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Issue metadata

Status: Fixed
Closed: Jul 2011
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: All
Pri: 2
Type: Feature

issue 68206

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Download shelf needs auto hide

Reported by, Nov 16 2009

Issue description

Chrome Version       :

Hi, Mohamed Mansour suggested people head here for feature requests, this is 
After checking out the chrome support forum, I noticed myself and a few other 
would love an auto hide feature on the download bar at the bottom of chrome. 
I was thinking maybe put it on a timer. For example:

I download a file, the bar pops up as usual for the dl, when the file is 
finished, I have a 5 second opportunity to click the dl to run it. If after 
that five seconds I haven't clicked the dl, the bar hides itself.

Showing comments 13 - 112 of 112 Older
Sounds like something that could be implemented as an extension. It would require 
extension hooks, though, which we don't have yet.

P.S. I would very much like auto-hide as well.

Comment 14 Deleted

Comment 15 Deleted

So there are users who like it the way it is and users who would like it to hide. The 
point is that being the way it is doesn't give any options for the users who would like 
it to hide. If the options I numbered above were to be implemented, both users could 
have exactly what they want. And why not set the fourth option as default...

Comment 17 Deleted

Comment 18 Deleted

Dudes: Please don't leave a comment saying "omg i need this". Star the issue and move on.
This issue strikes me as a particularly standard feature, and I am surprised that it has not been addressed yet--
almost every other browser I've used gives you options for the download interface.
I work on an 8.9" netbook for much of the day, and screen real estate is at a premium for me.  Losing part of my 
browser window every time I download something, and for all tabs, is a huge annoyance.  Having to take action 
for each and every download is annoying and time consuming.  I otherwise love Chrome, but will be switching 
back to another browser until there are more options for the downloads bar--I can't keep losing a chunk of my 
Windows: Control-J · Tab · Tab · Enter · Control-W
Windows: Control-J · Tab · Tab · Enter · Control-W

this is much more than one click to close the bar...
It's just a temporary shortcut until the real issue is addressed. I agree that this is 
an annoyance, and I just posted the shortcut so that people would have a way to deal 
with it until hooks are inserted for an extension.
Seeing that everyone is generally dissatisfied with the download bar, I think this 
issue should be made to redesign the download bar and include auto-hide in the new 
design and scheduled for Mstone-5.1-9 or Mstone-6.

Comment 25 by, May 2 2010

I like the download bar.  I just wish it would auto-hide once all downloads are 
finished.  Or maybe use OS specific notification systems for download announcements, 
with an icon on the bar for the downloads window.

Off-topic.  I would really prefer the icon and address bar lose some vertical pixels.  
or an option for small. its way too big.
I bet part of the dev's fear is that if there is a setting to autohide download shelf a 
new user will check it by accident, and then flood the helpdesk with "where are my 
downloads going"  Maybe after it is set to autohide, after the first download with the 
shelf in autohide, prompt the user with "you have selected to have the download shelf 
hidden, would you like to change this setting?" and have a "don't ask me again" check 
box so it won't annoy users who know they want it set to autohide.  I really hope this 
is implemented in some form in the future.

Comment 27 by, May 25 2010

@26 About your bet, I think you are wrong. First off chrome has the download history 
tab which is easy to find. Second devs don't care if the end user doesn't pay attention 
to what they turn on or off nor should they.

Comment 28 by, Jul 20 2010

This is a minor complaint but one I deal with often. Some times it would be nice if the download bar would just go away after a set period of time on its own.

Comment 29 by, Jul 22 2010

Labels: Mstone-7
Status: Assigned

Comment 30 by, Jul 24 2010

The current thinking is to autohide the download shelf after the user opens the most recently downloaded item and moves the mouse outside the shelf.
Sky, thanks for taking this on, but your solution doesn't help.  I often download a dozen items at once -- say, a dozen or two dozen pdfs of scientific articles from pubmed.  I don't immediately open them, but read through them after I have finished my searching.  Expecting the user to open downloads one at a time is unhelpful.  A simple option to hide after 5 seconds or so would be much better. 

