Disable Firefox's Download Manager Settings
While the default download manager offers many useful features, there are many reasons that a user might want to turn the build-in Firefox download manager off. The most common reason someone wants to disable the default Firefox download manager is that they want to use a different download manager. Some of the most popular Firefox add-ons on Mozilla.org are download manager extensions. They offer various features ranging from more control over how downloads are handled, to improving file download speed, to allowing the user to download all of the links on a specific web page with a single click.
One of the most popular Firefox download extensions is Down Them All, commonly known as DTA. With Down Them All, a user can download all of the pictures on a web page with a single operation instead of having to click on each of them individually. In addition, DTA can follow all, or some, of the links on a page and download what it finds there, a useful feature for users who download lots of files that are linked one at a time from their favorite website or forum.
Other download managers also allow for resuming partial downloads and many also have features that allow more granular control over file downloads. Many offer faster downloads for Firefox.
Fortunately, turning the Firefox Download Manger off is relatively simple. Under the Tools -> Options menu, select the General tab. Uncheck the box that says Show the download window when downloading a file. By removing the check on this Firefox setting, the download manager that pops up will no longer show up when a file needs to be downloaded. However, there is a catch. The where to save files setting must be set to always save file to a certain location. Otherwise, the browser must ask where you want the file to be saved. For many users, this is all they really need. They just want to stop Firefox from popping up the download manager window every time they click on a link.
However, technically, this does not turn off Download Manger. After all, there still must be some way to download files when the appropriate links are clicked. Download manager merely continues to download the files without popping up first.
In order to disable download manager so that it is not handling your file downloads in the background, you must install an alternative method to download files. As mentioned above, Down The All is a popular Firefox extension that will take over the downloading functionality of the default download manager. Other download managers do the same rendering the standard Firefox download manager moot.
Screenshot courtesy of author.