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Restore Tools/Downloads previous downloads list when downloads.sqlite is present


I was busy doing something else when Firefox updated itself to 20. First I noticed Private Browsing had changed. I could live with that, but then I checked the new dowload manager by starting the download of a big file, and I hated it so I opted to do a system restore to get FF 19 back, and immediately disable automatic updates. Before I did this however, I cancelled the test download, and clicked "remove from list", thinking it would remove only that download from the list.

So I restored and got FF 19 back. Everything is fine, except now my list of downloads from Tools/Downloads is gone! It's as if I clicked the Clear List button, but I didn't. If I go to History/Show All History/Downloads, all of my downloads are still there. I checked for downloads.sqlite in the profile folder; it is 480 KB in size, and it says it was created in Dec 2012, so I know FF didn't delete it and create a new one. All I want is for those dowloads that are still listed under History to show up in Tools/Downloads again.

I hope you do not ask me why I don't want to use FF 20 etc. I know now there is a way to get the old download mgr in 20 back. So I may do that eventually but not now. I don't like change. Thanks for your time.

Modified by onhold

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  • Shockwave Flash 11.6 r602
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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0

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  • Top 10 Contributor
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The downloads as shown in the new Download Manager and the Downloads folder in the Library are part of the history and thus stored in the places.sqlite and not in the downloads.sqlite file.
The Downloads folder in the Library shows History data, so if you clear history then items are removed from the Downloads folder as well and vice verse if you remove entries in the Downloads folder then they will no longer appear in the history.

If you didn't remove them in the classic Download Manager window then they should still be there.

You can set the Boolean pref browser.download.useToolkitUI to true on the about:config page to get the classic Download Manager window.
This will also make the entries in the "Options > General > Downloads" that have been hidden visible again.

Question owner

Thanks, but I'm still hanging. As I said I reverted back to FF 19, so I have the classic Download Manager, and browser.download.useToolkitUI is already set to true by default.

My places.sqite file also has a creation date of Dec 2012. When I look in the Library, the history of all my downloads since Dec 2012 can still be seen there. But they don't show up in the Download Manager window anymore. How can I get that to also show all my past downloads again, since their history has not been cleared?

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10753 solutions 96760 answers

Helpful Reply

You can't. Downloads that appear in the classic Download Manager are retrieved from the downloads.sqlite file and can only be restored if you have a backup copy of this file if you've removed them from the Download Manager window.

Downloads that you see in the Library are stored differently as history and that is why you still have those.

Question owner

But I didn't remove them all; after FF updated, I tried one download, then i canceled it and removed it, but only that one. Then I reverted back to FF 19. The downloads.sqlite file is 480 KB in size. If the list was cleared it would only be 50 KB or so would it not? If I open it in notepad I can't see any text of urls, just a lot of repeated jibberish.

  • Top 10 Contributor
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10753 solutions 96760 answers

Probably not. Firefox never reduces SQLite database files (vacuum), but merely clears the data.

You can check the content of the downloads.sqlite file with the SQLite Manager extension in Firefox.