That solution also has a downside. What if a casual user starts a download, walks away, and comes back more than 5 seconds after the download finished? That could be really confusing for them.

Comment 33 by, Jul 24 2010

GraemeErickson, yep, which is why we're going to try what I've outlined in 30.
Sky, can we please have an auto-hide-on-completed-download *option*?
Sky, if they chose an option to auto-hide, it won't surprise them.  You need to support the advanced as well as the naive user. 
how about a check box under the show all downloads to enable or disable auto hide unless the mouse is hovering over the bar
agree with #34 and #35
just do what every browser already does, which is to allow for an option to "autohide after all downloads have completed"
thus it's not "confusing"

no need to reinvent the wheel here, or pretend that we are
That's the point.
*Option* is the only one solution - whether the bar won't open (there is still download tab available!), or hide after completed download, it will be better then now.

Comment 39 by, Jul 24 2010

@ Sky. Then what's the purpose of having a download shelf, if you expect the user to open the files they download?

A static checkbox on the download shelf is the way to go

[v] Auto-hide

You could still implement your algorithm, but please solve the problem for all us that downloads many files and doesn't look at them in the browser.
I have to agree with #39. It sounds like the least confusing and cleanest method to allow the user to choose. #30 is not useful in a lot of situations. That is to say, I can think of many situations where #30 would work, but I can also think of many where #30 is not an improvement at all depending on the type of things you are downloading.
# Sky

I think advanced and casual users would get confused with such an algorithm, that does an non obvious thing.

How would the user know what triggered the download shelf to go away?

I'd say open up the API for extensions, so we can can do what ever we want.

There are 116 people subscribed to this bug, which is probably the highest number I have seen in a bug report, so it really it a problem that users care about.

Just the fact that someone cared to open a bug report for this feature tells a great deal, and given Chrome's user base, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of subscribers could be multiplied with 10,000 or more to reflect how many that agree with us.

Please open the API for extensions!

I'm glad there's a lot of discussion about this.  It's really a subtle and tricky issue.  I love the tray, but do want it to go away after sometime.  I would classify myself as an "advanced user" and for me the biggest problem is I feel like I'm always telling the tray to "go away", which I think is the main issue for others.  But, the hard part is, sometimes I want the tray gone, and sometimes I do want it to stick around.  So, maybe there's another way to handle it?  What if the tray didn't go the complete length of the screen like it does now, but worked more like the tabs and only took up the space it needed?

I like the options that @11 posted and I like the idea of an API that an extension could use.  So, there's plenty of ways to solve this problem, I think something just needs to happen.
An idea: you know in Google Reader there is a check box below each item that says "keep as unread"?

The download bar could have a "keep visible" checkbox over at the far right side.
the default that Chrome would ship with would be 'on' but users could easily turn on autohide by unchecking the box.

Ideally there would be am option to always autohide but this idea might be a good compromise?
@43: My main concern there is that, if anything, it'd be a step in the wrong direction for me as stated., if there was a way to say "Delete download history when the browser closes without affecting anything else", then I wouldn't need to keep the download bar around just to have quick access to "Show All Downloads --> Clear All". (Which I habitually click after every download or group of downloads)

Comment 45 by, Jul 24 2010

I have set up a Google vote form for this bug, as there are many suggestions how this should be resolved.

The purpose of the vote form is to show Sky how we would like this to be solved.

Please place your vote at

Votes are updated live at:

Comment 46 by, Jul 24 2010

Direct link to the bar charts with the votes.

d2, thanks for the poll.  However, I don't think it fully represents the options.  For example, I chose the first option, auto-hide, but I actually think that the auto-hide behavior should be selected by the user in an options menu.  (I don't like the auto-hide selection on the download bar itself for two reasons: 1, for consistency, options are in the "options" menu; 2, once you select auto-hide, if you want to turn it off, you need to download something to get the bar back, then catch it within the auto-hide time.  That sort of gymnastics would drive a naive user like my mom up the wall.) 

In any case, it's clear that this is an issue that a lot of us take seriously, and that there is a broad consensus that the user should have control in some way over the auto-hide behavior. 

