A long time ago, I found this post online with some tips for finding files in the browser cache. Specifically, Flash videos. However, I'm currently running OS X 10.7.2 and Safari 5.1.2 and this method doesn't appear to be accurate anymore.

I also tried the RealPlayer Downloader method mentioned in the comments on that link, but it's not detecting the videos in the browser.

Can anybody think of an updated version of this? Where might I find Safari's cache items to copy them?

3 Answers 3


This is how you do it: Capturing streaming video in OSX Lion. It's basically the same method as in the post you referred to, with the difference being that you access the file through the activity window in Safari instead of navigating to the temp file in Finder.

  • This works great on most sites, but doesn't seem to always work. I don't know what king of streaming protocol breaks it, but one example site where it doesn't work would be info.com.
    – David
    Jan 29, 2012 at 16:55
  • info.com isn't exactly a good example since it doesn't have video's of its own but shows video's of other sites like youtube, dailymotion and the likes. The youtube ones work just fine; dailymotion video's don't work. I get your point though. Unfortunately I don't know of an other way to capture streaming video's. Maybe someone else knows of an app or plugin that might achieve what you want. You could give a shot at Wheat Williams' recommendation.
    – user16873
    Jan 30, 2012 at 10:25
  • My mistake, I meant to enter infoq.com. iPad auto-correct broke it.
    – David
    Jan 30, 2012 at 13:12
  • No problem. :) I hope you find a solution to your problem.
    – user16873
    Jan 30, 2012 at 20:27

I would recommend launching Firefox and using the DownThemAll! plugin when you want to download a Flash video. It works so well for me that I've never tried to find an equivalent solution in Safari.

  • This plugin seems to be finding image files easily enough, but I don't see any way to get Flash videos through it. I load the page, open the DTA console, select the "Pictures and Media" tab and see only image files.
    – David
    Dec 30, 2011 at 15:16
  • @David I use the Firefox extension Download YouTube Videos as MP4 and FLV which has a nice interface and works quite reliable.
    – gentmatt
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:40

I'm running 10.7.3 and I was trying to find this for a while. I ran into the Flash temp folder accidentally while looking for something else. For me, it was located in /private/var/folders/ This worked in 10.7.2 as well.

In the Finder menu, if you click on Go → Go to Folder → /private/var/folders/ and have a dig around, it will hopefully be there.

On my MacBook, it was a folder called


The files themselves are called FlashTemp.xxxx (where xxxx is a random bunch of letters). I rename them to Whatever.flv and use MPlayerX to play them back.

I usually check this folder while the video is still open (and fully loaded) in Safari.

I've made an alias to this Flash temp folder in my downloads folder and use that if and when I need it.

  • I have /private/var/folders/ and it contains some stuff, but it never seems to contain anything called Flash* anywhere in that hierarchy.
    – David
    Mar 22, 2012 at 10:10
  • Hmmm... I usually check this folder while the video is still open (and fully loaded) in Safari. Is it the same case with you? I forgot to mention that. I apologise for not formatting the post properly initially too. I'm new to SE!
    – Zoidberg
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:32
  • I check it while the video is loading, yes. (It's worth noting that this is similar to how I used to do it in Leopard, though I think the folder was somewhere else.) Further testing seems to indicate that this method works fine for videos which are also available by using the Activity window in Safari. But it's not working for me on videos like this one, for example: infoq.com/presentations/The-Code-is-the-Design
    – David
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:48
  • Yeah, I just tried that one and it didn't work for me either. So I guess they have to be available in the Activity window too...
    – Zoidberg
    Mar 23, 2012 at 15:53

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