The download manager was dramatically improved for Firefox 3: a progress indicator in the status bar, automatic antivirus scans, a streamlined interface with filtering capabilities, and most notably, download resuming across sessions.
As usual, you can use all these enhancements without touching anything, or go the customization way and tweak a preference or two.
You will need to access the advanced preferences entering about:config in the location and looking for the related setting. To change it, just double click it and enter the new value.
- By default, documents you download with Firefox are automatically added to the My Recent Documents folder on Windows’ Start menu. If it is cluttering your menu, you can deactivate it by setting browser.download.manager.addToRecentDocs to false.
- By default, downloaded files are passed by Firefox to your antivirus for scanning. Since some antivirus already monitor and scans downloaded files on their own, this may be redundant. To deactivate automatic scanning, set browser.download.manager.scanWhenDone to false. Note that the feature is available on Windows only.
- When you close Firefox, active downloads are paused and resumed automatically the next time you start. To change this behavior, modify browser.download.manager.quitBehavior and set it to 1 to pause downloads but don’t resume automatically; or set it to 2 if you prefer to cancel active downloads (you won’t be able to resume).
- Now that there’s a download status indicator in the status bar you may no longer need the download complete notification. To deactivate it, set browser.download.manager.showAlertOnComplete to false.
- If you don’t need to keep a full log of all the files you have downloaded, you can set Firefox to clear all download manager entries as soon as they are completed or as soon as you quit. To do so, set browser.download.manager.retention to 0 to discard them as completed, or 1 on quit. The default value is 2 which discards nothing.