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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location Web Browsers
If you migrate from a previous machine to a new machine using Apple's Migration Assistant, and in the process you create a new user -- this can happen if you create your old user account on the new machine prior to migrating -- you may have issues with Firefox and the Downloads folder. Because of a shortcoming in the migration tool, the OS X Downloads folder for the new account will have the path for the old account, and Firefox will then be unable to save because it does not have the correct permissions. I encountered this issue with 10.5 Leopard (both machines), migrating from an old Mac mini to new Mac pro.

The solution is to open ~/Library » Preferences » com.apple.internetconfig.plist with the Property List Editor (Xcode required), navigate to the Download Folder item, and delete the value (not the key; just the value under it), then save the property list file.

The next time you save a downloaded file in Firefox, OS X will ask you where you want it. Answer the question, and the problem goes away permanently.

[robg adds: A commenter on the queue review site notes: "This is a bug with Firefox that I see with our users all the time. In prefs, the download folder looks like it's set correctly, but Firefox wants to download to some read-only folder on the hard drive (it's always arbitrary). We have had to delete ~/Library » Preferences » com.apple.internetconfig.plist -- but we ALSO have had to delete ~/Library » Preferences » com.apple.LaunchServices.plist to resolve it."]
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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location | 13 comments | Create New Account
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make firefox use a temp folder for "open with..."?
Authored by: vexingv on Mar 10, '08 08:21:02AM

A different issue, but somewhat related: since upgrading to Leopard, every time I choose to open a file with Firefox, the file always downloads a copy to the default "Download" folder. Previously, I had used an older hint (http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20061220141355424) that made Firefox download these files to a temp folder by changing the default download folder in Safari's prefs. In Leopard, I've tried changing Safari's default download folder to the tmp folder, but Firefox still chooses to save copies in the user's Download folder. So by the end of the week, after viewing dozens of pdf's and other documents, I have to manually go through my download folder and delete these files. I find this to be a bit frustrating. Other users have reported that Firefox open files while leaving them on the desktop. ((http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=552309)



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: jorn_k on Mar 10, '08 08:50:02AM

I feel terrible adding a comment like this, but I just have to...

OMG thank you for this tip! FF has been hosed for almost a year on my system.



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: benishs on Mar 10, '08 09:41:29AM

I ran in to a similar issue with Camino when I migrated to my new machine and was able to fix it by simply going to the Downloads section of the Preferences and re-setting "Save downloaded files to:" to the proper location.



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: mclbruce on Mar 10, '08 01:15:30PM

I wonder if opening Safari and changing the downloads folder there will fix this problem. Other global settings like default browser and default RSS reader can be changed in Safari preferences.



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Works. Use Textwrangle instead of Property List Editor
Authored by: Hulot on Mar 10, '08 02:19:54PM

Works for me. Thank You. You can use the free Textwrangler instead of the Property List Editor from Xcode.



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: toupsz on Mar 10, '08 06:27:03PM

Hmm...doesn't seem to help with my problem...

No matter where it downloads to, Firefox always sets my permissions to read only. Safari doesn't...irritating beyond belief!

My next step is folder actions...

-Z



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: leamanc on Mar 10, '08 09:14:01PM

I have ran into this with Firefox not only on OS X, but other platforms as well. Simply going to Preferences and re-choosing the download folder (even if it is already selected) has always fixed the issue for me.



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: mzso on Mar 10, '08 11:01:43PM

I had the same issue with Thunderbird. However the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.internetconfig.plist file had no "Download" key in it, but there was another file named com.apple.internetconfigpriv.list that had this key. I could not delete just the value of this key, because Property List Editor complained that an empty value could not be accepted (it said it was not valid). So I deleted the plist file alltogether and it really did fix the problem. I had to choose my download folder manually on the next download, but after that the program remembered the folder location as expected.



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: jeiajeia on Jun 27, '08 08:26:13AM

followed fyngyrz directions. found in the plist:
"x-stuffit^DownloadFolderoHelperExtra "

after removing the ^
and resaving the plist
it is working.
thanks



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: Utaro on Jul 02, '08 11:43:28AM

I have this exact problem, but I have neither of the plist files mentioned. I can work around the problem if I control click on the download link and "save link as," but many links don't let me do that. Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can do? I've tried repairing the my disk permissions (there were a few problems, because of the migration from my old mac) but that didn't fix anything related to firefox. I've tried re-installing, and although I've read about a clean install, I don't really want to attempt that unless I know exactly what I'm supposed to be deleting from my computer.

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: Utaro on Jul 02, '08 12:07:42PM

I fixed it! Firefox wasn't trying to download to my old user, it was trying to download to a folder in my new user folder (they both have the same name) that didn't exist. I made the folder, then set my permission to read and write, and it seems to be working!



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: jayfrombkk on May 28, '09 08:14:43PM

The fix works well with my install of Leopard OSX 10.5.7 and Fifefox 3.0.10 -- one more Migration Assistant problem solved.

After opening com.apple.internetconfig.plist with Property List Editor, I found the entry in the hierarchy at Root > Version 2.5.4 > ic-added > DownloadFolder > ic-data

I got a warning when trying to replace the value with a simple blank. The work around I found was to rename the existing key to ic-data-old then create a new key called ic-data, set the type to Data and leave the value blank. After saving the Plist file Firefox downloaded correctly on the first try.



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Fix an issue with the Firefox download folder location
Authored by: simonhold on Mar 31, '10 05:21:33PM

Firefox did something similar on my computer. I tried all the above methods, but the problem is persistent. Somehow Firefox or Thunderbrid set my Downloads folder as Read-Only. And I can't change it in the info window (where one normally changes permissions). Repairing permissions using Disk Utility didn't work either.

How can I force the Downloads folder to go back to Read & Write?

When I try to delete a file from it I need to enter my user pw and the reason given in the details is that this is required by com.apple.desktopservices

Any help is appreciated.

s



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