Tab preferences and settings

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This article describes Firefox OptionsPreferencesSettings related to how tabs work.

To review or change tab settings:

  1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and select Preferences. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select OptionsPreferences.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.

  2. Select the General panel and go to the Tabs section.
Tabs89_GeneralFx64TabSettings-MacFx90settingsTabs-WinFx89settingsTabs-Win
  • Ctrl+Tab cycles through tabs in recently used order: Select this optionpreference if you want to use the Ctrl + Tabcontrol + tab keyboard shortcut to switch through open tabs in the order you viewed them rather than in the order they appear in the Firefox window. This is the default setting in new Firefox profiles.
    Note: If you want to use Ctrl + Tabcontrol + tab to switch to the tab next to the current tab and Ctrl + Shift + Tabcontrol + shift + tab to switch to the previous tab, deselect this setting (clear the checkbox).
  • Open links in tabs instead of new windows: This optionpreference controls whether links from other applications or from web pages which request to open them in new windows are opened in a new window or a new tab in the most recent window.
    Note: If you have chosen to open pages in new tabs, Firefox will ignore this optionpreference and will open a new window from a link if the page author specified that the new window should have a specific size, because some pages can only be displayed correctly at a specific size.
  • (If applicable) Warn you when closing multiple tabs: This optionpreference is only shown if you disabled the warning dialog Firefox displays to confirm your choice to close a window with multiple tabs (shown below). Check this optionpreference to re-enable the warning, to prevent accidentally closing the entire window when you only intend to close the current tab.
Fx63CloseMultipleTabs-Warning
fx89-warn-on-close
  • (If applicable) Warn you when opening multiple tabs might slow down Firefox: This optionpreference is only shown if you disabled the warning dialog Firefox displays to confirm your choice to open multiple tabs at once (shown below). Check this optionpreference to re-enable the warning, to prevent accidentally slowing down Firefox while loading a large number of tabs.
Fx63OpenMultipleTabs-SlowDownWarning
fx89-warn-on-open
  • When you open a link, image or media in a new tab, switch to it immediately: When you middle-click on a Web link (or hold down Ctrlcommand while clicking with the left mouse button), the page will be opened in a new tab. That new tab will be in the background (the selected tab will not change). The same thing happens when opening a web link, image or video in a new tab using the context menu. Check this optionpreference to load and display the page in a new foreground tab instead.
  • When you open a link in a new tab, switch to it immediately: When you middle-click on a Web link (or hold down Ctrlcommand while clicking with the left mouse button), the page will be opened in a new tab. That page will not be displayed and will load in a background tab. Check this optionpreference to load and display the page in a new foreground tab instead.
  • Show tab previews in the Windows taskbar: When you move your pointer over the Firefox icon in the Windows taskbar, Windows will show you a preview of the Firefox window. With this option check marked, Windows will show you a separate preview for each tab.

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