Firefox 20: Where did my download progress go?

The good news is that the old download manager progress window can be restored to Firefox 20, if you’re willing to violate your warranty.

Where did download progress go in Firefox 20? Basically the same place that the old Microsoft Office taskbar went in Office 2007: onto the ash heap of useful functions that application designers wiped out because they didn’t comport with their sense of style.

Let me ask the question in a different way: how many MS Office developers have written novels or really long academic papers (over 50 pages) with MS Word?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Next question: how many Firefox developers have to work with download speeds under 30 mb/s?


So here’s the problem: only those fortunate few whose bandwidth is consistently above 20 mb/s don’t have a use for the old Firefox download manager progress display. The rest of us do.

So elimination of the feature screams elitism.

But you didn’t come here to read a rant about the growing gap between the technologically rich and poor. You want a solution.

From Article 955254 on the Mozilla Support Forum:

You can set the pref to true on the about:config page to restore the old download manager window.

That means putting about:config in the navigation window and then clicking “I’ll be careful, I promise” to get into the browser’s core configuration screen (the too cute “warranty violation” warning is just over the button — ha ha, very funny).

Search for this:

Finally, click on it to toggle the value to “true”.

Of course all of this begs the question of why the developers didn’t just supply a checkbox on the more human-friendly configuration screens under Edit… Preferences. It’s not like screen real estate costs them anything.

Other than their pride, that is.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).