Firefox Disable / Hide New Tab Page

by on June 6, 2012 · 34 comments· LAST UPDATED June 19, 2012

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I've upgraded to Firefox v13. However, I don't like the new tab page. I'm concerned about my privacy. How do disable or hide new tab page while using Firefox browser version 13? How do you get rid of the "new tab" page that shows recently visited pages?

When you create a new tab, new version of Firefox shows your top sites to make getting where you want to go easier than ever. You can disable the interface entirely by clicking the grid button in the top right corner. To toggle the new tab page off or back on, open a blank tab and then click the button in the upper-right corner of the page:

Firefox: How Do I Turn The New Tab Page Off?

Firefox: How Do I Turn The New Tab Page Off?

See quick demo video (watch in full screen to see exact location of button in the upper-right corner of the page):

HowTo: Turn this feature off completely

In the Location bar, type about:config and press Enter:
about:config
The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!, to continue to the about:config page. Type browser.newtab.url in the search box:
browser.newtab.url
Double-click the browser.newtab.url preference and change the url from about:newtab to about:blank. Click OK and close the about:config tab.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Henrik June 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

This doesn’t really solve the privacy issue as someone with access to this knowledge can change things back and then read off the recently visited pages.

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2 Ghoshnik June 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I agree with henrik. set the option to ‘clear history on exit’ or even better, set firefox to ‘never remember history’. this will at least hinder average users from finding your recent history.

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3 Juan June 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Very useful, thank you very much.

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4 AnOldMan June 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

This “feature” really pissed me off. I was using the NewTabURL plugin, and when this “feature” installed itself the plugin stopped working. After changing the browser.newtab.url back to about.blank, the plugin resumed normal operation.

Summary: if you’ve been using a new tab plug in and it no longer works – you get the new Firefox tab page – you need to apply this setting to get your plugin working again.

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5 ash June 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

Worked like magic and my Speed Dial now works properly and does not have to be restarted every time last tab is closed :o)
Many thanks.
Ash…..

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6 Daniel June 11, 2012 at 5:50 am

I want to see just a single page (www.google.com) when I open a new tab, and not the tab page. Is this possible?

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7 Grayfox August 9, 2012 at 3:02 am

instead of about:blank put it as http://www.google.com or what ever site you want
The about:blank is just the URL value used by default to bring to give you a blank page.

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8 Nostromov April 17, 2014 at 11:33 pm

If you’re doing that, might as well put the *correct* URL for Google:
https://www.google.com/

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9 RM June 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

Henrik, that depends on what privacy issue you’re looking at. It does solve the privacy issue that people who are looking at your screen don’t see your most nine frequently visited sites at a glance.

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10 Jim June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Worked great. I just hated all the stupid sites pulling up. This should be an easy option that customers can turn on or off. You should not have to go through the settings you have here to turn off. I do however thank you for posting them!

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11 AngryFly June 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

If i cpould vote for keep this stupid function default off i would 200% vote for yes.
worse thing , i never asked for it, but it simpel overules me setting.
second thing, on my screen it default only showed text, no images like i see on this webpage. Firefox4 is already from the begin slideing downhill. when i ever find a nice better browser (no not google chrome thats worse then firefox) then the close me.

You need to modify, customize so many thing in firefox 4 before it looks a bit like a normal webbrowser (firefox 3.5). hint for firefox team, stop implementing crap !

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12 Matt June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Daniel: Just replace the about:blank with “http://www.google.com”.

Also, my concern with this change was more of browser bloat/usability. I already have the option turned on to prevent rendering a tab until it’s active. So that option made this new feature next to useless. I get 9 grey boxes with urls listed below those boxes. This feature should have stayed a plugin! It’s bad enough I still have to keep firefox 3 around to render a few local status pages that hang in 4+.

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13 Marcello June 12, 2012 at 6:10 am

Excellent tip, thanks!

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14 Steve June 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm

The fact you have to disable this in about:config is awful. If you insist on shoving a “feature” down our throat, make it easy to turn it off. Most people will not want this feature and, not being able to remove it, will feel jaded and turn to Chrome or – God forbid – IE.

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15 Marcelo June 18, 2012 at 3:23 am

Some people are talking for better way to keep privacy, but the point of this news is the new tab “feature” what is just a realy annoying thing.
I follow your steps and work so fine to me.
Thank you to give me back the old firefox style!

