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Monday, August 27, 2012

Mozilla Firefox 14 : setting for new tab to blank homepage

Mozilla Firefox 14 has a new tab feature which by default shows your most recently visited pages. While this may seem to be a convenient feature, it may be a privacy concern as it shows anyone nearby at a glance what your most frequently visited websites are the moment you try to open a new tab.

Actually this "feature" has been implemened since Firefox 13.0 and Firefox 14.0 has just carried on with this setting. There is currently no easily-accessible user interface setting to change that. In order to set your new tab homepage to say a blank page, you need to do the following :


  1. In Firefox, enter about:config in the address bar.
  2. Simply click through when asked about "This might void your warranty". No worries about that screen, it's a joke. Firefox is a free software so you don't get any kind of warranty actually.
  3. Search for the newtab setting by simply typing "newtab" in the search box (as shown in the screenshot above).
  4. Double-click on the setting browser.newtab.url and set it to about:blank which gives you a blank page if that's what you want.
  5. Optionally, you can set this to any other homepage you like.
 While we are here, there is another setting that you might want to change. Similar to the newtab "feature", since Firefox 13, and now also in Firefox 14, the smooth-scrolling setting has been enabled by default. To turn it off, do the following :


  1. In Firefox, enter about:config in the address bar (or remain in the config page if you're already there).
  2. Search for the smooth-scroll setting by simply typing "smoothscroll" in the search box (as shown in the screenshot above).
  3. Double-click on the setting general.smoothScroll to set it to false.

Hope this helps.

(Update : this works for later Firefox versions as well, so far it's worked fine with Firefox 15 and Firefox 16).

See also :

1. How to fix color management problems in Mozilla Firefox

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