Mozilla removes option to change New Tab Page from Firefox
Users of the Firefox web browser have had options until now to replace the default New Tab page of Firefox with a custom one using the built-in preference browser.newtab.url.
It was for instance possible to set it to a blank page to block the New Tab page functionality in Firefox which became popular after the introduction of a redesigned New Tab page in Firefox, or to set it to a favorite web service or website instead which would then be opened whenever a new tab page was created in the browser.
Mozilla noted some time ago that the useful feature was abused by companies who replaced the New Tab page in the browser with a custom version, for instance during software installations as third-party offers but also in malicious ways directly without opt-out.
The browser.newtab.url preference has no exposed UI, is not really supported, and is abused by search hijackers. We should remove it and encourage people using a non-default new tab page to install an add-on instead.
That's why the organization made the decision to remove the preference browser.newtab.url from Firefox 41.
While it is certainly improving user protection, as hijackers won't be able to use the preference anymore to modify the new tab page in Firefox using it, it is removing an option from Firefox that some users used to customize the browser's New Tab Page.
It is unfortunate that the change is introduced at a time in which Mozilla is facing criticism over recent New Tab page changes that introduces advertisement on the page.
The change, which just rolled out in the most recent Nightly version of the web browser affects users who modified the preference manually or through add-ons. Those who have customized the New Tab pageÂ will notice that the customization does not work anymore after they upgrade Firefox to a version in which the preference has been removed.
Firefox users who fell victim to tools that changed the New Tab page automatically without their consent benefit from this as the New Tab page is reset automatically as a consequence.
Some add-ons that provide functionality to change the New Tab page in Firefox may have stopped working however and while it is likely that some will be updated to restore it, it will make add-ons unusable who are not updated, for instance because they have been abandoned by their authors.
The functionality to change the New Tab page in Firefox is still available to add-on developers who can create or modify extensions for the browser to provide users with that functionality.
This is not the first time that long-standing preferences have been removed from Firefox. Mozilla removed the popular keyword.url parameter in Firefox 23 for instance which allowed you to set a different search provider in the address bar than the one used by the search form of the browser.
Mozilla wanted add-on developers to re-introduce the functionality to Firefox for users who made use of it back then. The organization has the same stance this time.
The Firefox add-on New Tab Override has been created recently to re-introduce the functionality in Firefox 41 and later.
- Install the add-on in Firefox using the link above.
- Open about:addons after installation and locate it in the list of extensions.
- Click the options button next to it.
- Replace the about:newtab resource in the URL field on the page that opens with another url that you want to use.
Why didn’t they just introduce a new option to change the new tab page in the settings?
Because a visibile option does not resolve the hijacking problem.
If the option would be set new tab page to blank page it would solve the hijacking problem
You can still set a blank page for new tabs, there is already a visible (!) option.
The firefox devs could have updated the settings with a button that must be used manually by the users in order to change new tab page. Hijacking software could then not change that setting. That would have solved the hijacking problem without inconveniencing users who voluntarily change their new tab page URL.
Not really. A button that must be used manually by the user does not change the fact that the setting must be stored somewhere and can be manipulated by third party software.
@ SÃ¶ren Hentzschel – So now it can also be hijacked… per extension…
You should read the bugzilla ticket for background information.
Why? Mozilla discovers people “abusing” (their word) new tab and they proceed to carve out that ability for themselves. They don’t understand what “about:blank” means. Then or now (2018-03-20). Just today, I see a warning about an “extension has changed the page you see when you open a new tab … options are “Keep Changes” “Restore Settings”. The change *I* made was months ago with a blank-page extension (yes, you need an extension to get a true blank page). So “Keep Changes” means that nothing has changed and don’t F with my computer, Mozilla. And “Restore Settings” means to re-enable Mozilla based advertising and tracking (in the New Tab) zone.
Why ever read bugzilla? It’s BS.
In addition to the mozilla-based tab BS, there should be a true “about:blank” with ZERO pop-ups ever to deceive users into altering it. Nice would also be “about:black” which is just a blank page, #000000. Hell, let the user set the color code.
Just yesterday I installed Firefox to give it another try. New tab page is the first thing I change in a fresh install. Uninstalling it again. FU Mozilla.
this post gives you an explanation of and a solution to the problem, if this is still reason enough for you to uninstall FF then i don’t know what to tell you.
Like not_black said in his/her comment below. Don’t want to install addon for everything.
@ IgHive – I would rather use extension for this instead of using bloat browser
@Anon6 – If you’d rather not use a bloated browser why are you using firefox?
It does not work. I found no way to replace the URL. The instructions are not clear to me anyway. This is such a ridiculous F’ing problem. I don’t blame the guy that got upset. I have fought it myself repeatedly.
Go to the addon’s options once installed. It’s in there.
Firefox has since destroyed all functionality to alter the browser to users needs instead of Firefox’s need to make money from users. I’d say frack Firefox and the fox they rode in on, but what’s the alternative? Chinese owned spyware Opera? Microsoft’s crap Edge (only if you use Windows), Apple’s Mac only Safari or Google’s ultra-spyware Chrome???
Let’s face it. The Internet has become a SLOW, BLOATED PILE OF COMMERCIAL BULL DUNG where you need a newer computer and 50Mbps to load a basic web page in a reasonable length of time. It used to run on dial-up modems and the content was no worse in most cases. It’s now just MORE BLOATED and designed to monetize every bit of space and second you’re on the page. All google results now prioritize paid advertising, followed by all corporate pages, leaving user discussion on page 8 or never found at all.
Kids are spending half their days on their phones doing “social media” that is destroying society. Kids who don’t want to drive so they can play with their phones. Kids doing “new math” that can’t do basic math in their heads. We are a country of morons run by people bought by corporations through lobbyists (many ARE lobbyists) yet we keep putting the same people in control of our lives. Mozilla used to be OPEN. Now it’s GARBAGE made for money like everything else. Bring back the red-hair CEO. Mozilla never sucked so bad as it does now with NO ADDONS (save web class) and made to look and behave JUST LIKE CHROME.
Honestlu, te reason why this is enough of a reason for me to uninstal is because im tired of firefox pushing “addons” while removing features, then to tell you its not their fault for you getting mallware from said addons.
i agree with the previous guys statement
Mozilla Firefox has started its downfall. Few years and the Firefox we know is no more. Mark my words. Stupid after stupid decisions…
You think it’s stupid to protect the users? It’s a very interesting point of view.
Users who can change hidden (!) preferences in Firefox can also install an add-on, where is the problem? The majority of the userbase doesn’t know tools like about:conifg and need to be protected. I think you don’t know how many support requests are caused by hijacking. I am a active supporter so I know that it is a real problem.
I don’t want to install another add-on for a long time built-in feature.
Why don’t they remove every single feature from Firefox except for extension installation so that users can install whatever add-on they want. That sure would protect the users.
“Why don’t they remove every single feature from Firefox except for extension installation so that users can install whatever add-on they want. That sure would protect the users.”
Not every feature can be abused in a way that harms users.
Yes, I think it is stupid to remove the user choice in the name of imaginary security measures :(.
To install scores of add-ons just to restore features formerly available and thus slow down the bloated Firefox even more? No, thanks, this is idiotic. My security is my own responsibility and I hate when developers are limiting my freedom to tweak and use their product the way I like. When this happens I just dump the product. I have been an ardent and dedicated Firefox user for years but no more. Both Firefox and Opera betrayed their loyal users and they have already been punished by losing more and more market share. Nowadays both Firefox and Opera suck beyond usability. My patience has been finally exhausted by the advent of the abominable Australis.
Soren, a user didn’t have to go into about/config to SET the preference, it picked up the settings from users hits rates, and users (like me) could tick the pin to “Pin this site”.
Could they have come up with a better option? YES they could have, but they didn’t.
Now, lets talk about “stupid” and “protect users”
When you go to a site, that has an untrusted ssl certificate, and you get the option to “Add Exception”, the idea behind the extra step is to protect the user, BUT, when you click the “add exception” you are taken to a page with additional information, and you still have to click to add the exception. Again the added step to make sure a user really means to do this.
