3 Cool Addons to Replace The Mozilla Firefox Downloads Window

Saikat Basu 28-08-2009

ThumbnailThose who think that the Mozzilla Firefox downloads window is a bother please raise your hands. Good! There are quite a lot of us out here.


Heck, I am just kidding; but it’s true for me at least that sometimes the Firefox download pop-up is a bit too in my face. I like all downloads to be behind the scenes and unobtrusive. I wouldn’t like to do away with the Firefox browser for this minor “˜inconvenience’.

Thankfully, the gallery of Mozilla Firefox add-ons lets me do away with just the download window by giving me three options to choose from.

These three add-ons go a long way in improving the download job by replacing the default download window.

Download Statusbar (v

Download Statusbar saves screen real estate by handing the download job to the goodish little status bar. It’s a wonder of coding that the 445KB add-on packs in a lot within its small size. The add-on can be configured as a separate status bar (Full Mode) or kept within the Firefox status bar (Mini mode).

mozzilla firefox downloads


This is just one option within its quiver of configuration settings. Some other features are”¦

    • Progress notifications give detailed information about downloads. Notifications can be switched on and off. Tooltip notifications add to instant feedback.

mozzilla firefox downloads

    • Retain, remove or trim download history.
    • Automatically continues downloads with the Firefox download manager, even if the main browser is closed. Pops up a confirmation alert when a download is halted or deleted.
    • Pause and resume downloads with a single click (i.e. if downloads are resumable).

mozzilla firefox downloads

    • Play a sound when the download finishes.
    • Run a finished download with a double click.  Also one can open containing folder, visit source website, and rename the file.
    • Appearance of the download status bar can be customized. For instance, Speed Colors allow you to visually appreciate how each download is progressing.

mozilla firefox downloads

    • Virus scanning using default anti-virus can be configured to automatic or manual. File type filters for scans can be set.

mozilla firefox downloads

  • The add-on auto hides when not in use.
  • It is also available in 25 languages.

Download Statusbar is a recommended Firefox add-on. Alternatively, check it out at the Mozdev community site.

Custom Download Manager (v 2.1b90630)

mozilla firefox downloads

The custom part of this add-on is that the user can choose to open the download in a separate tab, sidebar or a fresh window. Though it’s not feature rich as Download Statusbar it introduces some control over the process. User friendly customization features include”¦

  • Decide the buttons, the look and their location with a few checkbox settings. Two important buttons which you can set are – Copy Download Link and Go to Download Page.
  • Decide on the behavior of the download manager window. For instance, close the download manager when done.
  • Set an alert for an exe file operation.
  • Enable/Disable virus scan for a completed file.

Custom Download Manager is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

Downloads in Tab (v 0.0.9)

firefox 3.0 doesn t complete downloads

If you like your download control to be sans any frills, then this add-on fits the need. Downloads in Tab moves the job from the pop-up windows to a regular tab. It’s actually just a tab version of the pop-up. The features are also limited to the regular tab controls”¦

  • Opens a tab automatically with a download and closes it when downloads are finished.
  • You can move the download tab to the background by choosing the only from menu setting in the Options panel of the add-on.
  • The download tab can be set to become the first tab of the browser window.

Downloads in Tab is an 18KB recommended download from Mozilla.


Karl has also taken us through 11 add-ons he can’t live without 11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without Read More . You might want to check out his post for a brief mention of Download Statusbar and the nifty download manager/accelerator called Download Them All.

The three add-ons profiled here cover the gamut of download operations. From the bells and whistles of Download Statusbar to the plainness of Downloads in Tab. And somewhere in between we have the Custom Download Manager. We all have our requirements and thankfully a whole gallery of options to pick for them. Which is your pick of the heap?

Related topics: Download Management, Mozilla Firefox.

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  1. Andy
    January 30, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Hi Saikat!
    I love your site. With all the praise that goes to the good folks at mozilla there's still a lot of room for improvement.
    Just developed a cool add-on for Firefox (and Chrome and IE) - would you mind taking a look and possibly review it?

    Here it goes:
    [Broken URL Removed]

    P.S. I see there's Submit App right there at the bottom - i'll try it as well


  2. William
    August 30, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I just dumped DownThemAll, for Free Download Manager -->> DownThemAll all of a sudden just started working incorrectly. It wouldn't download a file that it used to be able too. It's menu in Tools, wouldn't have any text and nothing was in the context menu. FDM has nice integration with both Firefox and IE(if you need to use it as well).

  3. ahmedCo
    August 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    me too, i hate the pop up download window.
    tnx 4 the thread

  4. Lisa
    August 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    The fabulous All in One Sidebar also makes the default Firefox download window less obtrusive. Close the sidebar, and you don't even have see anything being downloaded.

  5. jacob
    August 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    i also hate the pop up download window. i've been using download statusbar for quite some time and I love it. though a few add ons i've used recently have caused a few glitches with it.

  6. Jonathan Bennett
    August 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for this. I'm not a huge fan of Firefox's default download window.

  7. USBman
    August 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    ...and you didn't mention DownThemAll??!!?

    for shame!

    • Saikat
      August 29, 2009 at 12:27 am

      Nopes, I didn't mention it. Karl has covered it. Went with the simpler three instead and mentioned it in passing. It's a good one and deserves a separate post of its own.