How do I keep my desktop clean?
September 19, 2007 6:25 AM   Subscribe

How can I make Firefox on OS X not clutter up my desktop? Every time I click on a file, I get that open or save dialog box. If I choose open, it saves a copy of the file to my desktop, then opens the desktop copy. I don't want Firefox to save anything to my desktop unless I choose the save option.

I'm a Mac newcomer, and in Windows, this task is accomplished by saving files that you want to "open" rather than "save" to a temporary folder, then opening the copy from the temp folder. I like that method because I only have things on my desktop that are worthy of taking up screen real estate--that is, almost nothing.

I've tried digging through the preferences and I have even trolled through about:config to try to find anything useful. I have flipped the bits on without any change.

Thank you for your help. I love OS X so far but this is driving me crazy.
posted by rachelpapers to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Go to Tools>Downloads and then change the destination of where it saves the downloads to.

Also, I would highly recommend Safari and Camino over FF for Mac. Especially if you download OnyX. With it you can customize the hell out of Safari's behaviors.
posted by sneakin at 6:49 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think this is how I did it...

Change FF's download destination to Safari's Temporary Files directory. Go into Safari and change "Remove Downloaded Files" to "Upon Successful Download." I'll look more into it, but I think that's how I got it to work. It worked with TB too.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2007

Best answer: it is.

The trick is to choose a temporoary folder that's not the desktop. Following the linked directions to make changes to your about:config will take care of the "delete on exit" part so the new temp folder doesn't get overcrowded.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2007

Best answer: sjuhawk31, THANK YOU.

For those in the future, I will spare you the bugzilla forum reading by summarizing the procedure:

1. In firefox, open the URL about:config.

2. Right/Control-click anywhere in the page, and select “New” -
“Boolean” from the context menu.

3. In the dialog that pops up, enter
browser.helperApps.deleteTempFileOnExit for the pref name, and then choose true for the value in the next dialog.

You must restart Firefox for this change to take effect. Once you have entered this preference, FF will still download files you said to "open" to the desktop, but it will delete them once you quit FF.

If you don't want to ever see these files, follow this additional step:

4. Launch Safari. In the General section of Safari's preferences, change the Save downloaded files to: box to a non-desktop folder. I created a /temp folder and moved it there.
posted by rachelpapers at 10:27 AM on September 19, 2007

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