Firefox 3 to resume downloads across sessions

The latest Firefox 3 (code name Gran Paradiso) development release (nightly) includes the very important and expected ability to pause downloads and resume them across sessions, that is even after restarting Firefox. The addition happened just before the code freeze that started this morning in preparation for the upcoming milestone 8 (M8) expected for mid September.

The development is thanks to the work of Brahmana as one of the Mozilla mentored Summer of Code projects sponsored by Google.

While the back end code is already in, the necessary user interface is still missing and should be available in the days to come. Since download resume depends not only on the browser but also on the server capabilities, some icon is needed to let the user know whether it is possible to pause the download or not.

With the new user interface for the Download Manager currently in the works I guess hiding the pause could be enough, but will ssee what the developers come up with.

Download manager item

On related news, an option to easily copy the download web address (URL) was also added recently.

47 thoughts on “Firefox 3 to resume downloads across sessions”

  1. Nice, although I usually don’t run into problems with needing to wait for a download to complete before shuting down. I suppose those on dial-up or low-end broadband (wireless) may find this feature more useful

  2. This is an important feature that makes downloading very large files more reliable without resorting to bittorrent or external download managers. Is the icon really needed though? Most servers except a few old ones should support this. Maybe a warning when closing down the browser that downloads will cannot resume on next start up and will be cancelled would be more useful in the rare event that this is the case.

  3. This is super news as unresumable downloads has been a big issue with me (and most others I assume). Nothing like having downloaded 90MB of a 100MB file from a server and having to start from scratch due to any number of issues.

    I really like the idea of an indication of if the download is pause-able or not. Super! I have manually paused downloads not knowing the server did not allow for this.

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  5. Great Great Great… well thought of. This is a very good news. I usually download 300 — 400 MB files. It takes a lot of time to download and one can not sit for long hours. Thanks Mozilla ..Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. does this even work. cause pausing and resuming downloads in the same session doesnt work. if you pause a 200mb file at 80mb, when you resume it, it completes and the file is only 80mb

  7. Praveen – it does work today. Your symptoms are likely due to an attempted resume with a server that does not allow resume capabilities.

    1. Hey it doesnt work when u download from rapidshare! it doesnt resume from the point u paused, instead, it just disappears! wtf

  8. firefox 3 is great news. i will surely check this. however, download manager (queing of downloads) is most important. as at the moment this is the only handicap in FF. we have to go on manually adding the download files after one is complete. if a feature like DAP can be incorporated it will be great.

  9. with very pause my download files are gon but what i gather from this feeds that it downloads can be resumed after restart , can any body comment whether a rapidshare down load can be resumed with fire fox or not . thanks

  10. This is good news to me too. I just got 655 of a 680mb file and got knocked off of the network only to realize once again that I will have to START OVER! I ran across this page while trying to figure out was there any other way to continue this download to completion! Oh well, this is one of the ONLY things that I don’t like about ffox…

  11. I have always thought that download managers are ugly (ugly overkill interface… poor integration with the looks of the browser and the OS… poor support of http_authentication, cookies and such…). The number one reason that made me use them is
    – Ability to resume downloads
    – Ability to delay downloads
    Some other plusses of download managers are:
    – Ability to throttle bandwidth
    – Ability to parse a page and download multiple files (very useful if you’re looking at an apache directory index)
    – Ability to queue downloads (not absolutely necessary… but can be a plus)
    Now firefox has tackled the most important issue! yay… hopefully they continue down that road and implement other niceties that were previously provided by download managers…!

  12. Does this feature work? I’m using FF3 RC1 and I still cant resume downloads. It sucks too because if FF gets an error and has to close I lose my downloads. Sucks having to redownload a 700MB file when I only had like 10MB/s to go! I wish this feature worked. :'(

  13. Tried to download a 4 GB Fedora Iso but 2 times it stopped near the end and Firefox give me a “searching”. For what I ‘am asking myself….my internet connection is alive and the file I wanted to download is also still there.

    To make things worse no resume is offered. To make it short: This “feature” of Firefox needs some finetuning…at least.

  14. FireFox resume rarely works. It’s primitive and pathetic for an age old feature that should have been in browsers from the start.

    Instead download managers are still the only reliable way to resume a download. Firefox is NOT WORTH relying on to resume your downloads.

    1. Yeah, external download managers could easily resume interrupted downloads as far back as I can remember. I just don’t know why this feature still isn’t integrated into Firefox.

  15. Yea, I love firefox but it’s download resuming capabilities suck. Most download managers support resuming of downloads but only for a limited amount of time. I found this new program that can resume a download whenever you want to. There’s no time limit. Your download can fail today and you can resume it weeks from today. Here’s a link to itlink. I hope that helps. I know it’s saved me hours and hours of redownloading.

  16. I was glad first time i read this news, but I’d rather be more careful to all next news about Firefox since, in fact, any download can only resumes if its server allows.

