Is it possible to prevent Safari from auto downloading files? Kind of like how Firefox does it.

To be clear, I am not asking about auto-unzipping, but rather webpages that auto start downloads for nefarious dmg files.

  • definitive guide = done. hope you like it.
    – owlswipe
    Dec 12, 2016 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


To stop Safari from automatically downloading files (and instead ask you with a prompt before downloading):

  1. Open Safari, and go to Safari -> Preferences in the menubar (or hit command+,)

step 1 image

  1. Go to the General tab and hit the dropdown next to File download location. Choose Ask for each download.

step 2 image

Now, if I navigate to the download page for something (for example, the 1Password browser extension) and download it, a download prompt will appear before the file begins to download:

download prompt

Indeed, the file does not download until I click Save. If I click Cancel, the downloads menu shows me that Zero KB of the file was downloaded:

zero kb

Asking before each download is a great way to prevent malicious DMGs from being downloaded onto your Mac, but you can read this great answer that explains why these steps I've outlined are completely unnecessary, because DMGs can't harm your computer until you manually install them.

Instructions and images for Safari 10.0.1.

  • This is a great, clever solution to the problem. In my case, I'm not worried about whether the DMG is dangerous, but the fact that in the course of a day or a week, I'll have dozens or hundreds of unwanted DMGs which I have to manually delete and empty the trash. Just would prefer not to have to bother. Aug 20, 2018 at 7:04

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