Opening Network Folders from Firefox 7 on Mac OS X

Posted on 2011-10-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
We have multiple Mac computers running 10.6.8, and we are unable to open links from a SharePoint site that are formatted like this: file://servername/sharename/folder/folder/folder
The link points to a folder on a file share on the network.
On the Mac, in Firefox 7.0.1, the link will show up as file:///sharename/folder/folder/folder (the triple /'s are not a typo)
In Safari , they show up as file://servername/sharename/folder/folder/folder
However, in neither browser will the links open. They do nothing. No respose, no page load, no error. They act as if you didn't even click.
However, http:// and https:// links will work just fine. It's just file:// links that do not.
Thinking that because the link reformats without the server name in Firefox, I used the Go menu in Finder and connected the Mac to the network share and then tried again, but it still did not work.
The user has access to the share that the link points to and can open it in Finder without problem. We have also tried to change the link to http:// instead of file://, but this broke it from working with Windows users, so we switched it back before testing the Macs. We also tried changing the format of link to file:// which still worked for Windows users, but made no difference to the Mac users.
Question by:Avanindra
    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    Firefox blocks file:// access like that as a security feature and Safari may too.  You can't unblock it as far as I know.  You can open a local file from the File menu (but not from a link on a web page from another server).

    Author Comment

    Thanks Dave. I understand the need for security, but it makes it very difficult to work with the insecure Microsoft systems that enterprise organizations use, such as SharePoint, Internet Explorer, and Windows.

    I tried to manually add the file:// boolean prefix to Firefox to open in Finder, but it still did not affect it, which would make sense if it is specifically blocked due to security. I couldn't find an entry for it in the about:config to try to disable that security setting either.

    I have created Aliases (shortcuts) to connect through Finder direct on the user's desktop, and she will share these with the rest of the Mac users. It appears to be the only way around this.
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    Firefox and other Web Browsers are not designed as a file browsers.  Finder is the correct solution.  Thanks for the points.

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