Tutorials in ‘Browsers’ Category

Enable URL autofill in Firefox

A little thing that bugs me about Firefox is that when you start typing an URL in the address bar there is no autofill:

However, Mozilla have again predicted that I and other people will whine about that and have actually added this feature, but have disabled it by default. In this short tutorial we will show you how to enable it.
First, open Firefox:

In the address bar enter about:config:

Hit Enter. Firefox will warn you to be careful, as you are about to open the configurations to your browser:

Click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button. The configuration page will open:

In the Filter textbox enter autofill:

Here you can see the browser.urlbar.autoFill setting. It has the value false. Simply double-click on the row it is to change it to true:

Close the window and try to type an address in the address bar:

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How to forbid downloading files with Internet Explorer

Assuming that if a user of a given machine has chosen Internet Explorer as his/her browser, one can conclude that the user is not quite aware of hat he/she is doing. So just to be safe, it may be a good way to prevent the user from downloading any files from Internet if he/she is using IE.
Naturally, to force such a strange behavior we will use a good old registry tweak. First, we will open the Registry. Open the Start menu and enter regedit in the start menu searchbox:

and hit Enter. The Registry Editor will open:

Using the left-hand pane, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3:

Note: The next step is optional as the value 1803 may already exist.
On the right-hand pane click anywhere except the Name column and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value:

Name the new value 1803:

Double-click on it and a window will open. Enter 0 in the Value data textbox:

Click OK and close the Registry Editor. To revert to your old settings simply delete the value 1803.
Note: This trick works for IE 6 through 9.

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Disable favicons in Firefox

Favicons are the little icons that appear on each tab in your browser. Although they can help you find which site you have opened in a given tab, when you have a lot of tabs opened, they can really, really annoy you if the site designers have decided that a blinking favicon is the way to go. That is why, Firefox allows users to disable favicons in a rather easy way.

Open Firefox and enter about:config in the address bar. Firefox will warn you that you can really mess things up if you are not careful.

Click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button and the configurations will open:

In the Filter textbox enter browser.chrome.favicons:

Double click on the browser.chrome.favicons preference to set its value to false:

Do absolutely the same for the browser.chrome.site_icons preference:

Restart Firefox and you are done.

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Set different download locations for different filetypes using Opera

There is one thing about most browsers that really annoys me. It’s related to the download location. First of all it can take you half an hour to find how to change the default download location and after you find it you realize that you can setup only one download location for all types of files. Now this may seem a bit nitpicky, but when you download a lot files you certainly expect a little more sophisticated behavior from your browser. Of course you could always use a download client, but considering how advanced are our browsers it is kind of ridiculous to use such a client nowadays.

Introducing Opera’s download settings – a browser that lets users set their default download location for each filetype. In this short tutorial we will show you how to do just that.

First of all open Opera, click on the Opera button select Settings > Preferences:

Note: Alternatively, you can use Ctrl + F12.

A new window will open:

Navigate to the Advanced tab:

Select Downloads in the left-hand pane:

Here you can see a list of recognized files (listed with their MIME types) and the default download folder. However you can easily set a folder of your choice. Select a file type and click the Edit button. A new window will open:

Here you can directly choose the appropriate behavior for that file, including whether to be saved, opened with Opera, opened with a plug-in, opened with an application of your choice or saved to a specific location. To set a specific location for this kind of file, simply select the Save to disk radio button, check the Do not ask for folder, but save directly to option and choose the appropriate directory:

Click OK and click OK in the Preferences window.

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Enable on-demand tab loading in Firefox 8

Modern day websites and browsers are not very friendly to slow computers with little memory. However this is “by default”. There are a lot of fine tunings that you can make to a browser, which will improve its performance and your overall experience. One common source of badly utilized memory is all those tabs that you keep open from previous sessions instead of bookmarking them as Read later. But, Firefox 8 provides a mechanism for tackling exactly those tabs. Instead of loading them on startup, you can set Firefox to load them on-demand, that is, when you first click on them. In this short tutorial we will show you how to enable this feature in Firefox 8.

Open Firefox, click the Firefox button and select Options:

A new window will open:

Select the General tab:

In the When Firefox starts dropdown menu select Show my windows and tabs from last time. Also, enable the Don’t load tabs until selected option:

Click OK. Next time you reopen Firefox your tabs will not be preloaded.

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How to change the number of suggestions in Firefox address bar

One thing I love about Firefox is the ability to tweak almost every aspect of your browsing experience. Another thing I love about Firefox is that once a tweak is discovered it remains valid in all the later versions. This little tweak I’m about to show you, I discovered in Firefox 3 and remains valid till this very day – Firefox 8.

So basically we will see how we can change the number of suggestions in the Firefox address bar:

And of course as a first step, type about:config in the address bar and press Enter:

Press I’ll be careful, I promise! and you will be redirected to a list of configurations:

In the Filter textbox enter browser.urlbar.maxRichResults

Double click on browser.urlbar.maxRichResults and you will be prompted to enter a new value (default is 12). Enter the new value:

And press OK. Close the about:config tab and you are done. You don’t even need to restart Firefox:

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Customize the Google country-specific search in Firefox

Perhaps you have noticed that by default google.com redirects you to a country-specific version of google based on your IP. This is extremely noticeable when you are travelling or using a proxy. We will see two solutions to the problem.

The first solution is to type http://www.google.com/ncr in your address bar. This sets a cookie in your browser, which on the other hand tells google not to redirect you. This solution however is not the best, since you completely disable the country-specific search and if you delete your browser cookies you will have to repeat the procedure.

Note: This solution is not Firefox-specific and can be implemented with every browser.

The second solution is a bit more elegant, as it allows you to use multiple country-specific versions of google search, it is not cookie based and it doesn’t change the default behavior of google.com.

The second solution utilizes the Firefox search bar:

By default all searches made from the search bar use google.com, however it can be extended to support multiple country-specific google flavors. Let’s show how we can modify it to use google.de as well.

Of course you may ask “What is the point of that? I can always type google.de in my browser”. True, but by extending the search bar, you can finally have a uniform way for doing searches, which makes searches a lot easier.

But let’s see how we can extend the Firefox search bar. Navigate to the searchplugins subdirectory of the Firefox directory (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins). You can see several xml files there:

Copy the google.xml file to google.de.xml. Move google.de.xml to the Firefox profile folder\searchplugins (C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<your Firefox profile name>\searchplugins on Windows 7)

Now change google.de.xml in such way.

Old:

New:

You can see that we have changed the ShortName, the template argument of the second URL tag and the SearchForm.

Restart Firefox and now you can see Google.DE in your search options:

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How to set the download location in Google Chrome

All files downloaded through Google Chrome are placed in a default folder on your PC. However you can modify this so that the files you download are stored in a different location. We will show you how to do just that in a few simple steps. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to import data from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome

There is one downside to picking a browser – you have to pick it very, very carefully. Cause most of the times when you decide “This browser sucks! I’m changing it!” you come to the realization that you will lose all your bookmarks, stored passwords, browsing history, etc. Well actually it depends. There are many tricks to export your personal data from one browser to another. In this short tutorial we will show you a quick and easy way to import all your personal data from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to import data from Firefox to Google Chrome

If you have ever switched browsers before you probably know that it is tedious for two reasons. First, the navigation, shortcut keys, behavior, etc. is different. And second, your history, bookmarks, saved passwords are pretty much lost. Well… not exactly. If you are switching from Firefox to Google Chrome you are in luck because exporting data between Firefox and Chrome is a matter of a few clicks. Read the rest of this entry »

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