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New download behavior fills folder with 'temporary' files

Making moves

I have several files I open that are for external programs, such as Quicken and PDF files for Acrobat (I don't like the built-in reader.) Before, files that were set to automatically open by external programs were sent to Temp and opened there. When done, they were deleted (not sure if it was Firefox or Windows doing that.) If I wanted to save them, I would manually save them in the external program.

First, FF98 changed all of them so I had to reset them back to open externally. Worse, they now clog up my default downloads directory that I have to manually clean out all the time.

PLEASE, give an option for files downloaded and automatically opened by an external program to be treated the old way as TEMPORARY files, not something I want to keep permanently.


Making moves

Yes.  As said above by andyross:  PLEASE give the option for files downloaded and automatically opened by an external program to be treated the old way as TEMPORARY files, not something to keep permanently.  I'd be equally happy if the old way was restored as the normal behavior.

Familiar face

Thanks for taking away my ability to choose where I want each individual download file to be saved at.

I've loved you for 15 years firefox but now you 've become a browser for passive retards; perhaps it's time for me to consider other options. Rest in peace...

Making moves

as said in 1st and second message , can we get an option to have the old behavior.

my old grumpy dad yell at me because it can't read his mail (that was the opening of file joint to the mail.) and he need the old open with (with the download in temp) and sometime i/they need for some file the save ...  the open with was usefull for him since he don't know how to open a file and where to search them .....


so can we have an option in the parameter  (under the choose where to save) to have the old behavior "always ask" ?... it realy matter to have some good things like that.

on some other post about this someone suggested to go to "about:config" page and set "" to false.

@toudy49 wrote:

so can we have an option in the parameter  (under the choose where to save) to have the old behavior "always ask" ?... it realy matter to have some good things like that.

Firefox 101 has that option below the Applications box. For file types Firefox already recognizes, you still need to change those individually:


More info: 

Making moves

Same issue I complained about. Going in and changing peoples setting without their knowledge or consent, and making just a huge mess out of everything to do with downloading.

Making moves

Apparently the closest thing to restoring the old behaviour (or at least, how i had it set myself, since I haven't used the default settings for downloads in a long while):
1: set the "" thing to false (this is needed so that, after going through step 2, opened files download to Temp)

2: Go to the Application settings and go for always ask. Except, they seem to have a limited amount of extensions there, so then you may want to do as it says here: you can add other extensions only after you download a file of that type and then you also have to check the "Always open similar files" option for it to show up in the Application settings (and then if you actually want to have the option to choose each time, also uncheck it afterwards. Also it seems you can only use this option if the file is still where it downloaded, so don't delete it just yet).

Really did not like this change and how roundabout ^this process (which feels like it should be a simple easy to find setting) is though =/

Making moves

1: Now my 'recent files' list (windows 10) is polluted with any old random thing I click on while in firefox, this was not how it worked before (IE: torrent files and such)

2: Please add a easily seen option (with maybe a 'new with' page showing new options with an update and the ability to toggle them on or off rather than just force down our throats)

3: Improve about:config page to show new 'options' and what update they came from, with again(as above) option to enable and disable them (Other than important security fixes)

Kind of tired how, over the years, firefox has gone from such a masterpiece of a browser, to one trying so **bleep** hard to emulate and copy all the (inferior) browsers available. Your still the best (IMO) but are so much like chrome, edge, etc that it becomes less and less of a easy choice. Please stop assuming your end user is brain-dead and please please stop trying to be less customizable, less user friendly, and less of a good product.

Making moves

Firefox, please return the option to open files rather than expecting that your users want to download and save every file we open.  There are a multitude of reasons why many of us don't want to use auto-download.  For me personally, I usually don't save most of the files I open, or I need to save to a cloud folder that I can't use as a default download folder in the Settings menu.  I simply don't want or need these files on my hard drive.  Barring using the about:config solution, you have just created admin overhead for your users because I would have to constantly be cleaning out my download folder ... I really don't need the extra work.

Making moves

Same issue here with 98.0 - This download design change is disappointing and not well considered. Please revert it or provide a configurable option to change the behaviour.

Thousands of people use Quicken, and this breaks automatic opening of the files such as .QFX in Quicken. Broke remembering where to save files.

I really hate the new behaviour.  I've been working with it for a few days to adapt, but it's really unusable and creates a lot of extra work.

Also, the help telling me how to re-establish association of file extensions to programs is now irrelevant, as downloaded files are not automatically sent over.

Please revert this behaviour.

