The default behavior of Firefox is to show a File Download dialog window when you start to download a file. You can then choose to save the file or open it directly by choosing an application, or by using the default application for the file type.
Sometimes however things get messed up and the download window does not show up anymore.
This can be because you have selected a default action for a file type, or because of a software that you have installed which interferes with the downloads.
Thankfully though, changing the default action is not complicated at all and it even is not a problem to bring back the dialog if you prefer that.
Actions are defined per file type in Firefox, tap on the Alt-key on your keyboard and go to Tools > Options > Applications and wait for the page to load.
Note: Newer versions of Firefox use a different Settings layout. Use the search at the top, type applications to find the relevant section, or select General and scroll down until you come to the "files and applications" section on the page that opens.
The page lists all known content types and their action in the interface. You will notice right away that you can assign actions to each file type individually depending on your preferences.
Maybe you want doc files to be opened in Word right away, zip files saved automatically without download dialog, and be prompted when you save images.You can use the search at the top to find a file type that you want to manage using the applications menu, or browse the selection manually instead. To modify a file type's action simply select it with the mouse and use the menu displayed on the item's action field to pick a new action for it.
So, all you need to do to display the file download dialog again is to switch the file type's action to Always Ask again.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.