Cheers from Brazil

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16 Science June 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I think better to set “browser.newtabpage.enabled” to false which disables the feature rather than having the feature open “about:blank” — functionally the same but disabling seems better if conflict with other add-ons is a concern.

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17 Brenton June 20, 2012 at 6:16 am

Its all well and good to be able to diable it but I want to be able to open a new tab to google and this ‘new tab page’ thing overrides my “new tab url” addon. Anybody know a solution for this yet?

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18 Zermelo June 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Hey AnOldMan,

THANK YOU very much! I had the same plugin and was pissed off at the dominance of this new feature on Firefox 13. Been looking for a solution to it for 2 days, and yours was the EXACT information I needed.

What’s ashamed is that why couldn’t Mozilla simple add in options so the USER can configure what is displayed on a new tab without going through this process. As much as I hate IE, this is something Microsoft has over mozilla and it’s something so simple.

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19 Chris Newland June 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm

It is terrible security that it is taking screenshots of https pages :(

I opened the new tab page and was able to see screenshots of my online banking pages and webmail!

Thanks for this solution but wake up Mozilla – you should not be putting https page screenshots here!

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20 DavidB June 21, 2012 at 6:21 am

What irks me is not only is this alteration forced on us, but Firefox downloaded and installed the new version of itself with a ‘Firefox knows best’ attitude.
No details given, no questions asked, no options presented. Like it or lump it.
Does this remind anyone of Microsoft?
I expect Firefox developers to work on making the browser safer, not racing to make it as bloated as IE. There’s no kudos in developing another white elephant.
First sign of a decent and controllable browser and I’m off – notify me when such a one appears!

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21 bob June 25, 2012 at 12:49 am

Hey Brenton,
I had more luck with the “New Tab Homepage” plugin, instead of “New Tab Url”.
You could try it, after disabling the new feature as written above, it works as before.

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22 Hoeg July 3, 2012 at 1:39 am

Hi,
I did the steps as outlined above, and it worked. However I’m having some trouble now, because whenever I open a new tab now, the website “http://www.juego.com/” appears. All I did was turn the new feature off completely. What should I do and why is this happening?!
Your help appreciated.
Thank-you.

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23 JereeP July 25, 2012 at 12:16 am

Thank you so much for this – the blessed thing was driving me mad.It would just show any site I visited whether I wanted to go back there or not. I’ve been clearing my browsing history ten times a day. You are a wonderful human being!

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24 Dee September 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm

This feature from Firefox absolutely sucks. It never should have been added into the browser.

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25 Friar Broccoli September 30, 2012 at 1:59 am

To get a blank page for a new tab:

1) Type in “about:config” (without the quotes) in the browser address bar and then press enter.
2) Click on the warning “I’ll be careful, I promise” and on the next page, type “newtabpage” (without the quotes) in the search box.
3) Double click on browser.newtabpage.enabled preference to change to False.

I copied this info from:
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2483225
but I’ve seen it in many places.

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26 yeswanth October 9, 2012 at 4:35 am

Amazing.. Appreciate for your sharing :)

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27 Mark Borg October 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Adding my 2 cents. please stop trying to be a kitchen sink, ff is now almost dreaded for copying any bloated crap possible – windows style ribbons, this view of sites, automatically updates, poor usability. IF IT AINT BROKE DONT FIX IT!!!

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28 zotek October 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Henrik why are you here for? to disable it or to restore?? please people just be thank full

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29 Tony October 19, 2012 at 7:11 am

Setting browser.newtabpage.enabled preference to False doesn’t solve the issue. This -ONLY- changes the default “button” to off just as described in the article posting. As in… any user can sit down and click the button to see previous pages.

How can I turn this off permanently? This feature is really terrible.

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30 Graeme March 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Any luck yet…I have the same problem

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31 Chubby August 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I agree with Tony
How do you remove that tab bar in Firefox 23? It still has that + sign which I don’t want

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32 ken November 9, 2013 at 12:09 am

100 replys,how anout an answer how to stop all the thumbnails of pages from showing? I tried to switch to about blank and it just goes back??

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33 Graeme March 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I have tried all suggested things to get rid of this crap feature….anyone help…run me through it again to see what is going wrong…thanks

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34 Nostromov April 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

What feature?.. If you type about:config and change the setting for browser.newtab.url to about:blank – then the thumbnails won’t be there any more.

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