How To Change The New Tab URL In Firefox

It’s pretty easy to do, but I wanted to practice making screencasts so here’s quick video tutorial.

How To Change the Firefox New Tab URL – Step by Step

I’ve been a dedicated Firefox user since the beginning and been pretty happy with it over the years, but there’s always been one small thing that drives me nuts. Why on earth do I need to load an extension to change an option as basic as where I want my new tab page to go?

It’s not just Firefox, Chrome and Opera suffer from this missing option as well. There are plenty of people who have requested this feature, but for some unknown reason it continues to fall on deaf ears. I’m mean, come on guys. Internet Explorer has had this option since tabs were introduced!

Now I know it’s simple enough to just load an extension to fix it and with Chrome that’s really your only option, but I just don’t want yet another add-on to worry about.

Well, Firefox does have a solution even if it is buried deep in the config. It’s actually quite simple once you know where it is.

Yes, you need to be careful because you can blow up your browser by screwing up some of these settings, but if you stick to these steps, you’ll be alright.

1. Open Firefox and go to the address – about:config. Click past the super scary warning message.

firefox about config

Click for larger image

2. Scroll down until you see browser.newtab.url or copy and paste browser.newtab.url into the search box

firefox newtab url changed

Click for larger image

3. Double-click the browser.newtab.url line and  in the box that opens up, enter the url (e.g. http://www.google.com) you want to use.

firefox about newtab

Click for larger image

4. Click OK and that’s it, you’re done!

See, pretty simple right? And if you’re using Firfox sync, I think you’ll only need to do this once as it should copy the setting to all your machines for you, but I need to verify that yet.

Like I said, I don’t know why it’s not an option already. I can’t image that it would be that hard to include it in the settings. Maybe we should all write our congressman to get them to add it as an option! Or not.

If you don’t want to do it this way there are simple plugins like New Tab Homepage or more complex ones like Tab Mix Plus (which does much much more), but for me I just want my new tab to go where I want without adding to the memory footprint of my browser.

Leave a comment if you have any questions and if any one knows a similar way to do this in Chrome, let me know!