8 Tricks to Experience A Faster, Better and Compact Firefox Download Manager

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The download manager of Firefox is one of the most advanced features of a modern internet browser. From the age old Windows’ default download options in Internet Explorer to Opera or Maxthon’s improved download managers, we have seen them all. But effectively, Firefox download manager is the quickest we have seen so far, atleast for a browser. So what if I help you to do the icing on the cake in this article. I will share with you some tweaks and tricks of Firefox download manager solely. So let’s get on with Firefox 3.

1. How to See Download Progress in Status Bar

Your active downloads are shown in a separate window by firefox download manager. But do you know that with Firefox 3 you can minimize the entire window in the Firefox status bar itself. If you have your status bar active (to do that go to View>Status Bar menu item)
you can see a text with download information (how many active downloads, time remaining etc) there only. If needed, click on that text and the main download manager window will be at your desktop.

2. How to Manage and Keep Track of Downloaded Files

Are you a bit forgetful about downloads? Well I often forget if I had downloaded a particular file or not. So what I did firstly was to make sure that the Remember what I’ve downloaded option is ticked under the Privacy section of the Firefox Settings. This will keep all the details of each download, including the filename, site it was downloaded from, and date of download, all shown in the Download Manager. You can also open any file at any time by double-clicking on it. If you want to revisit the download page for a particular file, right-click on it and select Go to Download Page. If you wanna clear the list history then simply click on the Clear List button.

3. How to Automatically Remove Downloaded Files’ History from Firefox

Suppose you are a different kind. You don’t want to see your downloaded files’ list flooded with previous items. Do one thing

  • Go to Firefox address bar
  • Type and enter about:config
  • Set browser.download.manager.retention to 0 or 1.

[When to remove downloaded files’ entries from the Download Manager

0: Upon successful download
1: When the browser exits
2: (default): Manually.]

4. How to Control Active Download When Firefox Restarts

When you close Firefox, active downloads are paused and resumed automatically the next time you start. To change this behavior,

  • Go to about:config
  • Search for browser.download.manager.quitBehavior and set it to 1 to pause downloads but don’t resume automatically; or set it to 2 if you prefer to cancel active downloads (you won’t be able to resume).

5. How to Monitor Windows Anti-virus scanning options of Downloaded Files in Firefox Download Manager

Firefox has become more secure with this feature of Firefox 3. This integrated anti-malware/anti-virus scan can be useful to some, however, for larger downloads it can take some annyoing times. So If you are planning to turn it off,

  • Go to about:config
  • Search for browser.download.manager.scanWhenDone setting in the Advanced Tweaking section.
  • Set it to 0

I will recommend to scan individually with multiple scanners manually.

6. How to Deactivate The Download Completion Notification of a File In Firefox

Suppose you have a number of files to be downloaded. Isn’t it irritating if with every completion of download, Firefox comes up with the pop-up message at the bottom right corner of your screen?

Again,you already have a download status indicator in the status bar already in Firefox 3. So,to deactivate that innocent looking pop-up,

  • Go to about:config
  • set browser.download.manager.showAlertOnComplete to false

7. How To Eliminate Downloaded Files’ List From My Recent Documents in Windows, Permanently

By default, documents we download with Firefox are automatically added to the My Recent Documents folder on Windows’ Start menu. If you feel that this is annoying you, deactivate it by

  • Going to about:config
  • Set browser.download.manager.addToRecentDocs to false.

8. How to close download manager when downloading is complete

When the download is complete it is a silly but irritating job to close the window every time. What if the download manager window is closed right after the downloads are complete.

  • Go to about:config
  • Set browser.download.manager.closeWhenDone to true

More tips next time…


January 13, 2009: 5:06 am

[...] In Firefox you have the  download statusbar firefox extension that performs the same task as the Chrome. Moreover, its interface is much more affable than the Chrome. This add-on works better than the status bar of Chrome. Amyway in Firefox 3 you can see the download manager status bar normally if you cross the window of the Firefox download manager. And even to get rid of that annoying Firefox Download Manager flashing in-front of your screen, follow this article on Firefox Download Manager [...]

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