The “stupid” factor comes in when you get to the add page, and the check box is DEFAULTED to checked, for “Permanently Store this exception”
*THAT* is not secure! You want to make sure the user is absolute in their resolve to add this site, you should not DEFAULT a weaker position.
As to the further downfall .. I’ve been using firefox … well lets just say I liked the name Netscape.. using for a long time. And every day, I’m going into iDrac, ILO, and Ilom sites that are on private ip (rfc1918) space, etc, etc, etc.
Some of these iDrac’s are two or three rev’s back, and sure.. Dell f*’d up, they created self signed cert routines that used the same name and serial … *I* know this site is trustable, but now .. NOW because some f**ktard at mozilla thinks they are the end all beat all of everything gets a bur up their a** they disable and screw with TLS in such a way that I can’t even manually add exceptions any more..
*THAT* is causing me to leave firefox and use chrome.. which I hate.. **F-ING HATE chrome with a passion* .. Firefox is forcing ME down this path with their BS .. the sheeple will still use Firefox, long after the cool and l33t people had and have abandoned it, of that I’ve no doubt, and maybe one of my generation will take up what Netscape / Firefox was, and make a browser that we the USERS can use and get behind again..
that’s your mozilla for you today. chock full-o-stupid.
PS / FYI .. I’ve got 39 running on two machines right now both saying the are up to date, but something happened on one, and now I can’t get my customized newtab to work at all … and that brought here in my googling, because you’ve got a date of Jun 28 .. now I know what I’ve got to look forward to on my other main machine, and the 3 or 4 others I use less frequently ..
“Soren, a user didn’t have to go into about/config to SET the preference, it picked up the settings from users hits rates, and users (like me) could tick the pin to “Pin this site”.”
There was *never* another way than about:config (or an add-on). “Pin this “site” is a feature of about:newtab. The topic of this article is to *change* about:newtab to another site. You should read the article again.
I didn’t read further because the first paragraph already misses the point.
You say that this change is to avoid unwanted setting modification, and that an explicit option in the control panel does not avoid the possibility of undue changes because “A button that must be used manually by the user does not change the fact that the setting must be stored somewhere and can be manipulated by third party software.”
It this is true, what about the explicit setting of the starting page in the control panel? if it is possible to change the newtab setting it is also possible to change the starting page setting.
Really, my opinion is that mozilla is trying to make difficult to change the newtab setting in order to maximize the avertising view. Nothing else.
I would rather have my new tab setting hijacked 0.0001% of the time, and have the convenience of always having MY chosen website open in my new tab 99.999% of the time than NOT having the convenience of always having MY chosen website open in my new tab AT ALL. In fact, my browser has never been hijacked in any way since I started using Firefox back in v 3.5. That is because I have the sense to operate behind a hardware firewall and I keep my anti-virus up to date religiously. Why should I put up with Mozilla treating me like a lowest common denominator merely because there some dumb pricks out there who lack internet savvy?.
I have been teetering on the edge of kicking FIrefox to the curb for a while. This issue is the final straw
Look at both “smaragdus” and “Ian” Posts.
Exactly the way I view it. Stupid safety and security overkills for the Sheeple.
Firefox use to be “it”
Now it’s a royal PITA. But where to “go next” is the problem. How long before intelligence pools to form a decent “simple” browser again?
Sadly – Mozilla has their head in a dark place and doesn’t care what logic or long-time loyal customers indicate.
I get so tired of people thinking (or claiming) all this garbage is done in the name of “protecting” the user. What a crock. The naivete of the average human in this day and age is appalling. What this is all about is FURTHER dumbing down the unwashed masses. This is happening all around us… and if people actually paid attention to anything of real value they would CLEARLY SEE IT. Google, Microsoft, etc… they’re ALL involved it.
The computer — and the once-useful Internet — are being turned into nothing more than yet ANOTHER worthless MEDIA DELIVERY PLATFORM. In other words, just another way to feed us yet MORE lies via phony “news” sources, part us with our money, and deliver mind-numbingly worthless pop culture idiocy on an even more enormous scale than they already do.
The moment the computer screen began transitioning from a *utilitarian* standard aspect ratio — to an *entertainment-oriented* widescreen format — signaled the [intended] end of the computer as a tool.
Now, I really don’t care if anyone believes me. If it makes you feel better, start slinging the usual vacuous insults… or simply go back to watching the TV (or your computer). Pretend that nothing outside your little bubble has changed in the last few years.
Or… perhaps “they” ARE right… when they claim that you’re all too stupid to figure any of it out. (I hope they’re wrong, but am certainly beginning to have serious doubts…)
FU Mozilla and this f**ing add-on… just pure extortion… I’ve used Firefox a lot but after discovering the inability to change a new page to my home page I’m inclined to change the browser…
no, it won’t.
I think it completely logical to deal with malicious extensions hijacking the new tab page by making sure only such extensions can change the page, and otherwise removing user control.
I was also born on April 20th, national stoner day.
“It is unfortunate that the change is introduced at a time in which Mozilla is facing criticism over recent New Tab page changes that introduces advertisement on the page.”
You can still disable the advertisement, or more generally the tiles, the fewest tiles are advertisment. There is a visible option on about:newtab. ;)
Yes, the downfall is near
Unfortunately, there are only two options in the provided ‘gear wheel’ settings for the ‘new’ newtab.. Allow and see all the suggestion or history tiles or only see a blank page.. no option to continue seeing what the user had already wasted hours to get set up and get working with the last major ‘speed dial’ change to newtabs. When I bring up a new tab I expect it to act exactly like when I select the ‘home page’ button, not some hijacked hybrid. I also don’t expect it to completely ignore settings that took me too much time to find during the last major change.
I am a network engineer (for over 3 decades). I hold security credentials. I design state of the art secure corporate datacenters. I understand the stated position. I still disagree with the arbitrary change in newtab behavior without warning or an option to restore previous behavior. As a long time user (can you say Netscape) I am finding design choices over the last few years remind me more and more of the browsers I avoid.
Hopefully the developers listen to TG2 above. While some of the message demonstrates a level of frustration and betrayed trust, there are several real points that are worth their weight in gold for a company that cares. Most users just reach a level of frustration and quietly leave. Only those that care about the product will express their discontent and concern in a potentially constructive expression. TG2 appears to be a similar minded user and long time supporter of this product line that is also being driven away.
Firefox is still my browser of choice. I hope I am not forced to revisit this choice.
Why I have feeling that M wants push that new tab page with these thumbnails to get some money from suggestions aka ads?
I had that sad hunch few years ago that once they’ll call themselves a corporation, they’ll start acting like one – and there it is. They “know” what’s better for users, they’re pushing their ideas without giving a fuck about users opinion and feedback – but instead giving a shitty excuses about how they care and encourage people to bring functionality they broke again.
“Why I have feeling that M wants push that new tab page with these thumbnails to get some money from suggestions aka ads?”
Your feeling is wrong because you can still disable the thumbnails.
And does that turns off the feature or just brings me texture that mimics about:blank?
Probably this option will disappear as well, “to protect the users” or course! /sarcasm
“Probably this option will disappear as well”
I wont’ feed trolls. ;)
That was not trolling, just sarcasm :)
Now leaving that aside, IMO a browser should be a tool used for navigating on the internet, and not a security tool. While it seems a good idea to offer some security in the browser itself, I don’t think that giving up usability is the best path that the developers should follow.
Later edit: Oh, and by the way, even though I disagree with your view about this being the right decision, thanks for the add-on!
I had the same feeling once i noticed the missing feature, visited the FF forum to post about this feeling but stoped since no one care what i think or want.
stupid behave of changes as always by FF side. Still my fav browser, but their actions sometimes are so unnecessary and no acceptable alternative solution.
I don’t want to use any addon at all, Also i dont want their stupid thumbnails adds.
I’m sure glad someone fixed this problem so quickly with an add-on. I just wish Mozilla would stop removing features I use and adding bloat like Pocket and Hello…
Hi, i am “someone”. :) I am the author of the add-on and I think it was the right decision to remove this feature from the core because of the hijacking problem. As active member in the Firefox support I see almost every day users with hijacked new tab pages. And it should be mentioned that Mozilla not only removed this feature, Mozilla also introduced a new API for add-on developers to bring this functionality back.
