How to Use the Firefox about:config Option browser.download.folderList

Change your downloaded file location preference

Mozilla applications, including the Firefox web browser, have a feature called about: config that houses various preferences and settings. Often, these settings can't be found in the usual preferences dialog interface. By accessing about:config, you can modify these settings and even add hidden ones with a "behind the scenes" approach.

One Firefox configuration option users can access via about:config is called browser.download.folderList. This preference lets you choose where to store downloaded files. Here's how to access browser.download.folderList and understand its values.

This article's information applies to the Mozilla Firefox web browser on macOS, Windows, and Linux systems.

firefox about:config download location
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More on the browser.download.folderList Preference

The browser.download.folderList preference lets users choose where their downloaded files are stored.

The value of browser.download.folderList can be set to either 0, 1, or 2. When set to 0, Firefox will save all downloaded files to the user's desktop. When set to 1, these downloads will go to the Downloads folder. When set to 2, the location specified for the most recent download is used again.

How to Use browser.download.folderList

To modify the value of browser.download.folderList, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Firefox browser.

    Open your Firefox browser.
  2. Type about:config in the browser's search bar and hit Enter or Return.

    Type about:config in the browser's search bar and hit Enter or Return.
  3. You'll see a Proceed With Caution message. To continue, select Accept the Risk and Continue.

    Select Accept the Risk and Continue.
  4. Select Show All on the next page, which warns again that changing these preferences can impact Firefox performance or security.

    Select Show All
  5. You'll see a list of all Firefox preferences.

    List of all Firefox preferences.
  6. In the search bar, type browser.download.folderList.

    In the search bar, type browser.download.folderList.
  7. Double-click on this entry to edit the value.

    Double-click on this entry to edit the value.
  8. Enter the desired value (0, 1, or 2), and press Return or Enter. In this example, we changed the value to 0 so all downloaded files will be saved to the desktop.

    Enter the desired value
  9. Close out of the Advanced Preferences window. You've set your new download preference. When you download a file from a web page, it will save to the new location.

    When you download a file from a web page, it will save to the new location.

As Firefox evolved, many of the settings available from about:config were added to the main Preferences area. These days, an easier way to change your file-download location is to go to Menu > Preferences > Downloads and choose where to save your files.