First look to Firefox 3’s new download manager

The revamped download manager, one of the expected features defined in the Firefox 3 product requirement document has been added to the development code today and will be available in tomorrow’s nightly (development release).

At first glance the main change is that downloads are now organized in active and inactive (completed or canceled) so it is easier to see what’s going on. Also, pause and cancel text links have been replaced for pause and stop icons for quicker recognition, to save space and make it more coherent with overall Firefox interface style: text links should take to a web page and not perform an action.

Firefox 3 Download Manager

Completed downloads get an information icon (i) that pops up details including the download finish time, the address of the downloaded file and its location in your hard drive. Canceled downloads get a retry icon while completed ones show an open button that launches the downloaded file.

Download Manager info

Download junkies will be happy to learn about the addition of a search function. As you type in the DM’s search bar, past and present downloads are filtered to show only matching files.

Download Manager search

Of course there are some corners to cut. For example it’s not pretty obvious what the search bar is for as it’s currently presented and there’s no clear button to delete downloaded files history. And I had to apply a quick hack (thanks Guden) to see the download manager icons as intended. All of this will be solved in the next few days.

An important change that may also come soon is the option to show the download manager in the status bar or the sidebar, a frequently requested feature and the download manager title bar may become more informative too, showing the combined download speed and remaining time.

This week has seen the addition of important user interface improvement including a resizer element for the toolbar and a plugins section in the Add-ons Manager. And the next ones will be even more interesting as Places, one of the most important additions, gets its user interface and other features keep landing.

52 thoughts on “First look to Firefox 3’s new download manager”

  1. I really want to see my downloads in the statusbar without any extension. Would be awesome, it’s so “coerent”…

    Firefox 3.0 is getting it’s form, nice! The last weeks nothing noticeable (for the average joe) happened…

  2. It’s really ugly right now. You could make Linux screenshots, at least the color of window frame would be better.

  3. Sadly I could care less about the download manager. I have it setup to remove items and close once the files are downloaded. I often only look at the status from a minimized position on my task bar and that’s it.

    Other than people wanting it to be part of the main window (as side bar) does anybody really care about the download manager?

  4. Download Statusbar (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/26) should really be the model for the Firefox download manager. After going to so much trouble to reduce the browsing experience to a single window (tabbed browsing, pop-up blockers, etc.), having the download manager default to a popup is a major UI blunder. Having a status bar that pops up while you are downloading is much much MUCH more user friendly. Keep the separate window as an option in the tools menu, but integrate a status bar download manager.

  5. The new features are good, but there is one more feature you need to add……..the ability to reload a download from where it was interupted……I love firefox but i have a slow internet connection and sometimes it disconnects…..whatever i may be downloading i have to start all over again from the way begining. I can wait for the download to finish but if the file is more than 100mbs it might take me days to download the whole thing.

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  7. Download Status on the status bar is a must;
    Download manager on a sidebar – nobody cares;
    Resume after a FF restart functionality is the only thing (in addition to the status bar) I really want from a FF download manager.

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  9. The download manager in the present Firefox is dog crap. I mean, its not possible to pause a download.

    Not that its not possible to pause … but its impossible to resume from where it stopped. Bad :(

    Wish it gets fixed in Firefox 3

      1. Firefox 3.0.10 in Fedora 10 paused 4GB download, but resuming effectively doesn’t work.

  10. Please, why don’t you folks realize, that a Download Manager is one of /the/ quint-essential tools these days and have a look at those, that already are on the market.

    And /then/, using anyone of those powerapps as a model, please, implement a generic (!) download-manager, that is being the download/updates backend for _any_ Mozilla.org application. So I can continue my downloads even without starting Firefox.

    If you do it like proposed, I still will use FreeDownloadManager (before I used LeechGet) as the Download backend.

    Even better would be an option in the prefs: ”
    Use external download-manager”
    along with a per-mime-type setting.

    And since I am on the topic, there sometimes are servers, that send text/plain or text/html in a way, that Firefox won’t display it but wants to download it instead. It simply is impossible to force FF to use its internal code to display certain filetypes, even, if I have added an extension, that allows for such (ie: CHM)

  11. Does this mean that finally one can resume interrupted downloads from previous sessions or cancel downloads without removing the partly downloaded file (so that one can resume the download with another DL manager)?

