DownThemAll update brings e10s compatibility

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 2, 2016
Updated • Jun 25, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

DownThemAll 3.0.2 is the latest version of the popular download manager for the Firefox web browser that brings along with it e10s compatibility and more.

DownThemAll is probably the most popular download manager add-on for the Firefox web browser with more than 1.1 million users.

It integrates itself in the right-click menu of Firefox and through other means, and lists all links, and pictures and media, found on the page it is activated on.

You may filter the listing, and download multiple files at once using its interface. It supports features like download acceleration by splitting larger files into segments, scheduled downloading, multiple retries, automatic cleaning of the download list and a lot more.

DownThemAll e10s compatibility

E10s, or multi-process Firefox, is slowly being integrated into Firefox Stable. Since many add-ons are not compatible yet, it is not enabled for users with add-ons by default, but only for a percentage of users without any add-on installed.

Multi-process Firefox offers advantages such as better stability, performance, and also security over single-process Firefox.

The most recent version of DownThemAll supports e10s which means that you may run it in Firefox versions with e10s enabled.

That's a big step for any add-on as it ensures the add-on will remain compatible with future releases of the Firefox web browser.

While it will take some time before Mozilla will enable the multi-process architecture for Firefox installations with add-ons, that time will come and any add-on not compatible then will stop working when that happens.

Support for Firefox's multi-process architecture is without doubt the main feature of the latest DownThemAll version. It is not the only one though as there is a bunch of others that users may find useful.

First, DownThemAll is restartless now which means that you can install it without having to restart Firefox to complete the installation.

Other new features include support for custom file names and file renaming during and after downloads of files, asynchronous input/output, advanced queue searching and filtering options (by size, status, name..), or HiDPI icons.

Advanced users may find new power user options useful. You may for instance set up a DownThemAll only proxy using about:config. This is mentioned in the release notes, but I could not find any documentation on that on the developer site.

You can check out the full release notes on the official site.

Closing Words

When Mozilla announced that major changes would come to Firefox's add-on architecture, it was DownThemAll's author Nils Maier who opposed the idea vehemently and hinted that this could mean the end of the extension for Firefox.

The new release makes DownThemAll compatible with current changes happening to Firefox (multi-process architecture). There is still XUL and XPCOM deprecation looming on the horizon though.

Now You: Do you use a download manager?

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  1. Blaise said on August 9, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    “Advanced users may find new power user options useful. You may for instance set up a DownThemAll only proxy using about:config. This is mentioned in the release notes, but I could not find any documentation on that on the developer site.”

    Since this is the only place on the internet that mentions this and it is undocumented, I should mention here that I dug through the DTA source code and learned that a DTA-only proxy can be configured by setting the following settings in about:config:
    extensions.dta.proxy.type (ie “http”)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 9, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you very much, useful!

      1. Brucey said on May 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm

        Well, it sadly looks like DownThemAll is not going to be updated anytime soon, if ever. I tried Download Star and others but nothing compares to DownThemAll. As such, I’m stilling using DownThemAll with Basilisk. I tried it in Firefox 52.x ESR but it was too buggy, but DownThemAll works great in Basilisk. Thing is, Basilisk is a sketchy experiment and DownThemAll is a security risk as well now. So to help stay secure, I’m running DownThemAll and Basilisk in a VM (Win10 VirtualBox) and in a sandbox (360TS). I’m crossing my fingers that this will keep working for a few more years, being if DownThemAll doesn’t update.

        Other than that, after being a big fan of Firefox for many years, in late 2017 I switched to Opera as my main browser. I still use Firefox every so often for some things, but I like Opera the best.. Other than with DownThemAll, I have found all the extensions I need with Opera, being that it can use Chrome extensions.. I’ve never been a big fan of Chrome, but I use it sometimes too. I don’t like Edge at all, and I gave Vivaldi a good try but I didn’t like it either. Yet in the end, I hope Vivaldi becomes something I can use, as the folks behind it are most trustworthy IMO.

        As for Pale Moon, I never trusted it as it fell behind in updates, and I was happy with Firefox.

        An honorable mention goes to SeaMonkey. In another year I could see myself preferring it over Firefox.

      2. Ray Mann said on June 22, 2018 at 5:18 pm

        Give the new uGet for Windows a try. It has a built-in GUI via aria2. AFAIK, uGet is the best replacement for DownTheMall, and better in many ways. And yes, it’s 100% free:

        uGet is a lightweight and full-featured Download Manager for for Linux, BSD, Android, and Windows.

        Notable Features:
        Multiple parallel streams for download acceleration, Download Queue, Pause & Resume downloads, Advanced Category Management, Browser Integration, Clipboard Monitoring, Batch Downloads, localized into 23 Languages, and many more features.

  2. Froyton said on September 5, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I’m really happy about this. I was worried DownThemAll was doomed after reading the author’s previous comments. I have yet to find anything else that can sufficiently replace DownThemAll, and to me, it’s one of the main selling points of sticking with Firefox all these years.

    1. webfork said on September 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      Totally agree. I use DTA at least once every six months and every time it works beautifully.

  3. Anonymous said on September 4, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Not affiched well the code above, I don’t know how to do.

  4. Anonymous said on September 4, 2016 at 4:50 am

    Just installed “downthemall-3.0.5-fx+sm.xpi” on Pale Moon 27 alpha 2
    Workaround > edit the extension’s install.rdf file adding this:


    As i do not use DownThemAll, tell us if it works fine.

