Restore download information in Firefox

Mozilla Firefox 54.0 was released this week, and one of the changes it shipped with was a simplification of the download button and download status panel.

The change impacts the download icon that Firefox displays in its interface, and the download panel, which opens when you click on the download icon.

Mozilla stripped away information from both the download icon and panel. For the download icon, information on the remaining time was removed. What users get instead is a new animation that fills up slowly as downloads near completion in the browser. This means that it is now necessary to click on the download button to see the remaining time it takes.

The download panel on the other hand shows only the file name, its type as an icon, and the download status. Information such as the size of the download, domain it was downloaded from, or the time it took to download the file is missing. The information is still shown in the Downloads Library.

Restore download information in Firefox

firefox lack download information

firefox old download information

The first screenshot shows the new download panel, the second the old download panel of the Firefox web browser.

A user requested that Mozilla returns file size information on Bugzilla, but nothing has been decided yet. The original Bugzilla listing which resulted in the removal of the information is available here.

Firefox users may restore the functionality of the download panel using CSS right now.

  1. Type about:support in the Firefox address bar and hit the Enter-key.
  2. Click on the "show folder" button there to open the Firefox profile folder using the system's file browser.
  3. Check if a directory named chrome exists. If it does not, create it.
  4. Check if the file userChrome.css exists. If it does not, create it.
  5. Add the following information to the userChrome.css file, and restart Firefox afterwards.
Read also:  SeaMonkey's Future: Firefox ESR

.downloadDetailsNormal { display: none !important; }
.downloadDetailsFull { display: inline !important; }

richlistitem[type="download"]:hover > .downloadMainArea > .downloadContainer > .downloadDetailsFull {
display: none !important;
}

Note: The CSS restore the full details of the download panel. There is a bit of a risk involved though, as things may break in the UI when Mozilla makes changes. Also, this may not work forever as Mozilla may pull the option from Firefox.

Lastly, it is also possible that Mozilla will reintroduce some or even all of the functionality in a future Firefox version. The organization seems inclined to do so however; we will update the article if changes are mode to how download information is displayed -- or not -- in Firefox.

While you can use some extensions -- Download Status Bar or Download Panel Tweaks -- right now to bring back functionality as well, all current ones will stop working when Firefox 57 is released.

Now You: Big deal or not? What's your take on the removal?

Summary
Article Name
Restore download information in Firefox
Description
Find out how to restore the download information in the Firefox download panel that are no longer displayed as of Firefox 54.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Restore download information in Firefox

  1. stilofilos June 17, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    And we are still supposed to keep updating that nonsense ... ? This whole Mozilla has become one huge lamentable joke. Sign of the times and the state of this poor world. Trump, Brexit, Microsoft, Mozilla...
    Hope Waterfox keeps developing as scheduled.
    Anyway, thanks Martin for showing the CSS solution.

    • Sup June 17, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

      Pretty excited about Firefox's future myself, yet I am no trumpet player, pity the English even though their departure is going to benefit me, and definitely don't get behind Microsoft embracing the dark side of anti-privacy.

      #UselessComment

    • Anonymous June 17, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

      You do realize that Waterfox is just moving to a rebranded version of firefox esr right? The Developer wanted to try different things in the future so he decided to can adding new features to it in the future at least for now.

      • Appster June 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

        @Anonymous: I doubt that it's going to be just a "rebranded version of Firefox ESR"! According to this page... https://www.waterfoxproject.org/blog/ ...the Waterfox developer will most likely create an ESR version based on Firefox 56, which will contain all the improvements that were introduced in Firefox 53/54/55/56, which Firefox 52 ESR will not have. Just FYI.

    • P June 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

      I agree with you, FF has run their browser into the ground while patting each other on the back and convincing themselves that its GREAT! Trump blocking companies from giving American jobs to immigrants is another sign of the times but I think a good one.

    • anonymous June 19, 2017 at 7:06 am #

      Delusional leftist even manages to insert his butthurt about Trump & Brexit into browser-related discussion. LOL!

  2. T J June 17, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    This is a pointless change to the download information !
    Why on earth does Mozilla think that removing such information is a positive step !
    Bring back the original functionality please.
    I'm glad that I am using FF52 ESR which is not (yet ?) affected by such nonsensical "improvements".

