When I change "browser.newtab.url" to about:home and open a new tab, focus is set to the address bar not the search box on the firefox home page. The same thing happens if i change the url to google.com or another search engine. Is there any way to prevent this from happening.
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I don't think that this is possible as I'mseeing the same if I click the new tab button (+) on the tab bar.
If you want to open the about:home Home page in a new tab then you can middle-click the toolbar Home button or create a bookmark on the Bookmarks Toolbar with the location set to about:home and middle-click that button.
For those who don't want to wait for FF 14 this addons fixes the problem:
Custom New Tab 1.6.1
Upgrading to Firefox 14b6 (Windows) did not fix this problem for me. However, installing the Custom New Tab extension (v1.6.1) did work. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cus
It works for me with the about:home page in the Firefox 14 beta, but not with the Google site.
This does work with FF13 for new tabs - but if google is your home page, the first tab that opens when you start FF still puts the focus in the address bar not in the Google search box. At the moment I can find no way to fix this. It's not the add-ons fault, that is dealing with new tabs only, I guess.
The above mentioned custom-new-tab extension promises to solve this problem.
Did you try this extension?
No, it doesn't. That is, the add-on that I am using is Custom New Tab 1.6.1. It certainly DOES put the focus in the search box in new tabs - assuming you set the option for it to do that. But it doesn't have any effect on the first page you get when you open Firefox. I'm not surprised - the add-on is presumably only called when a new tab is created and however it detects that, it's obviously different when Firefox is first started and it doesn't get called.
I don't really blame the add-on - it has solved 90% of the problem. It's Firefox who are to blame, stealing focus because they think they know what's best for me.
Custom new Tab has a small bug if the start page is exactly the same as the new tab page. Then the focus of the start page is on the address bar. Just leave the "www." out in the startpage and use "www." in the new tab page then it works perfectly. e.g. Startpage: google.com new Tab page : www.google.com Now the focus of the start page is on the search box.