I want to download some videos which are streamed through a Flash player. Since the website does not give me the option to download the video, I would like to know where are the FLV files stored when the video is being downloaded by the player.

On Linux we store files called Flash* in /tmp... I guess there is something similar in MacOS X. Where should I look?

2 Answers 2


This may vary by browser, but in Safari, if you press A, you bring up the Activity window. Find the largest file being downloaded for the current page; that is generally the Flash Video. Double click it, and it will be downloaded to your downloads folder.

This avoids having to learn the various places Mac OS X will store temporary files on disk. In general, things that aren't expected to be cached for re-use end up in /private/var/tmp and things that are in ~/Library/Caches but in your case, safari will expose that file more directly and allow you to fetch it.

If you are ever curious - you can watch filesystem activity in real time with some quick commands like sudo fs_usage -w | grep Safari


As far as I can see, using Firefox on 10.7.3, the flash video gets stored as a file called FlashTmp.XXXXXX, where the Xs are randomly generated.

This file is in /private/var/folders/, 3 levels deep in randomly generated directory names like ax/4fis_mf2993_23iofdasiof29309sfd/J.

I found it by using the command lsof|grep Flash.

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