Mozilla Firefox

Best Mozilla Firefox about:config tweaks

All these tweaks are my personal choices. For a complete list of Mozilla preferences check the References section at the bottom of this page.

Important tips

  • To get a list of “about” pages for your convenience you should type about:about in your Mozilla browser url bar.
  • In order to be able to edit the next settings we shall enter the url about:config in the application’s url bar, promise that we’ll be careful and search for the preference that we want to tweak.
  • To change the value of the selected preference double click on it either to alter from true to false or to change its (integer or string) value using the pop up dialog box.
  • To get a list of the modified preferences you should click on the list’s column header name Status.

Suggested Firefox tweaks

  1. Configure the Backspace button
    Determines the behavior of the backspace key
    Preference name: browser.backspace_action
    Default value:
    2 – Simply unmap the backspace key
    Personal choice:
    0 – Go back a page in the session history and [Shift]+[Backspace] will go forward
    Other value(s):
    1 – Scroll up a page in the current document and [Shift]+[Backspace] will scroll down
  2. Close buttons on tabs
    This preference controls how close buttons can be displayed on tabs.
    Preference name: browser.tabs.closeButtons
    Default value:
    1 – Display close buttons on all tabs
    Personal choice:
    0 – Display a close button on the active tab only
    Other value(s):
    2 – Don’t display any close buttons
    3 – Display a single close button at the end of the tab strip (Firefox 1.x behavior)
  3. Close window with the last tab
    This preference controls whether closing the last tab, closes the window
    Preference name: browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab
    Default value:
    true – Close window when closing last tab
    Personal choice:
    false – Do not close the window when closing last tab
  4. Ctrl+Tab combo behavior
    This preference controls the tab preview mode that can be accessed with the ctrl+tab key combo
    Preference name: browser.ctrlTab.previews
    Default value:
    false – Switch from tab to tab rendering the page with each tap
    Personal choice:
    true – Show a row of tab thumbnails that you can tap through
  5. Url bar trim the url
    This preference controls whether the protocol http and the trailing slash behind domain name (if the open page is exactly the domain name) are hidden.
    Preference name: browser.urlbar.trimURLs
    Default value:
    true – If the active url is exactly the domain name, the trailing slash (/) behind the top level domain will be hidden. If the address starts with http:// and neither starts with a ftp subdomain nor contains @ (usually for ftp login information), the http:// prefix will be hidden.
    Personal choice:
    false – All parts of the url are shown
  6. Where to open Search Bar results
    This preference controls whether the Search Bar open the results in a new tab or in the current tab/window.
    Preference name: browser.search.openintab
    Default value:
    false – Open search results in the current tab/window
    Personal choice:
    true – When performing a search from the Search Bar, open the results in a new tab
  7. Control the spellchecker
    This preference allows the spell check function to be enabled or disabled for multi-line and/or single-line edit controls, and supersedes the layout.textarea.spellcheckDefault preference.
    Preference name: layout.spellcheckDefault
    Default value:
    1 – Enable spellchecker for multi-line controls (e.g., )
    Personal choice:
    2 – Enable spellchecker for multi-line controls and single-line controls
    Other value(s):
    0 – Disable spellchecker
  8. The spellchecker underline style
    This preference might has to be set by the user following these steps.

    1. Open a new tab/page and enter the url about:config
    2. Right-click on an empty space of the list and select New > Integer
    3. Enter the preference name ui.SpellCheckerUnderlineStyle
    4. Choose and enter an Integer value from the following values

    Default value:
    5 – Wavy Line
    Personal choice:
    1 – Single dotted line
    Other value(s):
    0 – No highlighting
    2 – Long dots
    3 – Single straight line
    4 – Double straight line

  9. Speed up by disabling browser tab animation
    This preference controls whether the browser shows or not an animation while opening new tabs or closing existing ones.
    Preference name: browser.tabs.animate
    Default value:
    true – Show a nice animation while opening new tabs or closing existing ones
    Personal choice:
    false – Do not show the animation and now tabs opens or closes instantly without any delay caused by animation
  10. In-content preferences
    This preference controls whether the firefox preferences window will open in a new tab or a dialog box.
    Preference name: browser.preferences.inContent
    Default value:
    false – Display the Firefox Preferences dialog box
    Personal choice:
    true – Opens the Firefox Preferences in a new tab
  11. Control Rows and Columns in Firefox’s New Tab Page
    These preferences control the number of rows and columns that firefox shows in the new tab page.
    Preference name: browser.newtabpage.rows
    Preference name: browser.newtabpage.columns
    Default value:
    3 rows ✕ 3 columns
    Personal choice:
    3 rows ✕ 4 columns
  12. Single click to select the entire URL in the Location Bar
    This preference controls whether or not a single click selects the entire URL in the Location Bar.
    Preference name: browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll
    Default value:
    false – (default in Unix builds): Do not select the contents of the address bar when it is clicked
    Personal choice:
    true – (default in non-Unix builds): Select the contents of the address bar when it is clicked
  13. Browser safebrowsing
    This preference determines whether or not the Safe Browsing functionality is active.
    Preference name: browser.safebrowsing.enabled
    Default value:
    true – Compare visited URLs against a blacklist or submit URLs to a third party to determine whether a site is legitimate
    Personal choice:
    false – Disable Safe Browsing
  14. HTTP pipelining
    Pipelining reduces network load and can reduce page loading times over high-latency connections, but not all servers support it. This preference determines whether or not the use of pipelining in HTTP 1.1 connections is enabled.
    Preference name: network.http.pipelining
    Preference name: network.http.proxy.pipelining
    This preference has an effect only if you are using a proxy.
    Default value:
    false – Never use pipelining
    false – Never use pipelining
    Personal choice:
    true – Attempt to use pipelining in HTTP 1.1 connections
    true – Attempt to use pipelining in HTTP 1.1 connections to the proxy server
  15. Speculative HTTP Parsing

    This setting I’ve had no end of annoyance finding documentation for. I found I got a considerable performance boost with ATS by disabling this feature.

    Preference name: network.http.speculative-parallel-limit
    Default value:
    6 – …
    Personal choice:
    0 – Disable Speculative HTTP Parsing



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