How to Permanently Show the Downloads Button in Firefox

To easily access and manage your downloads in Firefox, learn how to permanently show the Downloads button on the toolbar.

The Downloads button on the toolbar in Firefox provides a quick way to access and manage your downloads. But Firefox disables the button by default in version 57 and later, only showing it (in blue) when you’ve downloaded something in the current session. So the next time you open Firefox, the Downloads button is hidden again until you download something.

Showing the Downloads button only when necessary saves room on the toolbar, which is helpful if you have a smaller screen or want to make the browser window smaller.

Today we’ll show you how to access your downloads without the button and two ways to show the Downloads button on the toolbar permanently.

Downloads button shows on toolbar when downloading in Firefox

Access Downloads Through the Firefox Menu

You can access your downloads using the Firefox menu. We’ll show you how in case you decide you don’t want to show the Downloads button on the toolbar.

Go to the Firefox menu and select Library.

Go to Firefox menu > Library in Firefox

Then, select Downloads on the Library menu.

Select Downloads on the Library menu in Firefox

A list of downloads displays on the Downloads menu. Right-click on a download to open the containing folder, go to the download page, copy the download link, or remove the download from the history.

You can also clear all downloads by right-clicking on one item.

The Show All Downloads option at the bottom of the Downloads menu also allows you to access and manage your downloads.

Downloads menu in Firefox

If you click, Show All Downloads on the Downloads menu, the Library dialog box displays. You can perform the same actions on your downloads here as you could on the Downloads menu. One advantage of the Library dialog box is you can quickly clear all your downloads by clicking Clear Downloads in the upper-right corner of the dialog box.

Downloads on Library dialog box in Firefox

Permanently Show the Downloads Button by Customizing the Toolbar

You can make the Downloads button permanently show by customizing the toolbar.

Go to the Firefox menu and select Customize.

Select Customize on Firefox menu

The Downloads button temporarily shows on the toolbar. But it goes away when you are done customizing the toolbar unless you make it permanent.

To do that, click on the Downloads button. Then, un-check the Auto-hide box on the small popup.

Disable Auto-hide for Downloads button in Firefox

Click Done to accept the change and close the Customize Firefox tab.

Click Done on the Customize Firefox tab

The Downloads button now permanently shows on the toolbar.

Notice in the image below that the Downloads icon is black, indicating no downloads in the current browsing session. Once you download something, the icon turns blue.

Downloads button on toolbar in Firefox

Permanently Show the Downloads Button Using a Hidden Config Setting

You can also set the Downloads button to permanently show on the toolbar using one of Firefox’s hidden config settings.

Type: about:config in the address bar and press Enter.

Click I accept the risk if you haven’t disabled this warning.

If you don’t want to see this warning every time you access the hidden config setting, uncheck the Show this warning next time box. You can re-enable this warning if you want to see it again. We’ll show you how a bit later.

Click I accept the risk on about:config page in Firefox

To find the preference you need, type: autohide in the Search box.

Double-click the preference to change its value to false. The preference becomes bold when the value is not the default one.

Double-click autohideButton config setting in Firefox

You can re-enable the about:config warning we talked about earlier the same way. Search for the general.warnOnAboutConfig preference and change its value to true.

The about:config page also provides some settings that allow you to speed up Firefox and make it more efficient.

Quickly Access and Manage Your Downloads

Remember how you could right-click on a download on the Library dialog box and access actions you could perform on the download? You can do the same thing on the popup menu accessed from the Downloads button, making it quicker and more efficient to use the Downloads button on the toolbar.



  1. Ziggy

    A good program to achieve reduced memory in Firefox (and other non-invasive tweaks) is Firemin. Check it out – you’ll be pleasantly surprised and, no, I have no connection to the program. Google it and download it from a reputable site and double check the installer with Virus Total. Great article, too!

  2. v1adimir

    Just btw., to access the about:config setting directly, from the address bar:



  3. Joe90

    I run Firefox version 75.0 and none of the above worked at all because there was no download icon in the customize
    toolbar menu, and restore defaults did not bring it back either.
    But when I went to the Help menu selected restart with add-ons disabled the download icon reappeared like magic.

  4. Felicia

    Worked thanks so much!!

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