What to do if you can't download or save files
This article describes steps to take if you are unable to download or save files using Firefox.
Table of Contents
- 1 Check the Downloads panel for blocked downloads
- 2 Clear the download history
- 3 Choose a different download folder
- 4 Reset the download folder
- 5 Choose a valid download folder in Safari Preferences
- 6 Delete corrupt plist file
- 7 Change file type settings
- 8 Remove Download Manager plugins
- 9 Configure Internet security software
- 10 Enable downloads blocked by Security Zone Policy
- 11 Other solutions
Check the Downloads panel for blocked downloads
Firefox includes a download protection feature to protect you from malicious or potentially harmful file downloads. If Firefox has blocked an unsafe download, you will see a warning message about the file in the Downloads panel, along with options for handling the pending download. You can open the Downloads panel to view completed and pending downloads by clicking on the Downloads button (the down arrow on your toolbar). See the articles Where to find and manage downloaded files in Firefox and How does built-in Phishing and Malware Protection work? for more information.
Clear the download history
Clearing the download history can fix some problems with downloading files:
- Click the Downloads button , and then click . The Downloads window will open.
- In the Downloads window, click .
- Close the Downloads window.
Choose a different download folder
Firefox may not be able to download files if there is a problem with the folder in which downloaded files are saved:
- Click the menu button and choose . .
- Select the panel.
- Go to the Downloads sectionFind the Downloads section under Files and Applications.
- Click the button next to the Save files to entry.
- Choose a different download folder for saving files.
- Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.
Reset the download folder
If you have tried the above suggestions, you can restore the default Firefox download folder settings:
In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.
- The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click to continue to the about:config page.
- In the Search field, enter browser.download.
- If any of the following settings have a status of user setmodified, reset their values. To reset a value, right-clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click the setting and select from the context menu:
- If desired, you can revert back to your preferred download folder settings by changing your Firefox settings.
Choose a valid download folder in Safari Preferences
If you receive the error <filename> could not be saved, because an unknown error occurred. , your problem might be caused by an interaction with the Safari browser and your operating system.
To fix the problem, open Safari's Preferences and change the Save downloaded files to: setting to a valid folder (such as your Desktop). Then restart Firefox.
Delete corrupt plist file
If you receive the error <filename> could not be saved, because you cannot change the contents of that folder. Change the folder properties and try again, or try saving in a different location., your problem might be caused by corrupt plist files.
To fix this problem, go to your home directory and delete this preference file:
Change file type settings
If downloading certain file types does not work, check to make sure Firefox is not set to handle those file types differently from others. See Change what Firefox does when you click on or download a file for instructions on how to view and change how different file types are handled.
Reset download actions for all file types
To reset how all file types are handled by Firefox back to default:
Open your profile folder:
Click the menu button , click help Click the menu button , click and select . The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.
Note: If you are unable to open or use Firefox, follow the instructions in Finding your profile without opening Firefox.
- Under the Application Basics section, click on A window will open that contains your profile folder.Your profile folder will open. .
Click the menu button and then click ExitQuit .
Click the Firefox menu , then click .Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen, then click .Click the Firefox menu , then click .
- Delete or rename the mimeTypes.rdf file (for example, rename it mimeTypes.rdf.oldhandlers.json file (for example, rename it handlers.json.old ).
- Restart Firefox.
Remove Download Manager plugins
- GetRight: NPGetRt.dll
- WinGet: NPWinGet.dll
- Download Accelerator Plus: npdap.dll
- FreshDownload: npfd.dll
- Net Transport: NPNXCatcher.dll, NPNXCatcher(Audio).dll, and NPNXCatcher(Video).dll
See Troubleshoot issues with plugins like Flash or Java to fix common Firefox problems for instructions on how to disable or remove plugins.
Configure Internet security software
Internet security software, including firewalls, antivirus programs, anti-spyware programs, and others can block certain file downloads. Check the settings in your security software to see if there is an setting that may be blocking downloads.
To diagnose whether Internet security software is causing problems, you can try temporarily disabling it, seeing if downloads work, and then re-enabling the software.
Enable downloads blocked by Security Zone Policy
Downloading an executable file (e.g., an .exe or .msi file) may fail, with the Downloads window showing Canceled under the file name.
This happens because Firefox honors your Windows security settings for downloading applications and other potentially unsafe files from the Internet. To resolve this problem, use the solution given below.
Reset system Internet Security settings
You can reset your system Internet security settings in Internet Explorer. See How to reset Internet Explorer settings at Microsoft Support for instructions.
You may be able to diagnose your download problem by following the steps given in the Troubleshoot and diagnose Firefox problems article.
Based on information from Unable to save or download files (mozillaZine KB)
Last Update: 2017-10-31