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'Save Image As' keeps changing directories


'Save Image As' keeps changing the location it's saving the file. As I'm going through various pages and saving certain images, I notice that sometimes it saves where I'm expecting it to, (the location I most recently selected while saving an image), but very often, in the same session (meaning I haven't closed and restarted FF), it decides to change the location to a directory I've used earlier, instead of where it just saved the previous file.

I thought it might be a scenario something like, I open tabs 1 - 5, save images to location A. Then I save a file to location B, open up pages 6 - 10, save a file to location A again. At this point I expect that my files will default to location A, but maybe pages 6 - 10 now have location B associated with them and they will default there instead. I just tested that and that's not it.

It's also not extension (ie .jpg, .gif) that forces the change of location. I can't figure out what triggers it.

Does anyone know if there is another about:config setting that we can change, (which the next FF upgrade in 5 minutes will undoubtedly override) to restore proper behavior?

This behavior started with the upgrade to FF 7.

Modified by macahi

Chosen solution


To open the about:config page, type about:config in the location (address) bar and press the "Enter" key, just like you type the url of a website to open a website.

If you see a warning then you can confirm that you want to access the about:config page.
You can create a new Boolean pref via the right-click context menu with the name browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite and set the value to false.

  • Use the Search (Filter) bar at the top of the about:config page to locate preferences more easily.
  • Preferences that have been modified show as bold (user set).
  • Preferences can be reset to the default via the right-click context menu if they are user set
  • Preferences can be changed via the right-click context menu: Modify (String or Integer) or Toggle (Boolean) or by double-clicking the line with the pref
Read this answer in context 17

Additional System Details

This happened

Every time Firefox opened

This started when...

After upgrading to 7

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.0 r1
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Displays Java applet content, or a placeholder if Java is not installed.


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1

More Information

  • Top 10 Contributor
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10784 solutions 97065 answers

Do all files have the same file extension?

Firefox may be remembering the location for each type individually and change to the last used folder for each file type.

Question owner

Thanks for the idea, but as I said in the first post, it's not the extension that's triggering it.

  • Top 10 Contributor
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10784 solutions 97065 answers

Maybe the MIME type that is send with the file causes it.

You can see the MIME type of files in the Download Manager with the SQLite Manager extension.

  1. Open formhistory.sqlite (Select Profile Database)
  2. Open Tables > moz_formhistory

Question owner

Can you explain what you're thinking? There is no way that any of this should cause FF 7 to change it's 'save image as' directories on the fly.

No previous version of FF did this. It's not standard behavior with any browser. There is nothing documenting this behavior, but I have found at least one other person up here now reporting the same behavior. It's either an intentional change, or it's a bug. I didn't bookmark the other post, and I'm trying to find it now.

Here's one, but there's at least one more: https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/886122

Modified by macahi

Question owner

Here's another:


I thought I'd found it, but nope.

There's a setting: browser. download. folderList

Description: "Which of several internally-specified locations to use for the default download directory

0: the desktop

1 (default): the downloads folder

2: the last folder specified for a download

Note: In Firefox, this can be changed via "Tools → Options → Main / Downloads → Save files to... (Firefox 2 and above) or Downloads/Download Folder → Save all files to this folder" (Firefox 1.5). "

It was set to 1, even though it wasn't exhibiting that behavior. I changed it to 2, but it hasn't helped.

Modified by macahi

Helpful Reply

More information.

The problem is in fact based on the server on which the image resides. Goto a blogspot site which has images. Hover over the images in order to see the link in the status bar (yes, you will have had to re-instate the status bar they removed from FF), or simply open any of the images.

You'll see that the server looks something like:  3.bp.blogspot.com  another image may be from 4.bp.blogspot.com or 7.bp.blogspot.com

If you change your 'save to' directory for one of these files, it will remember it for that server source until it's changed again. However, for each of the other server sources, it will remember it's last saved directory, and if there wasn't one, it will default back to your default directory, in my case, Downloads.

So say I've downloaded 5 files (from 1.bp.blogspot - 5.bp.blogspot) and set the directory to 'images/A'

I now go to download more but want them in a different directory. For the first file, of course I have to change to 'images/B' If the next file is coming from the same server, it remembers the new folder. If it's from one of the many other servers though it defaults to images/A and I have to manually change it to images/B - in fact, I'll have to do that for every single file coming from different servers.

