In my previous note HOWTO: Tame FireFox Quantum so it Stops Trying to be Google Chrome … I missed some important things that also matter to me

Disabling Video Auto Play

I find automatic playing of video to be incredibly annoying. In my previous note I mentioned the add-on FlashBlock Plus. This does a great job of blocking Flash video.. my purpose for that add-on was not just video but other annoying and possibly dangerous Flash scripts. However, I was just browsing a story today and hit a Yahoo.News page and OMG ANNOYING AUTO PLAY VIDEO. I thought I had properly set up my browser to prevent this

  • Go to about:config
  • Search for: media.autoplay.enabled
  • Set it to false

However, for whatever reason this was not stopping this embedded video. So, I found this extension which did the trick:

Disable HTML5 Autoplay
by Afnan Khan

Preventing Search From the Address Bar

This is a real security issue. In older days, you searched by going to a search engine.. and then browsers started adding a search bar to the UI. I liked this … it was convenient to not have to go to a separate site. However, somewhere along the line, browsers started just searching from the URL bar directly (Chrome, I blame you for this trend).Why is it a security issue? because If I am searching I know to be “on guard” but with the way browsers do it they don’t just send the query to google .. they will first directly try to take you to ad www dot Typoing in the address bar should lead you to a “server not found” for maximum safety – search is search, URL bar is URL bar – keep them separate… for me anyway. There are two things you need to do to properly prevent the URL bar from just taking you places / trying to interpret what you’re typing:

  • Go to about:config
  • search for: keyword.enabled
  • set it to false
  • now search for: browser.fixup.alternate.enabled
  • set this to false as well

You’re now no longer going to get search from the address bar… make sure you go to customize toolbar and drag your search bar.. or that you’re OK with going to or your favorite search engine manually

Force Search Results Into New Tab

This is an update: I was applying my changes to a new instance of FireFox and was getting annoyed that when I’d type in the search box, it was overwriting my currently open tab with the results… The behavior I want is for the search to go into a new tab and not mess with what I already have. To enable this behavior:

  • go to about:config
  • search for
  • set this to true


Sorry I had forgotten these. The Autoplay surprised me when I went to that site .. thought I had it nailed down.. the searching.. I had fixed this so long ago I forgot I had done it.