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Frequently Asked Questions


What is DownloadHelper ?

Download helper is a Firefox extension to help in downloading media files from the Web. In particular, it is able to store on your disk movie files for which the web site does not provide a "Save File" feature. In addition, DownloadHelper can download, in 3 user clicks, all the image and video files linked from a Web page.

What platform do I need to run DownloadHelper ?

You can use the DownloadHelper extension from any Linux, Windows and MacOS-X platform

What version of Firefox do I need to run DownloadHelper ?

DownloadHelper works on Firefox 4.x to 32.0. It's likely to work on next versions.

What is the last version of DownloadHelper extension ?

Current stable version is 4.9.24

How do I install DownloadHelper ?

Visit this page and click on the install link. A dialog box will appear requesting to click the Install button. Once, the button is clicked, close all Firefox windows and restart the browser. To get the DownloadHelper icon, you need to drag it from the menu View/Toolbars/Customize to your toolbar.

How do I uninstall DownloadHelper ?

Go to the menu Tools/Add-ons. In the dialog box, choose DownloadHelper and click Uninstall. Restart Firefox to complete the uninstallation.

How do I use DownloadHelper ?

Simply surf the Web as you did before. When DownloadHelper can do something for you, the top right icon get animated. Click on it, a menu will show up with files or group of files you can download.

Can I see DownloadHelper in action ?

Just have a look at our user-contributed video tutorials.

Where can i get older versions of DownloadHelper ?

From there.

Note that running an older version will make you miss new fixes and features.

How do I access the list of supported sites ?

Click on the DownloadHelper icon. It requires version 2.0 or later.

How do I convert the videos I downloaded ?

See our conversion user guide.

How can I change the directory where downloaded files are stored ?

Right-click on the DownloadHelper icon and choose Preferences. Since version 1.96, the location is automatically saved when you download a file.

What sites can I download videos from ?

Follow this link for a non-exhaustive list of sites that have been reported to work with DownloadHelper. Since version 2.0, you can the list of supported sites by clicking on the DownloadHelper toolbar icon.

Why can't I install DownloadHelper ?

If you get an error numbered -2xx, like -203 or -228, you may want to check this page for possible causes and workarounds.

If you see a message saying that DownloadHelper is not compatible with Firefox 3.0, you must make sure you are installing DownloadHelper version 3.0.4 (or later) from the official download page.

Why do I get sometimes several download proposals for the same video file ?

DownloadHelper is made of several distinct modules running different algorithms to detect media to be downloaded. It may happen that several modules detect the same media.

Why do I get sometimes duplicate files ?

When the actual file download starts, some of the algorithms may detect the request and interprets it as a new download possibility. As a result, the corresponding entry is created in the download menu and it is easy to click on it, starting the reload of a file you already have.

This can be avoided by choosing carefully the entry from the download menu based on the displayed name.

Note: this issue has been fixed in 1.95.

How can I play the .flv files I downloaded ?

Check-out the recommended tools page.

How can I get the address of a media file without downloading ?

Press the CTRL key while clicking on the download menu entry, this will copy the URL of the file to the clipboard. You can then paste it anywhere.

Downloaded video files are missing the audio or video part, or the image is upside down

If you get a video or audio channel, then DownloadHelper did its job correctly: the file is on your disk. You might need to change/upgrade your video player from the recommended tools page.

Can i use DownloadHelper as the name or part of the name for my own products ?

Sorry you can't, as DownloadHelper is a trademark. If you think you have good reasons for doing so, please contact us through our partner page

DownloadHelper used to work well but suddenly, all the downloads are silently cancelled

It might be that the directory where files used to be saved into has been moved or deleted. Go to the preferences and check the storage directory.

Another reason for this to happen is an incompatibility with another addon (extension or theme). You can check this by creating a new profile (like a brand new installation of Firefox but with the capability to switch back to your previous setup) and reinstall DownloadHelper from this profile. You will get instructions about setting up a new profile from here

Why doesn't DownloadHelper work with this particular video page ?

DownloadHelper has a good success rate for downloading videos. According to many user discussion threads found on the Web, it has the best efficiency amongst other equivalent extensions. However, it may not work at all for some sites if the video server you are consulting implements an uncommon technical method for displaying the video.

