Firefox Download Manager Slow and Annoying. Please Fix.

On my podcast, I ran through a TechTweak to continue a download if the download is taking a longer time. Little did I know that issue was more Firefox than receiving packets.

When I was beta testing Firefox, I noticed that downloading files took a lot longer and caused the browser to actually run slower. I posted a bug report on I mentioned that I downloaded several items via Firefox and IE, and I saw IE not only did a better job in downloading, it did not affect my browsing habits. I also told them I had seen this happen on more than one machine and plugins do not make any difference. They said (in so many words) this was not a big issue and marked the case “Unconfirmed”.

Well, it really is an issue. I download items on a daily basis. I run off not only fast, but slower connections. Any types of pauses inhibit my productivity. When I downloaded Bwana’s podcast, I pretty much had to babysit the download because even with it not pushing forward, it was stopping me from getting other work done.

Today I was working on an article and downloading simultaneously. When I tried to post, I got stopped big time to the point where I lost the article during post. I had the article on another program so I didn’t lose any data, however if I was typing a comment or anything I don’t save first, I could have lost what I typed. All because of a slow loading podcast.

Before the question is posed, this is a completely different machine running only 3 plugins. Once again I stopped the download and switched over to IE to obtain. IE’s download manager runs separate from the browser, and it didn’t cause any issues.


I’ve also tried some of the download plugins. They mostly change the appearance of the download manager. I may not have found the right plugin, nonetheless I haven’t found one that actually helps.

Back in 2006, Bill St. Clair noted a slow experience. He found a solution by removing files automatically when done. I have cleared out the data, and even cleaned the cache. There is no difference – Firefox does not do a good job in downloading data. It’s been a issue for a while and well before Firefox 3 came out.

What needs to change?

Firefox should give users the opportunity to chose how they can download files. Use their download manager, IE’s manager or another “Approved” manager.

Maybe it’s how the Manager works. If it works off the Firefox engine, then maybe Mozilla should work on a seperate program to download files.

However it works, it needs to be looked at. I will be posting another Bug report to Mozilla. In the meantime I’ll just have to switch between programs to download files.


By the next update of Firefox, the downloading seemed to be consistently better. Firefox 3.5 has fixed the issues (at least to what I have seen).

You may also like...

  • Moustafa Sedick

    That is true , please fix this bug , I am using firefox and when I download I have to use internet explorer to brows internet

  • Muhammed10

    simple solution to speed up ur downloads

  • my problem is more that the last 2-3% of any download will take almost a full minute, even when the file is less than 100k. the entire FF process comes to a grinding halt doing whatever it’s doing in the background and, yes, it’s unacceptable in this day and age.

  • Brian

    I’ve had the same problem with FF’s downloading. The start of each download takes longer and longer with each progressive download. Waits start out at just a few seconds for the download to start but increase with each additional download until the wait for a download to start is up to 10 or 15 MINUTES!!! During the waits, nothing else at all can be done in FF. Other programs can be used, but FF refuses to do anything until the download starts.

    Finally, I get fed up with waiting and I need to reboot. After the reboot the cycle starts all over again with reasonable waits for the first downloads and then unexcusable waits soon enough.

    I can definitely confirm that this is a big issue for me. Now that I’ve read here that the problem does not show up with downloads using IE, I guess I’ll try using that (though I detest Microsoft).

    p.s. I just tried finding my downloads with FF and then using IE to download them. No waits, so far.

  • Robert A

    I have the same slow downloads with FF with a 100k download taking 3 min or more to download.
    So now i use IE more than i do FF looks like FF does not care no more about the user of FF but more about money.

  • Tom H

    I have been getting more and more upset about these slow downloads. And it’s affecting more than FF negatively. Had a telnet program abend twice while I was waiting for a large download. Using Chrome to download for now. That is so swift!!! Best download speed I’ve ever seen. It is so stupid. I want to use FF with all my favorite plugins like Noscript and Roboform. And it sounds like their attitude at Mozilla is the real issue.

  • Tsais

    Firefox download manager isn’t only slow, it lets 4MB downloads die after they are half way through. It seems to lack the ability to “ping to help keep the connection alive” other download managers have. there’s not even a dedicated tab in the options menu to configure the freaking thing!

    Another thing I observed: if it starts at for example 6kbp/s, it will slowly drop from there. unlike other downloaders, its speed will not go down a little and back up a little, it will just go one way – down. Until eventually it stops without completing the file.

    All the download addons are lazy crapware that just alter cosmetics. No improved handling of the data flow.

    If the site lets me choose an alternate download manager like flashget, getright or others, the downloads complete just fine.

    I absolutely don’t get why not one of all the programmers at Mozilla are incapable of writing a decent download manager. This one has got to be the laziest pos downloader I’ve ever seen :S

  • bfu

    well, it seems that mozzila developers will never learn… I’m using FF version 4.0.1 and the bug is back again and much worse than ever (as far as I remember) for big files (500MB+)… I think I will be switching to Chrome or Opera soon :-/