I'm wondering if there's any way to make Safari be more "obvious" when it starts a download.

Ever click on a link on a website which turns out to be a download of, say, a Word document? And you keep clicking, and clicking, and clicking wondering why the browser won't move forward? And then you notice (sometimes, for me, after writing to the webmaster telling them their link is bad!!!) that you downloaded 10 copies of the Word document?

Not all sites will make a download obviously a download. It's very common for me to find a site where a link may simply say "click for more information" and turns out to be a link to a PDF or Word doc or similar.

The little quick animation of a Safari icon flying up to the Download icon is very easy to miss if you're not visually focused on the download icon, or if (like me) you have some vision loss. This is a consistently frustrating experience.

Ideally I'd like to see Safari work more like Firefox or IE, where a dialog pops up or a large flashing bar appears asking if you're sure you'd like to download the file you just clicked on. This would not only make it extremely obvious that a file is about to be downloaded, but also give you the chance not to download it if you accidentally clicked or change your mind.

Apple may try hard to make their software intuitive, but certain things like this just make it frustrating. Are there any modifications, extensions, tweaks, etc. that can enable something like this?

(Safari 7.0.6 on Mavericks 10.9.4 - all current software)

  • Do you have the allow downloads from anywhere enabled.
    – Ruskes
    Aug 17, 2014 at 19:18
  • @Buscar What option are you referring to and how would this change the situation?
    – grg
    Aug 17, 2014 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


You could create a folder action in Automator, to watch for new files in your Downloads folder and display a notification banner whenever it detects a new file.

  1. Open Automator and create a new Folder Action
  2. Next to Folder Action receives files and folders added to choose your Downloads folder
  3. Search for 'notif' and drag and drop the Display Notification to the right
  4. Enter your own text and save

It should look something like this:

Notification banner Automator screenshot

It's not the ideal solution, but at least you'll notice something has started downloading. Hope this helps.

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