Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Disable Alt+Click for download in Firefox

I have not found a way to disable the Alt keyboard shortcut that activates a download of the link you click on. It can be a real file or even a html page. This is a timesaver when you quickly want to download files in Mozilla Firefox.

Why did I want to disable it then?

I have found that often the download is triggered unintentionally. Eventually I found that this happened accidentally if I clicked on a link and then after that quickly pressed Alt+Tab to switch to another application. Somehow pressing the Alt after clicking on the link also activated the download.

Here is the workaround that I found working after some research of the settings.

Enter about:config in the address field. about:config is where all user preferences can be viewed and modified in Firefox.

Locate browser.download.saveLinkAsFilenameTimeout and lower the value. I tried 100 milliseconds and have not seen any problems so far. If I run into problems I will try to set it a bit higher.

Some URLs use Content-Disposition headers to tell browsers what to use for a filename when saving a file. This filename may not match the URL. When choosing “Save Link As...” from a link’s context menu, Mozilla must request the URL to find out the filename from a Content-Disposition header. Since this is not as fast as merely using the URL itself to generate a filename, Mozilla will time out after a short time waiting for the headers. This preference determines that timeout.

Number of milliseconds to wait when retrieving the filename from Content-Disposition headers before resorting to the original URL’s filename. Default is 1000 (1 second).

Hopefully there is a better way as this workaround might have side effects when downloading some URLs.

1 comment:

  1. i have the same problem. i believe that this is because firefox is so stupid to check "alt" when "download" is happening, not when you "click" the link

    ReplyDelete

Some of the latest blog posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner