Configuring your Browser
Options windows reference: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Options+window (use this to create task-based configuration procedures)
Making Firefox your default browser
Firefox displays web pages on the Internet and on your computer. To easily open web pages, you can make Firefox your default browser.
To make Firefox your default web browser, select and click the Check Now button in the Main panel.
To make Firefox your default web browser, select and click the Check Now button in the Advanced panel.
Accessing Firefox Configuration Settings
You can configure Firefox by:
- Using the Tools > Options dialog
- Using the about:config page
Using the about:config page
You can access the in your browser window by entering about:config into the Firefox window. You will receive the following warning:
Click I'll be careful, I promise! You're now on the advanced configuration page. From here, you have access to all Firefox configuration variables. You should have a solid grasp of the configuration variables before making any changes to avoid unwanted browser behavior.
You can search for a specific configuration variable by using the Filter field. To find a specific configuration variable, enter all or part of the configuration string in the Filter field or scroll through the list. Double-clicking a variable will allow you to change the value of that variable within the Firefox configuration by either switching the Boolean value or prompting you for a value.
Improving speed and efficiency
Managing different file types
Firefox can handle many types of files. However, for some files such as movies or music, Firefox needs Plugins or external applications that can handle those files. If Firefox doesn't have the needed Plugin or doesn't know what application to use to open the file, it can still save the file to your hard disk. When saving files, you can keep track of them using the Download Manager.
Plugins extend Firefox's functionality and run within it. Plugins like Sun Java, Adobe Flash, and RealNetworks RealPlayer allow Firefox to show multimedia files and run small applications such as movies, animations, and games. You can find common Plugins on the Plugins page at Mozilla Add-ons.
When files cannot be opened within Firefox, you can choose to open them with applications outside of Firefox. For example, you can use the media player of your choice to play MP3 files.
You can specify how Firefox handles files it can't display in the Download Actions dialog. To open this dialog, select , open the Content panel, and click the Manage… button in the File Types section. You can change the action for a file type or remove it. More information about this dialog is available in File Types optionspreferences.
You can specify how Firefox handles files it can't display in the Applications panel. To open this panel, select , and click the Applications panel. You can change the action for a file type or remove it. More information about this dialog is available in Applications optionspreferences.
When you click on a file and Firefox doesn't know how to handle it, an Opening dialog box is displayed, offering these choices:
- Open with: Firefox opens the file using the default program in your system settings. You can also choose a different program by selecting Other… in the drop-down list.
- Save to Disk: Firefox allows you to select a location to save the file. If you have selected Save files to (this folder) in the Main panel of OptionsPreferences, the file will automatically be saved to the default folder; otherwise Firefox will ask you where to save it.
- Do this automatically for files like this from now on: When this is selected, Firefox will automatically perform the selected action the next time you download a file of this type.
Tip: You can clear your saved optionspreferences for Do this automatically for files like this from now on in the Download Actions dialog.
Tip: You can clear your saved optionspreferences for Do this automatically for files like this from now on in the Applications panel.
Changing cache settings
Firefox stores copies of frequently accessed pages in the cache. By doing this Firefox doesn't have to retrieve the page from the network each time you view the web page.
To set the size of the cache:
- Select .
- Open the Advanced panel and click the Network tab.
- Enter a number in the Use up to field to specify the size of the cache. The default size is 50MB.
Important: A larger cache allows more data to be quickly retrieved, but more of your hard disk space is used.
When you quit Firefox, it performs cache maintenance. If maintenance takes longer than you wish, try reducing the size of the disk cache.
To reload a page at any time, click the Reload button in Firefox's Navigation Toolbar. Firefox then loads and displays the latest version of the page.