Up until Firefox version 97, files opened but not downloaded were saved on a hidden "temp" folder, deleted automatically after restart. Since Firefox version 98, they are all downloaded to a visible folder, either chosen by the user or the "Download" one, in Windows/Linux. A super annoying change. In their own words:

enter image description here

How can I manually revert this change? Settings have no option related to this.

  • 1
    I think there might be some confusion here. That “Downloaded files are saved to disk” seems to me to be the way downloading files has always worked in Firefox. But your question is “…files opened but not downloaded…” seems to be about non-dowloaded but opened files. Like PDF files, audio and video files and such. Are you 100% on what has changed? Mar 21, 2022 at 21:52
  • 1
    @Giacomo1968 Its the highlighted statement in the image. Before v98, opened but not directly downloaded files (e.g. open pdf in new tab) were put in a temporary folder, out of the view of the user. Now, they are all put in the local user account, usually, Downloads.
    – luchonacho
    Mar 21, 2022 at 22:49
  • Aaaahhhh… That seems to make sense as to the change in the behavior. What OS are you using? In macOS, Firefox creates a temp file in the ~/Downloads/ directory that I can visually see. And when the download is complete, the temp is renamed and there you go. I wonder if this is a Windows specific thing? Mar 21, 2022 at 23:52
  • 1
    @Giacomo1968 Linux. Image says it's also the case in Windows.
    – luchonacho
    Mar 22, 2022 at 0:32
  • AFAIK there's still an about:config item for you to revert it...for now
    – Tom Yan
    Mar 22, 2022 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


Make true the variable browser.download.start_downloads_in_tmp_dir (accessed from about:config).

Credit is due to an answer provided by a user named xanthonin the discussion forum http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3097140

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .