15 must-have Firefox tricks

15 must-have Firefox tricks

Preston Gralla reveals how to tweak, hack and bend Firefox to your will

10. Remove menu items

Are there menu items -- for example, Help -- that you never use? If so, you can easily make them disappear. To remove the Help menu, add this to


/* Remove the Help menu */
menu[label="Help"] {
display: none !important; }

You can remove any of the other menus as well. Use the same syntax as above and substitute its name (File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks or Tools). So, for example, to remove both the Help and Tools menu, you'd add these lines to userChrome.css:

/* Remove the Help and Tools menus */
menu[label="Tools"], menu[label="Help"] {
display: none !important; }

11. Protect your privacy when surfing with Firefox

When you surf the Internet, your life is an open book. Web sites can gather an astonishing amount of information about you, including tracking your online travels, knowing what operating system and browser you're running, finding out your machine name, uncovering the last sites you've visited, and examining your IP address and using that to learn basic information about you such as your geographic location and more.

There's a simple way to keep that information away from prying Web sites -- use the FoxTor add-in. It uses Tor software to, in essence, bounce all of your communications around a giant network of Tor servers called "onion routers" until it's impossible for sites or people to be able to track your activities.

First, you need to install the free software Tor. Download it, and install Tor and the included Privoxy, a proxy program. It's all self-explanatory.

Once you do that, install the FoxTor add-in. After you install it, you'll see your Tor status on the lower-left corner of the screen, either Unmasked (which means you're not protected), or Masked (which means you are protected). To toggle between modes, click the corner.

12. Limit Firefox's use of RAM

Does Firefox use up too much of your RAM? Teach it to behave by limiting the amount of RAM it uses. To do it:

  1. Type about:config into your address bar and hit Enter.
  2. In the Filter text box, at the top of the page, type browser.cache.
  3. Double-click the "browser.cache.disk.capacity" entry.
  4. The default is 50000. If you don't have a lot of memory on your system, for example, between 512MB and 1GB, change the number to 15000 and click OK.

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