Your add-on shouldn’t be necessary. Firefox is becoming a bloatware browser where users need to install a big list of add-ons, hurting perfomance and memory usage, just to use again features removed from the browser because Mozilla didn’t provide a better solution. You talk about this new API, so what will stop hijackers from altering the new tab page again?.
@Finvana: Hurting memory usage? Do you know Chrome? And no, you don’t need to install a big list of add-ons, but you can install a big list of add-ons and that’s great because it means you can extend your browser.
Regarding your question, please read the bugzilla ticket, there is an explanation.
I don’t need to use a different browser to know Mozilla has memory usage problems (even without add-ons) and yes, the add-ons list to be installed nowadays is way too big while Mozilla implements features in the core that should be add-ons.
You are right, you can extend you browser, but it shouldn’t be necessary to “extend” features that were present in previous versions.
@Finvana: And why I don’t have memory issues and no performance problems with Firefox and a much better memory consumption compared with Chrome? Is it my “fault” that I don’t have problems? And that’s not only my experience. I think you are just trolling, you have no arguments.
So you’re saying that it was the right decision to remove this feature to prevent the hijacking problem, while at the same time publishing an addon that re-implements this feature and thus the hijacking problem?
@v: Yes, it was the right decision in my opinion and no, it’s not the same. Please read the bugzilla ticket for details.
Thank you, Soren, for the NewTab override add-on. I was one who changed it before using about:config browser.newtab.url.
Firefox Hello can’t be classed as bloat since it’s built entirely upon the HTML5 APIs that already exist in the browser.
The person you start a video or voice call with just needs a browser that supports WebRTC. That’s a good thing IMO since you don’t have to install any additional third-party software.
I don’t understand. Martin, how will users set their newtab page to a blank page? What will the “forced” newtab page look like?
You can set a blank tab page directly on the default New Tab Page. Or, install the linked add-on for that and use about:blank as the url (leaving it empty might work as well, not tried that though).
I just checked about:config and I have browser.newtab.url set as blank. That gives me a blank new tab.
So the only thing that is being removed is the about:config “portal” to change browser.newtab? If the same thing can be accomplished on the default New Tab Page, Mozilla is not removing this setting option from users. Mozilla is changing how users have to activate it? If I understand correctly, I have no problem with this.
Greg, Mozilla removed the option to replace the New Tab page with any page you want. While you can still switch it to blank, you cannot set it to anything else using native Firefox anymore. If you want, you need to install an add-on to do so.
Damn Mozilla chain the wrong decisions…
thanks martin for reporting on the change and thanks as well to sÃ¶ren to giving us a solution to the problem!
personally and as many other advanced users i’m quite sceptical about this “dumbing down” of the browser, since for me it always has been a given that i can change the newtab page to my liking without installing another addon. i can’t remember if i ever had some program hijack my newtab page, so for me it’s a step back, simple as that.
for novice users it can be a boon though since i don’t know how many times i’ve seen browsers of friends and relatives with changed newtab pages and those people have no clue how it even happened, much less how they revert the changes.
so even when the number of novice firefox users is decreasing due to chrome picking up that low hanging fruit on google.com or youtube, i still see the change as a net positive, since the novice user is protected, the advanced user can still get his newtab page of choice and mozilla might make an additional buck or two via advertising on the default newtab page.
I don’t install addons for performance reasons. Mozilla keeps talking how addons hurt performance and then removing all the features that Firefox is well liked for (saying we can install it as an addon).
If mozilla removes a feature from firefox, from my perspective, it’s gone.
But as I understand it, people can still set newtabs to show a blank page (they just can’t do it from about:config anymore). So why is this even a problem?
Instead of removing the option altogether, I would have rather seen a notification, that the newtab page has been changed by an outside source. That way, users have the choice to keep the change or reset it to the previous setting. But … that? I believe it is only done this way, so Firefox can increase revenue from its own newtab page.
Not valid solution. The value can be changed modify a plain-text file.
There’s a new add-on built specifically for this upcoming browser.newtab.url blockage : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/new-tab-override/
It’s been crafted for this sole purpose :
“With Firefox 41 (and higher), it’s no longer possible to customize the page shown in a new tab via changing the preference browser.newtab.url in about.config. Because of the fact that hijackers abused the preference in the past, Mozilla decided to remove it […]. Fortunately, by removing it, Mozilla also introduced a new API to bring this functionality back to life as an add-on. This add-on allows the user to choose a certain page in a new tab“
Fuck that noise. Do we seriously need a new goddamn add-on for every new version of FF just because Mozilla took it away? It’s ridiculous.
That’s why I jumped ship a long time ago. We shouldn’t be forced to bloating our memory usage with more add-ons we shouldn’t need in the first place.
Are you kidding? The add-ons about:addons-memory says that the add-on New Tab Override has a memory usage of 81.4 KB. Yes, kilobytes, not megabytes. And about:performance says: jank level 0.
So far “browser.newtab.url” is not removed from Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:41.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/41.0 ID:20150628030215 CSet: eaf4f9b45117
While I think that this is a good decision for security reasons, it removes functionality that’s been in place for years. At the least, provide a built-in option to set the new tab page to about:home. It’s good that there is a new add-on API, though.
This is a joke?
What Mozilla is saying: “Removed for your protection.”
What users are hearing: “We hate you.”
Security vs liberty, the eternal debate. The fact is many, many and many more users just don’t know or even care about the implications of a computer and of connections to the Internet. The way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised an Internet license be one day an obligation.
Those numerous users not only endanger their own system/security/privacy but the whole Web. And no official directive will teach them because a user who knows how to secure his system also knows how to secure his privacy and that includes ads and tracking. A society which deliberately ignores prevention is a society which has more to loose than to gain in educating the masses.
Those of us, here and elsewhere on computer topics who are aware will always criticize decisions which limit their liberty, but let us not forget that the Internet is, for the others, a planetary snake-pit. More you dig into the depths of the Internet more you discover the labyrinth of a hell’s underground it is. And not only the so-called “Deep Web” : tracking, manipulation, disinformation are the master words, everywhere, be it advertizement or politically and commercially oriented big ears. The whole place is exponentially leading downwards. let’s enjoy it as long as it is still possible to live with.
Our civilization just isn’t ready for liberty, not yet. When you see what is done of it.
Mozilla’s stated reason for removing this preference is totally disingenuous. If protecting users from hijacking were their reason, then they would also prevent users from selecting their preferred home page, which is a frequent target of hijackers. Mozilla removed this option to force users to view ads on their new tab page. This is just more lies and shifty behavior from a company I’ve come to loathe.
Seems to me you’ve got a point there : indeed, what about the home page? The general idea in the Western world and especially in UK and US commercial, political and intelligence philosophies has always been to try to hide a viscous aim with the argument of virtue. When discovered it’s called a deal, only that it’s not 50-50 but rather 90-10 at our disadvantage. Perfidy is the word.
Mozilla’s hate towards its users knows no boundaries.
Useful stuff is removed and the users are redirected towards addons, which may or may not be maintained for a longer period of time.
But useless crap like Hello or closed-source third-party Pocket is forced into the browser, regardless if people are using it or not.
At least the ads are shown reliably.
For those (incorrectly) asserting that Mozilla is doing this as a way to push newtab ads (or whatever), browser.newtabpage.enabled can still be set to false.
Where can I find documentation on the API?
That’s for the 5% of Firefox users who know about about:config. The remaining 95% get ads.
I don’t know a documentation, but it’s a really simple and self-explaining module:
I think it will be documented somewhere, but it’s not yet the case.
1. The fewest tiles are ads.
2. You can replace all tiles with every website you want.
3. There is a visible (!) option to disable the tiles on the new tab page.
Please explain to what prevents the malware from just doing it the way this small addon does it?
Nothing? Yeah, who would have thought.
Idiots at Mozilla. (Coming from a FF fanboy).
It’s not possible to take you seriously if you say others are idiots.
Read the bugzilla ticket, there is an explanation.
