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Got new version, want to go back to previous download box, the new one has no history and doesn't show speed of download, how do I go back?

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They are in the question. I was very pleased with the old download box, I have a mac so when I got the new update from firefox, I was very surprised to see I can't look through the old downloads and can't see the speed in which the current file is being downloaded, it doesn't make sense to cut those options off...

Chosen solution

Note that Firefox 20 also can open the about:downloads page in a tab (see also about:about).

You can set the Boolean pref to true on the about:config page to restore the old download manager window.

Read this answer in context 👍 63

All Replies (19)

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I want to add my vote to the "I don't like the new download" UI. I like the old approach (and have set my config variable to use it. I could open the download window with Command-J (yes, I use a mac) and close it with Command-W. I could click on the topmost item and get my most recently downloaded item. It worked for me. I've tried Safari and Chrome and keep coming back to Firefox because I like the user interface.

I also want to add my vote to the "I don't like it when UI's change just for the sake of changing" crowd.

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I could open the download window with Command-J (yes, I use a mac) and close it with Command-W. I could click on the topmost item and get my most recently downloaded item.

These keyboard shortcuts now call up and close the download history in the Library dialog.

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I'm sticking with FF18 until there's a way to see the old download window in private browsing. I agree, many FF changes are a complete pain!

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Definitely agree with jmg14213.... polling beta users who like new flashy features will get a different result than polling people who only use the stable releases.

More and more options are being taken out of the options menu where they can be found/changed easily and "hidden" in some obscure part of about:config. And other options are being combined so you can't change one without the other (browsing/download history). I said in another thread that this practice of removing/hiding user options and making it harder to find settings, it's more like Microsoft practices than what users expect from Mozilla.

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... polling beta users who like new flashy features will get a different result than polling people who only use the stable releases.

Ya' either participate in the development procedure (by providing feedback in the Aurora or Nightly stages of development), or you are stuck with no "say" in the release versions. Beta is almost too late to have a "say" in what is coming in the Release version, IMO.

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Ya' either participate in the development procedure (by providing feedback in the Aurora or Nightly stages of development), or you are stuck with no "say" in the release versions. Beta is almost too late to have a "say" in what is coming in the Release version, IMO

IMO, your reply reflects an attitude that is probably at the root of the increased frequency of updates with unnecessary changes for change sake. The Firefox button is another example. I immediately changed mine back to the menu bar. Why use two (or more) clicks when one will do?

It seems that we're getting to the point of developing features for the "in" crowd. I don't use a smart phone so I don't really know the tricky multi-use button thing. I'm using a real computer.

Pre-release, e.g.Beta, testing is not within the of capability of the regular, non tech users. Most users don't even know how to test a beta version while maintaining their current stable install. Maybe if they were were told how to participate they might get their "say" in before final release.

I've seen, over 30 years in the software business, that when some thing gets to the pre-release stage you refer to, the features are pretty well locked down due to the coder's investment. Managing SW folks is like herding cats. Let's get back to KISS.

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Hi relem, I think a lot of thought goes into UI changes, but Mozilla's documentation, while open, can be hard to find, and I haven't gone looking for all the background on this one. It does seem that wherever Firefox has featured a separate pop-up window, Mozilla has gradually made changes to move it to a tab or other integrated UI element.

I agree that beta is too late to make feature changes. Beta is useful to check compatibility and fix major bugs. If people want to influence development, the Aurora release would make more sense, but it might not be stable enough for daily browsing. Perhaps someone can create a test drive platform or easy virtualized installation that people could try out? It gets harder when you want to quickly populate it with their bookmarks and favorite add-ons. Hmmm...

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I totally agree with jmg14213, meegja, lonegunman101 and others on this particular subject.

I just finished posting a complaint about the so-called new and improved way to download and wondering how I could get it back to where I could utilize my addon Downloadhelper. I thought that was the point of making addons available so that "We the people" (pun intended) get to choose what addon features we want to use for our personalized Firefox?

Just as others said maybe some of the people who tested Firefox 20.0.1 did like the new way to download but I would wager that a LOT more people like myself don't like it.

Thanks to Cor-el for posting the fix information. :)

For future reference and Firefox upgrades go with what lonegunman101 said, "If it ain't broke LEAVE IT ALONE".


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What I find interesting is that the new Downloads Window (and about:downloads) simply ignores both your Preferences and (at least, it ignores setting it to 1) and shows all downloads until you manually clear them. Setting to true, not only gets back the old-style Downloads window (Which shows you your downloads and nothing else.) it also returns the functionality of clearing the list at exit. Oddly enough, about:downloads didn't clear as soon as I made the change; maybe it will at exit, but as long as I don't have to look at them, I'm happy. However, this is the third time (as you can see by examining other questions I've asked) that Firefox has decided to keep the list of downloads indefinitely, either resetting my preferences or simply ignoring them.

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See case "download-manager-change-retention":

// If we're using the Downloads Panel, we override the retention
// preference to always retain downloads on completion.

  • bug 838663 - Remove support for

(please do not comment in bug reports:

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It wasn't broke, don't fix it by removing the feature. Now I need to modify settings on every install I have on all my machines. Hiding what goes on only resembles what Microsoft is doing; Keeping PC users in the dark, supporting computer illiteracy by hiding everything in layers of sub menu items under layers and more layers...

