Firefox 91: download behavior when opening files with app changes
Firefox users have two main options when it comes to downloading files from the Internet. They can download files to the local system or select an application they want to open the file with. The files must be uploaded in either case, but the way they are handled is currently different.
A torrent file can be linked to qBittorrent or another torrent application to load it directly into the program, a spreadsheet in Excel or LibreOffice Calc, or a video in a dedicated video player.
One problem that Firefox users may have encountered in the past is that files that are opened directly in applications are not placed in the downloads folder. Instead, these files are placed in the temporary folder. The downloaded file is automatically deleted from the temporary directory when the session is closed.
Worst case means: users can search their systems to find the downloaded file but will not find it. They have to download it again before they can access it again.
Firefox 91 will change that. The next major version of the Firefox web browser marks the start of a new ESR version, Extended Support Release, of the Firefox web browser.
On Bugzilla, the Mozilla Firefox bug tracking site, bug 1710933 – The download of LaunchWithApplication should be moved to the “Downloads” folder when completed – confirm the change.
File downloads are placed in the downloads folder by Firefox starting with Firefox version 91; this is true for direct downloads, as before, but also for files that are launched in applications directly by the user.
Placed files will also no longer be deleted, when opened in applications, after closing the last session.
Google’s Chrome browser uses the same logic when it comes to file downloads and directly opening downloaded files in apps. All files are placed in the downloads folder, whether they are direct downloads or configured to launch in apps.
Mozilla is attempting to resolve the “where is the downloaded file” problem that some browser users experience when opening files in applications.
The downside to this change is that some users can manually delete downloaded files. Some files may no longer be needed after opening them in an application. Torrent files can be a great example of these types of files.
Customization options could introduce a solution. Make saving open files in apps the default, but give users options to disable saving of individual files or file types; that way, users would get the best of both worlds.
Firefox 91 will be released on July 27, 2021.
Now you: download or open with the app? How do you deal with file downloads?