Looking at the latest changes from Mozilla, I came to the following conclusion: Mozilla has an agenda that will be imposed on every user no matter what we want or what we say. I don’t think that they hate the users (like someone said earlier), they just don’t care. It is very easy when you become a corporation to lose track of your initial goals and to be blinded by the prospect of earning money no matter the costs.
I think the same things about an agenda and money can be said about Chrome as well, so that doesn’t make it a viable alternative. For this reason I will stick with Mozilla (at least until they remove all of the user options), but I cannot say that I enjoy using it anymore.
Anyone who wonders where Mozilla went off the rails is advised to read up on the century-old Iron Law of Oligarchy (linked below). Summarizing, the point is that small well-meaning groups of people can work towards a common goal, but when the group becomes successful and grows larger, the people in charge work to perpetuate their leadership of the group rather than to advance the group’s original goals.
IMHO, Mozilla as an organization is only doing what comes naturally to successful groups.
This reply composed using Pale Moon.
BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAH HA HA HA HA – EXACTLY Right !!!!!!!
Goodbye Firefox – Hello Palemoon.
Woot Woot !!
Glad I switeched to Pale Moon browser a few years ago, Firefox is dead for me.
I think the better move would have been to simply add in a GUI to their control panel. Its a single line. Users to install addons is a hassle. Especially on fresh installs/new profiles.
Its cool though no big. Just thought it would have been easier and wiser to add to their settings GUI. Users shouldnt have to get addons for everything, i know its good to promote them to use addons, but not force them. Addons is a hassle, every new profile i make i have to go download a bunch, this adds one more :( Addons dont sync so well with Sync but settings do. :(
Big surprise, Mozilla is making yet another unpopular decision. Their hunger for popularity is screwing the users once again.
I have NEVER liked this “speed dial” nonsense, since anyone within eyesight of my machine can see what I’ve been doing. Mozilla needs to stop stepping on it’s users (if they want to get stepped on, they can switch to a proprietary browser, like IE/Edge or Chrome), start implementing features that protect users from tracking, and all-out refuse to add tracking features into Firefox itself. if they really need the money, some non-intrusive nag screens would be a much better approach.
Please show some respect to people who provide a free web browser, developer has shown how to disable adds…in the last week I have come across 2 people who use IE or Chrome and no AV, don’t know what a firewall is or if it is on, or even what MS Security Center is…one has a virus, and couldn’t understand it, and said, it doesn’t matter I only use computer for emails and checking a few sites…Most of the people are working for nothing…why does everyone get so upset over this? We all have to learn, and probably, judging from developer’s comments, it is a balance of security versus configurability for most users? People, it’s a free browser, with great security and other add ons, you can customise it anyway you like.
Annual revenues of 200 to 300 million dollars can hardly be called “free”.
The end-users pay for it, one way or the other.
@Joker: Do you think Mozilla doesn’t need a lot of money to do all the good stuff? Please google “mozilla financial report” and have a look at the expenses.
You are placing words in my mouth which are not true, unrelated to the issue at hand and a strawman-argument.
This is disrespectful behavior.
I have refered to NightOwl using “free”, not that Mozilla wouldn’t need financial resources to maintain their operations, which they, of course, do.
And I’m sure you knew what I was referring to, yet you chose to ignore it.
Before writing more noise, please read the answers and try to understand them before replying.
“And I’m sure you knew what I was referring to, yet you chose to ignore it. ”
No, I can’t know what you are referring to if you don’t write what you are referreing to. Your comment “Annual revenues of 200 to 300 million dollars can hardly be called “free”” is incoherent.
“I have NEVER liked this “speed dial” nonsense, since anyone within eyesight of my machine can see what I’ve been doing. ”
Have you ever heard about user accounts? And by the way, a lot of people like “speed dial” features in browsers. Your opinion is not universal and it’s not only nonsense because you don’t need it.
The eternal excuse at Mozilla: “A lot of people like feature X or Y”. I wonder what “a lot” means: 2, 3, 10, 100, 1000, more than 1000? Is there any scientific data gathered from a sociological study on Firefox users, or is it just an invention?
@Soren Hentzschel: Thank you very much for this Add-On, and my question is about speed dial. I use speed dial as my home page, and new tab page. Would installing this Add-On now prevent the change when it happens? Or should I wait to see what happens from the developer of the Add-On I use?
I think Mozilla made a smart move here. Well done Mozilla.
Agreed. I also think that moving intrinsic configuration options to extensions is wise. So long as the extension API allows for implementing the option a more flexible method is made possible for it and the core size of the browser is reduced which has all kinds of benefits including greater reliability.
I decided to try the Dev channel and with 41.0 all past issues I had with memory usage, performance and crashes are simply gone. I can not agree with the voices that endlessly repeat how FF has gone to hell. I think those voices mainly enjoy complaining and being contrary.
The more i see Mozilla kicking out built in customization options to “protect users” – which is nothing less than in reality just their try to beat Chrome in minimalism and simplicity to get a handful of users over, the more i love Seamonkey , Otter Browser or even something like that closed source browser Vivaldi (which adds tons of features instead of removing it because it runs NOT behind Google Chrome competition wise)
When will Mozilla understand that they can’t beat Google in it’s own game. Another unpopular move which will make people run away!
Oh, but they can beat Google! But with one condition: to become DIFFERENT than Chrome, not to clone its ideas. They need to convince the users that they have more to offer than Google (and they still do, unless they continue to dumb their software down).
If you see it that way, then Mozilla should have never started to remove features to be more appealing to the mainstream user.
Because they where different, because of the unique features which Chrome was missing. Also they had different target user groups.
Anyway, another sad example when a company gets commercialism only, gets greedy and plays a game which it never was meant to play in the first place!
Mozilla’s problem is now where they changed the game field, they can’t go back anymore to where they have been.
First they got “inspired” of feature ideas from Opera and afterwards after Google was skyrocking from Chrome.
If they would, they would lose all the one’s who actually appreciate minimalism and simplicity – the one’s who left because Mozilla left the area of power users would come anyway not back because Mozilla has proven themselves as not trustworthy.
That is the difficult situation Mozilla is facing. But they wanted it, now they have it.
The question is why always the users who like features built in must pay the price.
IMO when you have a highly configurable product, you can win both inexperienced users by providing a default configuration that is created for them, and advanced users by telling them how to tweak that basic configuration to their needs. But when you give up configurability, you will always lose a part of the user base.
As for a comparison with Chrome’s simplicity, I don’t know… I didn’t hear anyone around me saying that Firefox is hard to use for their daily web surfing (and that is equally true for older versions – starting from 3.0). So I really don’t understand why they considered Chrome as an ideal to be reached by Firefox.
As i already wrote..
It is your typical greedy company behavior… Mozilla saw that Chrome was rising like a rocket, so naturally they see their only chance to keep up with beating Chrome in both simplicity and minimalism.
Of course that backfired. Because a large part of the user base was exactly looking for the opposite. It was a clear marketing miscalculation.
They most likely guessed if they are removing all functions where simple users scream -Bloat! – Don’t want that in my browser! – Add-on material! – They could get a fair share of Chrome users.
Granted, it could also have worked in the end, but as we see, it has not :D
And at that point people like SÃ¶ren Hentschel come out and start to tell you that the only way to have customization features is in add-on form, because they work that way better, because add-ons have gotten not enough attention before and that lifts them higher in value and so on and so on!
Yes, I agree with you.
Isn’t Seamonkey associated with Mozilla?
Here is the answer to the problem.
LISTEN UP MOZILLA PROGRAMMERS…
Put a lock on the about:config file that requires escalated privilege to access it. Instantiate a listener on the newtab.url setting to throw up a message dialog during addon installation if the addon tries to change the setting – something like : “WARNING… The add-on you are installing is trying to change the default new tab setting. This is not normal behavior, but signals a possible malicious browser attack or hi-jacking. If you wish to keep opening new tabs the way you currently do, DENY this setting ” Even the users that you are supposedly trying to protect will get that point (although most of those don’t even know about “about:config”.) This also alerts the regular user that something funky is going on. BTW-this is not hard to code and you know it, ( it’s the bugs that are a b**ch.)
