Up until about 2 years ago, it was possible to override the page displayed for new tabs in Firefox by means of the "browser.newtab.url" property in about:config.

Starting with Firefox v.41, that functionality was removed due to it frequently being abused by malware. You could, however, still use add-ons such as New Tab Override for configuring what page to display on new tabs.

Now that Firefox is switching to using WebExtensions, apparently it will no longer be possible (as of FF v.57) for an add-on to directly load a local file when new tabs are opened, unless the file is first copied into the add-on's local storage area (which is located under the "browser-extension-data" folder in your Firefox profile). That is the approach taken by the above add-on's author when they updated it to work with WebExtensions. This has a drawback, however, in that if you update the local file, you also have to reload it into the add-on's local storage area via the add-on options. (Maybe this will be improved in future versions of Firefox, but I don't know.)

I did find an alternate solution, however, on the Mozilla Support forum. User "cor-el" shows how you can override the new tab URL by creating 2 files under your Firefox install folder. If you use the exact code listed on that page, you'll get an error that the file cannot be loaded. To avoid that, replace this line:


with this one:


(I wanted to post a comment to that effect on the above support page, but apparently you can't post a comment without an account, and you can't get an account except by posting a question.)

I don't know if this alternate functionality will eventually be removed too, but it at least it works for now, on Firefox v.55.
When playing a video on the Amazon website in Firefox, the closed captions option was available but not working. Even after turning the option "On", no captions would display. The captions worked ok in other browsers.

I tried running Firefox in safe mode, with all add-ons disabled. That way, the captions also worked. I narrowed it down to a problem with the NoScript add-on. Enabling scripts globally didn't make a difference (I already had Amazon.com whitelisted). To fix the problem, I had to change the XSS settings - in the NoScript settings window, under Advanced - XSS, unselect the checkbox for "Sanitize cross-site suspicious requests".

Rather than turning off XSS protection for all sites, you can instead add a URL pattern to exclude from the protection. I tried this: ^https?://([a-z,-]*)\.amazon\.com/.*
Oddly, using that, the captions still don't display the first time I open the video. But if I close and reopen it, then they do display.
YouTube seems to open most videos in playlist mode nowadays, which causes the next video in the list to automatically start playing after the current one finishes. On each video, you can unselect the autoplay icon in order to turn it off. But that only disables it for the current video.

To disable playlists for all videos, you can install the Firefox "Redirector" add-on, which lets you enter rules for redirecting from one URL to another URL.

Enter a new redirect with these values:
Include Pattern:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=*&list=*
Exclude pattern:
Redirect to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=$1
Pattern Type: wildcard
Enabled: checked
Firefox has a setting: "Options - Content - Colors... - Allow pages to choose their own colors, instead of my selections above". This item is selected by default.

If you unselect this item, this will cause problems with Yahoo's webmail interface:

- The Gear icon will no longer display on the top right corner of the page.
- The Emoticons pop-up window will be blank
- The Paperclip icon or the "Attach from my computer" menu item may not work - the File Upload window never displays. (This happened on one computer but not another, so I'm not completely sure of its cause.)

Internet Explorer has similar display problems, when in Internet Options under "General - Accessibility", you select "Ignore colors specified on webpages". If you happen to select "Ignore font styles specified on webpages", that even causes many of the Yahoo Mail action icons to disappear.
Hide Tab Bar With One Tab - a Firefox add-on that restores the ability to hide the tab bar when only a single page is open in the browser window.

This used to be controllable from within the Firefox options, but the option was removed in one of the recent Firefox updates.

Version 25 of Firefox, named "Australis", is due to bring more UI changes.



September 2017

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