FIREFOX issue trying to change default download folder in mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by odoyle81, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. odoyle81 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    Hey I posted this in the mozilla forums, but figure someone on here might be more helpful since this is a mac specific issue for me ( doesn't happen in windows).

    So I've dealt with this issue ever since firefox 3 came around (maybe even longer) and I finally want to fix it. I changed the default download folder in firefox, but no matter what I do, when I open an attachment choosing "open with" firefox still saves this in the "downloads" folder. How can I change this???

    There is a forum post here, but none of the suggestions helped me...

    Please help before I pull all my hair out!

    I'm running:
    latest firefox 3
    Mac Leopard 10.5.6


    anyone familiar with the bug reports? If I'm reading this correctly it supposidely has been fixed?

    nevermind.. the bug is here.. and despite being open since 2004 it is still not fixed. Pretty ridiculous in my opinion...

    if you want it fixed, login to bugzilla and vote for it!!!

    so I found a workaround and I'm very happy:

    ------- Comment #55 From andreas.fischlin 2008-08-14 15:32:20 PST (-) [reply] -------

    I believe the simplest workaround is to get the browser Camino
    ( Camino is small, the smaller sister of FireFox, and
    it doesn't hurt to have an additional browser available. Use Camino's
    preference tab "Downloads" to set the global (system wide) preference for
    download folder ("Save downloaded files to:"). You can set this to any folder
    you like. You can even choose a folder that is used by OS X for temporary
    storage and profit from the fact that OS X will automatically cleanup that
    folder for you. That folder is the 'tmp' folder which resides in a normally
    hidden folder 'private' (in Unix notation: /private).

    The latter is actually normally hidden in the Finder and you may have
    difficulties to choose it. Then you have two options: You either use another
    folder or you make that hidden, nifty folder visible for ordinary selection via
    the OS X standard folder choosing dialog. There are again several techniques to
    make that folder visible. The simplest is to use the Finders menu command "Go
    -> Go to Folder..." and then type "/private" into the appearing text field and
    press button "Go". The folder 'private" should open in an ordinary Finder
    window. You should see several folders within tha window, 'tmp' being one of
    them. Now you can make an alias from the folder 'tmp', for instance by
    Cmd-Option-dragging its icon to some other, visible folder. If such an alias
    resides in some normally visible folder, say your desktop, your home folder, or
    under Leopard your Downloads folder, you can see it always. Therefore you can
    also choose it via Camino's preferences. Once set you could even trash that
    alias. However, I keep this alias around. This way i can easily switch the
    preference anytime to another folder or again back to the 'tmp' folder.
  2. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    download destination in firefox's preference is only valid when you try to "save it".

    OSX's download folder act as a temp folder as well, thats pretty dumb design if you ask me, mixing the long-term files with temporary files altogether.

    This is the same problem when previously people complained about firefox in Tiger, at that time, desktop is the "temp" folder.

    Safari for windows was a bigger mess couple of months ago, it use windows desktop as temp folder, and was shown to be half of the reason for the hacking of a exploit.

    I think the complete solution of this problem is in apple's hand, not mozilla's.
  3. odoyle81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    I agree it would be nice to have a default download folder and default temp folder in mac, like windows has but they don't. Until then firefox should be able to modify the "temp" folder location (essentially the default download folder for mac) just like camino or safari can. Even if it is only an advanced setting in about:config - at least give the power users the ability to control this without the stupid workaround I described above..

  4. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    camino and safari can? I might need to check, but my impression is they can't neither.

    I think there are unexpected cons with the way you want, firefox is following the operating system in this behavior, it might cause other issues when it does not obey the system.

    However, it might worth trying with trunk build....maybe some developer can try it.
  5. odoyle81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    Yes Camino can definitely change the download location.. Haven't tried Safari, but assume it can as well.

    I can't imagine any impact except downloading things to a different folder. Even the discussion on bugzilla has not indicated any concern on this side. There is simply concern on how to present this choice to the user, when there is already a setting for "download folder".

    The bug has been open since 2004, and it is currently not assigned to anyone, so I think people have given up on it.
  6. Aronnax macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2008
    It is fixed and votes are unnecessary - and the fix is (only) in the Firefox 3.1 versions - use a 3.1 Beta when you want this fix ;-)

  7. odoyle81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008

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