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PDFs opened in Firefox are still being downloaded (even when 'Always Ask' is enabled in settings)

Making moves

Ever since a recent update, I've been frustrated by how PDF links are behaving---

When set to 'Always ask' in browser settings, choosing 'Open with Firefox' in the resulting dialog box still causes the file to auto-downloaded to my PC. So instead of showing the file's URL in the address bar, the local address is shown, e.g.,,


This used to show the file's URL, which is helpful when sharing the link, saving it somewhere, citing it, etc.

If it's set to just open in Firefox, the correct URL is shown in the address bar. But I'd rather keep this on 'Always Ask' since there are occasions where I want to open PDFs directly in another app or save them without opening.

So, when viewing a PDF in-browser, please show the file's URL when (a) 'Always ask' is enabled, and (b) when the user clicks 'Open with Firefox' in the dialog box.



Making moves

My computer did set PDF to "open in Firefox" by default but I also set to false. PDF links from Google search opens with a file:/// path in address bar here.

My opinion is same with @shawn , let's keep the original URL in address bar, even if some hack is needed. One use of keeping the original URL is successful session restore after the temporary files were removed.

Making moves

Hi @shawn, I agree with you, that's a very annoying behavior.

You may try out the following:

  1. Open a new tab. In the address bar, type: about:config
  2. If a warning appears, confirm that you want to access the extended settings
  3. In the search bar, look for:
  4. Set the value to "true" by clicking on the line

This stopped Firefox downloading the pdf files for me on all the websites I visited after the change. Hope this works for you!

Thanks for the tip!  I can't remember the exact changes I made to fix this, but I think it involved changing back to 'true' (and possibly disabling improvements to the download panel).