Are mozilla’s business rules stopping you from implementing a common sense solution like this that will gain you the respect of the power-users while truly protecting the less aware from themselves. That is what you are telling the user base aren’t you – that they need protection from all those nasty, pesky, evil companies that are out to mess up their browser and they are to dumb to cover their own a$$ ?? Well this solves the problem on both ends.
I won’t come back to Firefox until you guys stop f****ing-up what used to be an awesome browser.
TO EVERYONE THAT READS THIS POST:
Chime in and comment on my suggestion
Leave a reply so the programmers know your opinion too.
If you have suggestions you should post them on bugzilla.mozilla.org. ;-)
Its such an obvious solution it was already made in the same bug report that started this mess. Of course it was hidden because “advocacy”….
Of course you already know this.
Yes this is the sensible and obvious solution. The only reason I can see why they did not do this is because they want to force people to use the tile page to generate revenue.
The user preferences is stored in personal.js that any software can modify.
Why can’t I pin one tile that takes up the whole screen?
Many thanks for the override, works a treat. Damn Mozilla
Do you mean “Thanks Mozilla” instead of “Damn Mozilla”? Mozilla provides a possibilty for add-on developers to override the new tab page. Without the API it would not be possible, but you can thank Mozilla that it’s still possible.
This all would not be necessary if Mozilla would not try to beat Chrome in simplicity.
Well, uninstalled, installed Vivaldi, bye Firefox and problem solved!
I wish Mozilla would realize that about:config along with userchrome.css and usercontent.css is what makes Firefox the most desired browser. The comment earlier that most users do not even know about the advanced settings shows they have no interest in promoting this. I do not have a single add-on extension installed and I say that with pride. If I see an add-on I like, I figure out how to get that same function with userchrome.css. One by one, I did this with all of my old extensions. They are all gone. Add-ons are written by who knows who. That along with a hosts file for ads and my Fx is fast and smooth. I think every AV (free) disables web sites from changing your preferences. Very suspicious that an add-on was instantly created to replace what we had.
about:config is a ui for advanced preferences and in my opinion it should definitively NOT be promoted so that users will change preferences without knowing what they do. A bettter idea would be an add-on which exposes a number of these advanced preferences with detailed descriptions of each preference.
That way Firefox will compete equal for equal with Chrome and Fx will lose that battle. Chrome does not have about:config. Chrome does not have userchrome.css or usercontent.css. What you want to stop is what makes Fx unique. We are not dummy’s on the computer. Maybe you have become jaded because all you hear from is users with problems.
It has been a long time since homepage and new tab hijacking was considered a problem. Any AV will disallow that. Did you just wake up from some nap.
I don’t understand your comment. Why stopping something? Nobody wants to stop support about:config, userchrome.css or usercontent.css. Why do you think so?
Ah easily handled with Mozilla.cfg and Local-settings.js = Fx the way I want it. Still no add-ons here.
This is total BS –
SÃ¶ren Hentzschel is the developer of the extension that will fix this new “problem”, and on his extensions page he is asking for a “small donation”. So he is here defending the need? I think he stumbled into the API and worked backwards. Whatever so called malware that can change the new tab setting can certainly change the home page also. For that matter it could change anything in prefs.js.
Mozilla fix this BS back or I am totally gone!
I developed the add-on in my free time, so yes, I am asking for donations because I had to invest time. Nobody need to donate. What’s your problem? People like you are the reason why it’s no fun to give other people things for free. *rolleyes*
Don’t let it get to you, Soren. You’re just dealing with someone or maybe a couple of someone’s who don’t like themselves very much and want to share their wealth. They’re not numerous, or typical, just loud.
You are the one with a problem. There is no need for this add on. And of course you and every other chit add on maker wants everyone to not even know about about:config, so you will have to come to the rescue with an add on that at most has two lines of code and ask for a “small donation”. This is not even a need created in the wild, it is a need created by Mozilla in taking away the browser.newtab.url preference. This does not pass the smell test!
You’re completely wrong. There is a need for a) this or b) another add-on for everyone who needs this functionality. By the way, the add-on has more than two lines code. The add-on is open source, you can see the source code. So it’s clear after your “two lines” comment that you’re just a troll.
If you think my add-on is no donation worth PLEASE DON’T donate, I don’t need your support. Again: Nobody needs to donate. It’s a option for users who wants to support me, not for users who don’t want to support me. It’s so simple.
The fact is that you are defending the need for an addon. It is ok for you to defend the addon. It is supposed to be that many people realize they need something and then someone invents a fix for it. That could not be the case as this only effects Fx 41. The only person that will lose anything if Mozilla reverts back is you – your addon will be meaningless. So your addon only has merit if Mozilla decides to change a long standing setting.
So of course you want to stress that there is such a huge need for your addon. You are so biased on that, which is natural. But it is you that is the troll.
Sorry, I can’t help you if you don’t unterstand my comment. Of course there is a need for this add-on – or another add-on (!) – if someone want this functionality back. It’s a fact and I cant’ change the facts.Nobody says that any other Firefox user needs this or a similar add-on, nobody! And you are definitively not the person who decides which add-ons are meaningful and which add-ons are meaningless. Who are you? God? So troll someone other. Hint: arguments are always good in discussions. Try it!
I don’t want anything from beggars and I would never use anything created by you. For the generous it is always fun and pleasure to give others what they have (created), while for the misers giving and sharing is always always pain and torture.
Since I have read some of your comments here and since I dislike all of them I would never touch an add-on by you, would it be the best one ever- I cannot use anything by people I disrespect.
It does not matter if you would ever use anything created by me or not and it doesn’t matter if you like my comments or not. Really, who cares? Use it or not.
You saved my day by preventing my angry against THAT useless new tab! lol Thank you very much, that’s exactly what I need!
if they have hijacked browser.newtab,url, what will stop them from hijacking the new ad laden new tab page? there are tiles for ads so it’s as easy as slipping in their ads into that tiles.
oh well i’m not even using firefox anymore so they can do what they like i guess. i’m at office posting this on chrome which i hate but i can’t install anything on this restricted pc. at home i use seamonkey. left firefox for good.
Well, now I really feel and I hate that word ” Stupid ” but my tab page was hijacked and even after installing your add-on, I can’t make it go back to google.
Obviously I need help…Please.
I go to the about:config, find the browser.newtab.url…Right click it, click modify, type in google.com and yes I’ve tried http://www.google.com, click ok and nothing changes.
And yes I went to add-on, clicked options and then changed it to google.com
Am I supposed to contribute the $3 before I even findout if it works? Is that what’s wrong?
you need to change the new tab url in the options of the add-on in the add-on manager. Or if you prefer about:config: [email protected] is the name of the preference. The add-on does not change browser.newtab.url because browser.newtab.url no longer exists.
The add-on needs Firefox 41 or higher. It does nothing on older Firefox versions because older Firefox versions have the browser.newtab.url preference. My add-on is no solution if you’re using an older version of Firefox and your new tab page was hijacked.
Lots of comments on this one!
I have used Firefox for some time now and it’s still the best browser around.
Don’t be too hard on them! :))
BUT – I do not agree with this option being removed.
In fact, it was one of the first customizations I looked for as I started to use FF.
Essentially I read it is a security concern. I’m sure it can be – but generally high-jacked browsers I have seen are not due to opening a new tab – but the homepage. Also, instead of having the setting as an available option directly from Mozilla, we get to install an add-on from someone we do not know as the alternative?? (no disrespect to reputable add-on developers!) That is not a secure alternative at all. If someone’s browser is getting high-jacked they really have a different problem that needs to be fixed don’t they.
Surely there was a better way to “help” this issue.
BTW, those who already use the addon “Classic Theme Restorer” don’t need a new addon o keep their favourite homepage in the new tab !
I use “Classic Theme Restorer”. How do I set CTR so that when I open a new tab it will show my home page?
