Firefox Download Window Bug

Posted on July 13, 2007
Filed Under Misc | 61 Comments     

If you are experiencing Firefox download problem, in which case the Download window no longer shows up when performing download and "Save Page As" is no longer saving any web pages, your Firefox configuration file might have been corrupted.

I had this problem for almost three months now. I have tried almost anything that I can think of: clean install, messing around settings in Options, removing themes and extensions. None of which have worked. Problem persists until recently I ran into a site which is trying to solve exactly the same problem. It turns out my Firefox download configuration file, downloads.rdf, is corrupted.

The Solution

The solution is really easy:
Just delete the file downloads.rdf and restart Firefox. A new downloads.rdf will be generated.
The location to donwload.rdf is:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxx\


  • xxxxxx is the folder that holds your Firefox personal files. There might be more than one, you have to find yours.
  • The Documents and Settings folder might locate at a different hard drive other than C:.
  • If you can't find Application Data folder, you might need to enable "Show hidden files and folders" for your explorer.


I have been searching the solution for this problem for the past three months, on and off, mindlessly. Thought the solution is remarkable simple, finding it is what killing me. I want to help to increase the exposure of this solution. For this reason, voilà, I wrote this post.


The Firefox Download Window Has Disappeared!
Unable to save or download files

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61 Comments so far
  1. firefox August 10, 2007 6:24 pm
    where can i download firefox3?
  2. Cuong August 13, 2007 6:08 pm
    the stable version is not available at this moment, but you can get alpha version at

  3. Bill August 27, 2007 5:54 pm
    Many thanks! I had this problem for about 3 days now... when reinstalling didn't resolve the issue, I thought it might be my profiles. I didn't know enough about Firefox to begin to remove the profile though (I thought uninstalling would kill the profiles).

    This certainly has eased my mind. FF is so awesome... thanks again!
  4. amanda September 22, 2007 7:01 pm
    hi i just got this error today however i cannot find the downloads.rdf file.. what should i do
  5. Cuong September 24, 2007 2:20 pm
    In that case, you might want to do a search under your @Documents and Settings@ folder. Press Ctrl+F and make sure *Search hidden files and folders* option is checked.

    Another thing you might consider is if you have a dual boot system, make sure you are at the hard drive/partition where your OS is located.
  6. RobIII October 3, 2007 7:06 pm
    Found this post today. Pure genious.
    Was afraid I'd have to waste hours figuring out what was causing it so I _REALLY_ appreciate the "I want to help to increase the exposure of this solution. For this reason, voilà , I wrote this post."

    Thanks a lot!
  7. asdf October 8, 2007 10:13 am
    fucking right man, thank you
  8. Ryan October 9, 2007 12:50 pm
    It is the second time I have problems with firefox + downloads.

    The first time I was able to delete the "downloads.rtf" file and things worked properly afterwards, but the second time (right now) I deleted the file again, and strangely enough, Firefox didn't generate a new "downloads.rtf" file.

    So, right now I don't have the file and I can't make any downloads on Firefox. Any suggestions?
  9. Ryan October 9, 2007 4:08 pm
    Nevermind the previous comment, I finally got it to work properly :)
  10. Jizzy October 18, 2007 7:07 am
    Awesome stuff. Thank you for the info.
  11. MrEstranger November 6, 2007 10:31 pm
    Yes I have had this problem for months and it stopped almost 90% of my income workflow. I did everything but at the end I had to install a fresh copy of entire windows to fix it. Thanks to you I might be able to fix it it ever happen again.
  12. Rono November 7, 2007 1:34 am
    Tnx, already had this issue in past but this time i've founf the same solution on your blog! ;)
  13. Harman November 16, 2007 7:35 am
    Awesome! Thanks!!
  14. matej January 17, 2008 2:43 am
    Thanks! It works!
  15. Dave January 19, 2008 7:27 pm
    I dont even have a Mozilla folder under C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data . Have a bunch of other directorys, but not for firefox. I even did a search on my computer, couldnt even find downloads.rdf

    What now?
  16. Cuong January 21, 2008 4:09 pm
    Try to type this in your explorer's address bar:

  17. Your loyal servant! January 24, 2008 7:40 pm
    YOU ARE MY SAVIOR!!! Are you a prophet?

    Thanks for the fix!
  18. person February 27, 2008 3:08 am
    thanks, had this exact problem :( the window would come up when i opened it, all blank tho !
  19. S March 8, 2008 8:36 pm
    I don't have a downloads.rdf file to delete. I can't download, and the dialog box is empty. I've tried reinstalling it too.
  20. mongo1515 March 10, 2008 5:22 pm
    bless you--this plague has been affecting me for WAY too long; i don't remember when it actually started.
  21. Gabi March 20, 2008 7:45 pm
    Thanks for posting this seemingly simple and elegant solution. This problem drove me crazy and had me delete and reinstall the program several times.

