Pale Moon and Firefox are two popular web browsers that share many features. Most Firefox add-ons run perfectly fine in Pale Moon for example and the same is true for the majority of about:config tweaks.
Differences exist on the other hand and it is likely that the gap widens in the future due to decisions made by both development teams.
Pale Moon was not switched to the Australis interface for instance that Firefox was switched to in version 29. While that looks like just an interface change, it impacts a lot in the browser.
Some add-ons have been designed specifically for Australis for instance while others won't work with the new interface at all.
As far as tweaks are concerned, the majority of them are identical. If you check out our Firefox security guide for instance, you will notice that most tweaks and add-ons listed on the page are compatible with Pale Moon as well.
Note: Some of the tweaks below work in Firefox as well.
If you are not familiar with about:config, it is actually simple but also very powerful at the same time. All you have to do is type about:config into the Pale Moon address bar and hit enter.
Pale Moon lists a huge number of preferences on the page that opens that can all be changed to modify behavior.
Some tweaks may change interface elements or behavior while others apply under-the-hood changes that modify caching, connections or the rendering of pages.
You change the value of parameters with a double-click on them. If it is a boolean (true or false values only) then it will be switched automatically to the other value. All other value types open a prompt instead that you use to change the value.
A right-click on a parameter opens a context menu with a reset option. This comes in handy if you want to restore the original value but cannot remember it.
Customize the secure site padlock
The majority of browsers show a padlock icon when you connect to secure websites such as https://www.startpage.com/. While the padlock is still displayed by most browsers, its position has changed in recent time.
Firefox and Chrome display it in the address bar inside the colored area indicating a secure site instead of in the status bar where it was located initially.
Pale Moon comes with several padlock related options that you may find useful:
Defines where the padlock icon is shown in Pale Moon
Image related tweaks
The default background color of the image viewer in Pale Moon is #2E3B41 which is a dark blue-grayish kind of color.
You can use the preference listed above to change the color to another one. If you select #ffffff for instance it becomes white. The color that you see on the screenshot is #b0b3b6.
Check out these Hex Colors for inspiration.
Pale Moon, just like Firefox, resizes images automatically so that they fit the browser window. Setting this preference to false prevents this from happening so that the original size is always loaded.
Security and privacy tweaks
The following tweaks have been posted on the Pale Moon forum.
Set this to false to prevent plugins from using external scripts with XPCOM or XPCONNECT.
Set this to false to disable geo localization.
Set this to false to prevent websites from manipulating your browser history.
Tooltips are displayed in Pale Moon whenever you move the mouse cursor over an interface element that has a tooltip assigned to it.
It offers a short description of what the element does. If you have used the browser for some time, you probably don't need those anymore.
Set this to false to disable tooltips in Pale Moon.
Pale Moon does not prefetch network resources like Firefox does by default. If you want that feature, as it may speed up browsing, then you need to enable it.
Note that it may increase bandwidth usage and impact privacy as well.
Set the parameter to true to enable prefetching in Pale Moon.
Disable url formatting in the address bar
Pale Moon, just like Firefox, formats the url in the address bar to emphasize the domain name. The domain is displayed in bold while all other "parts" of it are not.
Set the value of the parameter to false to disable the formatting.
Disable animations in Pale Moon
While some of you may appreciate animations when new tabs are opened or you are using the tab groups feature, others may not want those to be displayed at all.
Set browser.tabs.animate and browser.panorama.animate_zoom to false, and browser.fullscreen.animateUp to 0.
Open new tabs next to the active one
Pale Moon opens new tabs at the end of the tab bar. This is different from Firefox which opens new tabs next to the active tab.
Change the value of the parameter to true so that new tabs are opened next to the active tab in Pale Moon from that moment on.
Paste with middle mouse button
Set the following parameter to true to enable middle mouse button pasting. Instead of having to use Ctrl-v or the right-click context menu, you can now just middle-click to perform the same operation.
Now You: Know of another must-have tweak for Pale Moon? Share it in the comments below and I'll add it to the guide.
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 (video ads) 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.