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Since the release of Firefox 26.0 the about:config options useToolkitUI and useJSTransfer no longer work because old download manager UI has been removed from the code. If you just want it back, then skip to the bottom of the page. If you also want to hear a good explanation why new download UI is crap, then just keep reading :)

In my opinion, new download UI is simply horrible. What your browsing history, bookmarks, and tags have to do with your downloads, and why someone from the Firefox UI team thought that they should be shown in the same window?

There are several issues with the new Firefox download UI:

  • Download UI is different for normal and Private Browsing session.
  • Bookmarks and tags are permanent, history and downloads are temporary in nature.
  • The menu option in Tools menu is still called Downloads, even though it now also brings up history, bookmarks, and tags.
  • The menu options Show all bookmarks and Show all history now also show download UI.

So, it's business as usual for Mozilla Corporation then? A clueless bunch of open-source developers designing UI, not thinking over the changes they introduce with every new build just for the sake of changing instead of actually improving usability. Not only there is no consistency, no logical separation between temporary and permanent data, but they didn't even bother to remove triple redundancy which goes to show how well planned this UI change was. Their UI design boils down to throwing random things at the wall to see if something will stick, and its always the end users who suffer.

Now that you know how to rationalize your dislike for the new download UI, how can you get the old one back? It is easy — switch to ESR channel, and download Firefox version which still has the old download UI.