Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am willing to save an online flash video (.flv) file for further offline watching. I couldn't download this particular video file through a direct link (grabbed with Video Download Helper extension) because of a very slow and unresponsive server, but I could watch it to the end with a webpage embedded player, and now it is for sure saved to cache (as I can rewind it and watch from any place without no more waiting).

I went to


But the file I want is not there (it is to be about 200 MiBs, but the biggest file there is of 22 MiBs and is called "_CACHE_003_").

Where might it be if not in the standard cache directory?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It is there or in /tmp;

Nowadays, Flash Player (starting from some 10.xx version) for linux does unlink on flv files;

ls -la /proc/{PID OF PLAYER PLUGIN}/fd to get an idea;

More info (check the script):

share|improve this answer
And thank you for the link. – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 4:36


Also reachable through WIN+R, then typing %appdata% and then following Local -> Temp.

share|improve this answer
OP's not a Windows user. – Sathya Nov 30 '10 at 0:38
Sorry, good catch. I should have read the question better. I'll leave it, in case anyone stumbles across this question looking for an answer from a windows perspective. The OP can use the following URL: "about:cache" to see the default and alternative cache addresses on his system. – Paul Nov 30 '10 at 4:48
I think this shows the clue anyway. From your answer I can figure out that Firefox uses a user's common temporary files directory alongside with its profile cache. – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 4:28

The OP was looking for a linux solution, but the question is valid for Windows too, so here's an answer for that. Look for fla*.tmp in


Also reachable through Win+R, then typing %temp%, or following Paul's example:%appdata% and then following to Local -> Temp.

Chances are you won't be able to do anything with the files though because they'll be marked as locked or in use. There are a few programs that can work around this for you, just search for "windows copy locked or in-use file" and variations thereof. The ones worth their salt will probably use Volume Shadow Service (VSS). I like hobocopy and here's an example use:

hobocopy.exe /verbosity=2 %temp%\acro_rd_dir D:\Playback\Incoming flaFF7E.tmp
pushd D:\Playback\Incoming
move /y flaFF7E.tmp SomeUsefulName.flv
explorer /select,%cd%\SomeUsefulName.flv 

The relevant part is hobocopy source_dir destination_dir file-to-copy, and the rest sugar. Replace explorer... with start %cd%\SomeUsefulName.flv to start playing the video right away instead of just selecting it.

Recipe last tested with Firefox 18 on Window 7.

share|improve this answer

Run locate *.flv to see all your flv files on your system.

However you might need to run sudo updatedb first (to update locate command index database)

share|improve this answer
Firefox strips names and extensions of the files it puts in cache, so I suppose looking for *.flv won't help much. Looking for FLV in files contents with a rich search tool of a kind (like Midnight Commander) perhaps... – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 4:30

I think it is better to use WinRAR and go to C:\Users\youruser\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5 OR \Low\Content.IE5. Then look in each of the folders and look for the biggest file, probably ending in .flv or .avi.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.