Mozilla released its latest Firefox web browser version with a lot of changes. The latest Firefox 29 featured mostly cosmetic changes. The latest version of the browser boasted about the new customizable Firefox menu, new look of the browser and updated Firefox Sync feature. Through this post, we will introduce you to all the Firefox about: protocol links. Firefox about URLs gives you access to a whole new world of customization. These internal Firefox about URLs opens up a new door to customize the browser, take control over many advance features, or simply to get detailed information about the browser and how its working. This feature is quite similar to what the competitor Google Chrome and Opera browser has. We will dive deeper into the core of the web browser to find out more about the hidden features of Firefox in later posts. Without much ado, let’s dive into the hidden but exciting world of Firefox web browser.
How to access all Firefox “about:” URLs?
The list of about: protocol links in Firefox is very long but you don’t need to remember them. The web browser lets you easily access all the about: protocol links for your convenience. Some of the about: URLs may give more information about the browser, some might be confusing for average users, some of them are exclusively for troubleshooting the browser and some are useful for developers only. You will find the accompanying screenshots for Firefox about URLs very handy.
The about: page displays details about the current Firefox browser version running on your computer system. This is actually the Firefox About dialog box accessible from Help > About Firefox, but displayed inside a tab. The about: page links to three other about: pages; about:credits, about:license and about:buildconfig. You can see more details about those three pages later.
The about:about page displays links to all the about: pages, so you don’t need to remember about them. Some of the pages are not linked as they need query strings to work.
This page lets you access your Firefox Sync account. You can sign in or create a new Firefox account from this page. This page opens up when you click on Sync from Firefox menu.
You must have seen this page hundreds of times to manage Firefox add-ons, extensions, themes, plugins and services. If you didn’t notice, well you can reach the same Firefox Add-ons Manager using the about:addons page.
Through this page you will be able to get access to the App Manager. This page is for the developers and not for users. It’s okay if you haven’t heard about the App Manager. It’s basically a new tool available only in Firefox for Desktop.
The App Manager provides a number of useful tools to help developers test, deploy and debug HTML5 web apps on Firefox OS phones and the Firefox OS Simulator, directly from the browser. This tool is for developers targeting Firefox OS 1.2 or later. Developer’s developing apps for Firefox OS 1.1, should check the documentation for the Firefox OS 1.1 Simulator instead.
The about:buildconfig page displays the build configuration used for Firefox version installed on your computer. It displays details about the Build machine, source, build platform, build tools and configure arguments. Mostly, the data is useful for developers or advance Firefox users.
This page is extremely useful for you if you know how to get around things. The about:cache page lets you access the Firefox cache and displays cache statistics and directory location. From the Firefox cache you can view all temporarily stored images, videos, scripts, and other parts of websites while you are browsing.
You can view the memory cache entries by visiting about:cache?device=memory. Similarly, to access Firefox cache stored on the hard disk using the about:cache?device=disk URL. We’ll cover a post about the Firefox cache soon that will show you cool tips to explore the Firefox cache and save useful stuff from the cache, like YouTube videos and more.
Well, this is the most visited page by an advanced Firefox user. This page lets you tinker with advanced Firefox settings which are not available via the Firefox Options (Settings) dialog box.
We have already covered a post related to the about:config page of Firefox. We will share more about it soon.
The about:crashes page lists all Firefox crashes. It reports when the browser crashed, and when you click on an item, you can see details of what happened. Although the text may not make any sense to majority of users but a search about them can help you understand and diagnose the problem. Keep in mind that it will only display crash reports that you have submitted to Mozilla.
This is a long page displaying full list of contributors, whose efforts over many years have made Firefox browser what it is.
The about:customizing page is actually the page which opens up when you click on the new Customize button, present in the latest version of Firefox. You can customize Firefox menu, title bar and more from this page. After completing, click on the green exit customize button on the Firefox menu.
You have always used the Firefox Download Manager dialog box to manage ongoing download tasks. Ever wanted to see it in a tab instead of a dialog box? Simply, type about:downloads in the address bar and press Enter.
The about:healthreport page displays the Firefox Health Report page and takes some time before displaying any data. The Firefox Health Report page displays information about your browser’s performance and stability over time. The more you use the browser, you will get more accurate detailed information on this page.
This is the default Mozilla Firefox start page with custom Google Search.
As the name suggests, this page displays the licensing information for Firefox browser.
Well, you guessed it right. It displays the Firefox logo!
Mostly for developers, the about:memory page displays memory reports, save the memory reports, free Firefox memory usage, save garbage collection and cycle collection logs.
See a quote from The Book of Mozilla, 15:1, which says, “The twins of Mammon quarrelled. Their warring plunged the world into a new darkness, and the beast abhorred the darkness. So it began to move swiftly, and grew more powerful, and went forth and multiplied. And the beasts brought fire and light to the darkness.”
The about:networking page is another page which is mainly for the developers. Average users of the Firefox may not find the information useful. Firefox displays a warning message before displaying the page. The warning message says, “This is very experimental. Do not use without adult supervision” similar to what we see when we try to access about:config page.
When you open a new tab in Firefox, you’re actually viewing about:newtab page.
Type about:permissions in the address bar and press Enter to access the Firefox Permissions Manager. This page gives you a one stop page to change various website permissions in Firefox.
You can customize permissions for each site or set the default permissions for all sites. This page demands a dedicated post, which we will publish later on.
The about:plugins page displays all the installed plugins. You can check for updates for the installed plugins at Mozilla.com/plugincheck.
You must have visited the Firefox Options dialog box hundreds of times. When you open Firefox Options from Firefox Menu, it usually displays a dialog box.
If you want to open Firefox Options in a tab, simply type about:preferences in the address bar and press Enter.
Another way to start Private Browsing Window in Firefox and open an incognito tab. It may seem longer than quickly pressing the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + P.
Displays your rights, which is normally shown the first time you install the browser or update it.
We won’t tell you what it displays, find it yourself! (Or check out the slideshow above.)
The helpful restore page that you get after you recover Firefox after a crash can be accessed directly by viewing the about:sessionrestore page.
The about:support page has technical information that might be useful when you’re trying to solve a problem with Firefox. From this page you can reset Firefox if you’re having major problems which you can’t resolve. You should consider this as the last option. When you reset Firefox, the browser starts with only your essential information.
Firefox Sync writes a continuous log of what’s going on in the browser and writes it to disk. You can easily access via the about:sync-log page.
The about:sync-progress page displays a message about the current Firefox Sync status, not the real progress of the sync operation.
View tabs from other devices through the about:sync-tabs page.
The about:telemetry page shows information about performance, hardware, usage and customizations collected by Telemetry. But before you can see any data on the page, you need to enable telemetry. The telemetry data is shared to Mozilla to help improve Mozilla Firefox web browser.
The about:webrtc page have a TBA (to be announced) status. It doesn’t display anything except a button that says, “Show/refresh logging.”
After you reset your profile, Firefox displays this page that says, “Firefox successfully reset your profile. Below is a list of windows and tabs you had open; you can restore them or start with a clean slate.”
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