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Get started with Firefox - An overview of the main features

Welcome to Firefox! We'll show you all the basics to get you up and running. When you're ready to go beyond the basics, check out the other links for features you can explore later.

Set or change your home page

Choose the page that opens when you start Firefox or click the Home button.

  1. Open a tab with the webpage you want to use as your home page.
  2. Drag and drop that tab onto the Home button Home Button .
    Home Page 29 - Win8 Home Page 29 - Mac Home Page 29 - Linux
  3. Click Yes to set this as your home page.

More options can be found in the home page article.

Search the web

Pick your favorite search engine with Firefox's built-in Search bar.

  • Just start typing into the search bar and pick the search engine you want.
    quick search win quick search fx34 quick search linux Y

Learn more search tricks with the Search bar article.

Bookmark a website

Save your favorite sites.

  • To create a bookmark, click the star in the toolbar. The star will turn blue and a bookmark for the page you're on will be created in the Unsorted BookmarksOther Bookmarks folder. That's it!
    Bookmark 29 Win Bookmark 29 Mac Bookmark 29 Lin
Tip: Drag a tab directly to your bookmarks toolbar to save it there.

For more information, see the bookmarks article.

Find everything with the Awesome Bar

We like to call Firefox’s address bar the "Awesome Bar" because it quickly finds places you've visited before.

  • Start typing in the address bar and you'll see a list of pages from your browsing history and bookmarks. When you see the page you want, just click on it.
    Bookmark3 29 Win Bookmark3 29 Mac Bookmark3 29 Lin
Tip: You can also do a web search from here. Give it a try.

To learn more tricks, see the Awesome Bar article.

Private Browsing

Firefox’s Private Browsing feature allows you to browse the Internet without saving any information on your computer about which sites and pages you’ve visited.

  • Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click New Private Window.
    private browsing - fx29 - winxp private browsing - fx29 - win8 private browsing - fx29 - mac private browsing button - linux

Learn more about how Private Browsing works.

Customize the menu or the toolbar

You can change the items that appear in the menu or your toolbar.

  1. Click the menu button new fx menu and choose Customize.
    • A special tab will open which allows you to drag and drop items in or out of the menu and the toolbar.
    Customize Fx 29 Win8 Customize Fx 29 Linux
  2. When you are done, click the green Exit Customize button.

Learn more about customizing Firefox.

Add features to Firefox with add-ons

Add-ons are like apps that you can install to make Firefox work the way you want.

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Get Add-ons panel.
  3. To see more information on a Featured Add-on or Theme, click it. You can then click the green Add to Firefox button to install it.
    • You can also search for specific add-ons by using the search box at the top. You can then install any add-ons you find with the Install button.
      Addon1 29 Win Addon2 29 Win Addon1 29 Mac Addon2 29 Mac Addon1 29 Lin Addon2 29 Lin
  4. Firefox will download the requested add-on and may ask you to confirm that you want to install it.
  5. Click Restart Now if it pops up. Your tabs will be saved and restored after the restart.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Get Add-ons panel.
  3. To install a featured add-on, click the grey toggle button, which will turn green. To uninstall an add-on you just installed, click the toggle button again.
    • Fx48-GetAddons Fx48-GetAddons-Linux

At the bottom of the list of featured add-ons, there's a See more add-ons! button you can click. It will take you to addons.mozilla.org where you can search for specific add-ons.

To learn more about add-ons, see Find and install add-ons to add features to Firefox.

Tip: Some add-ons place a button in the toolbar after installation. You can remove those or move them into the menu if you want – see Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars.

Keep your Firefox in sync

Access your bookmarks, history, passwords and more from any device.

  1. First create a Firefox account:
    • Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Sign in to Sync and follow the instructions to create your account.
    Sync 29 Sync in menu Linux
  2. Then just sign in to connect another device.

For detailed instructions, see How do I set up Sync on my computer?

Get help

If you have more questions or ever need help with Firefox, you're on the right website.

