I have played around with Firefox's new tab page in the past days and you may have already come into contact with as well.
Mozilla added the new tab page back in January to nightly builds of the browser, from where it was passed to aurora and beta builds before it was added to the stable Firefox 13 release back in the beginning of June.
The page itself is basically a Speed Dial page that displays nine frequently used websites on the otherwise blank screen. Firefox users have options to remove websites from the list and replace them with sites from their bookmarks for instance, to turn the page into one-click options to access these websites.
There are two major issues with the new tab page that users may experience. They may notice that no websites are added to the new tab page, regardless of what they do. The feature is linked to the browser's history, and most users who do not see websites added to the new tab page have either turned the history feature off, have configured Firefox to delete the history when the browser closes, or are using a tool like CCleaner to remove the information from the browser regularly.
Users need to make sure that the remember my browsing and download history box is checked in the browser. If it is not, Firefox won't record any websites and can't therefore use the information to populate the new tab page with popular sites.
You furthermore need to make sure that the history is not cleared when Firefox is closed, and that tools like CCleaner are also not deleting it. If the clear history when Firefox closes box is checked, you need to open the Settings there to make sure that the browsing history is not checked in the menu.
Once you have made the necessary changes you may notice that the new tab page gets populated with websites that you have visited. What may happen however is that you do not see thumbnails on the page, only page titles.
Firefox may not be able to create a thumbnail screenshot of some web pages, which may be the reason why you can't see thumbnails for some sites on the new tab page. If you see thumbnails for others, the feature is working properly and Firefox, for whatever reason, can't create thumbnails for those sites.
If you see no thumbnails at all, the reason is likely linked to the clearing of the Firefox cache. Firefox uses the cache for the thumbnails, and if you clear the cache from within Firefox, for instance on exit, or with the help of a disk cleaner, you end up without thumbnails on the page.
Make sure that the cache entry is not checked under Settings for Clearing History (the menu you see above), and that third party tools do not delete the cache as well.
You may still see missing thumbnails, and you may want to try and load the page again to give the Internet browser another shot at creating a thumbnail for that site. Or, you may simple prefer to replace it with a site that is rendered correctly.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.