Can Firefox do this?

A lot of what I’ve learned about customizing Firefox came from many different people asking me a question like – “Can you do this in Firefox?”

For instance:

  • Can you remove the Set as Background Image menuitem?
  • Can you easily change the Firefox branding?
  • Can you turn off private browsing?
  • Can you block access to local files?
  • Can you disable safe mode?

Through the research I did into these types of questions, I learned a lot about how Firefox works and how to modify it to meet the needs of various people and organizations. And a lot of what I learned ended up in the new CCK2.

Have you ever asked the question “Can you do this in Firefox?”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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28 thoughts on “Can Firefox do this?

  1. Out of curiosity, what do the usage statistics say about the “set as desktop background” context menu item? How sad would users be if it went away as menu noise?

  2. What’s the reasoning for disabling “Set as wallpaper” in Firefox? If it’s about preventing the wallpaper from being changed, it seems to me that Firefox is the wrong place to be fixing that, since there are thousands of other Windows apps capable of setting the wallpaper. Presumably the better answer is to lock down the settings at an OS level, such that neither the control panel, nor apps like Firefox can touch it…

    • > What’s the reasoning for disabling “Set as wallpaper” in Firefox?

      If you’re using a shared computer, for instance.

      > it seems to me that Firefox is the wrong place to be fixing that

      I disagree. Even if it was locked down at the system level, you would want Firefox to remove the menu item because it wasn’t functional.

      I’ve learned to stop asking “What’s the reasoning” for a lot of these things because everyone has different reasons and different needs.

  3. What I’d like to find now is a way to get a list of info about my SeaMonkey add-ons, similar to the one in about:support maybe, but with the update URLs. (SeaMonkey is not _exactly_ Firefox but IIUC their add-ons subsystem is the same.) There is of course a “manual” way to get this, by opening all the install.rdf files one after another, but with 117 extensions if I include both enabled and disabled ones, it would be a PITA — and these ones are only those listed in about:support, IOW IIUC I should add themes, dictionaries and language packs. AFAIK there is no UI for it in the plain-vanilla application, and I believe that it shouldn’t be too hard to write an extension for it, but I don’t (yet?) know how to do it. What I might be able to write is a Vim script to inspect .xpi files and subdirectories of (a) {profile}/extensions/ for a given profile and (b) /usr/local/seamonkey/extensions/ — I might do it, some day, but it feels inelegant as a solution. Maybe I should search MDN about how to build an extension. looks interesting (I’ll bookmark it) but I haven’t yet followed all the links in it.

    • This is a Firefox add-on. I don’t know if this will work for your system.

      ”'[ Copy Extensions to Clipboard]”’ {web link}
      Kopiert eine Auflistung aller installierten Add-ons, Plugins und Themes in die Zwischenablage
      Copies a list of all installed add-ons, plugins and themes to clipboard

      • Thanks for the heads-up. This one supports only Firefox, however, and acording to the example shown it seems not to display the update URL. Hard to be sure because the “about” blurb is in German, of which I have poor command. But I’ll bookmark it anyway: maybe someday when I have time I’ll try to convert it to SeaMonkey. 🙂

  4. Yes, I’ve got a question: How do I exempt a specific add-on from updating?

    Let’s assume, there’s an individually customized add-on like “NoScript modded”. I want to integrate it in a WinPE build with an included pre-configured Firefox. I guess I need 2 settings: (1) A setting to tell Firefox: do not look for updates (2) An additional setting for “NoScript modded” not to look for updates — ever.

    Is there a quick and easy way to achieve this?

    • I’m looking into this. I think the easiest way is an invalid updateURL (but it must be https).

      I’m seeing if there is something more cleverr.

      • Thru the add-ons manager, find that program. Double click
        to open its description. Go to the bottom of the page. Near the
        top you should see the updating choices.

  5. Hi There

    I’m trying to figure out how to block the file:// protocol on Firefox 27 on Windows. I’ve looked at CCK2 but I don’t see a way to do this? Do you have any tips on how to do this? I apologize if you have already covered this earlier, I tried to scour through the various postings but didn’t find anything. I noticed that one of the features for CCK2 is listed as “Can you block access to local files?”

    Thank you.

    PS: Thanks for all your efforts on this and vast documentation!

  6. Hi Mike,

    i´ve been looking for how i can deploy Firefox and before it starts or the first time the user runs it, then load the xpi file i made with CCK. Do you know any way to do that ? i tried copying it to the extensions folder in Program Files (x86)\Firefox.

    Any ideas?


  7. Hello. Your CCK wizard is very helpful. I’m trying to find a way to disable Mozilla Firefox update, sync settings, clear browser history etc but i need to be able to repackage the export from the cck wizard into a new Mozilla software installer package. We use the dell kace box and copying the cfg file will work but is a nightmare to audit who has the cfg/pref file. Is there a way to export the cfg/pref file from cck and repackage a new Mozilla Firefox installer with what was exported from the CCK wizard????

  8. Hi,
    In Firefox ESR 31 is it possible to modify the “Options | Advanced” tab to remove or hide the button for making Firefox the default browser? Or is there another method of doing this via a Mozilla.cfg file?
    Thanks in advance.