- Firefox is a free and open-source web browser.
- Just like other browsers, Firefox also packs all the essential features, but it one-ups others with a few unique ones.
- If you use or are planning to switch to Firefox, below we’ve listed 10 of the best Firefox features and tricks that’ll help you supercharge your browsing experience.
Firefox has been around for a long time and has had its ups and downs. And yet, it continues to be the default web browser for so many internet users. It is open source and offers many features, including a bunch of privacy-focused ones that give it an edge over other browsers like Chrome, Edge, and Safari.
Mozilla’s Firefox has made a name for itself in a market dominated by Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. As of December 2022, it had a 7.21% share of the desktop browser market, which is quite commendable for an open-source project.
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10 Cool Firefox Features and Tricks
If you use Mozilla Firefox on your computer or mobile phone, here are some features and tricks that’ll supercharge your experience and help you get more out of the browser.
Reopen Closed Tabs
We’ve all been there: accidentally closed a browser tab and regretted it instantly. Although accessing the page from your history is one way to restore the last tab, it involves a series of steps. Plus, it doesn’t help if you’ve been browsing in private mode.
However, if you’re a Firefox user and you accidentally close a tab, you can instantly reopen it using a simple keyboard shortcut. To do this, open a new tab and press the Command + Shift T or Ctrl + Shift T keyboard shortcut, and it will start opening your previously-closed tabs one by one.
Alternatively, you can view a list of all the tabs you’ve closed previously by clicking on the hamburger menu and going into History > Recently closed tabs.
Sync Data Across Devices
If you use Firefox on all your devices, then syncing your browser data across all of them will give you a seamless browsing experience. That way, you can access everything from your history and bookmarks to logins, open tabs, and passwords, among other things, across all your devices.
To sync your browser data, you need a Firefox account. Create one and log in with it on all your devices if you haven’t already. Now go into Settings and choose Sync. And finally, click on Sync Now, and it will start syncing your data with other devices.
Send Tabs to Other Devices
Just like syncing data, using Firefox with an account also allows you to send tabs between your devices. This comes in handy when you want to view a page/website on another device to continue where you left off on your other device.
To use Firefox Sync, make sure you’ve signed in to the same Firefox account on the devices between which you want to share tabs. Then, right-right on the page you want to send on your computer, select Send Tab to Device, and pick your device from the list.
If you want to send a tab from your smartphone/tablet, open that tab, tap the share icon, select Send to Device, and choose the destination device.
Search Tabs and Bookmarks Efficiently
Finding a tab when you’ve got dozens open at once can be difficult. With Firefox, you can do it quite easily, thanks to Search Shortcuts.
To search for a tab with Search Shortcuts, open a new tab and type % followed by a space and the name of the website open on that tab. If the tab is found/open, you’ll see it under suggestions. Click on Switch to Tab to access it.
Alternatively, if you don’t see a tab, this means there isn’t one, and you can proceed to open one.
Take a Screenshot
If you take a lot of screenshots of webpages, perhaps to take notes, share with someone, or save for later, Mozilla has a built-in screenshot utility in Firefox that makes screenshotting web pages a lot easier.
To use this tool, open the page you want to screenshot. Right-click on the page and select Take Screenshot. When this brings up the capture tool, select either Save full page or Save visible.
Now, if you choose the latter, click on the page to select the area you want to capture. Or manually draw around the area to screenshot it.
Restore the Previous Session
Similar to opening a recently closed tab, Firefox also lets you restore the previous session, which means you can restore all the tabs you had opened previously (before quitting the app).
This can be useful when you accidentally quit Firefox. Or when you need to restart it after an update or post a system boot-up. To restore your previous session in Firefox, launch Firefox and select History > Restore Previous Session.
Use PiP to Watch Something While Multitasking
PiP (or Picture-in-Picture) is a feature that lets you pop out a video from a browser tab, so you can play it over other windows while performing other tasks.
So if you’ve got some work to do, but you also want to catch up on some videos or need to refer to them for your work, this can help you do both effortlessly.
Start playing the video in a new tab. Hover over it, and when you see a PiP icon, click on it to pop out the video. Now, drag the video window to anywhere you want on the screen, and you can enjoy watching it.
Listen to Articles
Much like other web browsers, Mozilla Firefox also comes with a reader view. However, unlike others, its reader view offers a few extra features.
One of these is the ability to have a blog read out to you. This is a useful feature you can use when you’re working on something and want to catch up on a blog or news post but can’t afford to read it yourself.
Using this feature requires you to enable reader view by tapping on the Reader View icon in the toolbar. After which, you can click the headphone icon and hit the play button to have the reader read out the content of the blog.
Additional options include changing voice and jumping between sentences in a paragraph.
Forget Browsing History Quickly
Clearing the browser history and related data typically involves a series of steps. However, thanks to Firefox’s Forget feature, you can do this with a click.
Start by adding the Forget button to your taskbar. Click the hamburger menu and select More tools > Customize toolbar. Here, drag the Forget option to the toolbar area.
Now, tap the Forget button whenever you want to clear your browsing data. When this asks you to select a period, pick one and click the Forget button to delete all the history and cookies during that period.
Keep Your DNS Searches Private
All the web address or domain name queries you make on the internet are sent in plain text. As you can imagine, this can put your privacy and security at high risk.
To limit this, Firefox lets you secure your browsing using DoH. DNS or DNS over HTTPS is a protocol that sends DNS queries over HTTPS to prevent anyone in between from eavesdropping and manipulating DNS entries.
If you wish to turn on this feature, go to Settings > General. Scroll down, select Network Settings, and click on Settings. Check off the Enable DNS over HTTPS checkbox and select a provider from the dropdown list below. Hit OK to save.
Switch to Firefox Now
Mozilla Firefox is a capable browser, thanks in part to the various features and tricks it comes with, as you’ve seen already. It’s also quite customizable so that you can personalize it to your preference. Plus, it supports a wide variety of extensions too, which you can use to extend its functionality further.
However, if you’ve been using some other browser all this while, these features and tricks should hopefully convince you to switch to Firefox. Firefox makes switching easier and lets you import all your bookmarks and passwords from the previous browser.
Which are your favorite Firefox features? Are there any cool Firefox tricks you want to share that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments section below.
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