    • Tom Hawack June 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

      I had exactly the same thing in mind. I just cannot understand the pertinence of this modification. Sometimes I understand but disagree; in this case I just don't understand. Why make things complicated when they were and can remain simple? For the sake of a nice little animation? Because Firefox devs believe than kindergarten users need an animation to be aware their download is being processed? This is insane, it's not catastrophic but I mean : you have a guy somewhere amid the devs who must have spent some time on this totally stupid little innovation, for what, motivated by what? This guy has been paid for this nonsense? Upside-down logic.

      • Appster June 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

        @Tom Hawack: This is the attitude of Mozilla today. I've talked about that for ages. They don't care about the power users anymore - users like you, using a multitude of add-ons just don't exist for them. All they care about is the simple user, who is not to be distracted by any advanced feature, at all cost. And they care about brand identity. Any advanced way of modifying Firefox will not be possible anymore, any information the simple user might be confused by has to go, userChrome.css is on its way out, and before long about:config will disappear as well. Only the most basic browser will remain. Yet I agree, hiding the download size is extreme even by their standards. The question must arise: If they hate the Firefox of old so much, why don't they just start from scratch with a new name? Oh, I forgot - Firefox still sells to some degree! Pathetic...

      • Tom Hawack June 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

        Yeah, I know your approach, Appster. I can understand it and it appears to me coherent given the user -- you, anyone else -- has already got to the conclusion of a definitive sentence, hence any new issue is considered as an extra argument to legitimate the sentence. You know as well that I prefer a step-by-step approach, condemning or not a novelty without arguing of a definitive critic. No idea who's right, just different approaches.

        I still hope to avoid the sentence, but I never said and cannot imagine affirming that I'll never jump to your conclusions. I'm just... not ready (like those young ladies of my younger years who'd never [...] the first time! Neither the second, not the third ... one day, maybe?I need more time :)

      • Appster June 17, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

        @Tom Hawack: I am by no means condemning novelties. I'm condemning (over)simplification. I mean, the former downloads pop-up did contain the most basic things only already, yet they felt even that would be too much info. It's almost an insult of average human intelligence to be honest.

        Another misconception about me is that I am supposedly strictly anti-WebExtensions, which is nonsense. They serve their purpose just fine when we talk about things like YouTube downloaders, adblockers, HTTPS Everywhere etc. This is to say that I also use a range of WebExtensions. I have zero problems with them co-existing with XUL/XPCOM add-ons. But Mozilla keeps trampling on my preferences by removing support for more advanced add-ons (How they realize them I don't care, they could use HTML or something, it doesn't even have to be XUL...). This is what leads to the kind of comments I post here.

        I used to be a really big fan during the pre-Australis era. Australis was just the first bummer the day it was introduced. There was CTR, no problem. They lost my support entirely when they introduced things like ads, Pocket, Add-on Signing...

        I was noticing a trend towards simplification and "mobile first" for a while. And this is probably fine for most users, otherwise Chrome wouldn't have as much users as it does. But there also is real, powerful software around - software written with productivity in mind. Firefox is such a program. You can turn it into a true power house via add-ons and can change functionality in about:config if you know what you are doing. Sadly, Firefox (and its derivatives, well understood) is the only browser around which can still be described as advanced. Chrome/Safari/Edge/Opera (since ver. 15) are but mere toys. Just makes me sad. Once Vivaldi has extended its range of options even more I'll make the switch, but until then I will give Pale Moon and Waterfox a chance.

        By the way, if gradual changes is what your prefer then you'll have a hard time. Mozilla's changes are extremely radical. Using Firefox 52 ESR (which I'm using as well, for the same reasons like you) is just postponing the problem.

      • Tom Hawack June 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

        All right, Appster. I had in mind you had lost hope in Firefox.
        The way I see it, in return of your detailed approach I've read attentively, is that I'm taking a pause on Firefox's road to 57 (my reference milestone now) by running the browser's ESR version (52.2.0 now). I do have many legacy add-ons together with a few WebExtensions, all running nicely. This pause is meant to allow me to observe the development of Firefox from 53 to 57, but I know that I'll have to make a decision by 2018-Q1 : I'm only trying to gather as much users' experiences, information until then. At that time either I'll move to Firefox 58 or switch to Waterfox (depending on that browser's own development), or "retire" with 'Pale Moon'. I say "retire" because that's how I feel the fact of not moving to Park Avenue in order to keep my ranch, its countryside, if I dare this analogy.

