Are you using the ESC key on your keyboard to stop background requests or animations in Firefox? The majority of users probably do not know that it is possible to do so using the ESC key, and chance is, they will never find out about it either as Mozilla just implemented a change in Firefox 20 that changes the behavior.
If you visit a page with an animated gif, like this Wikipedia page you may notice that the animation is repeated indefinitely. If you are using Firefox 19 or earlier, you can simply tap on the Esc key on your keyboard to stop the animation, all of them, on that page. When you open the very same page in Firefox 20, which is currently available in the Nightly channel, you will notice that tapping on Esc does nothing at all. It won't stop the animations on the page and there is no other way to stop the animations from playing on that page.
You find out our version of Firefox by loading about:support. Check under version to see which version of the browser you are running. The change will propagate to the other channels of the browser and eventually reach the stable version of Firefox.
Esc in Firefox 19 and earlier not only stops animations from playing, it also stops network connections which may be useful if you want to quickly block page contents from loading any further, or to stop connections that use bandwidth all the time which may be useful if you pay for your bandwidth for instance.
SuperStop is a new Firefox extension that adds the feature back to the browser. It is only compatible with Firefox 20 and newer, and won't install in older versions of the browser at all. It maps the option to stop animations and background requests to the Shift-Esc key. So, instead of tapping on ESC you now need to activate Shift-Esc for the functionality.
If you are interested in the discussion you find the bug on this Bugzilla page.
The feature has been removed and is now resolved as "won't fix" which means that users who want the functionality back need to install the add-on to do so. The extension has been created as a result of the discussion.
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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.