Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt to open and save files- gHacks Tech News

New Chrome OS 99 Features You Shoul...
New Chrome OS 99 Features You Should Try!

Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt to open and save files- gHacks Tech News

Mozilla changed Firefox’s download behavior when it released version 97 of the browser, omitting the prompt that allowed users to choose to open a file, save it, or cancel the action. When you click a download link, the file is saved to your Downloads folder.

Most other browsers have this behavior enabled by default, so Mozilla followed suit. That’s not always a good idea. Since the browser downloads files by default, this could cause your downloads directory to become cluttered with files you don’t want to download, i.e. accidentally clicking a link or clicking the wrong link. It was not surprising to see that many users were not happy with this change.

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There are a couple of ways to prevent files from being downloaded, the first of which is to simply change an option in Firefox Settings > General > Files and apps. Set it to “Always ask where to save files”, and Firefox will show a File Explorer dialog asking you to select the download folder, you can press the Cancel button to skip the download. A better solution is to change a preference on the about:config page that restores the classic behavior, that is, the prompt that has Open With and Save options. You can find how to enable the old behavior here.

Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt

After listening to user feedback, Mozilla has added the download prompt back into the Firefox beta channel. A Reddit user noted that the latest version, Firefox 101.0b2, displays the above prompt, giving the user more control over how the download should be handled.

Firefox 101 Beta brings back download prompt that lets users choose to open or save files

A support page on Mozilla’s website explains the change. It also highlights a new option that is available in Firefox settings. Take a look at the two options under the “Applications” section.

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The first radio button, when enabled, Save files by default. The other, “will ask if you want to open or save files.” This is essentially the same as changing the preference, but it’s a more user-friendly way to enable the old download indicator. Opening a file quickly, an easy way to cancel a wrong click, and choosing where to save the file are all very useful options.

Mozilla plans to add an option to allow the use of the temporary folder to start downloads

Regardless of whether you clicked the Open or Download option (while clicking a link), the file is saved to your computer’s disk. The only difference between the two options is the folder where Firefox saves the files. In previous versions of the browser, clicking the Open button saved the file to the Temporary folder, before opening it in the corresponding program. This option was particularly useful in some scenarios, for example if you wanted to read a PDF once. But since Firefox 97 completely removed the download indicator, all the files were dumped into the Downloads folder.

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This has caused some inconvenience for users, there is a long discussion about it on Reddit and Bugzilla. The issue has been updated by a Mozilla developer, who stated that a future update for Firefox will add an option to re-enable the use of the Temp folder (via a subfolder) to launch downloads. The new option will be an opt-in, that is, it will not be enabled by default. The “use temporary folder” option will be toggled in about:config and will also be available through an enterprise policy.

Mozilla plans to add an option to allow the use of the temporary folder to start downloads

Mozilla developers believe that a file that is saved in the temporary folder could cause it to be deleted, thus users could lose an important file. There are also some concerns regarding the performance of network shares. That’s why users will have to decide if they want to enable the option to use the temporary folder to start downloads or stick with the default download flow. I think they shouldn’t have messed with these options in the first place.

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