Takes forever to modify all the software I have, and with every new release, there are fewer options and more mouse clicks to view information I need to see. PLEASE RESTORE THE DOWNLOAD BOX OPTION IN THE SETTINGS!!!

-EDIT- thanks Tylerdowner for the link. I added my feedback. Thing is this, if I don't see a feedback option, I don't leave feedback. Not until they do something really really stupid, like this, but most of the time in my experience, developers do whatever they feel like doing regardless of what feedback they are provided. My cynicism isn't really that healthy, but you made it easy for me to contribute my opinion, and to that thanks. I enjoy downloading files via the web from time to time, and enjoy the ease of use Firefox offered in the past. Honestly, I have worked in market research studies, and if you ask the questions a certain way, you can bias the results in favor of whatever agenda you are trying to prove. It is far better for people to offer suggestions and you guys to offer options. Simply using one way of doing things, well, is short sighted, especially when there are many bytes of code you can add easily. I don't want to be left with Microsoft or Google web browsers as they really really suck. I'd use older versions of firefox, but websites evolve quickly abandoning old code which makes it impossible to view newer webpages. What ever happened to good old fashioned HTML! Enough ranting.. Thanks, and hope it gets reverted back. If it doesn't, I am sure there will be some add on which would fix the pesky issue.

Modified by Pixels303

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so this thread has turned into quite the rabbit trail, so I'm going to shed a bit of light on how we run feedback, and then lets wrap this thread up (since SUMO is for support, not really for feedback on features in the product).

With the new download window, we ran surveys in Firefox Beta before Firefox 20 was released, and we also ran surveys in Firefox release a few days after release. We use sampling to only show these surveys to roughly 1% of Firefox users, so if you didn't see these surveys, that's why (We can't show a survey to all ~400million Firefox users and do something with the feedback we would get from that, it's just not possible). On average the new Download Manager got around 4 out of 5 stars. We analyzed the feedback that came in, and reported it to the devs working on the download manager. We will use that feedback to improve it in the future.

While you are right, Beta users are different than release users, Release users actually ranked the Download manager higher than Beta users (4 stars vs. 3.8). While we can't make everyone happy with every change, this new download manager has been in brainstorms, concept and development for roughly 1.5+ years (we thought of the idea before Safari copied it and implemented it some time ago). We do gather feedback, and the results of our feedback gathering is what helped us decide to ship this in Firefox 21. We have a whole team (user advocacy) dedicated to reading and analyzing user feedback in each of our products.

If you do have feedback around issues, or features please use

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Thanx for that link. I've gone there and told them exactly what I think about upgrades that ignore the user's current settings. I've run across devs before (on certain Linux projects that will remain nameless to avoid arguments) who won't listen to anybody who isn't currently contributing code to the project, and once I find out that's the case, I tend to migrate away from those things. Here's hoping that somebody will read what I wrote and (at least) give it some consideration.

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The new Download Manager window s**ks, plain and simply !

Why did you change the old one, which was just perfect ? Change for the hell of it ?

The old window was entirely dedicated to the downloads, as it should be, and it offered a wealth of information and options, even in the windows task bar you could see a) how many downloads were running and b) their state of completion.

Both being most basic and most important features, as many websites got a limit of, say, six downloads simultaneously, and while the six files are downloading you can browse other websites, and a quick glance at the taskbar told you whether the download count was down to 5, 4, 3, ... and you could start a new download. Functionality at its best.

The download window itself offered buttons to PAUSE and RESTART any download - these buttons are GONE NOW, WHY ? Dumbing down Firefox to mimick Microsoft ? Why on earth did you do that ?

I will have to downgrade to FF 19 again, or switch to Opera or another alternative browser now ... FF 20.0.1 has become unusable for any hardcore browsing with multiple downloads and simultaneous websurfing.

IT'S BEEN DUMBED DOWN BEYOND RECOGNITION! Shame, shame, shame ! Mozilla should not try to be like Microsoft !

PS: Yeah, I know you can fix it this way:

1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter. 2. Press the big button to bypass the warning. 3. In the search box, paste 4. In the search results, double-click to set its value to true. ... and revert it back to what it was, but that requires lots of time and effort to research (know about and find the solution posted above) and implement the solution. Most people would not even know that they could somehow set it back. They would see the change, freak, and switch to Google Chrome or Opera ...

By the way, I got 15 different PCs, most of them equipped with 2, 3 or even 4 different OSes (double-, triple, quad-booting systems) and fixing FF on each of these OSes will take me like forever.

This is yet another incomprehensible change which cuts features and options in favor of following the trendsetter Microsoft in dumbing down everything ....

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@ Feierfuchs Amen! Despite what Tyleerdowner says, the new download just sucks. Maybe the beta testers hate normal and clear functionally working things? Fact is that a LOT of people (normal every day users) just hate this new download "thing".

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If you desire to use the old UI, go to about:config in your address bar, and change to true.

I'm locking this thread.

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If you desire to use the old UI, go to about:config in your address bar, and change to true.

I'm locking this thread.

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the about config "fix " doesnt work

you get the old page but nothing shows up at all
no new downloads , no old downloads

repeat , the about config and set to true doesn't do anything but completely remove any way to monitor download progress.

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I still even now after getting back out of the hospital , do not see one answer that works.

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