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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Remove Addons

So you know about addons aka extensions/themes and tried them. You may have found one you no longer want or need. You can either disable or completely uninstall them easily. Just go to the “Tools” menu and select “Addons”. From there browse to the one you no longer want, click on it and press the “Disable” or “Uninstall” button.

I’ve seen complaints that it doesn’t appear in “Add Programs” on Windows. That’s because it’s not installed on Windows, but in Firefox. Uninstalls are still easy and painless.

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Disable Password Manager

This was obscurely mentioned a few days ago. Some people love the feature, some hate it. Are you someone who doesn’t use the password manager and hates seeing it popup and ask you if you want it to remember your password? If so, you’re in luck. Go into the options menu and select the “Security” tab. Then uncheck the “Remember passwords for sites” checkbox.

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Oops, Wrong Tab

Close a tab by accident? Don’t fret, you can recover. Just go to the History menu and select “Recent Tabs” from there select the tab you wanted. Instant restoration! You should still be careful before closing tabs, just in case. You can also use the key combo: Command-Shift-T.

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Keeping Things Private

Using Firefox on a shared computer such as an office workstation, library, or school computer lab? Don’t want people seeing what you did/saw? That’s a very good idea. When your done browsing the web go to the “Tools” menu and select “Clear Private Data”. Check the data you want to delete and “Clear Private Data Now”. This will ensure the next person doesn’t see your browsing history, or have access to site you forgot to logout. Here’s a list of the options and what they mean in simple terms:

  • Browsing History – The list of sites web pages you visited.
  • Download History – The list of files you downloaded to your computer.
  • Saved Form and Search History – Every time you fill in a form your browser will store some info so that it’s easier to fill in next time (that’s why it can suggest your address when you signup for something). This data in addition to your history of searches.
  • Cache – Temporary files from the web pages you visited stored on your computer. Examples include images in the pages as well as the pages themselves.
  • Cookies – Data used by websites to store info, such as login information or preferences.
  • Saved Passwords – You’ll definitely want to delete these. 😉 Remember you can also disable the password manager.
  • Authenticated Sessions – Certain sites you are currently logged into that use a technique called HTTP Authentication. If in doubt, clear this.

Want to do this every time you close out of your browser? Go to “Tools” and select “Options”. Then click on the “Privacy” icon on the top. Check the “Always clear my private data when I close Firefox” checkbox.

Another option is to use Portable Firefox. This special download is designed to be installed and run from a USB drive. It saves all preferences/settings to your drive, so you take your data with you. This will only work in places where you are allowed to use a USB drive, and can open applications off of one (not every public computer may do so).

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox [Power] Tip: Options Galore

Many users just open Firefox and start browsing the web. What they don’t know is that you have a fair amount of control over your browser. Go into the “Tools? menu and select “Options?. From there you can choose what you want to do tweak. Some that may be of interest are below:

Start Page

What do you want to see when you start Firefox? You can choose what you want by going into Options and selecting the “Main? tab. The top part lets you pick the page you want to see. Could be your employer, favorite search engine, or nothing.

Open in New Tab

Like tabbed browsing? Hate new windows? Go into Options and selecting the “Tabs” tab. Select “a new tab” where asked how new windows should be opened. That will reduce the window clutter on your computer.

Disable Password Manager

Don’t like being asked if Firefox can remember your password? For some users this is a great feature, for some it’s undesired and possibly annoying. Just go into Options and select the “Security” tab. Uncheck “Remember passwords for sites”.

The land of a million prefs

Hungry for more prefs? No problem. In a browser window enter the following URL (and nothing else): “about:config”. You’ll be presented with hundreds of options you can tweak. Warning: this is not for amateur use and could cause problems if handled incorrectly. Make sure you are willing to bail yourself out if you start changing things.

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: What was that website?

Firefox HistoryRemember that website you were at a few days ago? That really interesting one… you know. Forgot? We all do. The internet has many interesting pages. Thankfully that’s not such a big problem. Go to the “History” menu and select “Show in Sidebar”. You’ll see a sidebar show up on the left side of your browser. Just click around to find the site you were at. You can search (somewhat basic, but can be helpful), or view by different criteria (sort by date, site, most visited, last visited). If you surf the web a bit, this list may be a bit large, but after doing this once or twice, you’ll find a strategy that matches your web browsing habits and learn to navigate it quicker and quicker. It’s a very worthwhile tool to master.

If your someone who clears your history periodically this functionality will be limited or not available. That’s obviously a feature not a bug.

Want to remember further back? For the future you can retain more history by going into options and selecting the “Security” tab. Under “History” change the number of days to remember to something more desirable. I’d recommend keeping it under 2 weeks (14 days).

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Full Screen

Doing a presentation and don’t want all those open windows in the background distracting eyes? You can just press F11 on your keyboard to go full screen. You’ll have some compact navigation on the top and nothing else on your display but your browser. And yes, you can still use tabs. This is perfect for situations where you want to be a little more professional.

If you want to go completely full screen, checkout the fuller screen extension. This extension will give you the ability to go full screen with more options including having no obvious signs of a browser interface. Think of it as being like PowerPoint, but with a website. Even more perfect if your the type of person who uses S5 for presentations.

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Where is…?

I know many average users don’t know this, but there is a search feature built into every page on the web. Just hit command “F”, or go to the Edit menu and select “Find”. Enter your term in the bar that appears on the bottom of the screen and press enter. If you select the “Highlight all” option it will even highlight the matching terms for you. Press enter repeatedly to see all the matches on the page. This technique can save you a lot of time by preventing you from needing to scan an entire page for a term. Searching can save you a lot of time by letting you jump to what you want to reach.

You can try it on this page by searching for “testing search”. As you type it in, notice how the browser searches while you enter it. You don’t even need type in the entire word or phrase most of the time.

Find As You Type

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Import Later

Were you someone who just wanted to try Firefox, and ended up keeping it? I know some people decided not to import their IE settings and since regret that because they had bookmarks they wanted to keep. Well don’t worry, you can still import them. Just go to the “File” menu and select “Import…” the wizard will guide you to importing your bookmarks/settings from your old browser into Firefox. It will take under a minute.

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Firefox Tips Mozilla

Firefox Tip: Send To A Friend

I’m pretty sure many ignore this handy feature. Find a page you want to share with a coworker, friend, family member? Simply right click on the page (or go to the “File” menu) and select “Send Link”. Firefox will create a new email with the title of the page you found and include the link in the body. Add your friend(s) email address and send it off. Sharing links is easy.

Send To A Friend