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PDFs: Preview in Firefox is selected but STILL downloads to my PC

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I, like others who have posted similar questions, have been driven mad that PDFs are downloading to my PC when in the past, they just opened in a new window. I followed the troubleshooting steps posted in this community to ensure that "Preview in Firefox" appears as a drop-down (it did not originally) and that it was selected. (Steps involved getting a cleaned up version of mimeTypes.rdf and handlers.json.) Still, when I click on a the link I was testing this with, it asks me "What should Firefox do with this file?" and if I manually select "Open with...Other...Firefox," it will open in Firefox but still download to my PC. Am I right that the user experience should always be that it automatically opens a new tab and displays the PDF there while NOT downloading to the user's PC? That being said, I tested another random PDF and it did what it was supposed to. I only tested these 2 after I did the fixes so I don't have a high sample size to say if it mostly works or mostly doesn't. There was no discernible difference between the two files: both of their extensions were "pdf," they both had kind of long filenames, and they both had ~100 pages in their files.

I would like to get away from downloading files I: 1) don't want to keep and 2) don't trust on my PC but want to read.

Thanks in advance!

I, like others who have posted similar questions, have been driven mad that PDFs are downloading to my PC when in the past, they just opened in a new window. I followed the troubleshooting steps posted in this community to ensure that "Preview in Firefox" appears as a drop-down (it did not originally) and that it was selected. (Steps involved getting a cleaned up version of mimeTypes.rdf and handlers.json.) Still, when I click on a the link I was testing this with, it asks me "What should Firefox do with this file?" and if I manually select "Open with...Other...Firefox," it will open in Firefox but still download to my PC. Am I right that the user experience should always be that it automatically opens a new tab and displays the PDF there while NOT downloading to the user's PC? That being said, I tested another random PDF and it did what it was supposed to. I only tested these 2 after I did the fixes so I don't have a high sample size to say if it mostly works or mostly doesn't. There was no discernible difference between the two files: both of their extensions were "pdf," they both had kind of long filenames, and they both had ~100 pages in their files. I would like to get away from downloading files I: 1) don't want to keep and 2) don't trust on my PC but want to read. Thanks in advance!
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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:73.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/73.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4398 solutions 61728 answers

Whether you are saving or viewing a file, it still needs to be downloaded. It either goes to your download folder, or to temporary storage.

Whether you are saving or viewing a file, it still needs to be downloaded. It either goes to your download folder, or to temporary storage.
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17876 solutions 161752 answers

How would Firefox be able to show the PDF file if it isn't downloaded from the server ?

Firefox still needs to download the file to the memory cache or to the disk cache when you use preview in Firefox. If you would open the file in a external application then the file is saved to the OS temp folder.

How would Firefox be able to show the PDF file if it isn't downloaded from the server ? Firefox still needs to download the file to the memory cache or to the disk cache when you use preview in Firefox. If you would open the file in a external application then the file is saved to the OS temp folder.
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Question owner

Well, as I noted, it did not permanently download to a folder for one of the tests/pdfs. I want that to be the consistent experience. Is there a way to make that happen? Thank you.

Well, as I noted, it did not permanently download to a folder for one of the tests/pdfs. I want that to be the consistent experience. Is there a way to make that happen? Thank you.

Modified by ldpmail

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TyDraniu
  • Top 25 Contributor
383 solutions 2128 answers

ldpmail said

I want that to be the consistent experience. Is there a way to make that happen?

Not really. Server says, what to do with this file. You can compare these files on this page: https://gf.dev/mime-sniffing-test

Only files with Content-Type == "application/pdf" can be opened in a browser. PDF files with different Content-Type will be downloaded.

''ldpmail [[#answer-1290719|said]]'' <blockquote> I want that to be the consistent experience. Is there a way to make that happen? </blockquote> Not really. Server says, what to do with this file. You can compare these files on this page: https://gf.dev/mime-sniffing-test Only files with Content-Type == "application/pdf" can be opened in a browser. PDF files with different Content-Type will be downloaded.
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17876 solutions 161752 answers

There is this extension that can be used in cases the content type isn't "application/pdf". Content-Type Fixer https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/content-type-fixer/

There is this extension that can be used in cases the content type isn't "application/pdf". Content-Type Fixer https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/content-type-fixer/
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