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Customize your Firefox 3

Updated on March 20, 2011
Here is how to customize your Firefox 3 to suit your preferences
Here is how to customize your Firefox 3 to suit your preferences
 

Firefox 3's initial launch was one of the most heavily downloaded programs ever. At one point 5,000 downloads were being performed every minute. If you are one of the adopters of Firefox 3, the browser's flexibility has to be at the top of your preference list. Firefox 3 is just as easily customizable as earlier versions and can be a real pleasure to set up just the way you like it.

To begin modifying your Firefox the best place to start is the about:config list, first go to the Location Bar, type in about:config and press Enter. You make whatever changes you desire. Now just restart your browser, not your whole computer, and the changes will have taken effect.

Let's start our Firefox Extreme Makeover with a few of the more popular mods:

1) Tweak The Cache: Firefox 3 caches up to half a Gigabyte of data from the web sites you surf. Some people don't want to give up half a Gig of their hard drive space, and some users would like to maintain even more content offline. Find and double-click browser.cache.offline.capacity. The default amount is 512000 kilobytes or 512MB. Change this number to your preferred amount (remember... in KB, not MB) and click OK.

2) Use Finicky Firefox 2 Add-Ons: Most of the more popular add-ons for Firefox 2 will work well with the new version, but there are some that will refuse to do their thing. If you are enamored with your favorite Firefox 2 add-ons, just right-click in the about:config list of settings and choose New, Boolean. Wait for the prompt, then type extensions.checkCompatibility and press Enter. Wait for another prompt, choose false and press Enter. Now redo the whole process above except instead of typing extensions.checkCompatibility, type extensions.checkUpdateSecurity. Complete the process and your Finicky Firefox add-ons should work just fine. Keep in mind that this process tells Firefox to no longer check the compatibility and security settings of your add-ons, so you might be leaving yourself open for a hack attack.

3) Move The Disk Cache: If you have multiple hard drives, you will likely notice a performance boost by placing the Firefox Disk Cache on a drive other than your boot drive where Windows resides. This speed increase is especially noticeable if one of your drives (other than C:) is a fast Raptor-type or other high performance model. Just create a new preference in about:config. Type browser.cache.disk.parent_directory into the next dialog box then press Enter. In the Value dialog box, enter c:\folder, (or the appropriate disk letter) with the folder name where you want to place the file.

4) Control Your Zoom: Firefox 3 can magnified or reduce the entire page, text and images together. The problem with this zooming is that when all elements on the page are increased you can end up with some elements to disappear right off the edge of your window. You don't need to plunge into about:config for this change. Just choose View, Zoom, Zoom Text Only and now your images will stay the same while your text will vary.

5) Just For Fun: Type about:robots in the Location Bar and start having fun with androids!

 

Check out hundreds of Hal's PC Technology articles in these categories:

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