        So it's wait and see here, with my (naive sometimes) words on this or that new, removed or modified feature. I dislike Webextensions not as such but when they allow not some marvelous things legacy add-ons allow. Same with Electrolysis (but Electrolysis doesn't really have counter-arguments as Webextensions do), same because e10 bothers me only when add-ons I cherish are not or will not be updated to be a10-compatible.

        As you see, I may not be a Watermelon Man but no doubt I'm one of those tweakers who loves to have a browser (because a browser is always running, practically) tailored as he likes it, for the pleasure of "personalizing" but also for efficiency, quick access to what I know I need when i surf : this was mainly why I fell in love with Firefox even if security was of the lot. To be able to have it as close as possible to my needs and preferences. Maybe this is, as you but not only you suggests it. It's not a drama but i've invested so much interest for the Firefox I knew that I pain to imagine it disappear. That's all.

  3. Sup June 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    You linked the same bug twice :)

    I really appreciate that you did link the bug(s). Reading through, it seems possible that the change is reverted, that would be nice. Very thorough article.

  4. Clairvaux June 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    The information is still available while the downloading is taking place, and in the "show all downloads" panel. So really, pretending this is one more case of Mozilla denying the geeky masses the toys they've been accustomed to is slightly over the top, I think.

    • Tom Hawack June 17, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

      I don't, Clairvaux :)

  5. Anonymous June 17, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    Let's hope they don't remove the url-bar.

  6. kalmly June 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    I remember, long ago, when the download panel showed what folder the file was being downloaded to. I didn't like it when that information disappeared. Now you have to click on an icon and choose Open Containing Folder to find out where it is. Click, click, click. Seems the goal these days is to increase the clicking as much as possible. My clicking finger is wearing out.

    • Jork June 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

      You need to go to the finger gym and lift finger weight. I recommend a good finger diet too.

    • jupe June 18, 2017 at 4:29 am #

      Yeah it would be nice if they made the folder location display as a tool tip when you hover over the Open Containing Folder button at least.

      As for my opinion on the download info change, its not so bad because its available while your downloading, but I don't understand why they bothered removing the information, the code was already done and had been working for years and I doubt it was hard to maintain, they could have at least given an about:config entry to switch it back on, but honestly I have been using Nightly daily and I didn't notice that it had changed until this article so it musn't bother me too much.

  7. Yuliya June 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    Resources were spent on this change. Why? How is this benefical to the end user?

  8. Ron June 17, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    Mozilla is taking the once great browser FF to the lowest common denominator. Or in other words, dumbing it down for all the sheeple out there.

  9. GiddyUpGo June 17, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Under Firefox 54.0, I can no longer reset Firefox back to Default Browser after I have made IE the default browser.
    Selecting the make Firefox the default browser no longer resets and this flag comes back up every time Firefox is started.
    Re-installing Firefox back to version 53.0.3 will allow Firefox again to select and keep the Default Browser choice settings.
    Is this version 54.0 change, that is mention here, giving me this problem?
    (I have w7 pro 32bit)

    • Jork June 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

      I noticed a change in the way default browser is set. Since Firefox 54, I am prompted me with an UAC request if I choose to make Firefox the default.

      So my guess would be that you somehow don't get the prompt, either because of your Windows account configuration or some tweak you made.

      Sounds like something that they could fix in a 54.0.1 release or something, I don't know.

      • GiddyUpGO June 18, 2017 at 12:43 am #

        I still use .bat (batch) files. UAC for me blocks these files so I have it moved to Never Notify.
        Over the years I have made many tweaks to Firefox. You may be right that one of these is my problem. At this time I have no Ideal which one could cause this only for V54.0.
        In the mean time I have found that the following will restore Firefox v54.0 back to the Default Browser:
        Windows 7 pro:
        Under Control Panel Select Default Programs\Set Your Default Programs\Select Firefox\Select
        Set This Program As Default.
        Thank you Jork for your reply!

      • Jork June 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

        I think that was your problem: UAC never notified you, and the prompt for admin rights was refused silently, so Firefox could not be set as your default browser. Maybe it's a bit odd since I think your setup expects that prompts are auto-granted, while this one was auto-refused, but anyway that's what I suspected your problem to be.

        But since you solved the issue it's not a problem any more :)

  10. Kstev99 June 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

    Just another example of Firefox ignoring its users and trying to become a Clone of Google Chrome. The one thing that made this browser stand above the rest was the amount of addons and customization that was available to its users. It will very soon meet the same fate as Netscape. Very sad.... I suggest Waterfox for now.

