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In Chrome i recently wanted to get a large download and a popup alert shows saying:

Website Wants to: Store Files on this Device

What does this mean exactly and how is it different to a regular download?

Also after doing a search and not really finding any decent results someone on a forum posted that it reads the cache.

If that is the case can websites get important details from the cache if for example you were using your email account etc?

19

Sites like Mega.co.nz do such things.

The message you are seeing pertains to FileSystem API. As websites are becoming web apps, it is becoming necessary for them to act like actual apps. One such behavior is storing large data and settings files on your computer and access that data freely, reading, writing and changing them as opposed to a simple one-off download for you. That's why FileSystem API is invented.

In case of Mega.co.nz, it downloads an encrypted copy of file to the local storage, decrypts it and then lets you have the decrypted file in your Downloads folder.

Now, the purpose of this permission request: Would you want a web app that you don't even know – let alone trust – take up potentially hundreds of megabytes of your hard disk free space? That's what this permission request is for.

Google Chrome, which is the only browser that implements this API, has a cap for the allotted space, but one person might visit hundreds of domains each day. Thus, the impact would still be significant.

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  • 1
    If you're wondering why. gizmodo.com/5977265/…
    – sennett
    Jun 25 '17 at 14:09
  • 1
    I had this roughly figured out 3 seconds after giving permission for this by clicking too hastily. Problem is, how do I stop allowing this? Been googling for a solution, and haven't found one so far. Jan 10 '18 at 11:29
  • 2
    @auspicious99 You can go to Settings and search for "content" to find "Content settings". Also, you can visit the intended website, click its favicon to the left of the addressbar and go to content settings for that site from there. And also you can deleted them en masse via "Clear browsing data" dialog box.
    – user477799
    Jan 10 '18 at 12:26
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    I don't see anything in Chrome "content settings" that seems to relevant to this. After clearing browsing data and visiting mega again, it doesn't ask me again to "Website Wants to: Store Files on this Device", which to me implies that the permission wasn't revoked by clearing browsing data.
    – John
    Jan 29 '19 at 17:49

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