In the Options Tab(01) : New Tab page url (don’t forget to check the option)
THANK YOU! â™¥â™¥â™¥ It works! I had Classic Theme Restorer and added my preferred new tab website. Done. I am really glad as after reading this thread I knew I was not adding this new add-on. I may leave Firefox at some point but this solves the problem of restoring my customization of the new tab page -(though it doesn’t solve the problem of Firefox manipulating people) and I’m familiar with Classic. Never-the-less, I will be leaving FIrefox soon. I don’t have time for this nonsense. But thanks.
Can it be any more stupid!!!!!!
Thanks for this. I don’t mind the “protections”, but I want a new tab to open to the URL of my choice every time. I think if they block this ability again, I’ll just be done with Firefox, despite a 10-year love affair.
That does it!!! I actually DESPISE Firefox’s boring, tacky thumbnail filled page which is why I chose OM New Tab. Now they’re FORCING me to use the ugly thing? Sorry Firefox. I;m out. I’m only using Chrome from now on. Firefox will just be sitting on my laptop unused. I’ll just rely on chrome and Opera from now on. Peace out Firefox.
“Now they’re FORCING me to use the ugly thing?”
No. That’s not true.
How is it not true? Even if we find an alternate solution they are still, by default, forcing us to use it. Even if we use an add on to modify it they are still forcing us to use what they want us to use in the first place. Or do you mean you think it’s not ugly?
I was using the browser.newtab.url setting for quite some time. I strongly dislike the speed dial functionality AND adds. I rather like to pay directly via donations than indirectly via adds. In my opinion it was a wrong decision to remove the functionality and although the addon is a workaround, it should not be necessary.
To solve the problem the NewTab setting should be easily available in the settings menu, the same way as done at the moment with the home page. It would be easy to choose when Mozilla would introduce four options:
a) dynamic (speed dial),
b) same as homepage,
c) specific URL,
In case of hijacking (the home page OR the NewTab), users could revert the setting with one click.
To solve the problem the NewTab setting should be easily available in the settings menu, the same way as done at the moment with the home page
It’s the best solution. Other solution is the “new tab” be the same “home page”.
Yes, it should have been an option in the settings menu in the first place.
Apparently I will see my position on Pale Moon :| after 10 years on FF ship i’m goin…
Dont be stupid, this was made not for security, but to foist ppl advertising. \Sorry Mozilla, I’m changing browser……
1. I want to have my new tab as I like it to be.
2 TILES SUCK HARD, THEY REALLY DO
3. If you want to keep tiles, fine, but give me an option to have new tab as it was, ON MY OWN RISK
I like Firefox, well I did for a long time, seems like I’ll have to look for another browser.
URL option doesn’t appear i cant enter the one i want!
home page(your home page link soeren…net)
that’s because of a recent change in Firefox Nightly. I will publish an update on the weekend. It’s an easy fix (I just need to update to JPM 1.0.2 and repackage my add-on).
Just updated Nightly and started freaking out, then I saw your comment. The future is looking good. Thanks.
Any update on this?
Sorry for the delay. I uploaded the update on AMO a few minutes ago. Just wait for the update (it still needs to be reviewed) or install the new version from addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/new-tab-override/versions/.
Firefox is more and more becoming IE, less and less options for midifications
That’s not true. Add-ons were ALWAYS part of the customization concept.
Seriously? So you think users need another add-on just to change an URL?
Most users don’t need such an option and in fact most users don’t know there was an option, because it was always a hidden option. Please don’t think that most of the users need what you need. By the way, it’s a fact that add-ons were always part of the customization concept, add-ons made Firefox popular. And that was my statement in my last comment. So seriously, yes.
Soren – With all due respect to your recent comment, there’s a bit of circular reasoning in your post.
Here are some additional thoughts…
How do you know in the first place what “most users need” when the option is hidden? The fact that many have even found the hidden option at all (and not been scared away by the initial warning when you go to edit it) means users are trying to resolve an issue. I personally went looking to resolve multiple users’ complaints for not having their homepage on a new tab. Mozilla needs to see a little more ‘weight’ to this than just those who “knew” it was there. 1 complaint/comment here is worth MANY user concerns. Besides, the day we need to start using another add-on for such a basic feature that is essentially a default URL, I think we lose the value of add-ons.
It really makes NO sense to allow customization of the home page and then highjack new tabs with someone’s idea of what everyone should see. It is no wonder you have so many comments about it being of questionable intent. Don’t get me wrong – I think the new tab idea is a great option for some and that Firefox is still the best option out there. But the default for a new tab should remain an option and actually should not for that matter be hidden. I personally prefer a browser as clean as possible with limited add-ons for many reasons.
Further, it makes no sense to have any page customizable if the reasoning is potential abuse (which I understand is the justification). But this logic should then include the homepage which is the most common target for questionable toolbars and malware. But of course, that just makes no sense at all.
Even an option for a new tab to default to the users homepage would be a better option. After all, a modified homepage generally represents what the user wants to see on a startup page.
You ask “How do you know in the first place what most users need when the option is hidden?” and say “The fact that many have even found the hidden option at all” so that I have to ask “How do you know in the first place that *many” have found the hidden option?” It’s the same question.
And regarding home page vs. new tab page, it’s a different situation. There is a visible option for changing the homepage so users are much easier able to restore their homepage than the new tab page. If you have ideas to improve the situation like “an option for a new tab to default to the users homepage” please suggest your idea to Mozilla. I like the idea. ;)
I have ~25 addons in Firefox to restore prior behaviour to how I preferred it in the past. I have a further 8-12 to add new features.
Clearly the question that we should all be asking, is what else can be deprecated? Maybe the address bar should go next? Reasoning: “The web *flows* better when navigating from page to page through links.” Makes sense, right? Just have an address bar addon for those that need it.
Your comments are very good and well composed.
That’s nice to see. :))
The “more” in comparison arises out of the fact that the vast majority of people do not even bother to pursue an issue. Thus it is reasonable that each of those commenting here about the loss of the option represent many. That is a known fact for any process of complaints and is commonly used as a gauge to help give weight to any product or service complaints. Perhaps 1 complaint represents 1,000 users? I do not know a good ratio for FF.
When you add the fact that this is was a hidden option that many would not even find (or look for) you need to give it even more weight than usual as they would be complaining too had they figured it out. You may say more finding it would not result in more complaints about the change but that is doubtful or they would not have looked for a solution in the first place.
You can justifiably add to this further as it also reasonable to assume that some (maybe all?) who found the about:config gem were looking for a solution for many others, as was I. Therefore – even without any other “considerations” as above I already represent many.
Put them all together…
Yep – “many”. :))
And there is no difference between a new window and a new tab. They are just different presentations of the same thing. When opening a browser window you want to see Google or Bing (for instance) then when you open a new tab you’d want to see your preference, not Mozilla’s. I think that’s where the frustration comes from for some of the comments. I do not at all see any difference in allowing customization of one – and not the other. They are both prone to misuse.
But you already said you liked the idea of at least have your default homepage as an option so where does one go for that?
This is a BS explanation. We still have a homepage URL. I just want the option to use that when a new tab opens. The option existed, and it was removed to push us to their new page, which exposes my history and shows me ads. Chrome is even worse about configurability, so I have no option currently, but when I do… screw Firefox and their UI mistakes.
I mean, really, how dare they make a minor cosmetic change that can enhance their revenue stream when we all know the inherent immorality of such an action.
No, it was not removed to push to their new page, that’s not true, there is a visible (!) option to disable the tiles. Mozilla removed a hidden preferences which was abused and was a problem for a lot of users. And Mozilla provided a new API for add-on developers, so there is still the possibilty to customize the new tab page. You have all options you need.
I am thankful that they condescended to provide an API and that you provided an add on replacement for this feature.. Unfortunately, I don’t use add ons because history has shown that every upgrade disables them and then I have to spend more of my time looking for replacements or give up the feature.
Did they also provide a notice to let me know my hard earned preferences were being changed ‘for my protection’? NO, they simply hi-jacked my newtab for my protection!.. Did they include an option in the ‘gear wheel’ setting selection to leave my newtabs the way I had them (maybe with a warning expressing their concern)? NO, I can have a blank screen which requires additional user input (might as well start a new/alternate browser window) or show recent research history to any passerby..
