Opening Tabs In Firefox, Configuration Options

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 27, 2011
Updated • Mar 2, 2015

How do you like your tabs to open in the Firefox web browser? Mozilla has changed the default tab opening behavior in Firefox 3.6 significantly.

Related tabs open to the right of the active tab, while unrelated tabs open at the end of the tab row.

That's inconsistent and something that has bothered me for quote some time. See, I use the Multi Links add-on for Firefox to open multiple links at once in the browser. These often open at the end of the tab row which is not how I want it to be.

Lets take a look at the available options in Firefox. The Alt-key -> Tools > Options > Tab menu offers no help. It offers general tab related settings but no configuration option to change the way new tabs are opened.

The only other built-in option is to enter about:config in the Firefox address bar, hit enter, confirm the notification if it appears and filter for the term "browser.tabs".

Please note that this has only been tested under Firefox 4, the parameters may be different under Firefox 3.6. Update: This works in all recent versions of Firefox as well.

Locate the browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent parameter. It is set to True which is the default behavior. True means that related tabs will be opened to the right of the current tab. Firefox users who want to change that behavior can double-click the parameter to set the value from true to false.

False means that all tabs are opened at the end of the tab row.

But what about users who want new tabs to always open direct next to the active tab?

Those users need to install an add-on, like the restartless Always Right add-on. The Firefox extension configures the browser to open all tabs, regardless of their relation to the active tab, to the direct right of the active tab.

There you have it. Users who want all tabs to open at the end of the tabbar need to make the change on the about:config page, users who prefer that all tabs open directly next to the active tab need to use an extension for that.

What's left to say? How do you like your tabs?

Opening Tabs In Firefox, Configuration Options
Article Name
Opening Tabs In Firefox, Configuration Options
Find out how to modify Firefox's default behavior when opening tabs in the browser.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Mar said on June 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    This article was a gigantic help and a solution to a problem I’ve been having for days. I knew nothing about the config in Firefox and now I can set it to do more for me. Thanks SO MUCH.

  2. Roman ShaRP said on February 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Errrrrrrrrr… I think I configure all this and much more with Tabmix Plux, what is must have add-on for me.

  3. MRK said on February 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    All fine and good, as long as there’s still maximum display area for content. I prefer it this way:

    But now that you mention it, how come gHacks is still NTSC TV, and not 16:9?


Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.