra steps to my workday. 

Making moves

Before I was asked where I want to save my files or my downloads, now it is going automatically to my download folder with out asking anything.  Even I have setup on settings to ask where to download, this version is overwriting my option! What is going on with this version??

For me it is the same. I choose a folder, but on sametime the file is saved in Downloads.

I do not want this performance.

Making moves

I just realized that my OS file system's "Downloads" folder is now bloated with files and docs that I ONLY viewed.
I have Firefox set to "ASK" what to do with every document so that I can choose to: View or download and WHERE to download to.
This new feature (a royal P.I.T.A is what it is) does automatically delete it's Firefox download log of files when closing the browser BUT leaves the "only viewed" file in my "Downloads" folder.
It is even so obnoxious that if I choose & click "download" and chose a specific folder (not downloads) and rename that file it will now save the file in two folders 1) in the folder I selected named as I named it and 2) under the files original name in my "Downloads" folder. How RUDE!
Firefox needs to fix this and I just had to verify, compare and delete over 200 DUPLICATE files.
At least add a user control setting.

I agree there should be a choice about whether to save the file in the system Temp folder (pre-Firefox 98 behavior) or the user's designed downloads folder (Firefox 98 behavior).

One possible workaround for now is to create a "temp" download folder and allow saving in a more normal location by having Firefox ask where you want to save files when you are doing it purposely.

On the settings page, that can look like this:


You do need to switch to "Save files to" in order to enable the Browse button and change the folder. Then you can change it back.

That does not work out on Linux!!

@SSO wrote:

That does not work out on Linux!!

Selecting a download folder through the Settings/Preferences page does not work on Linux? Or Firefox does not use the folder you set when you choose "Open in [other application]" for your files?

Making moves

Even worse now, if I want to download a bank file, is trying to open it, and if the file is a PDF protected is asking to enter the password in a web browser. Time to look for another browser that is not so invasive.

@SSO wrote:

Even worse now, if I want to download a bank file, is trying to open it, and if the file is a PDF protected is asking to enter the password in a web browser. Time to look for another browser that is not so invasive.

If you select "Open in Firefox" as your PDF setting, Firefox definitely will want to open downloaded PDFs. If you have a link to the file, you can right-click > Save Link As... to bypass normal downloading. If it's a button, that isn't an option, unfortunately.

Perhaps you'll need to change how you open PDFs if you more often than not prefer an external viewer. 

Firefox (99.0.1) downloads files into my download folder without confirmation. Example: Roundcube: email-export-function. With JavaScript, a hacker could save millions of files on the hard drive of every visitor of a web page.

Dear Firefox developers, please restore the previous setting. Downloads should get the confirmation of the user.

Thank you!!!

As you noticed, Firefox 98 changed the standard behavior from "always ask (open/save/cancel)" (before) to "save file" (now). For recognized content types, you can manage the action using the list on the Settings page, in the Applications section. For unknown content types, you currently can't override "save file." It is expected that Firefox 101 (June?) will have that option.

Until then, you can change the general Download setting from "Save file to" to "Always ask you where to save files" so that you can cancel unwanted downloads.

By the way, I assume this not true, or someone would have linked to a page demonstrating it:


@Foxyfox wrote:

With JavaScript, a hacker could save millions of files on the hard drive of every visitor of a web page.


Making moves

SO SEEMS FIREFOX DID SOME UPDATE, THAT NOW WONT ALLOW ME TO VIEW AS OPTIONS, ITS ONLY A DOWNLOADED AND IT REALLY MAKES MY JOB MORE DIFFICULT. And its not very user friendly that way!!!???? It really has other issues as well and acting funky ? why ??


can some one please explain why and how i can get that setting back??



I don't like the change. 
Now you have to download a file to Downloads, and then go back into Settings - General and change it to Ask.

The old way allowed better control, as in my work, there are many times that I need to just open an attached file in Preview or Text Edit.  Other times I want to decide what i want to do with a file.  It kept a copy on Downloads, but now it's annoying multi-step procedure.

Totally agree, the nature of my work makes to open files, now I am forcing to download every single file. The previous version made Mozilla Firefox a unique and distinct among the other browsers, now is like the rest. We politely request to bring the feature back. Open files without Downloading.


You can change it back.

You type about:config in the address bar and hit return. then search for and set it to False.

There's a ton of complaint posts about this. It's a garbage change and instead of fixing it with the latest patch, they pissed off a whole bunch more people by blocking russian search engines.

go to about:config and set and change your download option to always ask. That will mostly fix the problem. I love how they called it "improvements" *rolleyes*

Thanks, I set the parameter to False and FF now behaves the way I like.

Where is about:config? I am using a Mac.



So am I.  Doesn't matter. You type about:config in the address bar and hit return.  then search for the switch. about:config applies to all versions of FF.

Great. Works perfect! Thanks a lot!



A year and half later, this hideous "we believe our users are stupd and need protection against themselves" feature is still there, the preference set and...ignored by forefox 😕

Making moves

agreed, fills your downloads folder with rubbish!