Making moves

I hate the new download flow. now I have to manually delete zip files that contain subtitles. I used to just grab srt file and not worry about useless zip files. now even useless files are located in download folder instead of temprory folder.

Making moves

The people who thought this was a good idea are probably the type of people who have a desk covered in trash, and a computer desktop that has over 100 files on it.

I swear, the Moz devs really seem to be trying their hardest to drive the last few FF fans away.

The people who thought this was a good idea are probably the type of people who have a desk covered in trash, and a computer desktop that has over 100 files on it.

They 're also probably mac users...

Making moves

Does anyone here know of web browsers that do support downloading files to a Temp folder? I have been a devoted Firefox user through many changes (welcome and unwelcome) but this change will be an ongoing inconvenience rather than solely compelling me to learn a new workflow.

I receive iCalendar Files (from multiple sources) to put meetings on my Outlook calendar. There is no reason to save these files as they are only used to create Outlook calendar events, which are saved separately within Outlook. Now that I have to manually delete the .ics file each time I add an event to my Outlook calendar, I've lost a significant incentive that kept me using Firefox.

You might like some of the Firefox forks such as Waterfox:

I haven't used Waterfox in a year or so, but I imagine that they won't incorporate the temp folder change but you'll still feel right at home since it's based on Firefox.

Fantastic idea and restored my qfx association just as it was. THANKS!

Making moves

Delete this, accidentally replied twice.

Making moves

I really hate this new download behavior, especially since it (once more!) makes Firefox even more similar to Chrome.
If I wanted to use something similar to Chrome I'd use Chrome!!!
Please revert your decision or at least give us an option to restore the old behavior.
Do you understand you're constantly driving away your loyal users to please the dummy ones who couldn't care less about the browser they're using?
Your stupid change is adding to the work a user has to do, as now I have to manually manage my downloads folder.
Why do you think the OS designers thought a temp folder would be a good addition the the OS? Because the temporary files go there and the OS takes care of them!!
If I want a file to stay, I download it instead of just opening it. Or I save it after having opened it.
I don't need a "browser for dummies"!!
The reasons to prefer Firefox over the rest of the browsers are getting thinner by the day ☹️

Making moves

Just want to chime in that I also really, really dislike this behavior and want to strongly urge the developers to revert back to just being able to open files! Or at least make a setting!

Making moves

Totally agree. It was my go to browser but no more. When they changed the download options it no longer worked with my financial software. Ditched Firefox for Brave and Waterfox. Both are more reasonable work the way I expect and want.


Hi All, Firefox 102 will have a preference in about:config for Windows and Linux users to switch the "Use [relevant application]" / "Open with [relevant application]" folder back to the system Temp (/tmp) folder. For future reference:

(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 [exists in Firefox 102+]

(C) Double-click the preference to switch the value from false (use the "Save files to:" folder) to true (use the system Temp folder)


Hi. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It works exactly as I need.

I have no issue with googling this answer and modifiyng the about:config parameters, but I think this option should be made available through GUI. Also, polluting the "Save files to" folder is a big problem and FF should never drop this option.

Can you please add this as an option like "Use system TEMP folder for "Open with..."" in the normal settings page?

Making moves

Thing is, the fix is there, but it is buried and hidden away, like it is purposuly shoved into a extrenly over-complicated and bloated mess of 'options' one must google to learn what to do.

These things WORKED fine before, and as with SO MANY recent changes with firefox, the 'improvements' are anything but, just seem like they are purposely put there to block off other options people used, and make it harder, and harder to keep firefox as it was before.

As I said earlier in the thread, these things should be EASILY ACCESSIBLE options with very clearly defined 'switches' so the user can easily decide if they want something one way or another, Not forced down our throat, and then sneakily shoved into a nearly endless list of 'configurations' that leaves most users flooded with too many options (And so many of them NOT CLEARLY Listed what they are with extremely confusing 'names' )



Making moves

Bump. The ability to open files without permanently saving them was one of the reasons why I moved to Firefox recently. I am greatly disappointed.

While changing the default behaviour to "always save" makes sense from UX standpoint, saving files that are supposed to be opened only once is absolutely not.

Making moves

Over a year after the last activity on this post now -

@developers, please add a setting like "Use system TEMP folder for "Open with..."" which puts files downloaded with "Open with..." into C:\Windows\Temp or C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp on Window$ or /tmp on Linux.

I've actually found it in about:config ( but a setting in the "Choose what to do with different file types" section would be nice…