How to Open Firefox Settings, Bookmarks, Options in Tabs Instead of Pop-up Windows

Sandeep Agarwal

Firefox-ThumbnailEase of accessibility is what people look for in software and web interfaces these days. Same is the case with browsers. Now, I love to use Firefox and love the way I can tweak its settings according to my requirements. However, what I do not like is that in comparison to Google Chrome, Firefox opens a new modal window for things like downloads, bookmarks, history, settings, etc.

In Chrome these pages open in a new tab which makes it easy to work with them. Besides, in Firefox if you want to access any of these, you have to navigate to the orange button on the top left. The user experience can be made better, don’t you think so? And that’s what they tried with Firefox 13.

They introduced a Start Page (as shown in the image below)that had the options to open these pages. But, they still opened in independent modal windows. It did not improve anything.

Firefox-Start-Screen

If you like the Start Page concept you can open the same by typing about:home in the address bar or you can actually set that path as the home page.

Firefox-About-Home

But, if you are looking for a behavior similar to Chrome, we will tell you how to do it. With the setting we are going to discuss you would be able to access pages for downloads, bookmarks, history, settings, add-ons, etc. on a tab instead of a modal window.

Cool Tip: We have previously discussed how to set that up for the Settings or Options page of Firefox here – How to Open Firefox Options (Preferences) Window on a New Tab Instead. Let us uncover the same for other pages. Read on.

First thing, you will need to install an add-on called Cockpit Home Page. If you carefully analyze, Cockpit simply enhances the Start Page that we talked about. As shown in the image below, it repositions the page buttons to the top and adds two extra buttons- Home and About Firefox to the left and right respectively.

Firefox-Cockpit-Homepage

The good thing is, when you click on any of the buttons, it will open the item in a new tab and not on a separate window. Take a look at the images below.

Firefox-Bookmarks

Firefox-History

Firefox-Settings

Every tab that you open is divided into two horizontal panes. The top half hosts the navigation buttons and the lower half shows the contents.

When you install the extension, it becomes your homepage by default. If you do not wish to make it your homepage you can change it. And, then the alternative to bring that page up would be about:cockpit.

Firefox-About-Cockpit

Note: With the add-on you will be able to open these pages on a tab with the help of Start Page only. If you use the orange Firefox button or the keyboard shortcuts to open the pages they will still open on a modal window.

Conclusion

What do you think about the change in user experience with this add-on. Is it going to make things easier and simple to work with? Or, are you better with the current settings? Tell us in the comments section.

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