  • This site has hundreds of articles that cover nearly every Firefox question you might have.
Get Help

This article, like all Firefox support, is brought to you mostly by volunteers, who keep Mozilla proudly independent and open source. Keep browsing freely!

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Version History
Revision #:
3 of 3
Last update:
3 weeks ago
Updated by:
 
Comments

See /forums/knowledge-base-articles/705042 for related discussions about this article.

Firefox allows you to browse the World Wide Web, a distributed incoherent information system accessible via HTTP and other supported access protocols. Each tab in Firefox displays one hypertext document retrieved from the Web. Apart from reading the content provided, you may also navigate to other documents using hyperlinks and submit your information using forms provided by the publisher.

Revision 16476 was rejected by Verdi with the following comment:

Thanks for working on this but the introduction to web browsing isn't necessary. I think everyone who downloads Firefox understands that it "lets you look at web pages."

Verdi is wrong in assuming that the help page is being read only by users who download Firefox.

  • In my opinion, your proposed intro is way too technical for the average person to understand. This article, as I understand it, is to help new Firefox users get started using features they may be expecting/used to in their former browser.

I think you might be looking for a "What is Firefox" article or "What is a browser". There is a separate article proposal for that at https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/forums/knowledge-base-articles/704909

Verdi said

I think we definitely need something along the lines of "what is a browser" but it maybe doesn't need to be it own article. I would love to see it as a section in a revamped Get started with Firefox - An overview of the main features article that also includes a video introduction to Firefox.

Maybe there is a way to work in a link to this pretty great video that Google put together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrXPcaRlBqo

ig123

I came to this article looking for help with installation of Firefox. The website makes it very easy to find the download, but the download does not include installation instructions making it difficult to use. The README.txt file only has a reference to the website.

Getting Started documentation seemed like a likely place to find out how to download and install (the first steps in getting started from my perspective) but, unfortunately for me, the article assumes Firefox is already installed.

And the support page doesn't have a separate article that covers installation.

Even if installation isn't covered in this article, it would be a significant improvement if it began with links to articles that do cover installation (perhaps separate articles for different operating systems). This is particularly important because neither the download page nor the support page have obvious links to articles covering installation - I looked, maybe I'm blind but I couldn't find such articles, which is why I came to this one.

I would really like to get started.

Thanks for the feedback, that you think that either this article or the Firefox Support Home Page should link to articles that cover installing Firefox.

Links to articles that will help you install Firefox on different operating systems can be found in the Installing Firefox article.

P.S. I see you already made a pending edit to add a section on installing Firefox to this article. I also created a discussion topic here, about adding a link to Installing Firefox to the Template:New to Firefox so that it will be listed under the "New to Firefox?" section of the Firefox Support Home Page.

This article was initially written specifically for people that already had Firefox installed. When they started Firefox we showed them a page with info about Firefox and we told them to go to that article for more. That said, I see your point but I'm not sure we need a section about it. The download page for Firefox - http://mozilla.org/firefox contains platform specific instructions for installation. We also have an Installing Firefox article and I just approved Alice's edit that adds it to the home page in the New to Firefox section. I think that will solve the problem. If we did add something about installing Firefox to the getting started article, I'd do something very brief, like:
(in the intro)
Don't have Firefox yet? Go download and install it!

It isn't in Advanced, it's in Privacy now. Easier to find, but totally different than the video shows. Perhaps in the next couple of versions we should recreate the video to reflect new features and locations for things.

The Do Not Track feature was moved from the Advanced panel to the Privacy panel in Firefox 5, based on the History of How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature?. Most of the screencast still applies so I added this to the "Need changes" list instead of removing the screencast.

Draft of what the video should include:

  1. homepage
  2. bookmarks
  3. search bar
  4. tabs
  5. private browsing
  6. add-ons

suggested maximum length: 2 minutes

A different video for all major platforms

  • windows dekstop
  • mac os
  • mobile

I've been working on a project to improve this page. Before working on anything related to the design, I want to make sure that the content is correct/expected. We were going to do a survey but monitoring the comments since the Firefox 29 release made it clear that there was some basic information that people are missing. So I'm running an English-only content experiment to see if this is sufficient. Please DO NOT make this revision ready for localization.

