Disable "Open Safe Files After Downloading" Feature in Safari

safari safe file download
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This tutorial is only intended for users running the Safari Web browser on OS X and macOS Sierra operating systems.

The Safari browser contains a feature, enabled by default, which causes all files considered "safe" to be automatically opened once they have finished downloading. Safari considers the following file types to be part of this category.

  • Pictures
  • Movies
  • Sounds
  • PDF files
  • Text documents
  • Disc images, such as DMG files
  • Some other archive types

Although it can be convenient while enabled, this can be a very dangerous feature when it comes to your security. Many users prefer to manually open downloaded files, giving them the ability to screen them accordingly.

This setting can be easily disabled via Safari's Preferences interface.

  1. Open your Safari browser by clicking on the Safari icon in the dock.
  2. Click on Safari in your browser menu, located at the top of the screen. When the drop-down menu appears, choose Preferences.
  3. Select the General tab from the Preferences dialog, which is now overlaying your browser window.
  4. You will now see a check box labeled Open "safe" files after downloading, located near the middle of the Preferences interface. If this box is checked, click on the check mark once and verify that it is no longer visible.
  5. Click on the red circle (x), located in the top left-hand corner of the Preferences window, to complete the process. You will now be returned to your main browser window.

    What You Need:

    • Safari Web browser for OS X or macOS Sierra

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