@47: I'm not sure the download bar running away is an issue. Currently if you close the download bar you can't get it back without downloading something again (at least as far as I can tell). I also disagree that it breaks consistency. Take the bookmarks bar for example. In the options menu there is an "Always show bookmarks bar" option, but if you have the bookmarks bar open, you can also right click it and choose the same option, i.e. it's in multiple places. If we are aiming for flawless consistency then lets make the same option in the menu for auto hiding the downloads bar and then also allow people to right click the downloads bar and select auto-hide. Then it matches the way options are presented for the bookmarks bar.
Here's another idea of how it could work: the download bar could collapse into a minimal version taking up only the lower-right corner of the viewport, much like the status bar when hovering a link. But not very wide, saying perhaps "2 downloads" or "2 [icon]" with some suitable icon or glyph.

Click the minimal bar to show the full bar again, or perhaps to show a "Downloads" tab.

The large bar could turn into the minimal bar after a timeout, after restart etc.
isn't this in contrast with  issue 36085  ??
Hm, just to contribute to confusion :).

Adding an option to hide after some time regardless of all downloads being completed or not would be a good option. 

Sometimes when downloading big files you manually hide downloads bar/panel. Downloading another small file would show downloads panel again and it wouldn't disappear until the big download is completed.
I know there are a lot of different opinions about whether this should auto-hide or what, but the things that are just glaringly missing for me are:
* a "hide" or "close" button on the bar itself. Don't make me view all, clear, and close that tab
* a hot key for closing the bar
* an extension hook for closing the bar, so auto-hide extensions can make everybody happy that wants that functionality. 

Comment 54 by, Aug 22 2010

As said in comment 11, there definitely needs to be a never option for the download shelf. I was going to open a new issue to request an option to disable the shelf, but a never-show option fits well with this issue.

The shelf is annoying because every time you download a file, it sucks up CPU cycles to do a bunch of calculations and drawings for the shelf. That means that if you are on a page with a bunch of links to a bunch of (even small) files, and you download each of them, there is an horribly irritating delay after each one because the shelf has to update each time (it’s like Chromium freezes for two to three seconds). Allowing the user to disable the shelf altogether would fix this.

Comment 55 by, Aug 26 2010

Status: Started
Suggestion: It should only dismiss after the time interval providing that the mouse pointer is not over the download bar. If the mouse pointer is over the download bar, it should dismiss immediately after the pointer is moved/an option is clicked.
The following revision refers to this bug: 

r57541 | | 2010-08-26 10:17:51 -0700 (Thu, 26 Aug 2010) | 8 lines
Changed paths:

Makes the download shelf auto-close after the user opens all downloads
and moves mouse off the shelf.

BUG= 27797 
TEST=on windows download an item, open it, move the mouse off the
download shelf and make sure it closes.

Review URL:

Comment 58 by, Aug 26 2010

"Makes the download shelf auto-close after the user opens all downloads
and moves mouse off the shelf."

Will auto-closing the download shelf without having to open any items be considered? Such as after however many seconds it auto-closes without having to open an item. Having to open stuff just to let the download shelf auto-close.. might as well just continue clicking the close button every 40 seconds throughout the day.

Comment 59 by, Aug 26 2010

"Will auto-closing the download shelf without having to open any items be considered? Such as after however many seconds it auto-closes without having to open an item. Having to open stuff just to let the download shelf auto-close.. might as well just continue clicking the close button every 40 seconds throughout the day."

That case is problematic:
. start a download, go grab a burger, come back and no shelf.
. start a download, go to another app to do something else, come back to chrome and no shelf.

I don't see us auto-closing after a delay.
For the record, while I'd only be satisfied with with closing after a delay and offering automatic clearing of download history on exit, it doesn't really matter to me anymore.

After many straws on the camel's back (find via /, http://-hiding, download shelf, etc.), I just spent two days tweaking Firefox to look and feel close enough to a version of Chrome with NoScript, proper ad-blocking, and the Download Statusbar extension to satisfy me.

