Running Executables From Firefox

OpenDownload dialog exampleFirefox doesn’t support opening Windows executable files (i.e. files with an .exe extension); you have to save it, then manually run it. I missed the ability to execute a program directly from a browser (as Internet Explorer allows).

The OpenDownload add-on fixes that. When you click an executable, the dialog now has a “Run” button, which will cause Firefox to download the program to your system’s TEMP directory, then executes it. Sweet!

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9 Responses to Running Executables From Firefox

  1. Darren says:

    How often is this a requirement?

  2. Jody says:

    I wouldn’t call it a “requirement”. It saves me 10 seconds by not having to open up Explorer, going to the folder, running it, then moving or deleting it.

    I do this almost daily.

  3. Darren says:

    You download EXE files every day? I guess I’ve been in Apple land for too long.

  4. Jody says:

    Not EVERY day, but more than the usual person probably, because the geek in me likes to try new programs; and since I’m a programmer, I usually know that I’m doing. I’ve never unintentionally downloaded something with a virus. My virus scanner has never detected one, at least.

  5. Guido says:

    Hooray for re-opening security holes :) Since you know what you’re doing, not a problem at all.

    I quite like having my .exe files around though, be it for using it later or for knowing what the things I downloaded were. I have this download folder with subfolders too (and noticed with glee that Vista has this as default too, when I installed that on my work computer). So I wouldn’t really need this addon :)

  6. Guido says:

    Oh, I do use another addon though (among many others of course):

    It displays a neat statusbar at the bottom of the Firefox browser window when and after you’ve downloaded stuff. A right-click allows you then to run the freshly downloaded thingy, and you have all your current downloads in a nice overview too. Clearing and removing the statusbar is just a right-click (or a click on the “downloads” button, that’s new in the current version) away.

  7. Jody says:

    I download everything to my desktop (which is clutter-free, unlike most people it seems), where I will do something with it right-away – if it’s on my Desktop, it means I have to do something with it.

  8. Pender says:

    I hit control+j and double click the file.

    I also have what guido has, that download bar. So I double-click the downloaded file from that bar, it cleans it out of the bar automatically and the wonderful viruses happily pour in.

  9. Steven Avery says:


    And can you expand this to automatically allow a browser page to start executables on your c: ? Standard browser security prevents this, requiring special bypasses, even though it is overkill on something that you initiate (as opposed to an external drop of an executable). If there is a simple way to accomplish this, please let me know.


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