    Thanks again
  22. Kim March 21, 2008 4:05 pm
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! This has driven me crazy for months now and really slows down my work. I appreciate your solution -- fixed it in just minutes!!!
  23. Ree April 2, 2008 2:11 pm
    OMg so nice ************
  24. G0dKiLLeR April 3, 2008 6:31 pm
    Wow thanks for this info!
    By the way, Firefox 3.0 beta now uses a "downloads.sqlite" file instead..
    Thanks again! :D
  25. javier April 19, 2008 8:21 am
    EXCELLENTE !!! It works fine

    Thanks a lot !!!!
  26. nagrazol April 21, 2008 11:26 am
    I had this problem to. No downloads would appear in the download manager. Thanks to you its working perfectly now :)
  27. Chris May 1, 2008 1:35 pm
    This Worked like a charm. I was frustrated out of my mind.



    For MAC users like myself this is the path to the file:

    Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/a7fa2kow.default
  28. Trey May 6, 2008 2:31 pm
    Awesome, thanks man! You were the top page on my search result... problem solved.
  29. JV May 10, 2008 4:38 pm
    Wow...I've been dealing with this issue for months now and nothing I've done has worked.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    I'm almost embarrassed that the solution was this easy.
  30. Q the Physicist May 12, 2008 7:24 am
    yes, yes, yes! almost a year on and your post is still saving people. i thank you too, my friend!
  31. Eric June 7, 2008 1:08 pm
    much thanks! genious!
  32. Julie June 15, 2008 7:11 am
    It didn't work for me. I can still download, but no window and it didn't replace the file.
  33. jonas June 16, 2008 3:22 pm
    well i gotta say thanks man! ive had this problem for like 6 months now never did find the solution till i see this site!
  34. [...] around, I came across a widely acclaimed solution, which was to delete the xml file which stores the information I was supposed to be seeing; supposing it was corrupted. [...]
  35. locutus August 5, 2008 2:26 pm
    This solution worked great. I had exactly the same problem and thought it was related to a Firefox upgrade or add-on. Deleting the downloads.rdf fixed the problem. Thank you very much for your help.
  36. Mizton August 28, 2008 4:43 pm
    I tried deleting downloads.sqlite (by the way there were 2 folders with that file), and now it got worse... nothing happens when i click "save as". One of the files doesn't regenerate... dunno what to do, any ideas?
  37. Marko August 29, 2008 12:18 pm
    Excellent solution. It didn't quite solve the problem for my Mac running, but I took an additional step (found on another bug site), and the two steps together solved the problem.

    1) Quit Firefox and delete the "downloads.rtf" file.

    2) Restart Firefox and in "Preferences" choose another download location.

    When I performed only step 1, the "Downloads" window came up, but would not display a test download. When I added step 2 the "Downloads" window came up and showed BOTH test files I had downloaded.

    Thank you again!
  38. Juan Carlos Rubio September 23, 2008 1:38 pm
    Thanks! just whtat i was looking for :)
  39. Des September 30, 2008 4:52 pm
    Thanks a lot, this problem was very confusing and I couldn't find the solution anywhere else. Not used to having issues with Firefox, it's usually a good browser.
  40. aaron October 20, 2008 1:21 pm
    Thanks for this fix, however when I was fixing it, the file was not downloads.rdf, instead it was: downloads.sqlite .

