Add a Restart button or shortcut to Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 10, 2014

Whenever you install a browser add-on in Firefox that requires a restart, an option to restart the Firefox web browser is displayed.

This is also the case if you disable add-ons or enable add-ons in the extensions manager of the browser.

Sometimes, you may want to restart Firefox for other reasons, for instance when you notice that the browser's memory usage shot through the roof, or if the program becomes unresponsive.

Problem here is that there is no such option.

While you can close the browser window and open it again manually, it may lead to undesirable effects such as loss of the current session depending on how the browser is configured.

If you start Firefox with a blank tab, or only the home page, and not the sites that were open on browser exit, then a restart option may come in handy to continue the current browsing session without having to use a session saver extension, save all open sites to bookmarks, or switch how Firefox starts up.

Firefox users have two options when it comes to adding a restart option to the browser. The first is by using the browser's Developer Toolbar, the second by installing an add-on.

Developer Toolbar

The Developer Toolbar is a mighty useful tool that allows you to run a variety of commands, such as editing or deleting cookies, taking screenshots, managing Firefox add-ons, or modifying preferences.

The toolbar comes with a restart command that you can make use of. Here is how you would do so:

  1. Make sure that Firefox is the active window on the system.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut Shift-F2 to display the console at the bottom of the page.
  3. Alternatively, press the Alt-key, and select Tools > Web Developer > Developer Toolbar from the menu that opens up.
  4. Type restart and hit enter.
  5. Firefox will be restarted, and all websites that were open before are loaded again.

You can bypass the cache during restart by adding false to the command: restart false.

Tip: Make sure that you save all work before you run the command, as you may lose it otherwise.

Restart add-on

The extension Restart adds a restart shortcut and a restart button to the browser. This can be useful if you prefer to use a keyboard shortcut or icon that you can click on.

Simply install the extension and either start using the shortcut that it makes available, Ctrl-Alt-R, or by adding the button to one of the toolbars.

  1. Press the Alt-key to bring up the menu, and select View > Toolbars > Customize from the menu.
  2. Locate the Restart button here, and drag and drop it to one of the toolbars of the browser.

You can disable the shortcut in the options, or change it there as well.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Giorgos. said on March 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

    For Firefox restart, Toolbar Buttons addon, has a related button.

  2. Dwight Stegall said on March 11, 2014 at 1:05 am

    In Google Chrome make a new bookmark on the bookmarks toolbar. Name it “R” and make its URL chrome://restart

    To find the others chrome://about

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 11, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Great tip, thanks Dwight.

  3. Terry Newton said on March 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm
  4. Karl Gephart said on March 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I like Memory Restart The restart button gives you a memory reading when you hover. Turns from green to red if it exceeds 500MB (or any number you set – you can change colors, too). You can ask it to autorestart at a certain value or alert you if a certain increase has happened since your last check.

  5. Terry Newton said on March 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Memory Fox has a “restart browser” in its drop down menu.I used to use Restartless add on but since I already use Memory Fox then I didn’t the Restartless add on.

  6. Simon Falck said on March 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Another way is the 15Kb addon called Restartless Restart:

    1. Pants said on March 11, 2014 at 1:26 am

      +1, ditto for what Matthias said

      The Pants approves :)

    2. Matthias said on March 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Using that one for long time now.

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