That is absolutely true, it is not really friendly to close after timer.
But there are two ways to solve that:
1. Give an API hook for extensions to hide download bar whenever it wants. We could write an extension and be happy with it.
2. After 30s of starting a download, collapse the download bar to a very small line of text, similar to "Waiting for", saying "Downloading 3 items..." and, later "2 items downloaded."

Comment 62 by, Aug 26 2010

@sky: I do ctrl-J, and there's all my downloads. I open my downloads directory, there's my files if they completed. 

I don't see a problem with this behaviour. We're saying it should be user-switchable, personally I think auto-hide should be the default behaviour but if this would cause confusion, release as an option and then monitor stats for user preferences!

Comment 63 by, Aug 26 2010

. start a download, go grab a burger, come back and no shelf.
. start a download, go to another app to do something else, come back to chrome and no shelf.

- Menu->Downloads (CTRL-J)
- Open download folder

IMO there should be a preference setting for this.  See this Firefox extension for example:

Something like a (unchecked by default) setting for "autohide download shelf" and input box for the delay in seconds.

Common scenario (for me).  Hunt down some images and download via Chrome.  Open them in GIMP, edit and save.  GIMP is not my default image viewer (nor should it be), so I must close the download shelf manually (or re-open each image, which would be even more clicking).  So, auto-hiding once opening the file(s) does not help much here, if at all.  This is just one case, but consider the number of file types in existence and whether or not using the default file handler covers a high enough percentage of use cases.  IMO, it does not.
If the user has chosen it to close after timer, then that is the correct behavior (even if it's not the default).  

To not allow the user to make that choice is really undermining their experience, as has been pretty thoroughly discussed in this thread. 
I'm not entirely sure why we're struggling to reinvent the wheel here--most other browsers offer you some kind of options when it comes to the download box/bar--you either get an option on the object that allows you to hide until you change it, or you have a set of options in some sort of preferences section.  I know Chrome is trying to distinguish itself, but do all of its components have to be so different?  Can we not have some basic, common sense features?  All cars have glove boxes, cup holders, and center consoles because they're useful things to have--the configurations and sizes may differ, but they're standard features.
Something in preferences or a check box.  Just any options at all.

Comment 66 by, Aug 26 2010

Allow extensions to change this behavior is a good idea.  Bug 12133  covers this (among other things).
@blairmcitron One of Chrome's design philosophies is simplicity, which means keeping options to a minimal and choosing smart defaults. They don't want to overwhelm users with a bunch of options. Visit Opera's options menu and you'll see why.

Comment 68 by, Aug 26 2010

@GraemeErickson: doesn't usability trump simplicity?

Anyway, if the shelf gets exposed to extensions the problem will be solved to everyone's satisfaction one way or another.

Comment 69 by, Aug 26 2010

I do the same thing and honestly would love a way to get rid of the download shelf entirely with extensions. It aggravates me much, much more than it should on a day to day basis. If extension api gave us the ability to disable the download shelf that would probably be the happiest ending to this. I prefer using ctrl+J to view downloads when I actually care about them.
@cr33dog Despite the absurdly over-exaggerated responses/whining in this thread, it really isn't that big of a usability issue. Having to click an "x" is not the end of the world, and the fact that it drives someone to Firefox just says something about that person. I doubt it would drive more than a couple people away from Chrome. Yes, 143 people have starred this issue, but I think it's probably more of a nice-to-have feature than a serious usability bug. Anyway, sorry for the noise everyone, this will be my last comment.

Comment 71 by, Aug 26 2010

Many people have voiced they would like something done on the google chrome support forums.
"I agree, Chrome should have a function to auto-close the download bar and one to fully disable it.
730 of 746 people found this answer helpful."
maybe something more subtle would be suitable like when crtl/cmnd + f is pressed a small drop down appears on the top right when a download is initiated a small drop down could appear on the top right and start to fade unless the mouse is kept on it and once the download is done there could be an animation od some sort like the animation of the down arrow when the download is initiated or something could appear to click on to launch the file
Requiring the user to click "x" dozens or hundreds of times a day, at the cost of a significant chunk of screen real estate, does not strike me as a minor issue.  Listening to the feedback of users, here and on other forums, is simply essential for good design. 
Please give us an option to hide the download bar. Thank you so much.
@74: You are wasting your time. Sky is not listening to user demand or needs. Only what he want. Google used to have a motto, but I have forgot that it is.