This article/page with all the flash content (videos) takes about 10-15 seconds from starting to load the page before i can even scroll and use the page.

Which is a shame when its the most visited article.

I dont know if the article need all those videos, i just want to say it makes it quite slow. Dont think i have seen an article on SUMO that loads slower yet.

You're right about the page load time. We're still trying to figure out ways to improve this article since for most new users, it's the entry point to SUMO. It's probably going to have a different format than a typical KB article.

Michael Verdi is leading this project. You can find out more about it here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/User_Education/Get_Started_Page_Improvements and during our weekly community meetings on Mondays at 9 AM PDT.

I'd rather move How to print and Use the zoom controls to make text and images bigger to Browsing and Searching.

Michael Verdi said

I'm running an English-only content experiment to see if this is sufficient. Please DO NOT make this revision ready for localization.

Is this experiment over yet? This article has't been marked ready to localize yet and that revision is from May 30, 2014.

Hi Alice,

Michael said that the experiment is over and that the extra content didn't make a difference. We can revert it back to Tonnes' April 12th edit.

Joni

Joni said

Hi Alice, Michael said that the experiment is over and that the extra content didn't make a difference. We can revert it back to Tonnes' April 12th edit. Joni

Hi, Joni.

Thanks for checking.

I made a new revision to add back some other changes (links based on renamed article, to "Create bookmarks to save your favorite webpages" and removing ShareArticle template).

The article shows "Restart Now" as a button. "Restart Now" can appear as both a link and button.

But if you do a search in the Add-ons tab, you can press the Install buttons and there "Restart Now" will be text link. Not a button.

Maybe the part about searching could be below the other steps as a note maybe. Then the note could say "Restart Now" link.

This article's Search the web section needs to be updated for Firefox 34, to include a new video (or to remove the video for fx34) and new images. Related discussion in the Use the Search bar in Firefox article.

This article's Search the web section was updated for fx34; Thanks to Joni:

Revision id: 85494
Created: Dec 26, 2014 9:29:58 PM
Creator: jsavage
Comment: changed search ui for fx34
Reviewed: Yes
Reviewed: Dec 26, 2014 9:30:56 PM
Reviewed by: jsavage
Is approved? Yes
Is current revision? Yes
Ready for localization: No

Now it needs to be marked RFL.

Marko said

Now it needs to be marked RFL.

I added (ready to localize?) to the thread tile.

I'll leave this up to Joni. There may be some locales that won't see the updates until Firefox 36 (related discussion in the Use the Search bar in Firefox article).

I've marked RFL since we're now on 36 Beta. I've also added a section on Firefox Hello.

This article is going through A/B testing starting next week. Please avoid making changes to the en-us version of this article until testing is complete.

Please see bug 125495 for more information.

Joni said

This article is going through A/B testing starting next week. Please avoid making changes to the en-us version of this article until testing is complete. Please see bug 125495 for more information.

I'm assuming the test is over since the bug was resolved on 03-30-2016 with this comment from Mark Schmidt : Tests have been run- 82% improvement in engagement!

Thanks to Lan (upwinxp) for updating this article today.

Related discussion: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/find-and-install-add-ons-add-features-to-firefox/discuss/6725 [Done] Article needs update for Firefox 48

This is by far our most visited article, so I tried to make it even better by adding pictures for different systems :)

I have made some screenshots, so that all images are now available for Windows and Linux. There are still some Windows images used for Mac, as I can't provide those.

The default search engine on Linux is Yahoo. Can you redo those images with Yahoo instead of Google?

No matter what I do (installing outside Package Manager, creating a new profile ...), Google seems to be default for me. But I can provide a picture with Yahoo.

quick search linux Y