How to turn off Firefox's New Tab Page Completely
Mozilla is currently in the process of releasing an update for its Firefox browser that brings the version of the stable branch to 13.0.2. This update is likely linked to a caching issue of the browser's new tab page. According to several reports, Firefox may currently include snapshots of https sessions on the new tab page, with some users reporting that thumbnails were revealing online banking and webmail information on the page.
We have already posted our fair share of new tab page troubleshooting tips here on Ghacks, to fix issues with websites or thumbnails not being displayed on the new tab page.
For now, that is at least until the security issue gets fixed by Mozilla, it is recommended to turn off the feature in the browser. The hide button on the new tab page may be a good start, but all it does is hide the list of sites and thumbnails on the page. Any user with access to the computer or the Firefox profile directory can still access the thumbnails to have a look at the visited sites as they are still generated by the browser.
Firefox users have several options at hand to mitigate the issue, but only one that turns off the browser's new tab page feature. Here are three options:
- Enter about:config in the browser's address bar to load the advanced preferences listing
- Filter for browser.newtabpage.enabled and double-click the entry to change its value to false. This disables the new tab page and displays a blank page instead.
- Alternatively, filter for browser.newtab.url, double-click it and replace the about:newtab value with another page in the browser. Please note that Firefox will still generate the information in the background, as the feature is still active. (Update: The option has been removed. You can still restore it though).
- Install a third party add-on like New Tab King that replaces the original new tab page.
Keep in mind that only the first option will disable the generation of thumbnails in the browser. The two other options are only hiding the standard page in the browser.
Mozilla is already testing release builds, and it is likely that we will see the new version of Firefox pushed out in the open in the coming days.
Update: The most recent implementation of the New Tab page ships with an option to set it to a blank page.
To do that, click on the wheel icon in the top right corner of the New Tab page and switch to blank when the menu pops up.Advertisement