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Unwanted background downloads of pdf

  • 8 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 13 views
  • Last reply by Seburo

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In Firefox for Android, there are certain news websites (local/TV type) that will automatically download a pdf file when a news article is opened. The actual content (usually a supporting government document related to the article) is irrelevant. How do I block automatic background downloads from happening? I did not trigger a download by tapping a direct link to the pdf. I did not want to download a pdf file. The page did it on its own by page scripts.

To make it very clear, here is what happens:

Tap link to Article A. Article A opens. Notice on the bottom of the page stating that Pdf B downloaded. Hit refresh on Article A. Notice that Pdf B (1) downloaded. Hit backspace. Tap link to Article A. Notice that Pdf B (2) downloaded. Hit backspace. Tap link to Article A but in private browsing. Notice that Pdf B (3) downloaded.

All Replies (8)

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Hi

So that I can try this here, do you have a link to an example page where this happens?

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Here is the latest example:

Article

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Thank you for sharing that, really useful.

I think I can see what is happening. When I open the page in the desktop version of Firefox, there is an embedded .pdf viewer in the page (towards the bottom). The page has been designed such that when viewed on a mobile device, the .pdf file is downloaded so that it can be viewed.

I do not think this is an issue with Firefox for Android, but is due to the way that the page has been designed.

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What can I do to cope with this or block it? I do not want my phone to download pdf files like that.

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Honestly, I think this is something that the website you are using has chosen to do. I have seen anything like it before - maybe the website has not been tested on mobile devices.

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I see. With desktop, downloads always have a prompt offering to download or cancel. Is there an equivalent setting or option in the Android version to force such a prompt? I do not like the idea of a website automatically downloading files like that, it could be a security risk.

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Actually, I think the problem fixed itself. I did not have a pdf reader on my phone before, but in between posting the link and today, I installed one. It gave me a prompt asking which app to use, and I was able to leave the prompt. But for users without a pdf app, is there a solution?

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The website will always push out the .pdf file regardless.

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