This is a nasty little bug and a huge pain in the ass, and needs to be reported as a bug.

Modified by macahi

khelmsch_de 4 solutions 31 answers

FF7.0.1/win7 pro x64 Same problem, described on https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/887827

This "changing download directories" behaviour comes first with FF7, never seen before!

Any idea?

Question owner

All I've been able to figure out is that it's based on the server the file is coming from. FF7 seems to want to remember a different 'save to' folder for each server. See my example above.

The only work-around I've come up with until it's fixed is that I save all files into only one directory. That keeps me from having to pay very close attention for each file, I don't have to constantly change directories while saving and I don't lose files any more.

I keep several file system windows open, one pointing to my now 'download directory' and the others to the various directories where the files should actually go. After downloading bunch of files for one 'group', I move them into the proper directory, then move on to the next set. It's a bit of a pain, but it saves me a lot of frustration.

FF needs to fix this bug though. The work-around is not ideal.

Modified by macahi

  • Top 25 Contributor
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624 solutions 8070 answers


From this thread and the other it appears reporters are certain at least two distinct bugs exist. May I suggest then that as a developer of >25 years experience that you visit https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/ and file bugs, then post the links back in these threads so others may follow your progress with them.

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624 solutions 8070 answers

It transpires at least some of these changes were intentional. (There is a slight possibility at some future date there may be an option to change the behaviour) see /questions/882443?page=2#answer-265590

Question owner

Problem Solved:

I reinstalled version 6.

There is absolutely nothing in version 7 that's worth putting up with this nasty bug.

You can download version 6 for windows, mac and linux here:

[link removed because I found the v6.0.2 ftp directory. If interested, please see my comment 2 after this one.]

Once installed, launch it, clear the first screen that comes up saying that you're almost there (prompting you to install v7), go into preferences, advanced, update, and uncheck the Firefox box so it isn't constantly bugging you to install version 7.

BTW, the installation of V6 was painless. Amazingly (and unlike going up a version) all of my settings were retained.

Modified by macahi

  • Top 25 Contributor
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624 solutions 8070 answers

It is best not to use an unproved site to download firefox from. I will gladly PM the link to the official site for anyone who is certain they wish to take the risks of installing Firefox 6.

I must remind all in this thread that Firfox 6 is no longer supported, and is no longer secure. If you use firefox 6 you are increasing the attack surface, you are taking additional risks and could get damage to your system and to your personal data.

Question owner

You know what John, forget it. I'm retracting all the comments I made in this post. I'll simply say this. The links on the linked site point to ftp.mozilla.org. It's not an unapproved DL location.

However, I found the 6.0.2 version of FF, so am adding links here so people aren't confused.

I will say this though, v6 was the official version 2 months ago so I'm not too worried about the extreme vulnerabilities.

This new 'rapid development' process of Mozilla's is a huge failure on many levels.

I don't think anyone in these threads really gives a crap which version they're running, we just want the one that actually works. Odd concept I know.

Here's the main directory for v6.0.2


Here are some US English specific links. For anything else, go into the link above.

Mac En-US

Win-32 Eng-US

Linux i686 En-US

Linux x86-64 En-US

Modified by macahi

eb235 0 solutions 4 answers

@macahi and anyone wishing to live in the past forever : I must say that your solution reminds me of the old joke about the wealthy man who buys a new car because the ashtray in his "old" car is filled up.

Your idea is certainly a sound way to revert to FF's old behaviour since you go back to an older FF. But you then have to stick to whatever limitations or problems of FF6. And hope for a change in a future version of FF.

I suggested in a similar thread (where you also posted your solution) a workaround that lets you stay with FF7 and gives FF6 behaviour in FF7 most of the time. You just apply the trick once a while when you want FF to use the general/last download directory and forget about all these useless directories it memorized. It is easy to apply :

  • Select Tools | Option and choose Privacy tab
  • Click on "clear your recent history"
  • Time range to clear : choose Everything (last option in the listbox)
  • Click on Details (if necessary)
  • **Uncheck** all options **except** Site Preferences (thus only Site Preferences is checked at the end).
  • And apply with Clear Now !

It works because the last downloaded-to directory is (now :-((( ) stored on a site-by-site basis.

The other site preferences (that are cleared as well) are the upload directories and the zoom preferences. I think many more people care more about their download directory than about these other preferences. When needed, it's easy to apply again because FF recalls the last Option tab you choose, the last time range you choose and the check states of the boxes.

