Tutorials in ‘Firefox’ 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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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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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 disable Crash Protection in Firefox 3.6

In Firefox 3.6 and Firefox 4 Mozilla introduced a new feature called Crash Protection. Basically this feature allows Firefox to run plugins like Flash, QuickTime and Silverlight as a separate process allowing Firefox to recover from crashes caused by them. The downside of this is that when some of those plugins crash Firefox freezes for a while, until it recovers from the crash. Some users prefer to have Firefox crash and get over with it than to wait until it recovers. For them we will show how to disable Crash Protection in Firefox 3.6.

First open Firefox 3.6. In the address bar enter about:config:
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Deactivate the Firefox 3.5 Geolocation feature

Many people worry about their privacy because of the new Firefox 3.5 feature called Geolocation. Well turning it off is really easy using a little about:config trick.

How it works: The Geolocation feature determines your location using the Google Locations Services. It uses your IP, information about nearby wireless access points and a client identifier which is assigned by google every two weeks.

First open Firefox. In the address bar enter about:config:
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How to make Firefox 3 use less memory by limiting the pages it stores in the cache

Many users think that Firefox 3 is way too slow and takes up way too much RAM. Well I partially agree with them. Still, there are certain tweaks that may modify the behavior of Firefox so it will use less memory.
For example, Firefox stores a certain number of pages in its memory (therefore in the RAM) to speed up the Back and Forward features. It is possible to modify that number. This may slow the browsing a little bit, but will limit the memory Firefox uses.

First, open Firefox and open a blank tab. Enter about:config in the Address Bar and press Enter:
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How to make Firefox 3 use less memory by decreasing the memory cache capacity

For long years Firefox has been my favorite browser. Fast, reliable, user-friendly. But Firefox 3 was kind of a disappointment. It uses way too much memory, it’s slow and this really gets on my nerves. Nonetheless, it is the best browser in terms of usability, security and tabbed browsing experience. So I decided to try and tweak it a bit. One of the tweaks I managed to come up with was to decrease the memory cache capacity. This means that the cache stored in the memory of Firefox (and therefore in the RAM) will be decreased as well.

Open Firefox and open a blank tab. Enter about:config in the Address Bar and press Enter:
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How to increase Firefox 3 productivity by decreasing the disk cache capacity

There are many ways to tweak Firefox to atune it to your own PC. Here I will show you how to decrease the disk cache capacity. By doing this you will limit the disk space Firefox uses for cached web pages. This way you may experience a little slower browsing, but an overall increase in Firefox performance.

Open Firefox and open a blank tab. Enter about:config in the Address Bar and press Enter:
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