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:

   Cu.import("resource:///modules/NewTabURL.jsm");

with this one:

   Components.utils.import("resource:///modules/NewTabURL.jsm");


(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.
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.

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djinncoyote

September 2017

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