  5. Nathan said on September 4, 2016 at 2:14 am

    I cannot understand that in this day and age of the internet, people are still using Download Managers. Was somewhat useful back in the day of 2400bps modems. Dont see the need for them today.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 4, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Nathan, download managers offer several advantages, see this story for instance:

    2. A different Martin said on September 4, 2016 at 3:36 am

      People still use them, Nathan, because: (1) they’re handy for bulk downloads; (2) not everyone has stable, high-speed broadband; and (3) some servers are flakey. In case (1), if you found a page with 100 different musical scores in PDF format and you wanted to download all of them, would you rather click on all 100 links, one by one, or do maybe four clicks in DownThemAll? (This is a real-world example, from something I showed a musician friend of mine. He was thrilled.) In cases (2) and (3) there’s a higher chance that big downloads are going to get interrupted midway through, and download managers can sometimes resume an interrupted download more reliably than the browser’s own download function can. Oh, wait: there’s a fourth reason: (4) in some cases, download managers can download files considerably faster than the browser can. I’ve run into servers where DownThemAll downloaded files four times as fast as Firefox or Pale Moon. (Maybe I could have tweaked my browser’s download settings to match DTA’s performance, but the problem with that is that some sites temporarily lock out users who’ve goosed their browsers’ speed settings too much. If I needed to spend time at a site like that, I really wouldn’t want to have to go back and undo my about:config tweaks to be able to use it.)

      1. Froyton said on September 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        A different Martin hit the nail on the head. DownThemAll makes bulk downloads completely painless, and download managers in general have been helpful for me on a number of occasions for large downloads that kept getting interrupted with Firefox’s built-in downloader. After moving to a new house where DSL is my only option, I imagine this is going to be even more useful for me going forward.

  6. XenoSilvano said on September 3, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I wish there were a way on the addons window to tell which addons are optimised for e10 and which ones are not.

    I have noticed that quite a few addons are not working with electrolysis enabled.

    1. Anon said on September 3, 2016 at 8:02 am

      This addon will reveal each e10s compatibility for each addon

  7. F4P4L1F3 said on September 2, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Yup: Super useful for archiving photos of female models, if you know what I mean.

    F4P4L1F3 – A Class on its own.

  8. anon said on September 2, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    But when will they rewrite it in WebExtensions?

    1. Jimmy Newbie said on September 2, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      According to a comment in the Addon Mozilla page, never.

      by Nils Maier (Developer) on September 1, 2016 · permalink · translate
      Just to clarify: We did not port it to the WebExtensions API, nor do we think it is possible to port it in any significant manner to the WebExtensions API. We did however port it to be e10s compatible.

  9. Anonymous said on September 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Worse, by not keeping this add-on compatible with Pale Moon, the author has finally made the choice to abandon vehemently XUL’s inconditionals fans.

    1. Dave said on September 3, 2016 at 1:18 am

      Wait what? Is this the version that Nils Maier forecast, with crappy performance due to lack of XPCOM components?

    2. Kin said on September 2, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Version 2 is still compatible no?

      1. A different Martin said on September 3, 2016 at 11:08 pm

        Yup. DownThemAll is working just fine in Pale Moon 26.4.0 (x64). I used it just last night to download a Debian ISO.

        I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but the only reason I keep Firefox installed and maintained is in case Pale Moon gets too badly broken one day. Pretty much the only time I fire it up is to update the browser and its extensions. As it happens, I did this fairly recently — I think I clicked its Taskbar button by accident and figured that since it was loading anyway, I might as well check for updates — and I was a little puzzled to see that a DownThemAll update was available in Firefox where it hadn’t been in Pale Moon. This article cleared up the mystery, so … thanks, Martin! I wouldn’t have bothered checking, so long as everything still worked.

  10. Anonymous said on September 2, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    “it was DownThemAll’s author Nils Maier who opposed the idea vehemently and hinted that this could mean the end of the extension for Firefox.”

    From the same author: “After a rather long long time, with many new things to address such as Australis, e10s, limited time we could spend on the project, a little lack of motivation after mozilla required mostly pointless signatures and announced to kill XUL add-ons…
    And still spending lots and lots of hours, coding, improving and testing DownThemAll! in our free time and the awesome work by volunteer translators (on babelzilla) and fast review by Noitidart from the mozilla AMO team… Here it finally is: DownThemAll! version 3”.

    This buzz for nothing finally.

  11. Yuliya said on September 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I like the new design. On 7 looks nice and shiny ^^

  12. Jeff said on September 2, 2016 at 8:45 am

    But why would I want to DownTheMall? 😅

    1. Dave said on September 2, 2016 at 10:11 am

      To download them all?

      1. Kin said on September 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm

        Notice the caps :D

  13. Xi said on September 2, 2016 at 6:59 am

    @Martin: Update:
    Another point release update v3.0.3 released.
    3.0.3: Fix directory permission problem potentially introduced by the last version
    3.0.3: Fix close-on-complete preference having no effect
    3.0.3: Fix filters being imported correctly sometimes

  14. Zevel said on September 2, 2016 at 6:51 am

    ImageHost Grabber is DownThemAll on steroids.

    1. Jimmy Newbie said on September 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      I have both installed, for cases when one can’t do what the other does.
      ImageHost Grabber is great for pictures as it supports multiple hosts, but DTA can use filters to download specific types of files (videos, compressed files, executables).

  15. bad said on September 2, 2016 at 6:16 am

    The new version is bad. A lot of bugs. You can’t even move the download window.

    1. Xi said on September 2, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      All fixed in v3.0.5:
      3.0.5: Fixed text links not working when calling DTA on a selection
      3.0.4: Fix window dragging on Windows 7
      3.0.4: Fix search bar icon
      3.0.4: Fix missing icons on some Firefox versions
      3.0.4: Detect name conflicts early again
      3.0.4: Fix an issue where checksums set via Add Downloads dialog were not used.

      1. bad said on September 2, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        Hi, thanks for the info. But I don’t think I need version 3. It’s too risky, version 2 is still working fine.

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