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When you download a file with Firefox, there is a delay for a few seconds before the button to save the file becomes enabled.

What's the motivation for this feature?

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This is a security feature.

It is to prevent unintended downloads. If the user is attempting to interact with the webpage, for instance typing some prescribed text or double-clicking somewhere, without a delay, it would be possible for malicious websites to unexpectedly prompt for a download, and unintentionally be given approval by the user.

For more information, see this full explanation detailed by Jesse Ruderman who worked for Mozilla on the security team for quite some time, as well as a workaround to disable this security feature, if desired.

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You can't save something that's not downloading so Firefox goes through all the handshaking protocols to make sure there is something to download before giving you that option.

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  • Or at least it used to go through all the handshaking. Now it just waves from a safe distance. – musefan Jul 14 '20 at 13:23
  • @musefan What does that mean? – maxathousand Jul 14 '20 at 13:36
  • @maxathousand: Nothing of substance. Handshakes, coronavirus, etc. – musefan Jul 14 '20 at 13:40
  • @musefan Hahha, got it now. – maxathousand Jul 14 '20 at 13:43

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