How-To Geek

Quick Tip: Change Firefox Download File Location

I prefer files being download directly to the desktop, but a lot of other people would prefer to download into a downloads folder, or a directory inside their Documents directory.

Changing this option is extremely easy. Just open Tools \ Options, and you should see the Downloads section right on the very first screen.

Click the Browse button to select a new folder. You can also choose to have Firefox always ask you where to save the files, and you can turn off the “Downloads” window (which always annoys the crap out of me, so it’s an instant disable on every Firefox install)

This article is just one in a series covering how to use Firefox. I’m assuming it’s a no-brainer for most of the geeks out there, but I want to create a good central repository of Firefox tips, so simple articles like this are a must.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/13/07

Comments (34)

  1. MaxTheJester

    Thanks for this. I frequently download open source programs to try out, and it keeps cluttering up my desktop.

  2. Jason

    Random question: do you know how to instruct Firefox where to download files from a particular site? Like you, I download all my files to my desktop, however, there is one site from which I download Excel spreadsheets that I’d like to automatically download to a specific folder.

    Rather than have Firefox prompt me to choose the download location manually, is there a way to set up site-specific download locations?

  3. birre

    Hi all.
    I sit here and read all the tips just for fun, but will make attention to the url about:config where you
    can see all the settings of your firefox browser.
    It has also a filter line where you can type for example download to select only settings about that.
    To change the settings for or , just double click on
    the line and type in a new value.

  4. Love it

    Thanks its a real help. no more file transfering.

  5. J

    Hey, thanks for the tip, this used to work on XP but now I’m using Vista (not out of choice) and I can’t seem to get firefox to download onto my desktop. Instead, it’s saving to a Temp folder. I think it’s Vista doing it.

  6. priya

    Quick and easy tip…thank you

  7. Baltezers

    Hi. I want to know, where to change my settings, if i don’t want to save file, but open with…, for ex., qtorrent or media player.

  8. Saket

    Ok while i was downloading torrents i changed the settings. I clicked on save the file and automatically perform this action. Now when even i download a torrent it automatically downloads that torrent and saves it. But doesn’t open it. So i want to change the settings from save the file in a location to open it with utorrent.

  9. Dhanu

    Thank you it is really useful!!

  10. Dhanu

    Installed firefox on Linux and didn’t find ‘options’ in ‘toos’. By default files are downloading to root ‘/’ where the space is an issure in my case. Could you please suggest me the procedur to chage dowload destination. — Thank you.

  11. Deanna


    Yesterday in preparation to purchase a new product, I was directed to “clear my cookies” on Firefox so the promoter would be assured of getting the commission. As a newbie, I didn’t realize that by doing so, it would clear my ‘downloads’ directory, which I rely on to access my other downloads. Although I know that the downloads have gone to either My Documents of the Desktop, I have not kept a list elsewhere and rely on the downloads directory to access all my other stuff.

    Is there a way to recover/retrieve the downloads directory? I have restored my computer to the day before, but the downloads directory is still blank. I am devastated and lost without access to the directory. Can you help?

    Thanks for your input.

    Deanna Patten

  12. Tony Patriarche

    Excellent. I never liked the download box much, and it’s a positive nuisance when updating a web site as it puts yet another cache in thew ay of getting the updated content. And since installing a download helper add-on it is always empty anyway! All my downloads go to my download folder, whence I move
    them to categorized subdir’s once they are installed & I have decided to keep them (which has saved by bacon several times after a crash or when I am setting up anoter computer).

  13. dev_info

    With installed firefox on Linux, you can find the ‘options’ under Edit/preferences.


  14. Smedge

    Great tip and written in plain language with a screenshot. It took less time to change where my downloads go than it took to leave this comment. :)

  15. Jack Yan

    This was helpful, thank you. Saved me poking around the menus.

  16. john

    thx so much :) My desktop is just full of downloads.

  17. crazy_driver_78

    Does anyone know how to specify different download folders for different file types? For example: I don’t want EVERY download to be saved in the same download folder. I want my *.torrent file downloads to be automatically saved to my server’s torrent client’s torrent loading folder. Thanks

  18. Sandy

    I don’t have firefox. My system is the xp. I need to know how to download my email folder to my desktop. Please. It’s very important. I did it once but can’t remember how I didn it. Thank you

  19. lolo

    first of all thanks a lot man
    this tip is very helpful

    there is an add-on (automatic save folder ) that could do just what you need but u shold specify this after doenloding it go to tools—- add-ons —- options—— then program it as you want via the (+ ) sign

  20. kisen

    Is it possible to change the dowload folder in the scripts?

  21. raghu

    thank u dear friend this is very use full

  22. Jewel

    haha………………… FUNNY

  23. Jewel


  24. saurabh

    When i change the download location by edit->preferences->main->always ask me where to save files

    Even after doing this, whenever i downlaod anything, it says in a popup window ‘There is not enough room to save file on the disk’, however there is 20 GB space available on the disk.

    How can i resolve the problem? Please suggest, i am not able to download anything because of this problem.

  25. Vipu

    Thanks Dear

    I am very confusing about this matter….

    Thanks …….


    Thanks for the Tip Lolo

  27. Jack

    I did this yesterday to download a bunch of files, I also checked the box so it didn’t ask me every time whether or not to open or save them. I want to restore my original settings where it asks me to save or open but I can’t see a way to do it. I have rechecked the ‘ask me every time’ box, but there is no longer any option to just ‘open’ the file only to save it.

  28. sarang

    i have a problem..m using mozilla firefox in open suse…but it doesnt have download file location in tools/option…can any one help me out

  29. Jeff

    Since adding 10.5.8 to my Power Mac 6,3 G4, I’ve noticed that a download file does not show up in the download box. The box remains empty, but when searching for the file on the hard drive, there it is. Is there a way to get the file to show up in the download box that appears during the download process so I can see that it downloaded without having to go to the HD?

  30. Mini

    Thank you Thank you Thank you sooooooooo much!!!

  31. Dean

    What if when you click the “browse” button you are ignored and firefox wont let you choose a new location? is there a way change it in about:config?

  32. Ciaran

    Thanks man

  33. Ninia

    Thanks a LOT. It’s been very annoying !!!

  34. Siva...

    How can i change the download location of firefox in Fedora..i did’nt see any options there..plz help me..urgent…

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!