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erinfromliverpool Level 1 Level 1

As stated in the title, when I try to download a file from the internet, clicking on the link associated to the file will not start a download, but instead opens a new tab in my browser showing the url of the associated file. If I then right-click and choose 'Download linked file as...' the file can be downloaded with no issues in most of the cases, at least as long as the website allows right-click downloads to happen.


Does anybody know why this could be? I have tried resetting Safari, emptying the cache and, of course, updating my software. It is a midly annoying problem, but it doesn't happen when I use other web browsers in my iMac. Any help would be appreciated. I'm using Lion in a late 2009 iMac with, as I said, updated software.



iMac (21.5-inch Late 2009), Mac OS X (10.7.4)
Solved by Linc Davis on May 22, 2012 4:07 PM Solved

Select Help Installed Plug-ins from the Safari menu bar. Besides the following, what plugins are listed?





Shockwave Flash

WebKit built-in PDF

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    Does this happen with all web pages, or only some? If only some, give an example.

  • erinfromliverpool Level 1 Level 1

    It happens with every website that I visit for as long as I can remember. It only started to be annoying when I got a MacBook Air and it became more noticeable.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10



    Open the Finder.


    From the Finder menu bar top of your screen click Go > Go to Folder


    Type this in:    ~/Library/Safari


    Click Go


    Move the Downloads.plist file from the Safari folder to Trash.


    Quit then relaunch Safari to test.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.


    This procedure is a test, not a solution. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.


    Step 1


    The purpose of this step is to determine whether the problem is localized to your user account.


    Enable guest logins* and log in as Guest. For instructions, launch the System Preferences application, select Help from the menu bar, and enter “Set up a guest account” (without the quotes) in the search box.


    While logged in as Guest, you won’t have access to any of your personal files or settings. Applications will behave as if you were running them for the first time. Don’t be alarmed by this; it’s normal. If you need any passwords or other personal data in order to complete the test, memorize, print, or write them down before you begin.


    Test while logged in as Guest. Same problem(s)?


    After testing, log out of the guest account and, in your own account, disable it if you wish. Any files you created in the guest account will be deleted automatically when you log out of it.


    *Note: If you’ve activated “Find My Mac” or FileVault in Mac OS X 10.7 or later, then you can’t enable the Guest account. The Guest login created by “Find My Mac” is not the same. Create a new account in which to test, and delete it, including its home folder, after testing.


    Step 2


    The purpose of this step is to determine whether the problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login.


    Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode* and log in to the account with the problem. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:


    1. Be sure your Mac is shut down.
    2. Press the power button.
    3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.
    4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).


    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on certain Macs.


    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.


    *Note: If FileVault is enabled under Mac OS X 10.7 or later, you can’t boot in safe mode.


    Test while in safe mode. Same problem(s)?


    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of steps 1 and 2.

  • ~Bee Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    erin --


    We're all volunteers here, and your're obviously gettlng lots of good help.


    My one question for you is:

    Did you ever download Speed Download, which claims to make downloads faster?  And then decide not to use or pay for it?

  • erinfromliverpool Level 1 Level 1

    Dear Carolyn, Linc and Bee,


    Thank you very much for your help. I tried the different solutions that you suggested but, unfortunately, none of them worked. I deleted the Downloads.plist, reset and restart safari and nothing changed.


    Also, following Linc's indications, I created a new user and tried again, but the problem persisted (only now the link opened in a new window rather than a new tab due to my preferences not being in the new account, I guess). I also tried the safe booting to no avail.


    As for what Bee suggests, I haven't dowloaded Speed Download or any other software that claims to download faster. I have used Ad-Block for a long time and that was one of the first things that I deleted from my Safari extensions when this started annoying me but it also didn't make a difference.


    In any case, thank you very much for yur help and advice. If you have any other ideas, please let me know.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    I haven't proposed a solution yet. I was only asking for information. So far we've established that your problem is not caused by third-party software or by Safari's settings. I'm still not sure I understand what the problem really is. Please go to this page:


    Apple - Support - Downloads


    Try to download one of the smaller files, no matter which one, by clicking on the link. Post a screenshot of what happens when it goes wrong.

  • erinfromliverpool Level 1 Level 1

    Dear Linc,


    Thank you for your very precise answer.


    This is what I see when trying to download one of the files. I click on the link and then the tab becomes black and shows the address the directs you to the attached file.ScreenC.jpg

    Thanks again!

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    Select Help Installed Plug-ins from the Safari menu bar. Besides the following, what plugins are listed?





    Shockwave Flash

    WebKit built-in PDF

  • erinfromliverpool Level 1 Level 1



    I think I just solved the problem thanks to you.


    I checked the plug-ins and saw a couple I was either not using anymore (LogMeIn) or had no idea where they came from (TUV). I deleted them, reset and restarted safari and, as far as I can tell, downloads are working as usual again.


    Thank you very much (to all of you) for your help!

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    Was it TVU Player?

  • erinfromliverpool Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, Linc. I think it was TVU Player. It's been a few days since I unistalled it and my computer seems to be working perfectly. Again, many thanks.

  • alimreda Level 1 Level 1

    Dear All,


    I have the same issue exactly I have tried to do all the mentioned steps to solve it but it still exists.


    I did removed all plugins, History, Cache, reset the safari settings and it is also not working fine.


    Any Help.



    Ali Reda

  • Alireza.Z Level 1 Level 1

    I had same problem. To remove plugins just go to "Library/internet plugins" in finder and you can remove them from there. My problem was from Speed Download plugin.

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