Startup, home page, tabs, and download settings

(Redirected from Options window - General panel)

This article describes the settings that are available in the General panel of the Firefox OptionsPreferences page.

The General panel allows you to:

  • Set Firefox to check if it is your default browser at startup and make Firefox the default.
  • Set what page(s) Firefox displays when you start your browser or click the Home icon
  • Set what Firefox should do when downloading files
  • Manage your tabs settings





  • Always check if Firefox is your default browser: Select this setting if you want Firefox to check whether it is the default browser at startup. Making Firefox your default browser will ensure Firefox is used, whenever an application tries to display a web page.


  • Save files to:
    If selected, Firefox will automatically save all downloads to the specified folder (such as the desktop or your downloads folder). To change which folder is used, click Browse…Choose….
  • Always ask me where to save files:
    If selected, Firefox will ask you to select a folder for every download you wish to save.


  • Open new windows in a new tab instead: 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.
  • Warn me when closing multiple tabs: When you close a window with multiple tabs, Firefox will ask you to confirm your choice. This prevents you from accidentally closing the whole window when you intended to only close the current tab. Uncheck this optionpreference to disable this warning and have Firefox automatically close the window.
Note: This setting has no effect on the warning when closing other tabs in a window.
  • Warn me when opening multiple tabs might slow down Firefox: When you open a large number of tabs at once, Firefox will ask you to confirm your choice. This prevents you from accidentally slowing down your system while the pages are loading. Uncheck this optionpreference to disable this warning.
  • Don't load tabs until selected: Firefox will only load the active tab when it starts or restores your previous session. This can make startup much faster if you are restoring many tabs. The other open tabs will be loaded as you click on them.
  • When I 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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