Firefox won't prompt anymore when you are closing multiple tabs, but there is an option to enable it

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 28, 2021
Firefox
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28

Mozilla Firefox 94 won't prompt users anymore when they are about to close a browser window with multiple tabs. Previous versions of the Firefox web browser displayed a close prompt in that case, which acted as a security precaution. Firefox  94 and newer won't display the confirmation anymore, regardless of the way the browser window is closed (with one notable exception)

Firefox users have several options when it comes to closing the browser, e.g. by using the menu or clicking on the close button. It is interesting to note that the keyboard shortcut to close the browser window is not unified. Windows users need to press Ctlr-Shift-Q, while Mac and Linux users Ctrl-Q.

An option to disable the prompt is provided when it is displayed. Firefox up until version 93 has no option in the Settings to enable the prompt again.

firefox confirm close tabs

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Mozilla reveals why it decided to change the closing prompt from Firefox on a support page. According to the organization, close actions in the contexts mentioned are "likely intentional", and that the prompt is "unnecessary" and may provide "unwelcome friction".

Starting in Firefox version 94, Firefox no longer warns you by default when you exit the browser or close a window using a menu, button, or three-key command. The close actions in these particular contexts were likely intentional and so the messages provided unnecessary and perhaps unwelcome friction.

Firefox 94 and newer displays a close confirmation prompt only on Mac and Linux devices, if the two key shortcut is used, because the risk of accidental closure is higher, according to Mozilla.

The only instance in which a close modal is on by default is for two-key quit shortcuts on macOS and Linux. The risk of accidental closure is higher in this context since the quit shortcut (?+Q) is adjacent to the switch-application shortcut (?+Tab).

Firefox desktop users may enable or disable the closing confirmation prompt at any time in the browser's preferences, starting in Firefox 94.

firefox confirm before closing multiple tabs

All it takes is to load about:preferences in the browser's address bar and check or uncheck the new "Confirm before closing multiple tabs" option that is displayed under Tabs on the page.

Veteran Firefox users may remember that the browser's advanced configuration includes a preference, browser.tabs.warnOnClose, that determines whether the close prompt is displayed or not. Just load about:config in Firefox's address bar, paste the preference into the field at the top, and toggle it either to TRUE (enabled) or FALSE (disabled).

firefox warn on close

Mozilla plans to release Firefox 94 Stable on November 2, 2021.

Now you: do you use the close confirmation prompt?

Summary
Firefox won't prompt anymore when you are closing multiple tabs, but there is an option to enable it
Article Name
Firefox won't prompt anymore when you are closing multiple tabs, but there is an option to enable it
Description
Find out how to enable the confirmation prompt in the Firefox web browser when a browser window with multiple open tabs is about to be closed.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Tom Hawack said on October 28, 2021 at 11:00 am
    Reply

    I’ve always set ‘browser.tabs.warnOnClose’ = false

    Regarding CTRL+SHIFT+Q, I read many complaints about this but given I’m a mouse aficionado rather than a keyboard fan, it doesn’t bother me.

    What does bother me is that if I have several Firefox windows opened, closing Firefox only closes the current Firefox window, good and normal except that other windows include those such as Library (which is still not displayed in a tab), Page Info etc … and that I more than once had only one Firefox GUI opened but as well Library, Page Info, and that closing the Firefox GUI didn’t close the latter, which meant Firefow was still opened. Which is why I’ve added an ‘Exit Firefox’ button (userChromeJS crafted) next to Firefox’s Buttonbox which closes *all* Firefox opened Windows (‘EX’, as well as ‘RS’ to Restart (also a userChromeJS) , and Clock (extension manipulated with CSS) on the left as viewable here : [https://img.justpaste.me/i/20211028/mg13z/ButtonBoxPlus.png].

    There is a lesser known about:config pref which allows to consider all opened Firefox windows when closing Firefox : privacy.clearOnShutdown.openWindows // Default=false
    If set to true closing Firefox will close all Firefox windows, like my userChromeJS above mentioned, but IMO defaulting Firefox exit to exiting all opened Firefox windows is not a wise idea. The extra button is less problematic.

  2. owl said on October 28, 2021 at 11:38 am
    Reply

    > Now you: do you use the close confirmation prompt?

