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Clear Recent History deleted all my downloaded files

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I was recently forced to upgrade Firefox due to my add-ons being disabled. Everything was working before I had to upgrade. I am having a huge issue with Firefox in regards to downloads. Under "Clearing Recent History", I have 'Browsing & Download History' checked. When I go to Clear Now, it does indeed clear my download history. Unfortunately, this also deletes all files I downloaded for any given session. This has never happened before. I lost a huge amount of files and a lot of time downloading due to this error. I disabled all add-ons, but the issue still persists.

I just want to clear my download and have it NOT DELETE my files. Thank you for any assistance.

All Replies (8)

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The option to delete download history does not delete any files on your system. The more likely explanation is that the file wasn't actually saved to your computer.

Selecting the "Open With" option on Firefox will make the file appear in your download list, but it's saved in temporary memory, not your download folder. This could explain the missing files.

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Note that downloads are treated as history items, so clearing history removes corresponding download items and vice versa. You should however still keep the files saved to the hard drive, you only won't be able to access them via "open containing folder".

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Wesley Branton said

The option to delete download history does not delete any files on your system. The more likely explanation is that the file wasn't actually saved to your computer. Selecting the "Open With" option on Firefox will make the file appear in your download list, but it's saved in temporary memory, not your download folder. This could explain the missing files.

No, the file was saved on my computer. I even ran a small test. I saved a simple web page as a.htm on my hard drive and a removable as well. a.htm and a folder associated with a.htm was created. When I go to "Clear Recent History" and then click 'Clear Now' with Browsing & Download History checked, this will delete a.htm while leaving the folder associated intact. This was done split screen, so I could see that Firefox was indeed deleting my downloaded file when I hit the 'Clear Now' button.

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Does this only happen to saved website or every file that you download? If you download a single image file, does that also get deleted?

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I would only expect this to happen if the file download is marked as incomplete in the History Manager.

Boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support to see if that has effect in case security software is causing problems.

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In addition to what cor-el has suggested above, perhaps you should also try running Firefox in Safe Mode. It's possible that there is an extension installed on Firefox that could be causing this behaviour.

I was not able to replicate it on my Windows 8.1 computer, nor do I see any recent bug reports similar to this.

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Wesley Branton said

Does this only happen to saved website or every file that you download? If you download a single image file, does that also get deleted?

This happens with every file I download.

I finally found the cause of my problems. It was indeed one of my add-ons. When I had disabled all add-ons, the issue stopped. A couple minutes after enabling all add-ons, the issue would resume. I slowly went through all add-ons and confirmed that it was Avira Browser Safety causing the issue. This was very strange, considering I never had this issue with Avira until I had to update Firefox.

I really appreciate all the assistance.

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Glad to hear that you got the issue figured out. It's likely something that the add-on developer needs to fix, so sometimes reporting the issue to the developer directly (if possible) is useful.

Other than that, please don't forget to mark this thread as solved. This will help users with similar problems find the solution quicker. You should be able to mark your last comment as the solution. If not, my comment about safe mode is the closest to the solution.