Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Fixing the missing downloads window in Firefox (Mac)

Posted by shannonclark on August 26, 2008

This evening I encountered an odd problem running firefox on my Mac. I went to Flickr to download a photo of mine to use as a new desktop background. (cc license so you are free to do the same)

But when I went to pop open the downloads window to see the file name to open it, I couldn’t get my downloads window to open. It appeared as a window option on the windows menu, but nothing I did would cause it to actually, in fact, be visible.

So I poked around a bit online and then into the innards of firefox a little bit and I found a very simple, few second solution to this problem.

Search for the following file:


It should be present in your firefox profile directory (if you have multiple users on your computer be sure to delete the one from your current user’s profile).

I chose to delete it, which had the side effect of losing my download history (which I didn’t mind) if you want to preserve that this solution won’t be ideal. To delete I simply moved the file from the folder it was in to the trash.

I then closed Firefox (choosing the “save all tabs first” option). Note this is in the latest stable release version of Firefox for the Mac 3.01 as I write this, the “save all tabs first” option is a new one in the 3.0 release.

On rebooting Firefox I was able to open the downloads window as usual, Firefox rebuilt the downloads.sqlite file without what I can only assume was some form of file corruption.

So that is it, a very simple solution in the category of “get rid of corrupt config files”.

2 Responses to “Fixing the missing downloads window in Firefox (Mac)”

  1. […] 4×100m against trash talking Frenchie–Jason … Saved by HayLinandAmyRoseFan on Sat 25-10-2008 Fixing the missing downloads window in Firefox (Mac) Saved by dalasie on Sat 25-10-2008 Oil Change Instructions Saved by waiting4luv on Wed 22-10-2008 […]

  2. daftviking said

    Thanks so much for posting this – I was having the same problem on my system. I found that if I opened up the downloads.sqlite file in a database tool (in my case, SQLGrinder with a third-party SQLite JDBC driver), that was all it took to fix the “missing download window” problem – didn’t need to trash the file, didn’t lose my download history. Your mileage may vary, of course, but that’s what worked for me.

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