FIX: Couldn’t be saved because source file couldn’t be read

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Mozilla Firefox is a browser or choice for many users, but even great browsers such as Firefox have their share of issues.
  • Users reported Could not be saved because the source file could not be read error in Firefox, and in today’s article we’ll show you how to fix it.
  • We wrote about common fixes in our Troubleshooting Hub so make sure to bookmark it.
  • Firefox is a great browser, but if you have any more issues, be sure to check our Web Browsers Hub for more guides like this one.

The Firefox browser has a few download error messages that is preventing users from saving their files.

One of those error messages states: <filename> could not be saved, because the source file could not be read. Try again later, or contact the server administrator.

When that error message pops up, Firefox users can’t download and save files.

Here are a few resolutions that might fix that issue.

How do I fix the source file reading error?

1. Switch to another browser

If you have trouble downloading files in Firefox on a permanent basis, you should consider switching to Opera. Based on the new improvements and features of the browsers, we think you won’t face the same issues while using it.

Opera’s new elements overshadow other popular extensions, like Firefox or Chrome. Some of Opera’s main elements include the video pop-up, embedded VPN, interactive messaging, and My Flow.

Thanks to the built-in ad blocking, the web pages are loaded quicker and needless ads or pictures will not disturb you.

The installation requires only a few seconds and you can install the application on your computer in no time. Switching to Opera is really easy.

Opera

Opera

If you want a reliable browser, fast connection with a flexible and easy to customize interface then this is your best choice!

2. Check your Internet connection

First, check your internet connection hasn’t gone down. The server might have been interrupted when downloading. As such, open a few website pages in your browser.

If they don’t open, then a lost connection is the issue. This article provides further details for fixing net connections.


3. Delete the compreg.dat file

  1. Open Firefox and enter about: support.

  2. Press the Open Folder or Show Folder button.
  3. Close the Firefox browser.
  4. Right-click compreg.dat and select Delete to erase that file.

4. Adjust the network.http.accept-encoding setting

  1. Enter about: config in Firefox‘s URL bar.
  2. Scroll to the network.http.accept-encoding setting.

  3. Double-click the network.http.accept-encoding preference.
  4. Erase all the value text in the text box, and press the OK button.

5. Disable download manager extensions

  1. Click the Open menu button.
  2. Click Add-ons.

  3. Click Extensions.
  4. Press the Disable buttons beside download manager extensions.

6. Adjust the attributes setting for places.sqlite

  1. Input about:support in Firefox‘s address bar.
  2. Press the Open Folder button.
  3. Right-click places.sqlite and select Properties.
  4. Uncheck the Read-only checkbox if it’s selected.
  5. Click Apply and OK to close the window.

7. Reset the Firefox browser

  1. Input about: support in the browser‘s URL bar and press Enter.

  2. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
  3. Select the Refresh Firefox option.

8. Reinstall the Firefox Browser

  1. Open Run by pressing the Win key + R hotkey.
  2. Enter appwiz.cpl in the Run text box, and click the OK button.
  3. Then select Firefox, and press the Uninstall button.
  4. That will open Firefox‘s uninstall wizard.
  5. Press the Next button on the wizard.
  6. Then reinstall the same Firefox version you removed.
  7. Open Firefox‘s setup wizard to add the browser to Windows.

One of those resolutions will probably fix Firefox so that you can download software and documents with the browser once more.

Clearing your download history, selecting an alternative download folder, and switching the anti-virus software off might also help resolve the issue.

If you have further suggestions for fixing this Firefox issue, please share them below.

FAQ: Learn more about Firefox

  • How do I reinstall Firefox?

Reinstalling Firefox is easy, you just need to remove it from the Settings app and then download and install the latest version. You can use an uninstaller software in order to remove it completely.

  • Does Firefox have virus protection?

Firefox can recognize certain malicious websites, but for full protection, it’s advised to use a dedicated antivirus.

  • How do I change my download settings in Firefox?

To change the download settings in Firefox, click on the Menu icon and choose Options. Locate Files and Applications section and change your settings from there.

  • How do I fix failed download in Firefox?

To fix failed downloads in Firefox, check your antivirus settings. If that doesn’t help, you might have to reinstall Firefox.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.