Firefox – about:config? WTF!!

By on

Every singe function that Firefox does, including the "Awesome Bar", is controlled by a simple phrase that is to be typed into the address bar – about:config. While there are many reasons that you should not be changing anything on that page; like the application not working or making your entire browsing experience worse. But have no worry, techgeek.com.au is pleased to show you some certain changes that can help you. Here are some of the basics.

If you have your own one, do comment below so we can add it here!

The Awesome Bar

While the Awesome Bar can be useful, it can also be a pain in the arse if you have certain sites that you don’t want people to know. The Awesome Bar compiles a list from what you typed in the address bar, your bookmarks and your history – meaning that whatever site you browsed can reveal a lot of things about you to someone you don’t want them to know.

The first thing is to find what we are looking for. In the filter box, type in this query:

browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped

Now, double click on where it says false. This should now change to true. Second of all, we need to clean out your history to make sure that no one peaks through it. Go to Tools > Clear Private Data (or just hold Ctrl + Shift + Del) and make sure the option of "Browsing History" is checked.

After that, exit out of the browser and relaunch it. You should no longer see your history. However, while bookmarks are still up, you can delete what you typed in the address bar. Just hover your cursor over the link and hit the Delete button. This also works for every single text box and the search box at the top-right hand corner.

Tabs, Tabs and More Tabs

Firefox, like many other browsers, has tabs. However, you can actually control the size of the tabs and where the close button for the tabs should go. Here is how you change the position of where the close button goes. Type in this query in the filter:

browser.tabs.closeButtons

Now double click on the value. Since it uses an integer (a number) to control the setting, this means you need to choose either 0, 1, 2 or 3. Here is what each does:

By making the integer 0, you have put a close button on the active tab (the tab you are currently on). By making the integer 1, you have made the close button appear on all tabs – and this is the default.

By making the integer 2, you have made the close button disappear, requiring you to right click on the tab to close it. This is good if you do not want to lose any of your work. Hint: Another way to close tabs is to hit Ctrl + W.

By making the integer 3, you have put the close button at the end of the tab strip. This makes it behave like Firefox 1. This is great for people who have just transitioned from Firefox 1 to Firefox 2/3 – which is very unlikely, but it could happen.

Changing the Tab Width

You can change the tab width by finding the options of: Browser.tabs.tabMinWidth and Browser.tabs.tabMaxWidth. They do what their name suggests – they control the minimum and maximum width of the tabs. The maximum will only appear if you have two or more tabs that do not meet the total width of the tab strip. The minimum is the size of the tabs when there are too many pixels to fit on the tab strip and requires the need of the arrow buttons.

Changing it is easy; just double click on the value and change the value to a smaller number or a larger number – depending on your screen size.

Close your browser and reopen it, and you will see the changes if you launch a new tab (or many to see the minimum).

If you have any more tips, do comment below. Remember, you can now use your OpenID credentials to fast track the moderation queue.

Thanks for coming onboard!
We're excited to have you.

This form is currently undergoing maintenance. Please try again later.