How To Configure FireFox To Open Different Types Of Files


fflogo.jpgMany times when you install applications, they may change the file type associates of which application will run when clicked on. An example is when you click on a file with an txt extension, Windows will open Notepad.

FireFox also has file type associates so it can handle which applications to use when you click on a video or audio file on the web page your are browsing. Unfortunately accepting the default during installation of an extension or plug-in can alter the file type association much to your dis-liken. Fortunately there is an easy fix.

Open FireFox, then from the menu select Tools / Options. In the Options window, select the Content tab and click on the Manage… button (in File Types section).


To change a File Type Extension, select the file type and click the  Change Action… button. In the example below I changed the MP3 Format Sound from Apple Quicktime plug-in to Windows Media Player.


After making the change, click OK then Close. Now when I go to a web page that has a mp3 file, Windows Media Player will launch and start playing.

The Change Action button has several options available:

– If you want the file to open with the default external program for that file type, select "Open them with the default application"
– If you want the file to open with an external program other than the default, select "Open them with this application". You will be prompted to select a program.
– If you want the file to be saved instead of opened, select "Save them on my computer".
– If a plugin exists for a file type, you can select "Use this plugin". This is the default action when a plugin is available.

To view all plug-ins installed in FireFox and the file type extension associations, type about:plugins in the address field.

Comments on How To Configure FireFox To Open Different Types Of Files Leave a Comment

July 29, 2007

Tucker @ 12:24 am #

Running Mac OS 10.3.9 and Firefox

In Prefs, when I hit Manage to change how Firefox manages different file types, a total of only 4 file types appear. How can I add to the list of file types? Can't find the mechanism for this. Thanks.

July 30, 2007
August 10, 2007

Mellopuffy @ 8:44 am #

I'm having the same problem. I have recently replaced my hard drive and have OS 10.3.9 with Firefox 2.0.6. When I open up 'Manage' i have only two file types to choose from, both for downloading video files. I can't even get it to recognise .pdf as an extension or file type when I type it in the search field! I've tried some workarounds that others have suggested (and MozillaZine seems to think that if I have actually downloaded a .pdf file previously using Firefox it will automatically turn up in the 'Manage' field) It doesn't. Someone out there must be able to help!

November 16, 2007

Suzanne @ 1:20 pm #

I am also having this issue, but on a PC, not a Mac. How do you add file types?

If it helps, this was working fine on Firefox 2.x, but when I updated to Adobe CS3, my reader was not working, so I chose to have the files opened directly into Acrobat instead. Now, everything is installed fine, but I no longer have a pdf entry in the file types.

Thanks for your help! 😉


January 23, 2008

Mike Anson @ 9:33 am #

The MIME Edit add on solves this problem – you can add as many file types as you'd like.

February 25, 2008

Diane @ 3:00 pm #

How does this addon work? I've installed the mime Edit, but don't see any change to the dialog box, and can't find a read me or set of directions. OS X 10.4.9, Firefox

May 27, 2008

Steven @ 10:17 pm #

Select Tools at the top, then MIME Edit…

It doesn't actually change the dialog box under preferences

May 29, 2008

new mac user too @ 4:59 pm #

Mac OSX users – To add a new file type to the manage list do this. Download a .doc file from the web (or what ever file type you want to add to the list), and when the download dialog box opens, choose the "open with" choice and choose the application you want to use to open this type of file (e.g. Pages, MS Word), and then check the "do this from now on" check box at the bottom. After downloading the .doc file, go back the the manage file types choice, and the the .doc file type (or what ever you downloaded) is now added to the manage file types list.

June 14, 2008

Paul @ 9:30 am #

I recently installed Firefox on my OSX10.3. I had Acrobat Reader 5.0 at the time of the install so when I downloaded any PDF, Firefox opened the PDF in Reader 5.0. But then I upgraded to Reader 7.1.0 PDFs were still being opened in Reader 5.0 and I was unable to choose Reader 7.1.0 in the Firefox "Opening…" dialog box. My only choice was Reader 5.0 and there was no "Choose…" button available to press (as 'new mac user too' said above, but he was correct for downloading a Word document for the first time; so for some reason things are different for Reader). Anyway, I solved my problem by downloading the MIME Edit add-on. After installing the add-on, goto Tools->Mime edit… Select Edit tab and choose New Type. Type "application/pdf" in the MIME type field and "pdf" in the Extension field (not ".pdf"). Then select the "Open it with:" Choose button and find your PDF viewer (i.e. Acrobat 7.1.0). Now when I click PDF links, it launches Reader 7.1.0. Good luck with your troubleshooting.

May 14, 2011

Johnny @ 12:00 am #

how to fix my computer if every program is opening with any program in the "open with"

July 5, 2011

Christer Johansson @ 9:54 am #

How to fix this now when MIME Edit add-on no longer is available?
Anyone knows?
I don't want to change to IE (where it jsut works)….

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