Disable Safari's 'Open Safe Files After Downloading' Feature

Protect your privacy by turning off this option

safari safe file download

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If you want to stop your Mac from opening downloads automatically, you just need to adjust the default browser settings.

Safari is no longer available for Windows PCs. The latest available version was 5.1.7, which is no longer supported by Apple. If you still have this version of Safari, the instructions below for Safari on Windows will work.

How to Stop Mac From Opening All Downloads

The Safari browser contains a default feature that causes all files considered "safe" to open automatically when they finish downloading. Although it can be convenient while enabled, this feature can be a dangerous when it comes to your online security. Safari considers the following file types to be "safe" files:

It's safer to manually open downloaded files so that you can scan them with your antivirus software, but you must first disable the "Open Safe Files" setting in Safari.

Disable Safari's 'Open Safe Files' Setting on MacOS

You can easily disable the "Open Safe Files" setting on your Mac through Safari's preferences on a MacOS computer:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac and click the Safari menu item at the top of the screen.

  2. Choose Preferences... from the drop-down menu and make sure you're on the General tab when the new window opens. If not, click the General tab.

  3. Locate the Open "safe" files after downloading option at the bottom of the General tab window.

    Locate the Open
  4. If the box has a check in it, the feature is enabled, meaning that the "safe" files open automatically. Click the box once to remove the check and disable the feature.

  5. Return to Safari by clicking the red circle at the top left corner of the preferences window.

Disable Safari's 'Open Safe Files' Setting on Windows

Apple discontinued Safari for Windows in 2012. Windows 10 does not support any version of Safari for Windows, but Window 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP SP2 and SP3 support the last version, which was 5.1.7.

Even if you are running the last version of Safari for Windows, you won't find an option to open safe files after downloading. The closest setting that's available in the Windows version of Safari is the "always prompt before downloading" option. When disabled, Safari downloads most file types without you having to explicitly allow it.

Note, however, that unlike the setting in macOS Safari, this Windows option does not let the file open automatically. It merely downloads files faster. You can disable this option if you like like so:

  1. Click on the Gear icon.

  2. Open the General tab if it isn't selected already.

    Screenshot of Safari General Settings in Windows
  3. Scroll down to Save downloaded files to, and deselect Always prompt before downloading. A check means that Safari always asks you whether to download a file when you request a new download. No check means that Safari automatically downloads most safe files without asking you. There is no way to configure Safari for Windows to automatically open downloaded files.

If you leave the box unchecked, Safari saves files to the folder you specify in the Save downloaded files to field on this same screen.