May 03

How to change the Firefox new tab homepage to something useful

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This very short tutorial will show you how to change the Firefox 12.0 new tab homepage to something more useful. This only works in versions of Firefox 12.0 and after before doing this please update your version of Firefox.

Changing the new tab homepage from the blank white screen is a question that I am always asked about yet before the current version this was difficult to do without add-ons. When you press new tab in Firefox you are presented with a pretty useless blank page as your new tab homepage and most of us would like it to open on something useful.

You can simply change the new tab homepage when you press new tab via some advance settings in Firefox. Changing this setting means no more white screen, instead you get whatever page you want whether it be Google (like me), another search engine or some other site.

Edit: This method also works in the latest version of Firefox 13.0. Although they have changed the new tab homepage to be a bit more useful this is still the best to set a new tab to open a particular page
firefox 12.0

Accessing Firefox advance settings

First of all open a new Firefox window and type in the address bar about:config. You will be presented with a page that confirms you want to enter like below (Click images to enlarge)

firefox tab new pageIt should be noted that you really don`t want to mess around in these settings unless you know what you are doing as you can cause your browser to become very unstable.

This security message is just to confirm that what you are about to do can be damaging if you change any settings that you should not.

If you follow the instructions what we are doing should not affect the performance of the browser.

change url in new tabLike the image on the left we now need to scroll down the page until we find the setting in the left column that says browser.newtab.url

Click on the the link so it is highlighted blue and then right click and select modify. A box will pop up asking for the address you want to open when opening a new tab. Put the address in here and press OK.

For example we have put www.computerlearnhow.com and this is the new tab homepage that we get when opening a new tab

Once you have done close down the config window and press a new tab. You should see the page you set to be your new tab homepage.


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  1. dirkventura

    Thanks, worked like a charm!

    1. Glad it helped I know how frustrating that blank page is πŸ˜‰

  2. vineela

    I have tried the same, but the new tab still opens the Funmoods Search. Can anyone please suggest

    1. The funmoods search toolbar is a PUP (Potentially unwanted program) that ingrains itself in the browser. You should be able to disable the addon in the addon part of the toolbar. If you dont it will just keep reseting the homepage. Its a piece of software you dont really want on your PC. Take a look at this link http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-security/how-do-i-eliminate-funmoods/9a743911-7a50-4b54-8450-347dce4c9beb?msgId=3b194cfc-038f-4f29-9384-50e0c2da97c9

  3. Nick Bulbeck

    Thanks – worked perfectly.

    I had wondered before about whether to try that, but didn’t dare in case I made Firefox dangerously unstable etc – nice to find someone who knows what they’re doing!

    1. Anytime. I am suprised it has not been made an option in the latest version as so many people have asked me how to go about doing it. Glad it helped

  4. Mike W

    Thank you so much!!! I’ve been wanting this ever since they took it away, I forget how many versions ago. I wish when they change stuff, they would give us a way to keep the old way. I still hate that the Home icon got moved all the way over to the right side of the screen. I get used to one way and develop “muscle memory” where I don’t think about the operation, my hands just do it. When they move stuff around it messes me up! I love Firefox, but they really irritate me when they keep rearranging my screen!

    1. LOL well Im glad it helped it is frustrating when you get used to one way and then they change it

  5. LaughingJohn

    Just wanted to add my thanks to the others, very handy indeed!

    1. Your welcome John

  6. John C

    Very happy thanks for the help it works a charm, I was getting some random search site rather than the blank page bu tthis fixed it.

    1. No problem John glad to know it helped I know how annoying it is when things change.

  7. Heather H

    Nice! So glad to have found an answer to this issue! Thanks a million!!! (-:

    1. No problem Heather anytime. Glad it helped

  8. Nan

    I chose the Google Search homepage for my new tabs. Does anyone know how to automatically place the cursor in the search box?

  9. paolo

    Thanks a lot Craig πŸ˜‰ not that happy with firefox though

    1. Your welcome Paolo

  10. Tom

    Thank you Craig! I thought I might have to install an add-on and grateful that you posted the means to modify Firefox itself. Much cleaner!

    1. Craig

      Anytime. Glad it helped Tom.

  11. vipin

    It works! I was fad up with an intruder. Thanks.

    1. Craig


  12. alec tutureanu

    Thank it really helped

    1. Craig

      Anytime your welcome

  13. Taylor

    IMesh is my newtab homepage and i am SICK OF IT when i followed your directions, the option browser:newtab:url doesn’t even show up. Any idea how to help me? I’ve already deleted IMesh out of my computers programs but it will not disappear!

    1. Craig

      You need to be using the latest version of Firefox.

  14. missnikkinor@aol.com

    This worked, until I closed my browser and then it came right back to this imesh.com crap!

    1. Craig

      Are you sure its not your homepage that you want to change? This shows you how to change the new tab not the homepage. To change the homepage go to tools, options and then the general tab. In the homepage part change the homepage to something else and click apply. Your homepage should change when you open your browser.

  15. Barry the Lunar-tic

    That worked like a dream, thanks for making it so easy

  16. Rakesh

    Awesome πŸ™‚
    I was unable to get rid of that stupid “incredible page” loading on new tabs……..uninstalled from control panel, all my browser addons…the issue still persisted…………..but this thing worked ..
    thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  17. Katie

    thank you so much! been trying to get rid of the babylon.com browser that somehow made its way to my tab homepage. I now have it back to google! Thanks again!

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