Get started with Firefox - An overview of the main features
New to Firefox? Well you’ve come to the right place. This article covers all the basics and will get you up and running in just a few minutes. It also has tons of links to other great articles that you might want to explore later.
Table of Contents
- 1 Browsing the web
- 2 Staying safe
- 3 Customizing Firefox with Add-ons
- 4 Staying in Sync
- 5 Staying up to date
Browsing the web
Setting your home page
Setting your home page in Firefox is easy. Just drag the site's icon to the Home button. For more about your home page and to set what tabs show when you open Firefox, see How to set the home page.
To create a bookmark, click on the star icon in the Location bar. That's it! For more about using bookmarks, including tagging and organizing, see How to use bookmarks to save and organize your favorite websites.
Finding everything with the Awesome Bar
We like to call Firefox’s Location bar the "Awesome Bar" because when you start to type the name or address of a website you’ve been to before, it finds it for you in an instant. And the more you use it, the better it gets. To learn more Awesome Bar tricks, including searching through your open tabs and searching the web, see Awesome Bar - Find your bookmarks, history and tabs when you type in the address bar.
Searching the web
Search the web with your favorite search site in Firefox’s built-in Search bar. Just click the icon on the left to switch search engines. Learn more search tricks with the Search bar - Easily choose your favorite search engine article.
Tabs tabs tabs!
Tabs let you have multiple websites open inside a single window, keeping your screen clutter-free and making it easy to switch between sites.
To make a new tab, click the new tab button (+) on the right side of the last tab.
To learn more about working with tabs, see Use tabs to organize lots of websites in a single window.
Pinned Tabs let you keep your favorite web apps like Facebook, Gmail and Twitter open and just a click away. To create a Pinned Tab, right-clickcontrol-click on the tab and select from the menu. To learn more about how Pinned Tabs work, see Pinned Tabs - keep favorite websites open and just a click away.
Tabs are great and Tab Groups (also known as Panorama) are a great way to keep them organized. With Tab Groups you can visually group related tabs, switch between groups and quickly search through all of your tabs.
To create a tab group, click the all tabs button at the far right end of the tab strip and choose Use Tab Groups to organize a lot of tabs.
Instant website ID check
Firefox has a color-coded system that makes it easy to check on suspicious sites and avoid Web forgeries. Just click the button to the left of a site’s address. A green site identity button indicates that your connection is secure and that the owners of the website are who you would expect them to be. Your bank, for example, should have a green button. See How do I tell if my connection to a website is secure? to learn more.
Tell websites to stop tracking you
Many major websites track their visitors' behavior and then sell or provide that information to other companies such as advertisers. Firefox has a Do-Not-Track feature that lets you tell websites you don't want your browsing behavior tracked. For more information about tracking and how to turn this feature on, see How do I turn on the Do-not-track feature?.
Firefox’s Private Browsing feature allows you to browse the Internet without saving any information to your computer about which sites and pages you’ve visited.
To start Private Browsing, go to the top of the Firefox window, the menu bar, click the button ( menu in Windows XP), and select menu . Read the Private Browsing - Browse the web without saving information about the sites you visit article to learn more.
Customizing Firefox with Add-ons
Add-ons are like apps that you install to add bells & whistles to Firefox. You can get add-ons that compare prices, check the weather, change the look of Firefox, listen to music, or even update your Facebook profile. To learn more about Add-ons and how to install them, see Find and install add-ons to add features to Firefox.
Personas let you easily personalize Firefox's appearance. Try some on at getpersonas.com.
Staying in Sync
Firefox Sync lets you securely access your history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords across all of your devices. See Firefox Sync - Take your bookmarks, tabs and personal information with you to learn more or just go straight to syncing your computers or your Android device.
Staying up to date
Keeping everything up-to-date is an important part of keeping Firefox and your computer running in top shape. And while Firefox is configured to automatically check for updates, you can check to see whether you have the latest version by going to the top of the Firefox windowthe menu bar, click on the menu menu button, go over to the menu and select , and select .
For Windows XP: At the top of the Firefox window, click on the menu and select . For more info, see Update Firefox to the latest version.
Check those plugins
Don’t forget to check to see if your plugins need to be updated. Out-of-date plugins can cause all sorts of problems. Go to Mozilla’s Plugin check page now.
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