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Firefox: Fixing the startup page

Browsers343 words2 minutes to read

This is a problem that I ran into, and Google didn’t offer any answers, so I’m going to add the fix for this to Google.

I’m not sure if this means anything, but I’ve got the Tab Browser Extensions installed. Last week, I went to click out of Firefox with multiple tabs open, and was presented with the “Close Multiple Tabs” dialog box.

Save Tab Session and Close All Tabs

Normally, I close the one to the left, but this time, I accidentally clicked the one in the middle. Oof! The next time I opened Firefox, my tab session was restored. I didn’t want that. So, I went into the Options dialog, and set it to open at my homepage, and it didn’t fix it.

I went back in, opened up a second tab, and closed Firefox. When the dialog came back up again, I clicked the button on the left. It still didn’t fix it. Well crap.

I then decided to check out the Tab Browser Extension box. After digging through there, nothing was fixed. Next I dropped into the nefarious about:config console.

Trying to fix the startup page, I went to browser.startup.homepage. I checked and double-checked the four settings that began with browser.startup., to no avail. I hate filing Firefox bugs, and I was hoping that I could do something to fix it without bothering the Mozilla team.

I finally decided to Google for it. I tried “fix firefox homepage”, “firefox startup problems”, “save tab session and close all tabs”, and a few other variations, and nothing came up. I did, however, come across this page when I searched for the “save tab session” query. It gave me the idea to search the about:config dialog for “tabSets”.

In the “filter” box, I typed in “tabs”. This allowed me to find the fix for the problem. I changed the following keys to the following values. Note that these keys all have browser.tabs.extensions. prepended to them.

------------------------------------------------------------ -------
restore_last_visited_tabs                                    false
restore_last_visited_tabs_ignore_OpenURL_requests            false
restore_last_visited_tabs_one_time                           false
restore_last_visited_tabs_one_time.hide_alert                false
restore_last_visited_tabs_one_time.hide_changemode_alert     false
------------------------------------------------------------ -------

Problem solved. Hopefully, this will help someone in the future.

Ryan Parman

is an engineering manager with over 20 years of experience across software development, site reliability engineering, and security. He is the creator of SimplePie and AWS SDK for PHP, patented multifactor-authentication-as-a-service at WePay, defined much of the CI/CD and SRE disciplines at McGraw-Hill Education, and came up with the idea of “serverless, event-driven, responsive functions in the cloud” while at Amazon Web Services in 2010. Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than . Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.