Please explain the Downloads folder behavior

Every time I download a file, I put it where I want it. I have Firefox set to ask each time where it should be saved. But macOS 11.6.1 Big Sur routinely puts a copy in the Downloads folder. Why is that?

I think this behavior predates Big Sur, but I’m not confident. The copy in the Downloads folder seems to be an identical file, not an alias.

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You can change where the download is placed in the settings in Safari. First Tab area where the Homepage setting is located. I do have some downloads that get placed in the default folder for some reason. I think it can be hard coded but most of the time my downloads go to where I set it up in Settings.

I rarely use Firefox so I can’t answer that, but if I set up a Mac from scratch, one of the first things I change is Safari Preferences, General page, File Download Location to “Ask for each download”, and turn off “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading”.

Would that affect Firefox’s behavior?

Again, “I have Firefox set to ask each time where it should be saved.” I would think this would be the analogous setting.

However, I have changed Safari’s setting to “Ask for each download” and I’ll try to remember to notice if that solves the issue.

On a side issue, when I was poking around Safari’s settings, it seemed to have many passwords that I do not believe I saved in Safari. Can Safari access saved passwords in Firefox? Does Firefox save password info in Keychain?

Firefox does not use the Mac keychain - it uses its own password manager called Lockwise. Lockwise only exists today as a built-in part of Firefox, although it was also available as a standalone password management app until a few weeks ago.

If you have iCloud configured to sync your keychain, you may be seeing passwords you saved from other devices on your iCloud account (other Macs, iOS devices, etc.)

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Thanks for the follow-up.

I believe I do, though I might have missed a device, especially one that I no longer use.

It’s possible, but I have no memory of visiting several of the websites in Safari on any device. (I rarely provide credentials to a site on the iPad, and almost never provide credentials to a site on the iPhone. But I don’t doubt that iCloud has a longer memory than I.)