  11. Norm June 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    Soon we won't need browsers. We'll just type "What do I need?" into Windows 10 search and the downloads and installs
    will all take place without any further ado.

    • Tom Hawack June 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

      Soon we won't need a home computer : a cloud computer, "Shadow-PC" is already a reality (in France only at this time, planned for UK, Germany, Europe+ and the States later on). A complete reconfiguration of a user's approach to the computer when he connects to the Net with a small box (Ethernet required + fiber), thelocal peripherals making up a terminal while the OS (Windows 10, but Linux is planned), graphic card, SSD disk are on dedicated servers. A revolution :)

  12. happysurf June 17, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    Thank you for the tip.

  13. kev June 18, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    complete BS i have been using netscape/mozilla since it first came

  14. Jozsef June 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

    It's very clear that Firefox developers believe that less is more, therefore it follows that nothing is everything. When Firefox has disappeared completely, as a former staffer recently predicted would happen soon, they will be elated because the ultimate goal will have been achieved. Of course this is a very sad situation for those of us who are not insane. ;)

  15. John C. June 19, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    Mozilla has become corrupted by agents from Google. They've deliberately screwed up Firefox in order to get more people to migrate over to their (IMO) spyware, Google Chrome. And it's working too. Some of my less techical-oriented friends have made the move. Again IMO, it pretty much all started with Australis, pushed by a Google agent named Zhenshuo Fang. She did her work corrupting the Firefox interface, then left Mozilla and went back to Google. (Don't expect to find much on the Internet regarding this corporate espionage, Google and Mozilla have gone to great lengths to remove all traces of any history mentioning the woman having anything to do with Australis.) My guess is that Mozilla is still in bed with Google somehow despite supposedly being no longer funded by them, and will continue to screw up Firefox until it goes the way of Netscape. Feature after feature is disappearing and after version 57, there will be absolutely no compelling reason to use Firefox.

    • Clairvaux June 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

      It's funny the way conspiracy theories creep up in the technology field, the way they occupy the political universe. People get all worked up by negative developments they can't explain, so they dream up big conspiracies that somehow make them feel better.

      Products do fail and companies do disappear, without some secret conspiracies working towards that. Indeed, they do so all the time. Most products disappear at some point, and most businesses (nope, all of them) fail eventually. That's what the market and competition do, and fortunately so. If no products and businesses disappeared, none would appear either.

      The success of Chrome is easily explained, and "Google agents", with Chinese names to boot, are not needed for that. Chrome was massively promoted by Google through bundle agreements (think Adobe). Google is a huge corporation with vast financial means, and a quasi-monopoly position. An untold number of people worldwide rely on Google services day in, day out ; all those services are tightly interlinked ; it does not take much persuasion to bring their users to install Chrome, too.

      Also (and this is never mentioned by Firefox fanboys), Chrome is a good browser. It's fast, it's simple to use, and it's very secure. In fact, it's arguably the safer browser out there. Generally speaking, Google is one of the best innovators regarding security. Notice I did not say privacy ; those are two different things. Using a Chromebook, with Google's operating system, the Chrome browser obviously, and consenting to have nothing but a dumb terminal owned by Google, is one of the most efficient ways to avoid malware infections, account highjacking, cyber-burglaries, ID theft and the like. That's no small feat. Cyber threats are very real, and potential consequences devastating.

      Mozilla is a non-profit. A corporate non-profit, which is a qualifier of sorts, but a non-profit all the same. It does not compete in Google's league. There's no need to invent Chinese spies out of thin air (while adding, conveniently, there are no Internet traces of them) to explain Firefox's dramatic loss of market share.

      Besides, the fantasy scenario laid out here can very easily be turned on its head : a Chinese interloper secretly worked for Firefox, in order to plagiarise the Chrome interface. Since Chrome is the successful competitor, obviously this must have lead to Firefox stealing Chrome's success ?

      Usually, it's big corporate bullies which are accused (sometimes accurately) of plagiarising, or otherwise buying off smaller competitors with better ideas. If the Firefox interface was so good, surely there would have been Google spies copying it to make Chrome more like it, not the other way round.

      • Jody Thornton June 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

        Well said Clairvaux. Even though I'm not a Chrome fan, I fully agree with your sensible business-related comments. Google was successful all on its own with Chrome.

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