I found it very pleasant to have saving sessions in FF7 just the way it was before !

Question owner

That's a really stupid analogy, not to mention the nice insulting intro. Of course a more accurate analogy would be that I'm choosing to drive my older model, yet still very reliable car, while the new one is in the shop getting it's engine repaired.

Your way of thinking is that I'm pushing the new car (which MUST be better because after all, it's new) down the road, while waiting for a mechanic to show up and fix it for me.

I'll still take my choice. Thanks for the input and the insult to all of us who simply want to continue to have a workable browser.

I saw your solution. If it works for you and for others, brilliant, have at it. I never put it down. I never put you down.

For the rest of us, who simply want to use an option without that particular bug embedded, I think reverting to the previous version, which was the official version until a mere 2 months ago, is quite acceptable. It's no different than choosing not to upgrade to a newer version until they get all of the bugs worked out, is it?

P. S. What is it about v7 that you find so compelling that you can't live without until they fix the browser?

Enjoy your day.

Modified by macahi

  • Top 25 Contributor
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624 solutions 8070 answers

For the rest of us, who simply want to use an option without that particular bug embedded, I think reverting to the previous version, which was the official version until a mere 2 months ago, is quite acceptable. It's no different than choosing not to upgrade to a newer version until they get all of the bugs worked out, is it?

The difference is that security patches are applied to Firefox 3.6 and to Firefox 7 and above; but firefox 6 does not get those. Within a few days Firefox 8 will be released, there is the possibility that will include further security fixes that again Firefox 6 users will miss out on. (Firefox 3.6 is likely to become firefox 3.6.24 and again include security fixes). Security fixes and security bugs are not always discussed publicly or announced in advance for obvious reasons.

eb235 0 solutions 4 answers

@macahi : Sorry if you felt insulted. There's nothing personal here. My touch of humor was probably misplaced.

What I don't like is the concept. It's quite a matter of personal preferences and I said that your proposition is a sound way to have the wanted effect. Your proposition has drawbacks (John99's and mine have too) but the logic of it can make uncomfortable : it was not obvious that the settings would be retained when downgrading (it's a good thing they are), there could be important security patches or other useful features in later versions that become inaccessible when you stick to FF6 and more importantly you depend on someone someday fixing the problem in FF.

The thing is : it is not a bug, it is a feature (and I'm not playing on words here). It is a conscious, intentional --and, we agree, very unfortunate-- design decision of the FF team. They may decide to go back or not, they may decide to introduce a config option or not, but they may also decide to let things stand as they are...

With my previous post in this thread, which now has a chosen solution, I just wanted to say that another approach is possible. Its concept : whatever the FF team decide, and whenever they make up their mind, you can continue using the latest version of FF and have the problem solved with minimal fuss. (And I think the fuss can be made even smaller. More on this later.)

In my previous post, I should have kept from commenting (implicitly) on the fact that I found your solution a bit extreme for the problem. As you can see from my profile, I'm not an old hand at posting and it's a lesson for me. My apologies.

PS : No, I have no particular reason to push FF7. And certainly no reason to dictate that people should not downgrade to FF6 if they wish.

Enjoy your day, too.

Adzy2000 0 solutions 1 answers

Just wanted to know if you (or anyone else) ever found a solution to this issue, other than installing version 6? As i have the exact same problem you do but with version 8.

I download alot of wallpapers and other things from sites like 4walled and such and like to save them into proper categorized folders. Since images from sites like these tend to not have names but long numbers for the filenames its really difficult to find them again once they are saved into an incorrect folder.

Going back 2 version doesnt seem to be a good way to fix the problem and going back to using IE to avoid the problem is ... not something i really want to do. (*shudders*)

Anyone found any solutions?

Quadrillion 0 solutions 8 answers

It's in Firefox 8.0 as well

ZombiePanda 0 solutions 3 answers

This error has made it into Firefox v10.0, as well. I used an earlier version for the longest time with no issues but decided to upgrade recently. Now I can't be certain of where my 'Save Images' folder will be from click-to-click.

Mozilla: fix this or I'll find another browser. The fact that this has been unresolved through several versions speaks volumes about the QA that goes into Firefox and is inexcusable. Fortunately, I still have the install files for that earlier version of Firefox. Perhaps it's time to reinstall it?