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downloads are not staying in my downloads window library

  • 18 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 1012 views
  • Last reply by FredMcD

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Hi,

Up to today I had a lot of downloads in my download library. I usually keep them here for easy access. All of the sudden all of my downloads disappeared. I did not press the clear all button. Can I retrieve my downloads i had in my library? Did I change something by mistake or can I change it so that my downloads stay again in my library until I decide to delete them them?

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Chosen solution

Yes, that should be the correct file.

You can try to restore the 12/08/2015 version of places.sqlite and do these steps:

Make a JSON backup of the current bookmarks in the Bookmarks Manager (Library)

You can save this copy to the desktop for easy access.

You can use the button on the "Help > Troubleshooting Information" page to go to the current profile folder and close Firefox.

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder

Make a backup copy of the current places.sqlite file in the profile folder via Windows Explorer in a safe place (e.g. the desktop).

Delete the places.sqlite-shm and places.sqlite-wal temporary files to avoid issues with these temp files.

Restore the 12/08/2015 (Dec 8) version of places.sqlite via Windows Explorer.

Start Firefox to see if that has restored the downloads history. You will lose recent bookmarks and history of sites you have visited after that restore point (12/08/2015). If you have created new bookmarks in the past week then you can restore the bookmarks backup that you have created. If this hasn't worked then you can restore the backup of places.sqlite and delete places.sqlite-shm and places.sqlite-wal before starting Firefox.

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All Replies (18)

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Did they disappear from the downloads folder as well?

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Hi, No. They are in the computer. It is just easier for me to access them in the Firefox library. I have clicked on the Clear All button by mistake before but I did not do it this time. I was downloading a file from Microsoft. I did not take the first time so when I went to download it again and realized that all of my previous downloads were gone from the library. It is not absolutely necessary that I get them back in my library. It is just more convenient if can get them back. The last download I did had stayed in the library so far.

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You might have a "clear history" option turned on.

Type about:preferences#privacy<enter> in the address bar.

The button next to History, select Use Custom Settings.

At the bottom of the page, turn on Clear History When Firefox Closes. At the far right, press the Settings button. Check the settings.

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No I don't. I have it set to "remember history". I don't want to clear my history. I am the only one using this computer.

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History and cookies can be removed or not recorded several ways;

  • 1) Running Firefox in Private Mode (nothing is recorded)
  • 2) Privacy settings
    (Type about:preferences#privacy<enter> in the address bar.)
  • 3) Many disk cleaners and anti-virus type programs can remove data from browsers. Open their settings and have them leave the browsers alone.
  • 4) Mal-ware.
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There might have been a problem with the places.sqlite database file that stores bookmarks and history You can check if there is a previous version of the places.sqlite file available.

Note that this will also replace the bookmarks. You can export the bookmarks or restore the bookmarks from a compressed .jsonlz4 backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

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Hi Cor-el,

I am really weary about trying to mess up my bookmarks. I have over a thousand bookmarks that I use all of the time. Last time I asked a question in this forum in March was because I lost all of my bookmarks. I had to do a new profile which I had no clue how to do but I managed. I am not super technical by any means. You would have to guide me step by step. Like you you said:Right-click: Properties > Previous Versions Where do you right click? In Firefox? I have forgotten what I did before in March to check my profiles and fix my problem.

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Your other thread is here if you want to check it:

If you are logged on to this forum then you see your name instead of "Sign In" in the menu bar at the top of forum pages. You can click your name to open the drop down menu.

  • Click "My Questions" to get a search result page with your questions

You can also find a link to search result pages (contributions) in your user user profile.


Downloads as you see in the Downloads Manager (Library) are part of the history, so there might have been a problem with the history or maybe you have removed the history yourself.

You need to right-click the places.sqlite file in Windows Explorer and open the Properties to find Previous Versions tab. Previous versions of some files are stored by Windows as part of a system restore point. I don't know if places.sqlite is included.

You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder:

Firefox keeps a maximum of 15 bookmark backups in the bookmarkbackups folder, so normally there should always be a backup to restore in case of problems. The name of a JSON bookmarks backup file includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once.

  • bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4.
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I did not delete my history. Like I said in before my history is set to "remember history". I downloaded something last night and when I opened Firefox this morning it was gone from my library. I found two places.sqlite folders.I would imagine the bigger one is the one to do. I opened proprieties and previous versions. I guess 12-5-2105 is the one to do. I do not want to loose all of my bookmarks and saved passwords like I did back in March. WAY TOO MUCH WORK!!!!!! I went into my bookmark backup folder and opened it. There are all the backups but I could not open them. This scares me. If I cannot open them how can I replace them from this file if I loose them? Right now I just thinking of doing total restore point in the computer. Any thoughts?

PS: When I had the problem in March one of you suggested to download FEBE . I just did a FEBE back up. If that helps any. I also have OPIE but have no idea what it is.

Modified by Amylogamy

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The first screenshot shows the wrong file (I see places.sqlite-wal in the title bar). You need to find the main places.sqlite file without any extras appended. This file shows in the third screenshot as places with type SQLITE File.

You can't open a compressed .jsonlz4 backup from the bookmarkbackups folder in Windows Explorer. You could decompress the file with some effort, but that would still give you a file in JSON format that is very hard to understand. You can only use the Bookmarks Manager (Library) to restore such a backup and replace all current bookmarks with the bookmarks in the backup.

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Is this the correct one now?

I just opened the previous version 12-08 2105 and it is Internet Explorer which I hardly ever use. It is not the Firefox browser. So all the information is from Explorer not Firefox like bookmarks etc. I am glad I checked before I did anything.

How do I find the SQLITE File that has the Firefox information?

Modified by Amylogamy

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Chosen Solution

Yes, that should be the correct file.

You can try to restore the 12/08/2015 version of places.sqlite and do these steps:

Make a JSON backup of the current bookmarks in the Bookmarks Manager (Library)

You can save this copy to the desktop for easy access.

You can use the button on the "Help > Troubleshooting Information" page to go to the current profile folder and close Firefox.

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder

Make a backup copy of the current places.sqlite file in the profile folder via Windows Explorer in a safe place (e.g. the desktop).

Delete the places.sqlite-shm and places.sqlite-wal temporary files to avoid issues with these temp files.

Restore the 12/08/2015 (Dec 8) version of places.sqlite via Windows Explorer.

Start Firefox to see if that has restored the downloads history. You will lose recent bookmarks and history of sites you have visited after that restore point (12/08/2015). If you have created new bookmarks in the past week then you can restore the bookmarks backup that you have created. If this hasn't worked then you can restore the backup of places.sqlite and delete places.sqlite-shm and places.sqlite-wal before starting Firefox.

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I have a stomachache and butterflies but YES IT WORKED!!!!!!

I just replaced the few missing bookmarks from the back up.

What happens if this occurs again?

THANK YOU COR-EL!!!!!!!! Thank you for your patience also!!!!!!!

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These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backups of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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I have them Fred, as a matter of fact I think you were the one that recommended them before in March when I had the other problem. I did a back up today with FEBE. I was going to restore the few missing bookmarks from this back up but I got a little scare when it say WARNING Whatever changes you make would be final. So instead I did the restore from the bookmarks backup. Thank you for everybody's help!!!!!

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What that means is the recovered file will overwrite the current. All this means is anything changed / added / removed after the backup was created will be lost.

I have my FEBE do an auto backup each morning.

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I see. I was not sure what to do because it said Merge or Override. I figured that Merge would be to merge old and new information and override would be a total new information from the latest backup. Is this right?

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Yes, that is correct.