However, some sites working well with DownloadHelper has been erroneously reported to fail, as on some servers, you need to start displaying the video for the extension to propose a download entry. Contrary to YouTube and Google videos where the movie starts playing as soon as you load the page, others only display the first image of the movie, requiring the user to click on the play button. Please, click on this button and check the extension's download menu before concluding that DownloadHelper fails.

Please, do not ask support about adding a particular site to the list of supported sites, as we do not develop specific support for a site. We have several generic methods and we add to the list sites that proved to work with DownloadHelper, not the other way around.

If you found a site that does not work with DownloadHelper, you may want to check here if we know of an alternate download tool that could work.

Why can't I download more than 50 files from a single page ?

This is a limitation we introduced to fix an issue where a large number of links could cause Firefox to hang for some time.

You can easily change this limit from the add-on preferences, section Capture, tab Galleries. Set parameter Max number of hits to whatever value, or '0' for unlimited links.

What do the icons at the left of each download entry mean ?

The various icons in the download menu represent the method used to discover this entry.

The icon with the one-way arrow indicates that the discovery has been performed by examining outgoing packets issued by the Firefox browser.

The icon with the back arrow means that the match has been found from a response from a server.

Other icons correspond to other algorithms.

Why do some entries in the menu are present whatever tab is selected then disappear after some time ?

Some algorithms used to discover links act within the guts of Firefox and matches cannot be associated to a particular tab. For this reason, the corresponding entries are added to the menu of any tab. They are cleared after a period of time that can be set within the preference menu.

I installed DownloadHelper but I don't see the icon in the toolbar nor in the toolbar palette. How do i fix it ?

First, look again if you didn't miss the icon in the toolbar or in the palette (menu View/Toolbars/Customize).

Make sure the extension is really installed and the browser has been fully restarted. Go to menu Tools/Add-ons, you should see the DownloadHelper entry in the window, without any special mention.

What about my privacy ?

There is absolutely no personal information getting out of your computer due to DownloadHelper. We don't know what files you download nor what searches you carry out.

I see on the www.downloadhelper.net site the number of downloads I did. Does it mean DownloadHelper keeps track of my downloads ?

No, the extension only increments a counter at the end of each download. This counter is passed as a cookie to the www.downloadhelper.net site, so this value can be displayed.

This cookie can be disabled from the preferences, by checking parameter Disable download count cookie.

Can I get integration with DownThemAll or another download manager ?

Accessing another extension we don't have control on is a problem for us: if the developer of the other extension decides to change its API, DownloadHelper will fail and it will be our bug. So we decided not to do so.

FlashGot extension is supported because it was implemented early, before we decided not to go that direction.

However, you can still use the CTRL-click feature to import manually a video URL into your prefered download manager: instead of simply clicking the download menu entry, press the CTRL key while doing so. The url to be downloaded will be copied to the clipboard. Use CTRL+V to paste the url to anywhere.

When I click on the icon to open the download menu, it launches the Supported sites window. What's wrong ?

When the icon is animated - meaning there is something to download - if you look closely at the right of the icon you will see a small triangle. Click on this triangle to open the menu. This is the way Firefox toolbar buttons are built and it seems to confuse some people.

Why do I often get empty files in my download directory ?

When you request a download from DownloadHelper, an empty file is created, then the download request is queued. You see the empty file until the download is actually processed.

Why when the icon starts moving the toolbar is resized by 2 pixels ?

This is a known problem we'll try to solve in a next version. If this causes a problem to you, unckeck parameter Use small icons from the toolbar palette.

After I request a download, why does the Firefox 'Downloads' window show 'Starting...' but does not actually start ?

You are observing the Firefox cache in action. Most of the times, when you request a download, the movie is currently being loaded by the player in the page. Firefox does not start the download because it is waiting for the data to be loaded, hence avoiding downloading the same file twice. If you abort the loading in the current page, or quit this page, the download will resume immediately. You can also wait for the movie to be completely loaded, in which case the download is performed in less than one second, as the data are taken from the cache.

Where can i get more information ?

The Support Knowledge Base is a good place solve issues and understand details.

How to block access to adult sites from your www.downloadhelper.net or www.vidohe.com ?

From version 3.5, DownloadHelper supports a safe mode. Visit this page to activate it.

How many questions are there in this FAQ ?

This answer to this question is required to issue a request to support. In case you read better than you count, the answer is 36