    And sometimes, I don’t have many options beside waiting the download finished. Any other software can really help?

  17. Pausing is one thing, resuming the other! Mozilla/Firefox has this annoying habit of declaring a download “finished” if the internet connection breaks up during a download. Thus a download is rendered broken, although it should be declared “not yet fully downloaded”.

    IE is (hate to say it) more clever here: it does not use a .part file and just stops if a download breaks underway. Example: you are downloading a 4MB file, your connection drops (or some other error) and you remain there with a 2.5MB incomplete file. Next time you start downloading this file, Mozilla/Firefox would simply ask you to overwrite yes/no. IE compares the file sizes, then noticing that there is a difference in size, asks the source server if it is able to resume from “Range”-offset, and if so, resumes the download from there. Great.

    Please Firefox, learn to do this! GetRight can do it since the 90s! IE has it, so should you. Pausing is nice, but resuming a broken download is far FAR more important!

  18. ffs HOW is it possible they can code all this Great stuff into firefox YET they
    canNOT yet handle resuming …. its god damn frustration i want to pull my fox out of the box in front of me and tie its tail up to the ceiling and smak it round a dozen times untill it gets the msg and learns to resume ffs its retarded such a simple thing is not sorted..
    im going back to ie just to resume then back to ff cause i prefer ff but with this issue i still have to run multiple browsers .. stop being lame and fix it.. ur acting like a champion horse with its leg broken before the big raceday.. ( all this said after my 25th attempt to download the same file overnight.. and still dont have it.. but in the mean time have downloaded 10 times the actual size of the file worth of data .. gRRR

  19. Right now I happen to be using the 64Bit version of Firefox called Shiretoko. Recently I have been facing disconnectivity issues with my Broadband connection, I’d like to know if I could change the config in the firefox browser to be able to pause a download if the link went down and then resume it automatically when the link came back on, this time frame is about 2 minutes when the wire line goes down due to services being carried out here.
    Is there a possibility of making this happen? cos sitting in front of the screen waiting for the link to go off, then pause and then resuming the download when it comes back on is getting a little bit strenuous….
    I don’t want a download manager…… no DAP, nothing else, just firefox….. .
    Although I’m going thru the config now to check if there are a few settings there…. but pls lemme know if someone finds something… would be a great help.

  20. I came here looking for a way to resume broken/interrupted downloads from Rapidshare while using Firefox…

    Yes, Firefox can pause AND resume downloads but that doesn’t really cover the situation where you DON’T pause the download but rather it is broken/interrupted… eg,
    – Firefox crashes,
    – system crashes,
    – internet connection drops out
    – etc

    Under any of these circumstances, it is very unlikely that you are able to resume. I am not sure if it is a Firefox issue (in handling the part file) or whether it is (as someone else has pointed out) something to do with Rapidshare expiring the session (hence your unique rapidshare session url not working after say a restart).

    Whatever the reason, trying to get some downloads JUST FAILS in FF!!

    BUT after looking around for a solution and not finding one (other than you should use a download manager… thanks – something to keep in mind for the future – but not going to help me with finishing off that last 1Mb of the 100Mb file x 5!!)

    So, after some trial & error, this is what I have found has worked for me (so far).

    Say you have the following broken/interrupted download files from rapidshare:
    – file01.rar & file01.rar.part
    – file02.rar & file02.rar.part
    – etc

    1/ Rename the files (eg. “xfile01.rar” & “xfile01.rar.part”)
    2/ Go back to the original download link from rapidshare & click on it.
    3/ This will start a new download for the file… let it download 100kb or so.
    4/ You will see the file01.rar & file01.rar.part files in the download folder again
    5/ PAUSE the download in Firefox!
    6/ Rename the files to something else (haven’t tried to delete them myself)
    7/ Rename the original files from xfile01.rar & xfile01.rar.part BACK to file01.rar & file01.rar.part.
    8/ Now, go back to Firefox and RESUME the download
    9/ In Firefox it will look like it IS NOT working (unknown time remaining, etc) BUT!! if you look in your downloads folder you will see the size of the file increasing
    10/ This will continue until the download is complete…
    11/ At this point Firefox will show the file as complete.

    Again, I am not sure if this will work in every situation or if it will cause corruption, etc BUT out of 1.2Gb (across 15 files) that I had queued up, I was able to resume the last 150Mb of downloads using this approach with no problems.

    Sure beats downloading 1.2Gb again!

    1. The last suggestion works brilliantly. rename the files, re-download them, pause the downloading , remove new files (i deleted them with no problem) rename the old files back to there original name, continue the downloading, and be done with it.
      Thank you very much Mr. Andrew

  21. great idea andrew………it helped me a lot to resume back my 1.5 gb rar file ………………!!!!!!!!!………thanks you so much buddy:):):):):):):)

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