Pref Helper reveals preference names of Firefox options

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 29, 2015
Updated • Jun 25, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Pref Helper is a free add-on for the Firefox web browser that reveals preference names behind Firefox options.

The Firefox Options provide users of the web browser with customization settings. While those options pale in comparison to the treasure chest that users find on about:config or the corresponding prefs.js file, a selection of many popular settings are provided directly in the options.

There users find options to change startup parameters, tweak privacy settings or change display options.

It may sometimes be useful to know the preference name of an option as you can use the information in several ways. First, it enables you to add a preference to the user.js file to enforce it and protect it from change, and second, you may use it in programs like CCK2 which allow you to create and distribute Firefox configuration files.

Pref Helper has been created by the author of CCK2 to provide Firefox users with information about those preference names.

Note: The extension is offered only on the developer website and not on Mozilla's AMO website currently. Firefox may refuse to install it because of this depending on version and settings.

It displays all settings with corresponding preference names in blue in the Firefox options to indicate that you can display the preference name of those options.

A right-click on a preference displays it in a prompt on the same page. You may select and copy the information, for instance to add them directly into a third-party file or extension, or the about:config page.

The method can also be useful to find out more about a preference, for instance if it supports more than just an on or off value, or if you can add other values on the about:config page or user.js file that you cannot add to the frontend.

You may still need to research the preference name on the Internet to find out more about it though as the extension itself does not reveal any information about it other than its name. While the description on Firefox's options page is sometimes enough for that, it may not reveal all the information needed.

Closing Words

Prefs Helper is a specialized extension for Firefox that is only beneficial to a small number of users. While that is the case, it may provide users of the browser with information about preference names that they can then research for additional information or direct entry in user.js files or other extensions. (via Sören Hentzschel)

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  1. Pd said on December 3, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Is there a pref to stop my own browser from spamming me daily with toolbar messages about mobile versions?

  2. Drugoy said on November 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    That’s awesome.
    I have to keep Firefox on ~7 non-mobile devices and sometimes it’s a PitA to restore/fix a broken profile.
    So usually I just copy only the essential files from the profile folder excluding prefs.js, since usually it is the cause of all troubles.
    To restore settings I use a pre-defined user.js that I manually created and populated with almost all the necessary prefs.
    But as time goes by, new settings/prefs appear and some old ones become obsolete.
    Since I’ve stopped tracking news about Firefox on such a level that I once used to do (for quite a long time I was living with Firefox on Nightly as my only browser) – it was now hard for me to know the new prefs’ names.
    With this add-on – I hope it’s no longer a problem.

  3. Tom Hawack said on November 30, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I’ve never seen a smaller Firefox add-on : 1.3KB – Just the essential.
    Unsigned so it’ll run as fine as it does now until signed addons become obligatory. It’s a smart idea, handy for copying the equivalent about:config in the user.js file when applicable. Nice.

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