Make SABnzbd the default program for opening NZBs automatically

// 16th Nov '09 Make SABnzbd the default program for opening NZBs automatically

Whether you're looking for a guide on how to open NZBs in SABnzbd automatically; make SABnzbd the default program for opening NZB files; or setting SABnzbd as your NZB handler, then this should be the article for you.

As you probably know by now, SABnzbd is not your typical newsreader in that it does not have a desktop graphical interface. Written in Python, it runs as a daemon (background process) on your computer (cross-platform) and has a built in web server allowing it to have a web interface. As such it can only be accessed by using an internet browser such as Firefox, Opera or Safari (Internet Explorer works but we don't recommend its use) and this leaves the problem that you can't usually set SABnzbd as the default program for opening NZBs files within your operating system.

This leaves you with the hassle of having to save the NZB first, then opening up the SABnzbd interface and uploading the NZB manually (or by saving to the watch folder every single time). This can become a pain; however, as you are most likely going to be within a browser anyway when you download an NZB, there are a couple of ways to get around this:

For Firefox Users

SabNZBd with Mozilla Firefox (Windows/Linux/MacOSX)

There are a couple of options available to SabNZBd Firefox users which will make your life a lot easier:

  • nzbdStatus - An excellent extension for Firefox which is designed to make SABnzbd easier to use by providing controls and monitor for SABnzbd in the status bar while also making it easier to send files to the SABnzbd+ daemon. It also integrates fully with Newzbin, replacing all the NZB buttons so that they get sent straight to SABnzbd. A screenshot of the status bar tooltip is below:


  • SabNZBdFox - Another extension in much the similar vain as nzbdStatus however this one promises to catch all cases of opening an NZB file and works better than nzbdStatus for this. It can either save all NZBs to a specific folder (i.e SABnzbd's watch folder) or automatically put it in SABnzbs queue via it's web-API. It currently only shows the amount of concurrent downloads though instead of a percentage/status bar.

Best bet is to try them both and see which one you get along with most.

For the Apple crew..

SABnzbd GUI for Mac OSX

You can obviously use the same Firefox plugin we've already mentioned if you're using Firefox but if you wish there is a brilliant Mac-ish graphical user interface to SABnzbd called SABnzbdX (screenshot below). It uses the Growl notification system for notifications and can handle double clicking of NZBs to send them directly to the SABnzb daemon.


If you have any other ways to make SABnzbd use that little bit easier with other operating systems or browsers, leave a comment and we'll add it to the article (with credit of course!).

djm posted by djm
This entry was posted in Client Help and tagged clients, nzbs, sabnzbd. Leave a comment. Header image by dominik99


  1. irk
    Posted Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:11 a.m.

    no mention of hellanzb because?

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  2. Posted Nov 17th, 2009 at 11:11 a.m.

    Because the article wasn't about HellaNZB or any other clients/daemons ;)

    We'll be opening up a true client comparison section in the long run, should help people decide on what's right for them.

    Personally we prefer SABnzbd over HellaNZB anyway, even if it slightly worse performance wise - at least it's still being actively developed.

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  3. Floris
    Posted May 22nd, 2010 at 17:05 p.m.

    Perhaps a nice addition to the article:

    Another option on Windows is, to create a .bat file that saves the nzb to your watch-folder. If you associate the .bat file with the .nzb extention, you can also double-click an nzb anywhere on your pc and the nzb will automatically start downloading. this also works when downloading a nzb file with your browser.

    Save the following code to a .bat file @echo OFF set /p filename= "Provide a name to save the nzb: " copy "%~dpnx1" "C:\nzb\%filename%.nzb" pause

    On the third line, change 'Y:\nzb\' to your sabnzbd-watchfolder. Optionally, remove the fourth line if you do not want the confirmation message and the 'press any key to continue'.

    Save the .bat file somewhere on your pc and to associate it with all nzb files, do the following.

    Right-click a nzb-file an select open-with... Browse to you newly created .bat file and check the box that says, something like..'Always open this file-type with this programm'.

    From now on, you can double-click a nzb file on your computer or open it directly from your browse and the .bat script will be launched. You can provide a (new) name to use with your nzb. If you've set te correct path on the folder Sabnzbd monitors, your download will automatically be added to the Sabnzbd queue.


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  4. Floris
    Posted May 22nd, 2010 at 17:05 p.m.

    Too bad codeBlocks did not work. Second try:

     @echo OFF
     set /p filename= "Provide a name to save the nzb:   "
     copy "%~dpnx1" "C:\nzb\%filename%.nzb"
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