    I often accidentally close my browser and leave so many tabs open that “Tree Style Tab” is essential (add Auto Tab Discard, Cookie AutoDelete, and LocalCDN), so I need to be prompt.

    Well, not only Firefox, but I have it set to “prompt me in situations where the state changes” in every program.
    It is true that many users dislike the “prompt” as annoying, so I have seen many programs that have made the prompting feature an opt-in option or removed it.
    In programs that do not provide prompting, I add a “prompt” function in a third-party application or similar.

    1. Anonymous said on October 29, 2021 at 12:20 am
      Reply

      lies! the devs said it’s intentional, no accidental close whatsoever

  3. Fredo said on October 28, 2021 at 12:18 pm
    Reply

    You can still set Firefox to open with tabs from previous session on startup.
    With that set, you don’t need a warning, but can simply re-open Firefox if you accidently closed it.

    1. Yash said on October 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm
      Reply

      Same.

    2. Bob said on December 1, 2021 at 8:44 pm
      Reply

      This is not a solution: formerly this was the same. The diff was that it asks/info you only and just if you have more the one instance of FF open. In such a case it (what you mentioned) doesn’t help, when you close the “main” browser with tons of Tabs as first…

  4. Anonymous said on October 28, 2021 at 12:49 pm
    Reply

    F*ing idiots at mOZILLA are at it again. Last years all they have done is remove useful and good features, while spending exorbitant time “fixing” address bar and make it much worse.

    1. Anonymous said on November 5, 2021 at 12:56 am
      Reply

      Yup, whoever in charge there is trying to make it tank below 1% market share I guess… This is sad.

  5. Paul(us) said on October 28, 2021 at 1:23 pm
    Reply

    Great article again Martin,
    You are writing “Mozilla Firefox 94 won’t prompt users anymore”
    I have Mozilla Firefox 93.0.0 stable but I have already that the tabs are closing without a warning and the possibility in the settings, to change that like you mentioned it in above article?

    I do not agree at all with Firefox organization that close actions in the contexts mentioned are “likely intentional”, and that the prompt is “unnecessary” and may provide “unwelcome friction”.

    People have said to me that the function is for small children.
    But I am loving the feature. Please keep it Mozilla Firefox.
    Instead of loosing it give people a option to loose it in the setting please.

    1. Tom Hawack said on October 28, 2021 at 8:25 pm
      Reply

      // Closing Multiple Tabs Prompt
      pref(“browser.tabs.warnOnCloseOtherTabs”, true);

  6. Anonymous said on October 28, 2021 at 2:57 pm
    Reply

    Closing the prompt takes a second or two.
    Accidentally closing tabs will, for many users, take far more than a second or two and you know could actually lead to ‘unwelcome friction’.

    It should not be necessary to solve a problem that did not exist by using the ‘çonfig’ option.

  7. Mo said on October 28, 2021 at 3:09 pm
    Reply

    Good I don’t like the prompt, but I am sure there are users who do or could use it. Good to have options.

  8. ULBoom said on October 28, 2021 at 4:06 pm
    Reply

    One of the few annoyances I keep active.

    The part of the article where Mozilla claims Windows users are more aware than Mac or Linux users is just plain bizarre. Mac, maybe. Linux, no way.

  9. JuhaT said on October 28, 2021 at 4:12 pm
    Reply

    Annoying prompt, but you only had to see it once really, pretty easy to disable it in the first prompt. But I wont miss it.

  10. Bob said on October 28, 2021 at 7:49 pm
    Reply

    I like the “safety net” of this prompt.

    One they could get rid of is the “Update available” one. I’ll update my browser when I feel like it thanks.

  11. WEnd WEnd said on October 28, 2021 at 8:46 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla is really trying to kill Firefox.

  12. one two three said on October 28, 2021 at 11:17 pm
    Reply

    Gee, thanks Mozilla. What a valuable change. I hope it cost a lot in brainstorming and programming.

    I can just imagine a crowd of people huddled around a very long table and some stupid @?$* saying, “I HAVE IT! I have the great idea! Let’s remove the multiple tab prompt!” “GENIUS!”

  13. beemeup5 said on October 29, 2021 at 12:15 am
    Reply

    Anyone remember the “Save and quit” button? It was useful to be able to choose when you actually wanted to save a session. Also the SessionManager addon is one of the most important addons I use so thank god Pale Moon still supports it.

