HOWTO: Save nearly any multimedia file in your web browser to your hard drive

Ever wanted to save that video or flash animation that you found on the web to your hard drive? Well, if you’re using Mozilla Firefox, it’s actually pretty easy.

This tutorial will not work with anything streamed or encapsulated (e.g., streaming videos and quicktime trailers like on trailers.apple.com). Capturing those is beyond the scope of this howto (read: I’m lazy)

Also, remember to respect other’s intellectual property: Saving a copy to your hard drive is fair use; taking that and publishing it on your own website is probably not. Check to see if there’s a Creative Commons licence, or get permission from the media’s owner before you distribute someone else’s works.

Enough with the warnings! I’ll assume you have installed Firefox, and get on with the tutorial:

  1. Open the page that contains what you want to save

    Here we have a movie on NewGrounds that my friend Andrew Kepple made. It’s a flash movie, so it’s embedded on the webpage. There’s no link to the file that I would normally be able to right-click and save from.
  2. Right-click the page anywhere except the video and choose View Page Info

    This will open the Page Info window. Tools > Page Info will do the same thing.
  3. From the Page Info window, go to the Media Tab
    On this tab is a list of all the embedded resources on the page, including images, ads, and convienently, Flash animations and other video files.
  4. From the Media list, find your resource and click it
    If you know what you’re after is a video, try looking at filename extensions for AVI, WMV, MOV, DIVX, and such. Flash animations end in SWF, and music files are usually MP3.
    Chances are that what you’re after is quite large, so you could just go through each item in the list looking at the Size field below, and when you find one that’s bigger than the rest, that’ll probably be your file.
    You could also check the resource’s MIME type, which might have the word flash, video, movie, sound or the like in it, tipping you off.
  5. Click the Save As... button
    Then save your resource like any other file. Remember where it is.

Done! It’s easy when you know how! Happy repetitive watching! If you have any suggestions on improving this howto, please leave a comment 🙂

Update: Hi to all visitors from digg.com and the diggnation podcast! Hear Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht talking about this blog post on diggnation podcast #002 between 06m50s and 09m01s

Update: Welcome to those visiting from Lifehacker!

62 thoughts on “HOWTO: Save nearly any multimedia file in your web browser to your hard drive

  1. andrew

    Somebody now how i can download the media information showed in the “view page info” tab in an automatic form, like a javascript function….

  2. Erm yea, I figured that out without a guide. This is the type of think you should keep to yourself =3 plus now a lot of people might steal flash’s and submit them to newgrounds.

    FOR SHAME! XD.

  3. rachna singh

    I am browsing a website in which they have given a link for demo…when i click on demo it opens up a flash video file. I want to save taht particular file.how cna i do so?

  4. Jonny

    Top tip – nice one.

  5. vong

    welps this does not really have anything to do with the form but i need help with this little problemo. welps my brother have his account on my computer and he has a password. and he moved. any he never told me his password.. i just want to get in his account and delet everything..so anyone who knows anyone or whoever is a computer whizz please holla…fast

  6. Irtza

    Brother may God bless u with all he has & we all know what he has is limitless.
    You have solved my problem God bless u
    Bye

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  10. me

    or you can get download embedded(add on for firefox). And to download streaming videos, get video download helper.

  11. Don

    I just use download helper –
    http://www.downloadhelper.net/

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