Comment 76 by, Sep 1 2010

You're all arguing wrong.

Comment 77 by, Sep 1 2010

@75 - if sky has agreed to expose the shelf to extension writers (see #66), then I think that qualifies as listening to our needs.

@74 - the best thing you can do is star the issue and wait.  The "me too" comments are not particularly helpful.  Ask others to star the issue as well.
@77: The bug have 147 people already, which is an exceeding large number. I can't recall seeing any bug with that many subscribers.

You can wait all that you want, and get others to star the bug. It doesn't matter. Sky doesn't care whatsoever to users or demand.

The required code to implement Sky's way have already been merged.

We are all wasting out time here.

Comment 79 by, Sep 1 2010

@78 (littlesandra88) - You need to be a little bit more resourceful. Yes, this has been dragging on for a while, but it is finally seeing movement as of recently. This isn't the time to complain. That time has passed.

This was recently posted on a forum related to this problem ( ) :

Blair (Googler) has posted an answer to the question "Removing the download bar?":

Hey everybody,

We're working on adding this feature. You can follow our progress by starring the issue here. 


So, the need for patience is coming to an end. Relax.

Thanks for the update blair!
A simple pulldown: when done (pick one) open file, open containing folder, do nothing, show alert
@iambob: Hey, that's fantastic! Except the link you gave just linked back to this very bug. So no, they're not working on "autohide", they're working on "autohide after opening every download" which is different.

Plus, this is not the only issue that the Chrome team has ignored the user's demands. There are many other issues where they have done the exact same thing. It's a pattern. I agree with littlesandra88: we are wasting our time. They're not going to listen.

If you want a browser that does whatever you want... Chrome isn't it. Firefox is, and probably always will be. Chrome is about "minimalism" which basically means doing what they want, leaving out important features, then claiming it makes the browser better, despite the public outcry.
hehe yeah make it more like firefox, I want it to run real slow and have a
small viewing window. I like my web browsers bloated and confining...

Comment 84 by, Sep 1 2010

"Bloated" is exactly the word for the download bar, which takes up far more room than a menu bar would have. 
how big is your window when you have the download bar on?

Comment 86 by, Sep 1 2010

@82 (pcxunlimited) - They're making it so that Chrome Extensions will have full control over the download shelf. Once this is implemented, this means that there will be several different options for the look of the shelf and how it behaves.

This issue hasn't been "ignored" so much as there hasn't been a clear consensus about which solution will make everyone happy. tip: No solution will make *everyone* happy. Everyone wants something different. So, by making it controllable through extensions, everyone will be able to pick their own solution.

The funny thing is... you talk about the fact that they are "ignoring the users"... they're just overwhelmed with the sheer amount of requests when compared to the number of developers working on the project. It's open source. Join in as a developer and fix the stuff you don't like. If you're not a developer, now's a great time to start self-learning.
@iambob: Fair enough. However, I was referring to issues where they closed the bug as WontFix, and said they would never implement it. I do hope that extensions will be able to control the download shelf at some point in the future. Until then, we users will just need to wait.

Either way, my point still stands: whining in this bug and begging the Chrome team to implement it is a waste of time. They made their choice. The only way we'll get what we want is when extension support is added. Then we can add this feature ourselves.

Comment 88 by, Sep 1 2010

@87 (pcxunlimited) - I agree with you that whining and complaining in regards to a bug is a waste of time. I don't think it's because the Chrome team doesn't "care", it's just because they are engineers. Engineers can't quantify opinionated discussions, but they can count and sort stars.

So, it still stands... star the issues that are important to you, then wait. You won't get everything you want, but if enough people follow this simple rule, it will drive the development team's priority list.

