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Download manager is not showing all download history

  • 24 uphendule
  • 3 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu cor-el

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My download library window used to display files well over a year old, everything I have saved since the last time I deleted all browser history. Recently, everything older than six months was no longer displayed. The files are still there, I just have to search for them. Now it no longer shows anything older than 4 months. "Show all history" does not work. Is there a way to restore that list?

All Replies (20)

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What's your computer system and Firefox version?

Let’s do a full clean re-install; Download Firefox For All languages And Systems {web link} Save the file. Then Close Firefox.

Using your file browser, open the Programs Folder on your computer.

Windows: C:\Program Files C:\Program Files (x86)

Mac: Open the "Applications" folder.

Linux: Check your user manual. If you installed Firefox with the distro-based package manager, you should use the same way to uninstall it - see Install Firefox on Linux. If you downloaded and installed the binary package from the Firefox download page, simply remove the folder Firefox in your home directory.

Do Not remove the profiles folder.

Look for, and rename any Mozilla or Firefox program folders by adding .old to them. Do not rename the Mozilla Thunderbird folder if there is one.

After rebooting the computer, run a registry scanner if you have one. Then run the installer. If all goes well, remove the OLD folders when you are done.

If there is a problem, start your Computer in safe mode and try again.

Starting The Computer In Safe Mode;
Free Online Encyclopedia

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Thanks Fred. I'm running Windows 10 and the Firefox version should be the latest as it's always installing updates (I'm currently at work and failed to make note).

A full re-install sounds like it would wipe all current data. I'd like to avoid that if possible but since the download list is already down to 4 months history it probably is the way to go.

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I noticed my downloads only go back two months now, and I think earlier downloads may be gone from history completely. I don't know why that is happening, but maybe it's related to setting up a Sync account for testing? Bummer if this was self-inflicted. Also a bummer if it's a change in Firefox.

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foxfire87 said

A full re-install sounds like it would wipe all current data.

Firefox comes in two or more folders on all computers. They are;

Maintenance: (Programs Folder) <Windows Only> Firefox itself: (Programs Folder) And one folder in the profile of each user on the computer.

If you remove the Firefox folder, the user folders would not be affected.

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Hmm... according to the source code for Firefox 50:

// Some visits can be expired more often than others, cause they are less // useful to the user and can pollute awesomebar results: // 1. urls over 255 chars // 2. redirect sources and downloads

Then there is a query which imposes a 60-day cutoff on those kinds of URLs. So the problem seems that I'm visiting too many pages and this is how Firefox prioritizing what to clear from history. I probably should do my unimportant browsing in a private window to avoid gumming up my history.

This appears to have been a new feature in Firefox 49 (bug 1262887). That addition mentioned that another reason for trimming history would be "thousands of bookmarks" and in fact my bookmarks seem to have many duplicates, so I probably need should try cleaning those up to cut down on the history purging.

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Thanks for the replies. The only history I was concerned about losing is the current download history, I know actual files would remain.

Also, it's not self inflicted as I've done nothing. The files are just removed from the list as the date advances. I'm also not set up for Sync.

This is definitely a change in Firefox. Two or three weeks ago I could scroll down the download list and see files from 2015. Now, I can only see back to October 12, 2016. That one will probably be removed within the next week. There's really no rhyme or reason because Tuesday I could see September files.

I should probably clean up some browser history, I just need to do it without clearing more files from the list.

Thanks again.

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I think some time around December 11th, your Firefox cleared downloads more than 60 days old. It could happen again at any time. One of us should file a bug protesting this.

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That would be appreciated. I miss the convenience of the drag & drop to another folder if I want to keep them or delete and removing them from the list at my own leisure.


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Download and long URLs expire in 60 days.


Note that visit_type = 7 refers to downloads.

// Some visits can be expired more often than others, cause they are less
// useful to the user and can pollute awesomebar results:
// 1. urls over 255 chars
// 2. redirect sources and downloads
// Note: due to the REPLACE option, this should be executed before
// QUERY_FIND_VISITS_TO_EXPIRE, that has a more complete result.

WHERE visit_date < strftime('%s','now','localtime','start of day','-60 days','utc') * 1000000
AND ( LENGTH(h.url) > 255 OR v.visit_type = 7 )
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You can use the SQLite Manager extension to generate a list of download history items.

  1. Open Profile Directory -> places.sqlite -> Go
  2. Hit the "Execute SQL" tab
  3. Use a SELECT like this:
SELECT content AS Filename, datetime(dateAdded/1000000,'unixepoch','localtime') AS dateAdded, url AS Location, AS Annotation
FROM moz_places, moz_annos, moz_anno_attributes
WHERE ( = moz_annos.place_id) AND (moz_annos.anno_attribute_id = AND ( LIKE 'downloads/destinationFileURI')
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I filed a bug:

Don't Expire Download History So Quickly

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Regressed by:

  • Bug 1262887 - Long URLs stored in history cause slow address bar (places.sqlite is 1.4 GB)

Maybe update the product and component in the bug report.

component=Bookmarks & History

It would be useful if it were easier to export a downloads list.

Please do not comment in bug reports

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Hi cor-el, I'm inclined to let the bug tenders assign the fields. I feel guilty cc'ing everyone when I have little idea what I'm doing there. Or feel free to join in.

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Thanks cor-el and jsher2000.

I'm perfectly fine with long URL's expiring, but can the downloads stay? And quite a bit of the files removed from the list had less than 30 characters so unless they have something embedded I don't see it's removing all of them regardless based on a date stamp.

This is not a huge deal but apparently "I want everything all the time right now" has become an issue for me.

Oh my, I have to open my download folder and manage everything from the C drive. But seriously, the download list does help.

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Are these the same download links or any of them?

What you could do is create an HTML Word file. Then just copy/paste the links into it. Note: Once a link is entered, and it is not flagged as a link, go to the end of that line and press <Enter>.

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FredMcD said

What you could do is create an HTML Word file. Then just copy/paste the links into it.

It's not clear how to easily and conveniently do that.

History keeps things that, to me, are much lower priority than downloads. For example, when I open the Library dialog to history (Ctrl+Shift+h) and search for #answer-preview (part of the unique URL created when you click the Preview Reply button on this site) there are 4047 entries dating back to January 28, 2016. These have zero ongoing value.

I deleted those, and also matches for various outbound tracking links ( and and all history for // before July 1, 2016. Hopefully removing those approximately 5100 entries will help spare downloads for a bit while the developers consider a fix.

(I understand there are extensions to weed out old history by date, which might be easier for many people than developing other patterns based on their own usage.)

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Expire history by days {web link} Allows to expire history older than a fixed amount of days.

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Thanks Fred, this looks promising. I'll check it out over the weekend and get back with you all.

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After three days of having the Expire History by days app Firefox is still disappearing links from my library list. Could be that I have the parameters set wrong. Could be that, despite constant updates, my browser has become corrupted.

All I know is that I should not be having to jump through hoops to keep my basic download history. Sorry if I sound bitter but this has been my favorite browser for the last 8 years. Once everything is de-listed I may move on.

Thank you all for your time, effort and information. I appreciate it.

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Mine is maintaining the past 60 days of download history (losing the 61st day on a daily basis). I'm trying to think of a way to export it at least once a month to avoid losing everything. The method cor-el posted is do-able but not very convenient. Maybe one of the many download-related add-ons already has that feature?

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