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Rob, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 409
Experience:  14 years Mac experience, 10 years Mac Consulting, ran a printshop for 23 years.
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Download iMac

Customer Question

My new iMac won't save downloads. It was doing fine until today. I tried repeatedly to download some simple games from Apple site. The download process would begin in the download window, but as soon as the download was complete, it would vanish. Clicking on the download in the history list just brought up the site I downloaded from. My husband has an identical computer and he downloaded the same games to his iMac with no problem at all. Even he couldn't find the problem with mine.

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Rob replied 8 years ago.

1) It sounds like you have accidentally clicked Safari into the Private Browsing mode. This makes the download disappear in the download’s window after completion. To check to see if it's on click the Safari heading while in Safari and see if there is a check mark beside Private Browsing. To turn it back off, click Private Browsing to remove the check mark. Then download something and see if the downloads display and save correctly.

2) Repair permissions with Disk Utility in the Applications/Utilities folder, restart, open Safari, download something and see if the downloads work correctly.

3) Reset Safari by clicking under the Safari menu where it says Reset Safari, restart, open Safari and see if the downloads work correctly.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I tried the second and third suggestion you offered. I forgot to mention in my message telling you what else I had tried that I had already verified that I had not inadvertently clicked private browsing. Neither of the other two options had any effect. I still cannot save anything I download. It downloads it correctly, but then immediately disappears. The little magnifying glass icon at the top right next to the "x" is still gray as though disabled. Don't know if that is significant. The only improvement made is that now, I do have the blue and white striped lines on the download window before the box was totally white. Even the gray strip at the top was pale like the icon. I had hoped to download some fun games. I had lots of stuff on my PC and lots of simple games to occupy my time. I really don't do much on the computer except some simple word processor things for my job, a little web surfing, and some simple games a few I was able to download when I first got the iMac.

Expert:  Rob replied 8 years ago.

You can always download Firefox browser available here:

Sounds like something is going wrong with your system. Here's how to repair it:

Restart, as soon as you hear the startup chime hold the Command S keys. You'll get a UNIX text screen. When the prompt come up type: fsck -f make sure there is a space between k.. When the diagnostics say the computer seems to be ok type: reboot then hit return and you'll start up back to normal and see how that works.

Another thing you could do is quit Safari and go to a Finder window. Click your Home folder, then open Library, then open Preferences, then locate the file named and throw that file in the trash. Start up Safari and see if that fixes the download problem.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I found two of the games I tried to download. They downloaded in a strange way. It takes a lot of clicking of this and that to open them, but they are here. I will try your last suggestions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much for your help. I think I didn't really have a problem at all with the computer. The problem was with the nut at the keyboard! That is usually the issue anyhow. I just couldn't find the downloads anywhere. But when I had just about given up, there they were---all seven or eight copies of the games I was trying over and over again to download. In Safari preferences, the selection was for the download to be removed from the list once the download was successful. It must have not been checked before because I used to have to empty the list myself. So, now I selected the manual option instead. That way the download stays on the list and I know I can find it. I am sorry I put you through all the trouble of trying to fix what wasn't really broken. I learned something though and for that you are well entitled to your small fee. I will keep your web site in my "important places" list so I can go to you again if I need help. Again, thank you for your trouble--and for waiting for me to come back a second day.