Downloads icon which appears in the toolbar till Firefox 56 (Australis UI), is to disappear and won’t be shown by default in toolbar in Firefox  57, which ships with Photon UI. This has been done according to photon design.

The downloads icon appears in the toolbar only when you download something and it lasts for that session only and doesn’t show up next time in the toolbar in the next session when you relaunch  the browser.

Firefox 57 doesn’t show Photon Downloads button in the toolbar by default

Though Photon Library panel, which not yet completed is to provide access to previous downloads (check the below screenshot).

 

A bug has been filed by a user to ‘reconsider proving back option to show permanently ‘downloads’ button and make it movable again in this mode’.

With this change, users not only lost quick access to download button, but also the ability to check downloaded items in the library as well, though, it will be available to access in library menu in the future when Mozilla completes the work on Library panel.

So what Mozilla needs to do to satisfy the user even if they don’t show Downloads button in toolbar is at least they’ve to provide Downloads button it in the customize dialog, so the users can move the button to location bar or overflow menu and use.

Firefox will only show the downloads button when necessary

Firefox team’s reason for hiding downloads button is pretty clear:  they want to show the downloads button only when necessary.

“showing the Recent Downloads icon only when needed is an important aspect of the Photon design. We’re doing this for a few reasons. One, it clears up unnecessary clutter in the toolbar, to help the user stay focused on what’s relevant at the moment.”

“Two, it removes the potential of a user accidentally hiding an important feature via the customize menu. Three, we’re solving the access to Previous Downloads with the Library, so there’s no need to leave a vestigial tool around because it has a backdoor to that information.”

FYI, Chrome browser also doesn’t show downloads shelf by default at the bottom.

Auto-hide/Close Chrome’s Download Bar when Downloads are Complete

UPDATE: Downloads button now available in customize window, go drag and drop it onto the toolbar. But by default it was auto-hidden.