Firefox Disable / Hide New Tab Page

Posted on in Categories last updated June 19, 2012

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.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

38 comment

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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 !

  6. 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+.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!!!

  19. 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.

  20. I tried the about:config think, and like another poster, find it works until I open a new window, then it reverts to showing the history in icons. To make that clear, it just reverts back to showing my history. Even the little box in the top-right corner has disappeared now. IE has this feature too now – don’t know if it’s easier to get rid of

  21. The above options did not work for me so I went to add ons and removed the new oage add on and the yahoo default add on and new page was gone and my homepage appeared when I went on firefox. That was much easier for me at age 82.

  22. Thank you for an easy to follow tutorial. My tabbed pages were hijacked by a spam search engine and I could not for the life of me find out how to put them back to normal, until i found this post. Works like a dream.

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