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'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

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New User

'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

Whenever I go to download a file, the 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box is greyed out. I have scoured the internet looking for a solution and just about every one of them is either severely outdated or does not fix my problem. I have reset my Firefox more than I can count and yet it does not seem to fix my problem. It used to work just fine, but it no longer does and it is very annoying and frustrating. I have even tried to completely uninstall it and reinstall it to my computer and that doesn't fix anything.

Is there any sort of way to fix this problem? Firefox is my browser of choice and I'd prefer not to have to start using another one. I know it may seem trivial because it's just one extra step, but when you're doing it a bunch of times in a row like I do, it can get quite bothersome.

Thank you.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Shooting Star

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

jenz1205 wrote:

Content-Type: application/octet-stream 

As you can see from the response headers you pasted, the server in question is sending the generic application/octet-stream file type. "Do this automatically..." will either be grayed out, or it might be available but checking it will have no effect.

jenz1205 wrote:

I still get the greyed out 'Do this automatically…" box and it seems that none of the add-ons or plugins I've downloaded have helped me change/fix this.

What rules did you set up in the Force Content-Type add-on? The following should suit your needs:

  • URL: (.torrent)$ Old Content-Type: application/octet-stream New Content-Type: application/x-bittorrent

Alternatively, instead of downloading torrent files, use the magnet links, if the site in question offers them.

jenz1205 wrote:

Is there a default mimeTypes file that I can download or something?

If you delete the mimeTypes.rdf file from the profile folder while Firefox is closed, it will be replaced with the factory default when Firefox is next started (meaning all your added and customized download actions will be discarded).

22 REPLIES
Shooting Star

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

There are two possible causes. You can use the Web Console tool to inspect the server's response headers to find out which one you're dealing with, or you can simply post an example link here and someone will analyze it for you.

1. The server is sending the Content-Disposition: attachment header. Install the following add-on.

2. The server is the Content-Type: application/octet-stream header. Install the following add-on and configure it accordingly; you can find some examples towards the end of post at the second link.

New User

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

I am not entirely sure what you are talking about with these links. The very first one you provided shows how to check for the response headers you mentioned with a Mac, and I run on a Windows PC, so the steps it gives cannot be performed by me, or at least I am not sure of the Windows PC steps to do what it is talking about.

Every time I have seen this problem posted online, the solutions are to either change the about:config of two specific entries, one of which does not exist on my computer, to replace the mimeType file (which I've done and it didn't work), or delete the pref.js file (also which has not worked). As I said in my first post, I have reset Firefox many times and it has not yet fixed my problem.

And, frankly, I don't understand why I need to install a plugin/add on to make this work correctly. I never had to before and it used to work just fine. There has to be a way to fix this without needing to install anything additional to my browser or computer.

And what sort of example are you talking about for me to post for someone to analyze? I am not sure I fully understand that. This isn't the first time someone has had this problem and has needed it to be fixed. But, as I said in my first post, most of those problems are old and the solutions are outdated, as in they were for Firefox 2, 3, 4, etc.

Shooting Star

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

jenz1205 wrote:

I am not sure of the Windows PC steps to do what it is talking about.

The directions in the aforementioned article are for all operating systems. To open the Web Console on Windows, press Ctrl+Shift+K.
On Windows Vista and later, you can click the Firefox button in the top left corner of the window, then choose Web Developer, then Web Console.
On Windows XP, you can open the Tools menu and choose Web Developer, then Web Console.

jenz1205 wrote:

I don't understand why I need to install a plugin/add on to make this work correctly.

Firefox is behaving the way the server instructs it to. To change something that is working as intended, you need add-ons.

jenz1205 wrote:

And what sort of example are you talking about for me to post for someone to analyze?

A link to a download where the "Do this automatically..." option is grayed out. Chances are it's going to be a case of the Content-Disposition: attachment header, so you could save some time by just installing the InlineDisposition add-on and see if it solves the problem.

New User

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

Ok, so I went into the Web Console, but am still unsure of what it is that I am supposed to be looking for, or fixing.

As far as the two plugins/add ons you suggested, I've installed both and neither has seemed to help me with my problem. I have had them both running at the same time and then did one at a time to make sure they didn't cancel each other out. Still, nothing is helping or solving this problem.

Most of the files I am trying to download are torrent files. So you can literally pick any torrent site and click a link, they all do the same thing.

As far as the "Do this automatically..." option being greyed out, it is still like that and nothing I try seems to be fixing this. Is there anything else I can try to fix this? It really is becoming quite a nuisance.

I keep seeing stuff online about mimeTypes.rdf and I have tried to fix that by deleting it or even saving a basic one in place of the one I have, yet it keeps reverting back to the cluttered one. This is what my file currently looks like, and I feel like it shouldn't.