  12. What I would really want is a “Remember downloaded files for x days” option like the one for history. Now I have to click the “Clean up” button once in a while because it gets so clogged up (I download a lot of files) that downloads take several seconds to start.

  13. my internet connection isn’t reliable.sometimes i don’t finish my downloads and it disconnects.is there a way i can resume ma downloads.

  14. I have Firefox in this PC because my wife likes it, whereas I am happy with IE. Consequently, I do NOT want Firefox to function as a Download Manager, but cannot find a way to turn it off.

    Any suggestions?

  15. This migth be a weird place ot ask, but please let me delete files from the download manager. A lot of temp files I download, like patches, I’m just going ot telete right away, so this would just be a ‘nice feature’.

    (especially since firefox doesn’t let me just ‘launch’ .exe fiesl)

    1. I just thought i would let all the people who want to delete the firefox manager they don’t need to as long as they get a plugin for the software to talk to firefox.the best download manager is Free Download Manager and the new version comes with the plugin and works after a restart.(by the way FDM has resume function.at least try it out its not as cheap as it sounds.

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  16. A download manager such as GetRight is ESSENTIAL for Mozilla. It’s much more resilient and can save and import download lists with hundreds and even thousands of files. You set it and forget it, it’ll simultaneously d/l from multiple sources, create multiple connections and many other useful features. I wish Mozilla would just buy-up/purchase a download manager author and incorporate it into the browser.

  17. The new features are good, but there is one more feature you need to add……..the ability to reload a download from where it was interrupted……I love Firefox but i have a slow internet connection and sometimes it disconnects…..whatever i may be downloading i have to start all over again from the way beginning. I can wait for the download to finish but if the file is more than 100mbs it might take me days to download the whole thing

  18. “The new features are good, but there is one more feature you need to add……..the ability to reload a download from where it was interupted”

    I second the above quote. Also, I think they should add queuing to the DM. Forgive me if it’s there and I’m just oblivious to it.

  19. The new download manager is abit pants, I’m on 20MBit Cable for work, unfortuantly Firefox downloads at about 60KB a sec most of the time where as go through IE to download im hitting 2.3MB a second..

    FireFox itself to download from the website peaked at only 130KB through firefox download manager, where as on IE, It was 1.7MB, same on my laptop and desktop… Serious problem here?

  20. firefox 3 good, but there should be option of get on/off the download manager, when i close the browser even the download manager should also cancel, as we have in firefox 2, there should be option for getting it on/off

  21. I have an hotmail address and it’s m.charlie@hotmail.com and I can’t seem to sign myself in and my son Adam
    Krohman has cancelled my new hot mail address with out my knowledge and now I can’t restore or use the original pass word for my new hot mail address.
    and that’s why I would like to cancel the Mozzilla Firefox website off my new Lenovo Computer.

    Signed

    Marilyn Charlie.

    1. Nobody on this forum can delete FireFox off your computer. However, if you’re running Windows, you can go to Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs, find Mozilla FireFox, click it, then click Remove.

      That being said, removing FireFox won’t help the problem you’re having. You’ll need to contact Hotmail to help with your Hotmail account.

  22. if you wanna resume interrupted downloads in firefox:
    keep the broken file, put it some other folder…then start a new one and pause it, overwrite the new paused download with the older one you put away, then resume your firefox download….works for me let me know

    1. You’re a genius! I have been restarting my downloads everytime it got interrupted. Man am i glad i read your post, now i dont have to even worry about interrupted downloads :D

    2. Hi Contra,
      Thanks for the tip. Can you tell me exactly what you mean by “overwrite the paused download”? I tried dragging and dropping the broken file into the download window (which seemed to work), but then it would not resume, saying that the broken file could not be read. Forgive my ignorance!
      Dave

  23. What I would really want is a “Remember downloaded files for x days” option like the one for history. Now I have to click the “Clean up” button once in a while because it gets so clogged up (I download a lot of files) that downloads take several seconds to start.

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