Disable Automatic File Opening in Safari

By default, clicking on a downloadable link in Safari on your Mac will automatically have it download and run. This isn’t good for websites containing viruses.

To disable this option:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. In the top left of the screen click the Safari menu, then Preferences.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. Uncheck the “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” option.


  1. Thank you very very much. I was not sure what I did to get this ridiculous program on..Glad I was able to delete it right away. Thanks again!!!

  2. much thanks,this worked just fine. I consider myself moderately smart about these things. but they got me. All along it did not feel right, which goes to the old fable "if it does not feel right, it probably is not right". This was a good $59.00 lesson. I can only hope this where it ends. By the way, I did kill the credit card i used for this transaction. I recommend the same for anyone else.~kc

  3. That was amazing, I've been trying all day to get rid of this thing, and following your directions it took me all of five minutes. Apple wanted to charge me $250 to do it for me, you just saved me a load of cash!

    Hip hip!
    Many thanks!

  4. Been computing since I got my first sinclair ZX81 in the early 80's, but still got suckered in by the professional look of the scam! Then i remembered to look on google and the web and get some advice. Glad I stopped, didn't pay the fee and found your web site instead.. you are a star, I followed your advice and your instructions are great. A big Thank you! and long may you have a happy life…..

  5. OMGosh, I was almost in tears, especially after the porn popped up…lucky my kids were not in the room. Thank you, thank you!!!!!

  6. Been working on a Mac since….well……since Mac was Mac!! But still the buggers sucked me in. Lost my dollars but hey-ho you live and learn. Thanks for the brilliant and simple instructions on how to rid my system of this trash – at least I can sleep easy tonight. By the way, anyone else who fell for this one, cancel your card NOW! Does anyone know how it gets in? I was looking at an American guitar site (I'm based in the UK) when all of a sudden I was faced with a very naughty young lady…er….how shall I put this….'dancing' (!!) for me! Bit of a shock to say the least!!

  7. When I hit preferences on my Safari menu I just get Appearance tab I don't see any other tab. What am I doing wrong? Thanks

  8. Yup, This just happened to me and I freaked. Having Safari open up to these nasty websites all on it's own was just way too much stress!

    Thanks for the great and clear directions!

  9. thanks for the advice about unchecking the open "safe" files. I had the prolem the other night from image browsing on google…it took me ages to delete it….it refused to delete itself from the recycle bin….using "forced security empty" I eventually deleted it. Very scarythanks

  10. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!! i was freaking out and I am so grateful for your instructions. Thanks again, you are a genius!

  11. Unbelievable. It looked so professional that I trusted Mac Defender was somehow aligned with Apple. I also got the Gay Porn pop up and when I ran the so called scan I panicked at all the viruses and signed up. Never again.

  12. THank you so much! Best and easiest advice. I was freaking out when this happened and your info saved me!

  13. I double checked the supposed viruses and they were photo's I had taken, so I knew something was wrong. But the professional look concerned me, so i did a quick google search.
    I did not give over any credit card info, and managed to delete the files using your excellent instructions.
    Is there anything else to be concerned about?
    One site said they used this to get other information, anyone had any experience with that?

    Picked it up doing a google image search on "Chicago gangsters."


  14. I would like to let you know that without your assistance the experience of getting to know my very first Mac would have been much more difficult. Many thanks for your help and keep up the good work!

  15. Again THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. thank you sooo much! so fucking stupid always keep a fail safe on the safari from now on

  17. Wow! Thank you for the help!!! Saw some sites i DID NOT need to!! Thank you thank you

  18. Thank you….i'm so glad my 11year old didn't see what i saw…i had macguard intsead of macprotector

  19. You're a genius and a doll. Saw a horrible site that I wish I hadn't. If your site really works, and wasn't a trojan horse (I'm now REALLY skeptical), I'll come back. Many thanks.

  20. Thank you you are a lifesaver. I just got my first mac and didn't know what to do about this. you are a legend much appreciated.

  21. Got a solution for Mavericks? This option is not available anymore, so what would be a terminal command to do the same?

    1. Hello Frederick,

      I have just checked this on a MacBook Pro running OSX 10.9.2(Mavericks).
      You will find the option here: Safari menu> Preferences> General tab, at the bottom there is a tick box for opening safe files after downloading.
      Hope this helps.


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