It was simply assumed that the new feature was a.) best for me b.) should show any shoulder surfer what I had been researching c.) and was better than the configuration I had spent hours setting up to just go to my home page preference when speed dial was introduced.
Please don’t be offended by the criticism, but forward to anyone in the decision process. This is simply my opinion but I suspect many others have similar concerns. I have now made two comments on this thread. I probably haven’t made half a dozen comments on this type of thread in the last three decades and it will be my last here. Hopefully it hasn’t been a waste of my time but will be considered as constructive comments.
Bottom line here is probably this…
The explanations are good in principle only; after all, who can argue with “safety and security”?? BUT – a configurable page can be misused regardless of how it is configured so with that justification the home page itself should not be customizable either as it can be easily (and often is) highjacked. I don’t think there’s any question that doing that is not a (good) solution!
Why does a new tab need to be any different than your home page anyway? If your home page is a preference it is likely that’s what you always want to start with and it should be no different for a new tab. This goes also if the new Mozilla tab is a preference for some users. It too should then appear in a new tab as it does when FF is opened.
It’s great to give the OPTION for the new Mozilla Tab starting point but they have, in effect, high-jacked the new Tab themselves when there is no reason to. A little ironic isn’t it?
If you must lock it down, open a tab based on the setting that is already set (home page).
But personally, I still prefer how it was before.
You have bigger problems to deal with if your pages are highjacked.
Why can’t I pin one tile that takes up the whole screen?
Set browser.newtabpage.columns and browser.newtabpage.rows to 1. It does not take up the whole screen but you can limit the number of tiles to 1. And the size can probably be changed via userChrome.css.
Emily323: I totally agree with everything you say!
Soren, you aren’t fooling anyone but yourself.
It’s important for everyone stumbling across this discussion to bear in mind that Soren has a financial vested interest in his argument.
Everyone else? Well… we just want Firefox and be customizable, just like it used to be. We have no vested interest.
Firefox has historically been a browser for power users who are passionate about customizing their browsing experience. Mozilla is now motivated by $$$, first with sponsored tiles, now with changes under the hood (stripping away the customization power of about:config) which now make it impossible to specify a custom new tab page without installing add-ons. How ridiculous is that! This change conveniently increases views of Mozilla’s sponsored ads. We’re not that stupid, Mozilla. Well, perhaps the dumbed-down market you’re chasing after is… but we aren’t.
Soren, try answer some of these difficult questions:
1) If Mozilla were truly concerned with protecting users (and not just trying to maximize the target audience for their sponsored tiles), then why is the HOMEPAGE not protected? Hard to explain that one, isn’t it? I have worked in IT for over a decade and have seen DOZENS of hijacked Firefox homepages but am still yet to see a single hijacked Firefox new tab page. Based on my professional experience, I would estimate that there must be at around 20 (or more) hijacked Firefox homepages for every hijacked new tab page. The primary target for malicious browser changes has always been the homepage. Everyone sees the homepage every time they open their browser. There are a lot of people who never use tabs. The homepage is the main target of malware and, you would think, would be the first thing to be protected. The “security” argument is simply invalid.
2) The sponsored tiles came about in 2014 and the ability to set a custom new tab homepage was removed in 2015.
Do you honestly believe it was a coincidence that a fundamental change was made to Firefox was made, that JUST SO HAPPENS to have the affect of making it harder for people to change their new tab homepage, RIGHT AFTER the sponsored new tab page was introduced? No one’s going to fall for for that. Most users won’t want the bloat of another add-on to perform something that was previously natively possible and virtually all of us are computer savvy enough to know that the more add-ons you have loading in a browser when it opens… THE SLOWER YOUR BROWSER BECOMES.
Soren = loved the fact Browser.NewTab.URL was removed because it will increase HIS add-on revenue.
Mozilla = loved the fact Browser.NewTab.URL was removed because it will increase THEIR sponsored tile revenue.
Firefox users = hated the fact Browser.NewTab.URL was removed because it erodes the very reason they used Firefox to begin with…. CUSTOMIZATION. Lose that… and lose US.
As others have said, Soren’s rudeness is reason enough to avoid his stupid add-on (the fact it sucks and has to be installed on each device we use Firefox on, instead of syncing across the way settings sync, using Firefox Sync, is another reason).
Mozilla’s forcing us to put the tabs on the top of the screen (also taking this setting out of about:config a while ago) was a pathetic “design philosophy” insult to a loyal user base that was unforgivable but this new tab change is something I can’t tolerate and was the final straw.
As a loyal user of Firefox since the beginning, 2006, I am now sad to say that I have uninstalled it from my PC and am NEVER going back.
Mozilla management and the developers can chase the dumbed-down, computer illiterate market all they want, by stripping out functionality from this historically power user-oriented browser – but tech savvy users who want to use Firefox they way THEY want will abandon them (and encourage everyone we know to do the same). You guys have scored an own goal here and I am enjoying watching your disrespect for us blow up in your face.
I am now looking at the following alternative web browsers with an open mind and would encourage everyone else to ABANDON FIREFOX and do the same.
Come join me!! :D
-> Pale Moon (Firefox but untainted by the avalanche of recent revolting design changes)
-> Microsoft Edge (won’t switch as currently doesn’t support Adblock Plus… but may after that)
-> Vivaldi (based on Opera, looks promising but apparently doesn’t have a private browsing mode yet… may switch after that)
-> Torch (Chromium-based browser – looks very interesting! Only just heard about it for the first time today)
-> Maxthon (I hear this places a lot of emphasis on synchronizing across devices, which doesn’t interest me)
-> SeaMonkey (outdated appearance, apparently, but I’ll still be taking it for a test drive)
No thank you. I couldn’t be more pleased with FF 43.0a2 with some customization of the UI and a bunch of really, really useful add ons the total of which has been a continuous (and, yes, occasionally bumpy) evolution from Navigator. That can change of course if those add ons are deprecated, but I could give a rat’s ass about the new tab page. I virtually never see it anyway and I’m not quite sure why anyone does. I think the fuss about it is sturm and drang for the sake of sturm and drang.
“It’s important for everyone stumbling across this discussion to bear in mind that Soren has a financial vested interest in his argument.”
WTF? Please stop telling bullshit!
“Soren = loved the fact Browser.NewTab.URL was removed because it will increase HIS add-on revenue.”
Are you really so stupid that you think it could be true? Which revenue? The few donations? Yeah, that’s a really impressive revenue. Ouch!
“Soren, try answer some of these difficult questions”
Sorry, I won’t answer questions to liars. Also I already said all what I have to say. Just read the other comments.
I’d just like to mention that addon donations are pretty paltry. Only the best and most popular addons receive any significant ones. (Ex: Adblock) To have a vested interest in this change, you’d have to be a Mozilla employee.
FYI, the new tab page can also be changed by:
That said, I find Firefox more crashy lately. I will probably migrate to Pale Moon, Chrome, Opera, etc.
This is very sad. I wonder how FF will be disappointing us next? Disabling all add-ons?
Lucky for me the add-on I use displays when I click on the home button but what about the other people. I have all my resources linked to that add-on and not having it functioning as normal is very inconvenient.
I have downloaded and installed the addon several times now including the newer version and it says it has been added but I don’t see it when looking at about:addons. This is on 41.0.2. What could be wrong? I’ve tried closing and restarting though that should not be necessary. I only have 10 addons so it’s not like I’m not seeing it because there are so many.
Try Classic Theme Restorer. It can tweak the setting as well.
They are always removing useful features from Firefox to “protect” users. This is why I switched to Pale Moon a couple of years ago.
There is no need to write the word protect in quotation marks. I am very active in the (german speaking) Firefox support. Germany is still one of the countries where Firefox is the browser number one. So there are a lot of support requests and I *know* that the hijacking problem is a real and a big problem. Are you active in the support?
From today Mozilla Screwed up Firefox for the last time for me.
The most frequent thing that people want to see on a new tab is a “homepage” but, the brains trust (and that is said with maximum sarcasm) who are so arrogant that always think that they know so much better than everyone else, have for the LAST time screwed up my settings.