    However deleting that fixed the problem, might want to include that in the main post for others to see.
  41. Red MacDougall December 8, 2008 7:32 am
    I cannot download still and there is no such file as downloads.rdf on my machine anywhere.... I get a pop up which says my file cannot be read... filename.type.part
  42. carlo January 7, 2009 12:39 pm
    Using Firefox 3

    Deleted the file download.sqlite but the problem remain...
  43. justin January 19, 2009 5:32 pm
    Did the same as others above (deleted downloads.sqlite, since no downloads.rdf). Reloaded Firefox, download.sqlite reappeared and problem remains.
  44. Anca February 15, 2009 2:24 pm
    Same here! i have download.sqlite!
  45. anzdig February 22, 2009 8:34 am
    deleted downloads.sqlite coz don't have .rdf
    it was regenerated after firefow restart but - no effect!
    any more solutions?
    THNX in advance!
  46. minhaaj March 2, 2009 2:40 pm
    BUMP! GOT DOwnload.sqlite. doesn't help
  47. chuck March 4, 2009 10:03 am
    Just uninstall Version 3x of firefox and install my new old favorite 2x. Now my downloads work just perfect. 3x is really trash as far as downloads are concerned. It is almost like FF3 is trying to protect me from myself.
  48. Chris March 4, 2009 12:16 pm
    Same here. I keep deleting downloads.sqlite but the problem keeps coming back. Very frustrating problem, especially since I have to close FF (i.e., many tabs) first before the file can be deleted. My only other alternative is to use IE when I want to download files.
  49. joymania April 22, 2009 1:13 am
    i cudnt find download.rtf.
    i have download.sqlite file
    what to do?
    i have reinstalled firefox even then it doens goes
  50. Chocka June 17, 2009 10:29 am
    Time for a new topic, beside that *.rdf is changed to *.sqlite. It do not help to delete that file to fix this problem. Other suggestions???
  51. chocka June 17, 2009 10:42 am
    Found the solutions with this site:

  52. AVG Outfoxed Firefox | The InkWells June 25, 2009 3:49 pm
    [...] all plugins; I removed all toolbars; and I followed some interesting Mozilla hacks (here and here).  All to no [...]
  53. [...] ikke har opplevd) og mozilla har sagt at 3.5.1 kommer om en liten uke. btw.. har du pr?vd denne? Firefox Download Window Bug | Code Central __________________ [...]
  54. HitMe WithIt July 7, 2009 3:23 am
    OK. I had the same problem too. I clicked a link in firefox 3 and it should have brought up the downloading window but nothing at all happened. I tried right clicking and 'Save As' but nothing happened again.
    I went into the config by typing
    into the addressbar and then I typed the word
    to look at all the options set for downloading.
    I noticed one entry in there:
    browser.download.dir and it was set to a directory location that I no longer have on my PC so I changed it to c:/downloads.
    Seems to have done the trick so thought I would add this as it may help others.
  55. Juani July 8, 2009 8:59 pm
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This problem was driving me crazy! I deleted the download.sqlite instead and it worked!
    (Firefox 3.5 OSX 10.5.7)
  56. Paul Schoe August 24, 2009 7:06 pm
    Time saver, Really helpfull. I got so tired of having to launch Microsoft Internet explorer every time when I needed to download a file (even attachements to my email).

    However, just like a previous poster I had to do 2 things:

    a) delete the 'downloads.sqlite' file

    b) change the destination of the download folder in:
    'tools' 'options' 'save files to' to another folder.

    After I had downloaded one file, I could change the download folder back to its original setting.

    Once again thanks for taking the effort of posting this solution.
  57. street September 20, 2009 11:37 am
    Same as above, no .rdl file. turns out had to check "save download history " in tool options and now all is fine:)
  58. Tankueray October 12, 2009 4:15 pm
    I also just ran into this. I had been working around it by using DownTehmAll instead. It was getting tedious. Turns out I didn't need to change any config entries or delete any profile files. I recently moved all my drives around and the default download location was now a DVD drive. Just changed it back to a folder on the desktop and I'm good.

    FF 3.5.3 and XP SP3
  59. tempo dulu November 24, 2009 11:03 pm
    I still can't download using firefox - it's really frustrating!
  60. Obvious Solution December 27, 2009 8:10 pm
    Why not JUST USE IE? To me that sounds like the most obvious solution. WHY use FF anyway???

    To me thats like listening to a boom box in your car when you have a factory BOSE system!!!

    Just my two cents.
    Obvious Solution
  61. Anon January 6, 2010 9:30 pm
    Stop trolling, Obvious Solution.

    On OSX Leopard and has this problem. Deleted downloads.sqlite, ran Firefox, and then changed the download folder then download something. That fixed it for me. Just change the download folder back to what it was before after the download.
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