Comment 89 by, Sep 1 2010

Labels: Restrict-AddIssueComment-Commit
I'm restricting comments to this bug as I believe we've gotten a pretty representative set of comments now.
Labels: -Mstone-7 Mstone-8
Bulk moving to mstone 8, at this point work on m7 should effectively be closed.  If something in this bulk edit is not actively being worked on, please change the mstone to m9.
Labels: -Mstone-8 Mstone-9
Since we are passed the branch, moving all mstone-8 issues to mstone-9 for triage/punting
Labels: Mstone-10
Moving all P2 bugs w/ owners into Mstone-10.  I'll leave this to the owners discretion if they want to move the work back into M9, however, my caveat would be that the priority should be on completing P0/P1 bugs in the span of the next few weeks.

Comment 93 by, Jan 25 2011

Labels: -OS-All -Mstone-10 OS-Linux OS-Mac
Status: Available
The windows side now does auto-hiding. That leaves the mac/linux sides.
Status: Assigned
taking for linux
 Issue 71301  has been merged into this issue.
A quick update on the status of this bug based on offline conversation with the UI leads and others:
* The current behavior is probably not the final resolution of this bug.  We're considering a couple of different options (including writing an extensions API to let people choose their own particular behavior through extension install and a more general rethink of the Download UI) long term.
* To give some control over behavior, as well as signal that this is an experimental feature we're gathering input on, we're going to move this feature behind a flag in about:flags.  So if you've come to like download auto-hide, and it suddenly stops working on a Chrome update, check about:flags.

Randy - FWIW I chatted a bunch with Glen and others about this a while back and our idea at the time was that:
  * Once the shelf was closed, anything on it would disappear from it (i.e. not appear next time it opened).
  * Once a shelf item was opened (manually by clicking it or via auto-open), it would disappear from the shelf.
  * Once an open shelf was empty, it would immediately hide.

This is not too far from what we had implemented today.  I haven't managed to get to actually implementing it yet, but you might want to keep that stuff in mind as a possible behavior target.
Status: Available
Available for about:flags implementation and mac work.

I implemented the auto-hide behavior as of September in r69718.  If the expected behavior hasn't changed since then, then this should be done on Mac.
re pkasting comment 98: Isn't what you describe implemented already?

(I guess "not too far from what we had implemented today" matches "exactly the same as what we have right now" ;-) )
To amplify comment 97: For right now, we're going to finish implementing auto-hide (i.e. implement on mac) but put it behind a flag in about:flags.  Long-term we're going to implement an extensions API for downloads to give people more control over the shelf behavior.

@101: I confess, I don't know exactly what the current behavior is.  At the time I posited that behavior it wasn't quite what we were already doing.  From some brief testing now, it seems like Windows is behaving that way, though I didn't check all the edge cases.
@100: Whoops, missed that.  Then the only thing that needs to be done is to put it all behind about:flags.  


Labels: -DesignDocNeeded bulkmove Action-DesignDocNeeded
Chrome Version       :

Hi, Mohamed Mansour suggested people head here for feature requests, this is 
After checking out the chrome support forum, I noticed myself and a few other 
would love an auto hide feature on the download bar at the bottom of chrome. 
I was thinking maybe put it on a timer. For example:

I download a file, the bar pops up as usual for the dl, when the file is 
finished, I have a 5 second opportunity to click the dl to run it. If after 
that five seconds I haven't clicked the dl, the bar hides itself.

Comment 106 by, Mar 24 2011

Labels: Hotlist-ConOps
Labels: -OS-Linux
Labels: -OS-Mac OS-All
Status: Fixed
I do believe that this was fixed on Mac as well.
For everyone who has starred this bug:  Please note that the behavioral change being tracked here is the download shelf automatically hiding *after user interaction*.  If that is not quite the behavior you want,  issue 89922  might be of interest to you.
Project Member

Comment 111 by, Mar 9 2013

Blocking: -chromium:68206
Labels: -Action-DesignDocNeeded Needs-DesignDoc
Project Member

Comment 112 by, Mar 11 2013

Labels: -Feature-Downloads -Area-UI Cr-UI-Browser-Downloads Cr-UI
Showing comments 13 - 112 of 112 Older

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