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How to open new window or tab with empty page

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Hello volunteers, my sympathies with your task of dealing with the likes of me.

How can one set new Firefox windows or tabs to open with a blank, instead of home page, or large colorful tiles of suggested thumbnails? If my memory hasn't gone, this used to be possible, even the default! I'd prefer not to make about:blank my homepage, but that is my current solution.

I noticed this problem several Firefox versions ago, but only recently got really fed up.

This question is operating system and device independent, but important for slow devices such as, oddly enough, laptops and smartphones on the road, when not getting a strong wireless signal.

Chosen solution

The new tab page has a wheel (or gear, or cog) icon on the right side. If you click that, you have the option not to show the tiles -- in that case, you'll see a page that is blank with just the wheel. But Firefox may still generate a little network traffic behind the scenes.

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All Replies (3)

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With Firefox 41 (and higher), it's no longer possible to customize the page shown in a new tab via changing the preference browser.newtab.url in about.config. Because of the fact that hijackers abused the preference in the past, Mozilla decided to remove it (see bug 1118285). Fortunately, by removing it, Mozilla also introduced a new API to bring this functionality back to life as an add-on. This add-on allows the user to choose a certain page in a new tab.

New Tab Override (browser.newtab.url replacement) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/new-tab-override/

This is also available using Classic Theme Restorer (Customize Australis) {web link} Restore squared tabs, appmenu, add-ons bar, small button view and more on Australis UI (Windows/MacOSX/Linux + Fx 29+).

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Chosen Solution

The new tab page has a wheel (or gear, or cog) icon on the right side. If you click that, you have the option not to show the tiles -- in that case, you'll see a page that is blank with just the wheel. But Firefox may still generate a little network traffic behind the scenes.

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Thank you FredMcD, and jscher2000. The new tab cogwheel solves my problem for tabs. I can live with new windows having different behavior.

Looking into Classic Theme Restorer. This may solve umpteen other little problems which weren't major enough to look into.

Much appreciation for the rapid and helpful responses.