<RDF:RDF xmlns:NC="http://home.netscape.com/NC-rdf#"

        xmlns:RDF="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#">
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:handler:web:http://30boxes.com/external/widget?refer=ff&url=%s"
                  NCSmiley TonguerettyName="30 Boxes"
                  NC:uriTemplate="http://30boxes.com/external/widget?refer=ff&url=%s" />
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:handler:web:https://mail.google.com/mail/?extsrc=mailto&url=%s"
                  NCSmiley TonguerettyName="Gmail"
                  NC:uriTemplate="https://mail.google.com/mail/?extsrc=mailto&url=%s" />
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:handler:mailto"
                  NC:useSystemDefault="true"
                  NC:alwaysAsk="false">
   <NCSmiley TongueossibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:https://compose.mail.yahoo.com/?To=%s"/>
   <NCSmiley TongueossibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:https://mail.google.com/mail/?extsrc=mailto&url=%s"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:ircs"
                  NC:value="ircs">
   <NC:handlerProp RDF:resource="urn:scheme:handler:ircs"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Frustratedeq RDF:about="urn:schemes:root">
   <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:scheme:webcal"/>
   <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:scheme:ircs"/>
   <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:scheme:mailto"/>
   <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:scheme:irc"/>
 </RDFSmiley Frustratedeq>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:handler:web:https://compose.mail.yahoo.com/?To=%s"
                  NCSmiley TonguerettyName="Yahoo! Mail"
                  NC:uriTemplate="https://compose.mail.yahoo.com/?To=%s" />
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:handler:ircs"
                  NC:alwaysAsk="true">
   <NCSmiley TongueossibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:https://www.mibbit.com/?url=%s"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:schemes">
   <NCSmiley Tonguerotocol-Schemes RDF:resource="urn:schemes:root"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:mailto"
                  NC:value="mailto">
   <NC:handlerProp RDF:resource="urn:scheme:handler:mailto"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:webcal"
                  NC:value="webcal">
   <NC:handlerProp RDF:resource="urn:scheme:handler:webcal"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:handler:webcal"
                  NC:useSystemDefault="true"
                  NC:alwaysAsk="true">
   <NCSmiley TongueossibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:http://30boxes.com/external/widget?refer=ff&url=%s"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:handler:irc"
                  NC:alwaysAsk="true">
   <NCSmiley TongueossibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:https://www.mibbit.com/?url=%s"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:root"
                  NC:en-US_defaultHandlersVersion="3" />
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:scheme:irc"
                  NC:value="irc">
   <NC:handlerProp RDF:resource="urn:scheme:handler:irc"/>
 </RDFSmiley Very Happyescription>
 <RDFSmiley Very Happyescription RDF:about="urn:handler:web:https://www.mibbit.com/?url=%s"
                  NCSmiley TonguerettyName="Mibbit"
                  NC:uriTemplate="https://www.mibbit.com/?url=%s" />

</RDF:RDF>

Is there a default mimeTypes file that I can download or something? I really feel like this issue shouldn't be an issue, or that it shouldn't be resolved quickly. No amount of resets or fresh installs of Firefox have helped.

Site Moderator

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

You can use the Live Http Headers to check with which content header (MIME type) the file is send by the server.

This usually happens if the server sends the file with a generic content type.

SUMO Contributor

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

Looking in the web console is to diagnose why Firefox is treating the download the way it is. When you click the URL in the web console, a small window pops up showing the Request and Response Headers (and some cookies). The critical information is In the Response Headers. In particular, Content-Type and Content-Disposition.

  • When the content type specifies the generic binary file type (application/octet-stream), Firefox may allow you to check the box to do this every time, but it doesn't actually work.
  • When the content disposition specifies attachment, then the site is forcing a download.

The extensions linked above are designed to help you work around these different instructions from the server.

I don't use torrents, so I don't know whether there could be some other factor here.

New User

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

Ok, so I am apparently still having issues. I checked the headers and such like said and I have copy and pasted below what the response headers have said. I still get the greyed out 'Do this automatically…" box and it seems that none of the add-ons or plugins I've downloaded have helped me change/fix this. As I said in my very first post, I didn't always have this problem and it just started one day and I cannot fix it. It has become quite annoying, even with the help I am getting from you guys, which I do appreciate.


Response Headers Δ172ms

Server: nginx/1.3.11

Last-Modified: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 08:45:05 GMT

Etag: "524a8b91-5100"

Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 11:43:53 GMT

Content-Type: application/octet-stream

Content-Length: 20736

Content-Encoding: gzip

Connection: keep-alive

Accept-Ranges: bytes

Shooting Star

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

jenz1205 wrote:

Content-Type: application/octet-stream 

As you can see from the response headers you pasted, the server in question is sending the generic application/octet-stream file type. "Do this automatically..." will either be grayed out, or it might be available but checking it will have no effect.

jenz1205 wrote:

I still get the greyed out 'Do this automatically…" box and it seems that none of the add-ons or plugins I've downloaded have helped me change/fix this.

What rules did you set up in the Force Content-Type add-on? The following should suit your needs:

  • URL: (.torrent)$ Old Content-Type: application/octet-stream New Content-Type: application/x-bittorrent

Alternatively, instead of downloading torrent files, use the magnet links, if the site in question offers them.

jenz1205 wrote:

Is there a default mimeTypes file that I can download or something?

If you delete the mimeTypes.rdf file from the profile folder while Firefox is closed, it will be replaced with the factory default when Firefox is next started (meaning all your added and customized download actions will be discarded).

New User

Re: 'do this automatically for files like this from now on' box greyed out

neither the Old Content-Type: application/octet-stream or New Content-Type: application/x-bittorrent are options in the dropdown menu. am i to just write them in manually?

and i have tried deleting the mimeTypes.rdl many times over (i've found that as a possible solution in other places i have looked up this problem) and it has never worked.