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Getting to know the new Firefox download manager

Firefox 20 has a new download manager. We'll show you how it works and how to switch back, if you prefer the old download manager.


Mozilla just released Firefox 20 (download for Windows | Mac | Linux), which introduced a few new features, including a brand-new download manager. The new download manager works similarly to the old one, but with a couple of new twists.

The first change you'll notice is a new Download button next to the Home button. This gives you quick access to the last three downloads. The Download button will actually display the time remaining during a download, then change to an arrow when the download completes.

Firefox download panel
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

You can click on "Show All Downloads" or use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+J for Windows and Command+J on a Mac, to see all your downloads in the Library. All of your downloads are now listed in the Library, where you can also manage your browsing history, bookmarks, and tags.

Firefox download library
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

From the Library, you can pause a current download, open containing folders, go to the download page, copy the download link, remove individual files from history, or clear the entire download history.

According to Ghacks, if you don't like the new Firefox download manager, you can go back to the old one by toggling a preference in about:config. Just type "about:config" in the address bar, then search for Toggle the preference from the false value, to true. The old download manager will now be enabled.

Old Firefox download manager
Old Firefox download manager. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

That's it. What do you think of the new download manager? Will you use the new one or switch back to the old?