Facebook Photo Theater Killer Gets Rid Of Facebook's New Photo View Mode

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 18, 2011
Updated • Jan 19, 2015

Facebook rolled out a new photo viewer recently which they say "makes it simpler and faster to navigate photos". The benefit of the new photo viewer is the fact that no new pages are loaded even if the user views multiple photos on Facebook.

Facebook's new photo viewer has caused quite the controversy among Facebook users with more than 2200 mostly negative comments about it. There are some that like the new style of the photo viewer while the majority does not like its features at all to say it mildly. When there is controversy there is usually a workaround around the next corner.

There are actually a few things that Facebook users can do to get rid of the new photo viewer. From manual workarounds like reloading the web page (hit f5 in the browser) to Ctrl-clicking (or middle-clicking) the photo to open it in a new tab so that the new photo viewer is circumvented to userscripts like Facebook Photo Theater Killer.

facebook photo viewer

The userscript replaces the new photo viewer on Facebook with the old viewer that is still accessible. It is however not clear if Facebook will keep the old photo viewer up and running indefinitely. The userscript will break the moment Facebook disables the old photo viewer. For now, it is working perfectly.

The Greasemonkey script for now offers the only automatic solution to prevent the opening of photos in Facebook's new photo viewer.

The script is compatible with Firefox if the Greasemonkey add-on is installed in the browser and Google Chrome if the Tampermonkey extension has been installed.

Users should see no sign of the new Facebook photo anymore after the script has been installed. Previous versions of the userscript showed the new viewer for a split second before the old photo viewer page was loaded.

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox users can download and install the userscript from its userscripts page.

Update: The script has not been updated since 2011 which makes it likely that it won't work properly anymore. You can use a program like Social Fixer, available for Firefox, Chrome, Opera and other browsers to use a different photo viewer on Facebook instead.

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Facebook Photo Theater Killer
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  1. Melinda said on April 2, 2011 at 12:26 am

    What about Explorer? Nothing is mentioned anywhere about how to get rid of this annoying theater mode on Explorer. Can you help?

    1. FirefoxPro said on May 2, 2011 at 1:21 am

      Its called upgrading to a better web browser!

  2. Mushaf said on February 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

    The new photo viewer is quite annoying as it doesn’t allow the right click > copy image url option. So I turned back to the old photo viewer
    using ‘Facebook Lightbox Killer’ (http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/97159) which does the same job as the script described in the article.

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