Disable Switch-to-tab

Firefox 4.0-8.0

Firefox 4 introduced the Switch-to-tab feature. From our Quick Guide to Firefox 4:

Switch to Tab – Numerous times I have so many tabs open and don’t realize that the new tab I just opened is a duplicate of one already open (but not visible).  For example in the address bar I typed Hotmail, the new ‘smart location bar’ knows I already have this tab open and gives me the option to ‘Switch to Tab’. Update: This feature works for tabs open in another Firefox window as well. Typing % in the address bar will also display a list of all the tabs you have open.

It seems there is quite the backlash against the switch-to-tab feature. Not so much the feature itself, but that there is not an easy way to disable the feature. It can be disabled, but involves installing an add-on as well as doing an about:config tweak.

First off you will need to install the experimental Switch-to-tab blacklist extensions. Once it is installed (no restart needed):

  1. Open a new tab, paste & go about:config into the address bar.
  2. If needed, click the I’ll be careful, I promise button
  3. Filter for extension.switchToTabBlacklist.blacklist
  4. Double-click the entry
  5. Remove the existing value and paste in [“.*”] (make sure to include the brackets)
  6. Close the tab. switch-to-tab feature is now OFF

1 Comment on Disable Switch-to-tab

  1. thanks. i hate switch to tab…it costs me an extra 10 keypresses to enter an address i want. the fact there is no disable feature is a disgrace…that tells me whoever wanted to put it in there knows it is weak and doesn’t want the data feedback of number of people who would click “disable switch to tab” in the app. he is putting his fingers in his ears and humming while people complain. thank goodness for this extension

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