When it comes to downloads in the Firefox web browser, a save dialog is displayed to you by default giving you some options on how to proceed with the file.
It includes the option to save it to the local system or open it with a specific application instead. The second option saves it to the temporary folder of the browser and runs it with the selected application, the former saves it in the selected directory.
You may also check the "do this automatically for files like this from now on" to set a permanent default action for the file type.
Sometimes, the download dialog is not shown on the screen which is usually the case when you have set either option to be the default action for the selected file type.
If that is the cause, you will either get the save to window automatically if you have selected that option as the automatic one, or will notice that Firefox tries to open the file in the default application without interface interaction.
You can change Firefox's default action or set one in the preferences of the browser.
Here you find listed all known file types / mime types. The following actions are available for each file type individually:
You can modify the default association in the menu. This is useful if you run into issues when a file type is associated with a program that cannot open it correctly, or that is not installed anymore on the system.
Here is a small selection of add-ons for Firefox that improve your downloading experience further.
WebExtensions (Firefox 57+)
Classic Add-ons (pre-Firefox 57)
You can speed up download or open processes by making them the default operation for select file types. This is handy if you always use an operation for a specified file type. The default option is best however if you switch regularly between saving and opening files of a type.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.