How to Change or Customize Firefox’s New Tab Page

Firefox Quantum‘s new tab page has a lot of stuff on it, from recommended articles to highlights from your history. But if you don’t like that design, you aren’t stuck with it. You can restore Firefox’s old new tab page, or set any address you like as your new tab.

How to Declutter the New Tab Page

You can remove various elements from the new tab page to simplify it. To do that, just open your new tab page and click the cog icon at the top right corner of the page.

Uncheck whatever you don’t want to see and click “Done”. The list here includes the Search bar, Top Sites you visit most often, articles recommended by Pocket, Highlights from your bookmarks and history, and Snippets with information from Mozilla that occasionally appear at the bottom of your new tab page.

To customize your Top Sites, if you’ve left them enabled, mouse over the Top Sites section and click “Edit” at the top right corner. You can click “Add” and add your favorite websites to this section for quicker access.

How to Get the Old New Tab Page Back (or Use a Blank Page)

If you just don’t like the new design in Firefox Quantum, you can get the old new tab page from previous versions of Firefox back.

To do this, you’ll need to use the about:config interface. Type about:config into Firefox’s address bar and press Enter to open it.

You’ll see a warning saying that “This might void your warranty!” The about:config interface is an advanced tool that allows you to change many different settings. You could mess up your browser configuration and cause problems if you change the wrong settings. Just follow our instructions without changing any other settings and you’ll be fine.

Click “I accept the risk!” to continue.

Type “newtabpage” into the search box at the top of the about:config page to find the relevant settings.

Double-click the browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.enabled option in the list here to set it to “False”.

You’ll see the old Firefox new tab page with its larger thumbnail icons again. You can click the cog icon at the top right corner of the page and select “Show blank page” if you want to use a blank page instead.

To undo this change, return to about:config and double-click the browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.enabled option once again to set it to “True”.

How to Set a Custom New Tab Page

Firefox no longer has an integrated option to set any web page as your new tab page, as this was abused by adware. However, Firefox does allow add-ons to make this change. You can install an add-on and use it to select any new tab page you like.

If you want to set a custom address as your new tab page, we recommend the New Tab Override extension. Install it and click the “New Tab — Settings” button that appears on your toolbar to find its options.

By default, the extension allows you to set a custom URL in the URL box. Just plug in the address of a web page you want to use as your new tab page. For example, if you wanted to use How-To Geek as your home page, you’d enter https://howtogeek.com here.

This only works with addresses starting with either http:// or https:// .

You can also select from other options. Just click the “Option” box and choose an option from the list. For example, you could make Firefox always open the new tab page with an empty page, your current home page, or a local file.

The “local file” option allows you to select an HTML file that Firefox will use on its new tab page, so you could make your own web page and set it as a custom new tab page, if you liked.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.