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You won’t be admitted to the Grand Council of Uncluttered Minds if all you do is click on a download link and save the file in any location that presents itself. There’s a chance of admittance if you manually save the file in designated folders. But the high seat is reserved for those who set up the whole process on auto-pilot.

The hallmark of good computer organization is everything in its rightful place. Proper file naming follows in the steps of good folder organization. Check back into the directory structure of your computer. Do you have folders set up to store specific kinds of files?


If not, then you are a few steps behind on the road to productivity. Of course, the hallowed portals of the Grand Council of Uncluttered Minds shall always remain closed for you. If you are serious about organizing your computer, let’s go back to where it all starts – downloads.

Presumptively assuming that you use Firefox for downloads, let’s see how we can download files in Firefox and automatically put them into their proper folders. As it is with everything in Firefox, we fall back on two little browser applications from the Mozilla Add-ons Gallery.

Download Sort

Download Sort is a Firefox add-on that automatically sends downloads to specific folders depending on the file extension or a keyword in the URL. To make it recognize the file extension or the keyword, we have to get into the browser extension’s Settings and do a bit of work.

The important thing to remember is that the sorting of downloads in designated folders only works with the right click (Save Link As/Save Image As) – not with the left.

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download files in Firefox

Here are all the options that you can tweak under Settings.

download files in Firefox

You can set up download folders or subfolders for each file type. For instance, any doc or PDF file that you download can go into your My Documents folder or alternatively, you can create an eBook folder within the documents folder to catch all the incoming PDF files.

Here are some of the other features you can find under the Settings for Download Sort (screenshot above)…

Instead of sub-folders, you can also collect downloads in a folder by bracketing them according to the criteria given in the dropdown for Autosave Sub Folder.

You can route downloads by catching them using a keyword that could be in the specific URLs. This is useful if you download a lot from particular websites.

Download Sort can be set up to prompt you for a filename or give an alert if a duplicate file is found in the target folder. A set of actions can follow – Prompt for a new filename, Auto-increment the filename, Cancel the download, Overwrite the file.

With some work on the rules for the file types and the corresponding folders, Download Sort cuts short a few downloading steps for us.

In spite of it not being developed further since 2006, Download Sort works fine with the latest version of Firefox. If you do mind that, let’s go on to the next Firefox add-on.

Automatic Save Folder

Automatic Save Folder is a similar download tool that automates the process of saving and sorting of downloaded files into specific folders. Again, you have to set up a few rules to catch files by their file types and redirect them to the right folders.

With Automatic Save Folder, you can set filters according to the file extension or the domain. But it handles downloads a bit differently from the previous Firefox add-on.

download files in Firefox

Automatic Save Folder’s download rules will only work if Firefox always asks where to save the files. This setting for the browser is under Tools – Options – General tab – Downloads. Make sure that’s checked as in the screenshot below.

Unlike Download Sort, Automatic Save Folder works with single clicking on a download link as well as a right click.

When a download link is clicked, Automatic Save Folder opens the File Explorer at the right download folder (as set for the file type). Alternatively, you can also go into the Options of the add-on and set it to save downloads automatically bypassing the File Explorer.

Similar to the previous add-on, dynamic folders can also be created on the fly to hold downloads. The download folders can be named with a variety of variables.

Automatic Save Folder is compatible with Firefox 1.5 – 3.7a1 pre and works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.

Finally”¦Pick Of The Two?

It all boils down to user choice. Automatic Save Folder has some distinct advantages. It can handle both left click and right click downloads. It is more flexible with its filters. But the clincher could be that Automatic Save Folder is being kept updated.

De-cluttering 3 Ways to Organize & De-Clutter Your Windows Desktop 3 Ways to Organize & De-Clutter Your Windows Desktop Read More and organizing your computer is a habit. These two Firefox add-ons just make the habit a trifle easier to maintain.How do you download files in Firefox? Are you showing all your downloads the right path?

  1. Isaac Harris
    April 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Download Sort - for the moment at least - no longer works. It installs fine, but then it doesn't do the job. There are comments at Mozilla's site about this one. Hopefully, someone will come up with an equivalent program (I see the 2nd choice here requires you to enable FF to always ask when downloading a file, which is annoying.) or fix Download Sort soon. Apparently it's been out of commission for a little while due to lack of updates.

  2. Jessica Cam W.
    April 2, 2010 at 12:53 am

    This article is a good wake-up call. It tackles one common problem that I think most of us, netizens, seem to ignore, including myself.

    Superb writing, by the way.

  3. Jessica
    April 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    This article is a good wake-up call. It tackles one common problem that I think most of us, netizens, seem to ignore, including myself.

    Superb writing, by the way.

    • Saikat
      April 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks Jessica. Usually, we treat our computers the same way we treat ourselves and say, our desk. A person who is neat will be generally organized in all aspects of his life, including a 'trivial' thing as a computer folder.

  4. aticodejon
    March 22, 2010 at 1:06 am

    What about the same for chrome? Anybody please have some recommendation?

  5. Garen
    March 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information. I have been working on getting my computer more organized over the last week or so. It is similar to cleaning out your closet. I have found that keeping your files can really ease your mind when working on clients websites, designs, ect.

    Have you ever used:
    ScrapBook by Gomita, it helps you to save Web pages and organize the collection.

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