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Download manager: Is is possible to cancel a download and not delete the partially downloaded file?

  • 11 replies
  • 7 have this problem
  • 2611 views
  • Last reply by John99

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There seems to be no way to change the default behavior of the cancel button of the download manager.

I would like to be able to break a download connection without losing what I have downloaded so far.

At the moment to achieve this I pause the download, move the files, then cancel the download. This is messy and has caused me to make mistakes in the past.

thanks for any suggestions.

Chosen solution

You have modified the enquiry yet again.

  • "if you categorically state that Firefox will always delete downloading files when the cancel button is pressed, I will mark this topic solved. "

That seems unlikely,
and will to some extent depend on system and setup, eg if you are downloading into a temporary directory, regardless of what Firefox does or does not do the files will probably get deleted at some early date.

The above was a different question, yet again, you initially asked

  • "I would like to be able to break a download connection without losing what I have downloaded so far. "

That is sometimes possible.

Read this answer in context 👍 0

All Replies (11)

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I am probably missing the point & I use Windows, but why not pause the download and leave the files where they are. If you want to move them do so after the download is completed. Presumably you can also choose individually where each download will download to before you commence it. Linux also has the always ask option.

The file will appear in the download manager, regardless of its actual chosen location.

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With non-resumable downloads the pause button is often disabled. In that case the only way to break a connection is to press cancel..

Modified by je2213

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Initial question stated

  • ".... I pause the download, move the files, then cancel"

now

  • "With non-resumable downloads the pause button is often disabled "

Hopefully someone else can provide answers relating to your Linux sytem.

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I want to be able to cancel a download without deleting. Is there a way to do this without pausing.

Modified by je2213

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I am not too sure what it is you are trying to do. Are you trying to deliberately cancel a download and retain a file that is of no use.

Using an analogy are you downloading something like music where there is a time sequence, and a bit like on a traditional tape recorder you could start and stop it, then play it back from any chosen place and if required record parts on separate reels or cassettes of tape.

What I would expect as the ordinary behaviour is that

  • a download will be of a fixed length
  • the intent will be to capture it all
    • in many cases it is useless unless the whole is downloaded
      think of the files downloaded to upgrade of reinstall firefox, it is really an all or nothing affair
  1. the download starts
    1. a break or PAUSE may occur.
      whether by user intent or internet fault, fortunately Firefox download manager may be able to cope with this
    2. if un-interruptible CANCEL and discarded :-(
    3. Restarts after pause if possible; also may have option to retain partial download
  2. continues to completion :-)
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Mate, if you categorically state that Firefox will always delete downloading files when the cancel button is pressed, I will mark this topic solved.

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Chosen Solution

You have modified the enquiry yet again.

  • "if you categorically state that Firefox will always delete downloading files when the cancel button is pressed, I will mark this topic solved. "

That seems unlikely,
and will to some extent depend on system and setup, eg if you are downloading into a temporary directory, regardless of what Firefox does or does not do the files will probably get deleted at some early date.

The above was a different question, yet again, you initially asked

  • "I would like to be able to break a download connection without losing what I have downloaded so far. "

That is sometimes possible.

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Thanks john for your help. Normally I don't post questions, just search and find answers. But the words download manager cancel and delete are very broad search terms; it is almost impossible for me to find useful information. Only option is to ask an expert.

For my version of firefox I know the behavior of the cancel button is to break the connection and attempt to delete the partially downloaded file.

about:config offers no access to the functionality of download.manager.cancelbutton

pause and cancel are two very different functions, and are not interchangeable.

your comments show that nothing has changed for later versions of firefox.

I'm convinced enough now to mark the topic as solved. The answer is No.

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Sorry that I was not able to successfully provide an answer.

As I said I use Windows, but I would have expected the functionality to be very similar with Linux.

I am having difficulty understanding

  • exactly what it is that you are attempting to do,
  • and why you consider Firefox's behaviour to be anything other than as expected.

Someone else may understand better, and it may help if you give a specific example.

  • explain what sort of material you are trying to download, eg computer programmes, video etc
  • what site you are using, with the name and the correct link
  • an example file you tried, again with name and link
    (it would help if you give examples of free publicly accessible sites and files)
  1. explain what you did and what happened
  2. explain what the expected behaviour was
  3. explain why you think something is wrong


There is always the possibility using specialist download managers but that is outside the scope of this forum.


Did you read the information shown by the blue clickable links in my first message ?

Part of which is

"Remove the file's entry: If you do not wish to keep a record of a particular download, simply right-click the file entry, then select Remove From List (This will remove the entry from the list; it will not delete the file itself). "

That also lists and explains: Pause, Cancel, Open the file, Open the file's folder, and Retry a download.

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John, I have a work-around solution that satifies me. To restate the problem: I don't want firefox deleting my files, even if I press the cancel button.

  1. create a subdirectory in the download folder called safe-from-firefox
  2. initiate download of thefile
  3. move thefile.part from download folder to safe-from-firefox

firefox will continue downloading but doesn't know the location of thefile.

Its not a perfect solution, firefox complains when download is complete and I can't imagine what will happen if I press the pause button.

I think I can live with both those issues. I'd be interested to know if this approach works in windows.

Modified by je2213

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Glad to have helped,

Thanks for posting back, at least you found the link answered the question.