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Firefox mishandles action selected for opening files

  • 12 ردًا
  • 4 have this problem
  • 194 views
  • آخر ردّ كتبه gkrmbl

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I want to open online PDFs in Acrobat. I've modified the setting is in Firefox to "Always ask," yet when I click on a PDF it opens as it should AND Firefox automatically downloads the file to the Downloads folder even though that destination is greyed out in settings and the radial button for "Always Ask" is selected. How can I block this activity in either Firefox or in the registry.

NOTE: ALL OF THE SETTINGS IN FIREFOX SAY "ALWAYS ASK." This a software bug in Firefox, not a user switch setting. This activity began today (March 11, 2022) after months of normal, expected activity. I've reset Firefox and I've done a complete uninstall and clean install and this still happens.

I want to open online PDFs in Acrobat. I've modified the setting is in Firefox to "Always ask," yet when I click on a PDF it opens as it should AND Firefox automatically downloads the file to the Downloads folder even though that destination is greyed out in settings and the radial button for "Always Ask" is selected. How can I block this activity in either Firefox or in the registry. NOTE: ALL OF THE SETTINGS IN FIREFOX SAY "ALWAYS ASK." This a software bug in Firefox, not a user switch setting. This activity began today (March 11, 2022) after months of normal, expected activity. I've reset Firefox and I've done a complete uninstall and clean install and this still happens.

All Replies (12)

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Firefox should honor Always Ask by displaying the Download dialog (see attached).

If you choose "Open with [application]" in the Download dialog, the behavior has changed:

  • Before Firefox 98, "Open with [application]" saved the file in the Windows TEMP folder, and passed that path to the application
  • Starting in Firefox 98, "Open with [application]" saves the file in your default download folder, and passes that path to the application

More info on print changes in Firefox 98: How file downloads are handled in Firefox version 98 and above

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Well, that ends my use of Firefox after 20-something years. 1. In the work I do, I open a hundred-plus PDFs everyday residing on a server that I'm not supposed to store permanently locally (by contract and by EU requirements); and, 2. I should have control over how the browser handles files. With this newest change 98 solves a "problem" that doesn't exist. Other browsers don't behave in this manner, so I'll have no choice but to move over fully to Chrome.

Good job Mozilla!

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Andy said

Well, that ends my use of Firefox after 20-something years. 1. In the work I do, I open a hundred-plus PDFs everyday residing on a server that I'm not supposed to store permanently locally (by contract and by EU requirements);

The external Acrobat application is more full-featured than in Firefox's built-in PDF Viewer, but if you don't need those features, the built-in viewer stores PDFs in the browser cache, which is fairly easy to clear: How to clear the Firefox cache.

If the built-in viewer is not an option, you could change your default Download folder to the system Temp folder, and Firefox should use that for content types you set to Always Ask when you select Open with [application]. In the case that you choose Save File, Firefox would display the folder browser so you could choose a different folder. Do you want to test that? Here's how the configuration looks on the Settings page in my test profile:

and, 2. I should have control over how the browser handles files. With this newest change 98 solves a "problem" that doesn't exist. Other browsers don't behave in this manner, so I'll have no choice but to move over fully to Chrome.

How do you set Chrome to use the Temp folder for PDFs you open in Acrobat? In my limited testing, it seems to always use the Downloads folder.

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jscher2000 said

If the built-in viewer is not an option, you could change your default Download folder to the system Temp folder, and Firefox should use that for content types you set to Always Ask when you select Open with [application]. In the case that you choose Save File, Firefox would display the folder browser so you could choose a different folder. Do you want to test that? Here's how the configuration looks on the Settings page in my test profile:

I personally do not like this option.

When one hits "download", the expectation for most people would be to download to permanent storage; setting this to a Temp folder is a user-functionality breaking workaround.

When one hits "open with", the expectation is to pass control of that file to the receiving application that you're opening with; subsequently, control over whether the file is saved to permanent storage is in the control of that receiving application. The only reason it's downloaded to temp storage at all is due to technical limitations, not user functionality requirements.

When workflow dictates that you want to download to permanent storage and immediately open elsewhere, that functionality of "open immediately upon download" would fit better with whatever file explorer you use.

I think having two options for this would be better: "Default save location" and "Open With default save location"

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You could try changing the preference mentioned in this quote from searchfox. org. browser.download.useDownloadDir - bool True - Save files directly to the folder configured via the browser.download.folderList preference. False - Always ask the user where to save a file and default to browser.download.lastDir when displaying a folder picker dialog

WARNING: Changing preferences through this interface not officially supported Hidden settings edited using the about:config tool are explicitly not supported, which means that Mozilla makes no guarantees they will be supported in the future, or that Mozilla will fix them if they break. Mozilla does not test these preferences, and will not in the future. That includes security and performance testing which these preferences may affect.

[Warning added by moderator]

Modified by Chris Ilias

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Change browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel from True to False. This will bring back the traditional box asking what you want to do with the file. I can verify that, by selecting "open with", files do not get auto saved to the downloads folder. I spent the day yesterday downloading and opening csv data files in excel after making this change and no files were ever saved.

I hope this helps someone.

WARNING: Changing preferences through this interface not officially supported Hidden settings edited using the about:config tool are explicitly not supported, which means that Mozilla makes no guarantees they will be supported in the future, or that Mozilla will fix them if they break. Mozilla does not test these preferences, and will not in the future. That includes security and performance testing which these preferences may affect.

[Warning added by moderator]

Modified by Chris Ilias

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statdisplay1234 said

Change browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel from True to False.

Please be aware that this most likely is a temporary preference while the new workflow is finalized and it may have incomplete (or no) effect in future updates.

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jscher2000 said

If the built-in viewer is not an option, you could change your default Download folder to the system Temp folder, and Firefox should use that for content types you set to Always Ask when you select Open with [application].

Just as an addition: I did this and worked perfectly in Linux. I'm not sure if all distros used the same structure to allocate their temporary files, but at least on Manjaro (and I assume all Arch-based distros), Firefox saved them in '/tmp/mozilla'.

I thought I would need to create a script to clean that directory every time I closed Firefox or shutdown the machine, but it turns out the behavior of cleaning that "/tmp/mozilla" directory when Firefox closes has not been overridden (yet?). ________________ To be honest, this behavior is annoying, and it is too close to the one which made me not jump into Chrome ages ago, during its boom. I get why they may want to imitate the leader, but the old way should not be completely ditched, it's something which made the browser to standout. At least we should be able to open files and saving them temporarily without hacking our way to do it, and we should have an option to let Firefox asks what to do with a file types it doesn't know.

Modified by Ekol

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I am only replying here to make this thread easier to find again later by looking for things I contributed to.

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I think the hidden option "browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel" should simply be made permanent so we can opt out the new download improvements way forever. It is not for me to decide if Mozilla should continue the old way instead of copying Chromium like they did but I certainly think they should give us the liberty to do so because the new improvements are simply painful bugs to many of us. Thank you.

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Feel I need to add my $0.02, as well. Completely agree with OP, and the other annoyed commenters, although not switching to Chrome, yet.

Would love to have been present at the meeting where it was decided that this "problem"/"enhancement" needed to be fixed/implemented. Sheesh....

P.S. browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel is my "work-around," as well. (In scare quotes because we shouldn't have to work-around this.)

Modified by tim178

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Same here, but the solution suggested by @Terry works for me and restores the old, desired behaviour!