May 112008

Usually when I download files, I just click and forget.  Then, once every day or two, I look in my downloads folder to see what I have there, and poke through it to pull out the stuff I need to look at, to install apps, and so forth.

So really, it doesn’t matter to me most of the time how each download is progressing.  It’s not like I’m anxiously awaiting their completion so I can leap on them as soon as they’re done.

One of the nifty new features in Firefox 3 is that you can set a preference in about:config to prevent the download manager window from appearing every time you start downloading files.  Instead, a progress indicator appears in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window, like this:

If you need to see the download manager window, you can open it from the Tools menu as usual — or you can simply click on the download status indicator in the status bar.

The preference is  Just set it to “false” and you’re good to go.

For me, this is a great bit of polish that makes my day-to-day work a little bit better.

 Posted by at 9:00 AM

  7 Responses to “Firefox 3: Why do I love thee? The fifth way.”

  1. Great. Now you should just do the same for uploads…

  2. You don’t even need to delve into about:config, just untick “Show the Downloads window when downloading a file” in the Main section of Firefox’s options.

  3. Why didn’t Firefox use “browser.downloadmanager.behavior” like SeaMonkey instead of creating a new pref like “”??


  4. Don’t recall turning it on, but yeah, noticed it the other day. Much less annoying than the separate window…

  5. It might be nicer if it stayed there for a little while, too, maybe until clicked. But I do agree that it’s a far better way; I used to hate it when Firefox 2 would open the downloads window time and time again.

  6. hi;

    When I went to change the preference in about:config, I noticed that was already set to “true”. I had not changed it since installation, and with that setting, I see the download window while downloading. Changing this preference to “false” gave me the progress indicator on the bottom of the browser window. Is this a typo in your blog or something weird with my installation?

    Either way, cool tip.. thanks for sharing!

    take care

  7. It’s an error in my blog. You have to set it to “false”. Whoops. That’s what I get for writing these things at 3 AM. :)