8 Things to Do After Installing Mozilla Firefox Browser

A fox on a treeThough Google Chrome is the leading player when it comes to web browser share, Firefox has its user base with millions of users across the globe. I prefer Firefox over Google Chrome. The primary reason is that it's better in memory consumption and doesn't collect tons of diagnostic data when compared to Chrome. So, if you're thinking about giving it a go, here's a guide that'll help you configure it the first time you install it to get the best possible web browsing experience. The steps mentioned below ensure you get the essential browser settings—right—with a sprinkle of some of the essential add-ons which enhance your privacy and security. Depending on your exact needs you may choose to skip some of the settings discussed here, but overall I'll highly recommend keeping the privacy settings, intact. If you're looking to use the developer edition of Firefox, the settings mentioned below are more or less the same for that too. So, let's configure our new Firefox installation in a few easy steps.

A fox on a tree Make sure you install and configure these settings as an administrator so that it reflects within all other accounts on your computer. This way, the settings will be effective for all copies used in other accounts.

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How to Use Firefox Multi-Account Containers Add-on for Better Security and Privacy

Though there are very advanced settings available in Firefox which are best-suited for tech-savvy users, we'll skip them for now and will only focus on the easy-to-configure tasks. So, here we go!

Configure Important Browser Settings

We'll start with the configuration of native browser settings. Although most of the settings are good to go, there are a few that needs our attention.

The first thing you need to do is to configure the default download location of the files where they should get saved. I prefer desktop as my default download location because it enables me to quickly see what I've downloaded. But, you can of course choose your preferred location. Here's how we do it.

Default file saving location setting in FireFox Go to Settings → General → Files and Applications option and select the path where you want to save the downloaded files. It just takes half a minute and is quite easy to configure.

Another important setting worth considering is the home page tab which is loaded as you open Firefox. And, the new tab contents. Both these settings are optional to configure, but I'll highly recommend configuring them.

New tab abd homepage settings for the Firefox browser To configure both these settings, go to Settings → Home → New Windows and Tabs option.

I want my Gmail inbox to be loaded every time I open the Firefox browser. For that, I've used the Custom URLs... option and have provided the URL I want for the homepage.

Similarly, I've chosen the Blank Page option for the new tabs. This ensures that whenever I open a new tab, it's completely blank instead of being populated with stuff like history or bookmarks.

The next setting is related to the selection of the default search engine. By default, Google is the default search engine of Firefox. But, if you want, you can change it.

Setting to change the default search engine in Firefox To manage this setting, go to the Settings → Search → Default Search Engine option. Here, you can select your preferred search engine from the dropdown menu as shown in the image above.

If your preferred search engine is not available in the dropdown menu, you can easily add it by first opening the search engine's home page and then right-click in the address bar.

Adding new search engine in Firefox A context menu will appear as shown above, and you have to select the adding option as indicated by the arrow. Now, this new search engine will appear in the dropdown menu of the settings where you can set it as your default search engine.

The settings we discuss next are of prime importance as they are related to privacy and security. The default standard tracking protection is good enough for most users and is by default applied by Firefox itself. So, we can safely ignore it and let it be in its default state.

Now, go to Settings → Privacy & Security → History section and check the Clear history when Firefox closes option. Next, click the Settings... button on the right side to open the dialogue box.

Settings to clear history data when Firefox quits As you can see in the image above, Browsing & download history, Cache, Form & search history, and Offline website data are some of the important settings which must be checked on this dialogue box.

This ensures traces of your web browsing history are not left behind whenever the web browser is closed and restarted again.

The next important setting that I generally keep on but is entirely optional for you is the autoplay of audio and video on the websites. It's generally an annoying experience for most users. Isn't it?

Settings to block autoplay of video and audio in Firefox To block autoplay of audio and video on websites, go to Settings → Privacy & Security → Permissions → Autoplay option. Here click the Settings... button to open the dialogue box.

Choose the Block Audio and Video option from the dropdown menu. And, that's it! From now on, the autoplay of video and audio will be blocked by default on all websites.

The next section is about diagnostic data collection by Firefox. If you are concerned about your privacy and feel uncomfortable sharing usage data, you can uncheck all the options in this section.

Install Vital and Useful Addons

Now that we've configured some of the important browser settings, it's time to install some vital addons to enhance our web browsing experience. Though you're of course free to use addons of your choice, the ones mentioned below are what I recommend for everyone.

So, let's get started!

  • Login management - Each one of us manages multiple if not dozens of accounts of various tools and services while using the internet. Managing passwords and logging into each one of them is kind of a headache. I use Bitwarden for the same. 1Password, Dashlane, and LastPass are other popular options to choose from.
  • Privacy and security - To create isolated workspaces which not only enable you to open multiple accounts of the same service but also helps you in keeping them separate from each other, I'll recommend installing Firefox Multi-Account Containers addon.
  • Spell-check and grammar - Without any question, Grammarly is the best one out there to spell-check and correct grammar while working on the web. If you're on a tight budget, another one worth considering is the LanguageTool addon.
Though there are tons of different types of add-ons available for web browsers, I've recommended the most essential ones. Feel free to explore the official plugin directory of Firefox to grab the ones which fulfill your requirements.

I've not touched the theme customization feature because it's more of a personal choice than a generic useful feature required for everyone. If you need one, do spend some time finding your favorite theme to make your browsing experience, a little bit better.