I opened a new tab, and without warning discovered that not only had they deleted my new tab->home page setting, but the only option I now have is either a blank page or the option to show my “top sites” neither of which I want, and the “New Tab Override” add-on is no longer functional.
I will never use FireFox again, I have had it with this piece of junk, I have never seen developers treat their users with such disdain, not even from MS. So from today, I will switch to either Chrome or perhaps IE but I will never use FireFox again.
> and the “New Tab Override” add-on is no longer functional.
That’s not true, New Tab Override works.
1. You need New Tab Override 2.2, there was a bug in the add-on, no change in Firefox
2. local file:// URLs are not supported in version 2.2, will be supported in version 2.3 again
3. you need the protocol (http:// or https://) since version 2.2. I thougt it is obvious that every URL needs a protocol but I was wrong, it’s too difficult for too much people. It will be improved in version 2.3.
I Still on 40 and will look for another browser. It was the most annoying thing I saw. If they wont correct this s**t I will change my browser
Firefox 40? Wow, there are a lot of security vulnerabilitiesâ€¦ There is *no* reason to use an old version of Firefox. I don’t need more than 30 seconds to change my new tab page – the installation of the add-on already included.
I would expect that the newer browser would have more 0-day exploits and the simpler older browser to have more commonly known vulnerabilities. Its all a matter a preference of poison.
There is no reason whatsoever to use Firefox, the evil Mozilla developers ruined the once best browser. The last usable version of Firefox was 28.0. I am not willing to install heaps of add-ons to restore removed features. I do not want to install signed add-ons. I can’t tolerate abominable Australis. By the way you are the worst troll in this blog.
Sorry, that’s nonsense and I won’t feed you troll. Have a nice day.
i agree, use palemoon.
and the security fixes @soren. i am secure with the latest version of a program, untill i descover tommorrow that you have fixed yet another 15 or so security flaws and the apparently insecure version that i was using is no longer the latest. i mean really, what security? you know what is secure? old is gold. when you make the right kind of software you won’t update it every day with new security fixes. you make it nice and you make it right. hard but true. but i don’t blame mozilla for that, thats how it goes with much of the software, even the system that runs your code isn’t secure but is subject to a never finalised stream of update patches and just when you think its done, they overwrite the whole thing with a new young version that also then gets its share of neverending patches. the whole thing is a mess and normally, a programmer has a hard time, with time constraints and a weird programming environment provided by that system, to make something right. untill recent days i ran with firefox 27, without an antivirus, not even caring about my firewall setting (windows firewall looks like a joke and so is security center). and without virus problems. but i am not leaving a full HSDPA+ connection unattended 24/7 for all those security improvements, HAHAHAHAHAHA. i am not running a server so that i need to be reachable 24/7 by the whole planet…. the best shield is not your toy antivirus but a trustworthy and reliable hardware that you can control. and then, trustworthy and reliable software. does being patched 3 times per month, per program, sounds reliable and trustworthy? hahahaha. while you try to keep your software updated all the time and have to put up and conform to various fixes, ahem, of the manufactor for the sake of this imaginary security, various redesigns, because we are told that newer is always better. i am living stress free peacefull software part of my life by using the already proven and reliable, bug free tools. i am still using windows xp and even i am a programmer, i don’t see what windows vista and windows 7 brings that is so spectacular to call windows xp outdated… windows xp is an excellent and best system from microsoft. windows 2000 professional is also not bad and one would be suprised what it could do and how it could look in a programmer’s hands, being that most underlying api that works on xp, also works on windows 2000 professional. antivirus is a myth to me. i heavily browse the internet but i never encounter any uncontrolled situation. popunders, pages that reload in background, if you wish to improve browser security you need something like statusbarex, a firefox addon that shows you the network flow, you know to see is the data being exchanged behind your back while the browser’s address bar says: idle. then automatic redirections, those ad buttons ‘download now’, don’t download an exe from the internet to set a jpg wallpaper on your desktop for you, for goodness sake. or a download helper to replace your browser and connect to the server instead of you and *automatically* find and download what you need… use something like process explorer from sysinternals instead of the poor default task manager. don’t install bloatware that heavily binds with the system, use focused well designed tested and thrustworthy programs. know your stuff, thats the most important. you can’t hope to maintain your system if you don’t know how it works. a system is more secure with a good user behind the controls without an antivirus, then without one and an antivirus. it is just a machine and thank goodness, because that is what it needs to be, not AI so you loose control of what is happening and so that instead you use the computer, the computer use you….
firefox is really something i have to say. that is, ignoring the chromification that started from version 29. they’ve made a pretty good browser. but they’ve changed. in fact, both opera and firefox have changed into another chrome. opera lost me from version 15, firefox fell away from 29. chrome or chromium or any equalent, i don’t like. pale moon is so far good and the manufactor, moonchild, seam to know what they’re doing and what they want and i like that.
about the newtab ‘security issue’ : firefox has a built in ability of LOCKING preferences, but it is kind of like userchrome.css, it needs to be configured manually. if they really wish to freeze some preferences from changing, lock config has advantage over default prefs, it is also a nice way to migrate your settings from a profile to profile and keep track of them. it could be configured by default to lock all the prefs that mozilla finds to be a ‘security risk’ for a common user, if they are worried. that way instead of changing prefs.js, you could change lock config to enable a certain preference. what happens to lock config file should be a security concern of the operating system rather then firefox. cause just the same, a malicious program could overwrite or inject code in the firefox exe and what then? we are supposed to remove firefox exe to better prevent then cure? these are all static programs built by humans, and as they are built they will work. it is not hard to make it all reliable AND usefull at the same time. and if i want it to do this, it should do this, simple. and not be programmed to analyse my decisions and educate me, people have voice for that.
the problem with addons is that they sometimes break as the new version is out, while native code is being directly maintained by firefox developers. the funny thing is that usually its just what it needs a boost in the max version inside the addon’s chrome file. but a casual user doesn’t know how to do that, or to replace a deprecated api in the source code.
some know what they see on the screen, some know to enter preferences dialog, some know to enter about:config, some know to edit prefs.js by hand, some know to use userchrome.css, some know to use the addon api to trivially add features in the browser, some know to build the firefox source code and make forks such as pale moon. all this, along with the web developers console, which is more powerfull then it seams, shows that firefox is an amazing web browser that breaks the standards set by a normal computer program, giving a lot of freedome to the user, the way it was ment to be. but with the downfall that began with australis user interface, this good work is slowly getting undone and what used to be free now seam to be becoming a bait on a hook. luckily it is open source and there are smart persons out there that know how to save the good work.
It’s the stupid things that like this that Firefox does, that has made me to never update my browser until it stops working totally. Like when they did away with the older style skins and pushed the waste of space themes they have now..boring and plain.. and taking away the ability to change where the tabs are.. above or below address bar ( I happen to love them below ).. they change things and basically tell you tuff Sh1T… it’s what we want you to use. Like in the Firefox cellphone browser.. they did away with the exit option in menu, then tell you to install the addon to put it back if you want it. and you can’t clear recent pages in the top sites.. so if I enter a wrong address I am stuck with it on my top sites page till who knows when.
They are a big joke instead of the well loved great browser they once were.
Oh and by the way I was on version 28 up till last year when I took a chance on Version 42.0..It sucked untill I put about 10 or so addons into it, and still not as nice as version 28.. I still use version 28 and love it.
I consider this a really stupid move.
It prevents me from having a browser that works. (I have put some work into programming my own home page.)
These guys appear to be hostile to independent thinkers.
There are a couple of solutions using add-ons.
I use the extension OM New Tab. It used to open as the homepage but now Firefox opens as the homepage and I have to click on the OM New Tab icon to use the extension. It makes no sense. I’m not sure if it’s a bug with the extension or if this is Mozilla’s doing. I’ve used the extension in Chrome and it works just fine. Seems to be no way around it in Firefox. I wish it still worked the way it used to.
Just a suggestion. Why not to store this option in a place that require administrative privileges to access? For example, user could have chosen default or customizable start page during the installation.
Here’s a great idea, let’s remove user functionality because we can’t secure our shit! Job please Mozilla.. Fanks
change in about:config the value of
browser.newtabpage.enabled to false
for retrieving old new tab