    1. owl said on October 29, 2021 at 1:48 am
      Reply

      @beemeup5,

      This is not a straight answer to your “question”, but I prefer “Tab Stash”.

      Tab Stash: A no-fuss way to save and organize batches of tabs as bookmarks. Only for Firefox.
      https://josh-berry.github.io/tab-stash/

      In the past, I have used “OneTab” and “Tab Session Manager”, but the current means was “easy, security, and reliable”.

      Incidentally, I don’t keep any “history” for security reasons, and prefer to “delete all cookies and cache immediately” even when I am browsing. Therefore, it is not possible (I’m not holding my breath.) to recover from history, etc.

  14. syrup said on October 29, 2021 at 4:20 pm
    Reply

    Note the behaviour of browser.tabs.warnOnClose has changed subtly for users who have “restore previous session” (renamed “open previous windows and tabs” in 94) enabled. In 93 and before, the warning would be skipped when closing the last window, as it’s going to be restored anyway, but 94 doesn’t make that exception and will display the warning regardless. That may frustrate users who relied on the warning as a cue they’re about to accidentally nuke their main window, and otherwise annoy them with an unnecessary prompt on exit.

    For those users, suggestion would be to consider letting go of browser.tabs.warnOnClose, as the “recently closed windows” menu option (under History) seems to have gotten pretty good at undoing mistakes.

  15. a:c said on October 30, 2021 at 4:47 am
    Reply

    Another closely related is..

    browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab false

  16. Stan said on October 31, 2021 at 2:57 am
    Reply

    If I lost all my tabs in the 4 or 5 Firefox windows I keep open, it will result in massively ‘unwelcome friction.’
    When I close FF: ? > Exit (Ctrl+Shift+Q) closes all windows and they all come back on when restarted.

    Opening Firefox with tabs from previous session on startup would be a lifesaver.

  17. Gimme said on November 5, 2021 at 11:39 am
    Reply

    So now the question is, how do you find out how many tabs you had open. Before this most recent useless change, Firefox would warn you that you are about to close 365 tabs, for example and it also said that these would all be opened upon restarting Firefox. So, I like to know how many tabs I have. What’s the solution?

    1. Gimme said on November 5, 2021 at 11:47 am
      Reply

      Disregard. At first it didn’t show how many tabs. Now it does. Good grief Firefox! ugh.

    2. owl said on November 5, 2021 at 1:45 pm
      Reply

      @Gimme,
      > So, I like to know how many tabs I have. What’s the solution?

      A practical solution is to use extensions (Add-ons).
      I am using the extension “FoxyTab”.
      FoxyTab | addons.mozilla.org
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/foxytab/
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/foxytab/

      If you simply want to display the number of tabs, the extension “Tab counter” is a good choice.
      Tab counter | addons.mozilla.org
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tabcounter-1/?utm_source=addons.mozilla.org&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=search

      1. gimme said on November 6, 2021 at 8:46 pm
        Reply

        Thanks owl! :)

  18. Pissed said on November 9, 2021 at 9:33 am
    Reply

    This is a stupid move! The STRESS of losing work from accidentally closing a window full of tabs is FAR GREATER than the supposed “friction” of having a confirmation message. I really prefer the confirmation because I can sometimes accidentally click Close and I don’t want to reload all the tabs or lose any form data. So, I really disagree this kind of Google-Chrome-ish attitude of changing defaults without warning that Mozilla is adopting. It is so hard to find a browser these days that actually respects their variety of users instead of pushing their “we know better than you what you need” bs agenda!

    At least, there should have been a choice. Like, after updating, a page saying “Hey! Thanks for updating. Here are some settings for which the defaults have changed. If you wish, you can change back or keep the new defaults:”

  19. virevoks said on November 11, 2021 at 9:03 am
    Reply

    I have it whenever the Firefox dev team just decides which is best for me. Firefox used to be a highly customizable browser. Now it’s just becoming a Google Chrome clone. If I want to use a browser that works like Chrome, then I use Chrome. They have changed this setting a zillion times, and reset it in some updates, that is really frustrating. Even though I was again able to re-enable the setting, now I don’t know anymore if the tabs will be restored (i.e., if this was the last window). Please, STOP DUMBING DOWN FIREFOX.

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