Firefox 3 features you may not know

While the awesome bar, download pause and resume, malware protection, the new themes, and serious performance improvements are perhaps the most representative features introduced with Firefox 3, here are some other useful ones you may not be aware:

  1. Duplicate tabs. Press Ctrl while dragging a tab to create a duplicate of the dragged tab including its history. Note that this feature doesn’t work on Mac.
  2. Move tabs to another window. Just drag a tab and drop it on another window to move it. If the dragged tab is the last one in its window, it will be closed.
  3. Resize the search bar. When the search bar is placed next to the location bar, you can drag the handler between them (invisible on Windows and Linux) to resize it.
  4. Add keyword search. Select Manage Search Engines… in the search engines menu to open the Search Engines Manager, select a search engine, press Edit Keyword… and enter a few characters to define one. Now you can enter the keyword followed by your search terms in the location bar to search with that plugin.
  5. Discontinuous selections. Make a selection with the mouse as you usually do. Then press and hold the Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) key to make additional selections and create a larger discontinuous one so you can copy or print just what you need.
  6. Integrated add-ons. No need to visit Mozilla Add-ons because Firefox 3 brings it to you directly from the Add-ons Manager new Get Add-ons page: search, find and install with a single click.
  7. Disable plugins. Crashing? It may be a plugin. To be sure, disable the suspect through the new Plugins page in the Add-ons Manager.
  8. Check your crashes. Enter about:crashes in the location bar to get a list of crashes submitted by Breakpad (Mozilla’s crash reporter). Click on a crash report to get details provided by Socorro, Mozilla’s crash reports server.


  1. Martin July 8, 2008 10:20 am 

    I know that the first point is working well on Windows, but I tried it on the Mac since it first appears on the betas. I don’t know if I do something wrong, but I’m not able to duplicate tabs on Mac. Even the latest nightlys don’t work on Mac…

    • Percy Cabello July 10, 2008 10:39 am 

      Markus, you’re right, tab duplication doesn’t work on Mac. I’ve update the article accordingly. Thanks.

  2. Mskadu July 8, 2008 1:47 pm 

    Duplicating tags and moving them between windows is news to me :) Thanks!

  3. July 8, 2008 1:50 pm 

    Firefox 3 features you may not know – Mozilla Links…

    While the awesome bar, download pause and resume, malware protection, the new themes, and serious performance improvements are perhaps the most representative features introduced with Firefox 3, here are some other useful ones you may not be aware:…

  4. Ken Saunders July 8, 2008 9:55 pm 

    “Discontinuous selections”
    That’s very cool!
    Thanks :)

  5. gluca July 9, 2008 5:43 am 

    I would add to list “images drag and drop, i.e. from a web page to MS Word o a e-mail draft”

  6. Sebastian July 10, 2008 12:53 am 

    I would like a feature to autozoom to optimal page width.

  7. z-vet July 10, 2008 1:16 am 

    about:crashes gives me «The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded» error.

    • Doug July 11, 2008 12:38 am 

      ditto for me, I’m wondering if it’s the fact I’m on Ubuntu

    • kbrosnan July 15, 2008 1:29 pm 

      Only works on builds from if you are using a Linux distro provided version of Firefox 3 about:crashes won’t work.

    • Goolic July 15, 2008 7:31 pm 

      You’ve to put “about:crashes” NOT “http://about:crashes” :)

  8. steve ballmer July 10, 2008 11:07 am 

    Main features: Crash, freeze, sputter, ….

  9. Фішки Firefox, про які ви можете не знати » Про Firefox та Mozilla Українською July 10, 2008 12:38 pm 

    [...] надані Socorro – сервером аварій Mozilla. За матеріалами mozillalinks Написав Фарбований Лис У розділі [...]

  10. Maxwell July 10, 2008 10:45 pm 

    Uh, tab duplication works fine on Mac Firefox. Use the command (aka Apple aka puppy-paw) key, not the control key.

  11. masa July 13, 2008 4:02 am 

    I loved it so much but there is a problem in multimedia things they dont worlk with firefox as well as it does with explorer .. do u think i have missed something like adds on ? can you help me plz thanks

  12. Pepe July 13, 2008 9:04 am 

    La mayoría de esas funciones ya estaban en la versión anterior o vienen desde la

    Una que no conocía y que me gustó es la de hacer búsquedas en el historial, desde la barra de direcciones, ahorra mucho tiempo.

    Por ejemplo, la dirección de este post es:

    Cuando quiero volver a buscarlo y “se me olvidó” la dirección, puedo escribir algunos de los elementos de la dirección y entonces busca en el historial y me la muestra, digamos que solo me acuerdo que fue escrito en “mundo” y que se trata de “firefox 3″, entonces en la barra de direcciones escribo “mozilla firefox 3″ separado por espacios o “firefox mozilla 3″ o también “3 features firefox”, cualquier combinación y me muestra el desplegado de direcciones que tengan estas palabras clave.

    Funciona también con el título de las páginas, he ahí la importancia de un buen diseño web y el de usar urls amigables.

    Saludos :) buen blog.

  13. spoon00 July 13, 2008 7:32 pm 

    Don’t forget the broken file upload.

  14. ndtwc July 14, 2008 1:50 am 

    However the discontinuous selections thing won’t work if the texts are inside a table cell. Firefox will select the whole cell instead of the text you are highlighting.

  15. Mickey July 15, 2008 7:14 am 

    One thing I miss from the previus version is the awesome undo close tab. Is there any way to have it back in FF 3?

    • Jeffrey July 16, 2008 4:17 am 

      Yes, by using the Ctrl+Shift+T shortcut.

      • Paul July 28, 2008 8:05 am 

        Ctrl+Shift+T Does not work in firefox 3, I’m very tempted to download 2 again

        • Dyson Logos April 4, 2009 6:28 pm 

          CTRL+SHIFT+T works fine for me using Firefox 3.0.8

  16. Philippe Lhoste July 16, 2008 5:35 am 

    Interesting article. I didn’t knew the discontinuous article. I selected the first short descriptions and got: Duplicate tabsMove tabs to another windowResize the search barAdd keyword searchDiscontinuous selections
    A bit disappointed, I expected some separator (newline?) to be added. I must remember to include these separators in the selections…

    Some features were already available with Tab Mix Plus, I think (including the undo close, Mickey). I started without this extension (not compatible with FF3 at start) and was happy to find it back! ;)

    @gluca: drag’n'drop of images was there in FF2 already! At least to a Windows folder or to the desktop. You can also d’n'd URLs to IE (useful for testing…). No need for special extension! ;)

  17. Xandrex July 16, 2008 7:51 am 

    it is important to make people know of the tab features that you’re talking about in this post !

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  19. mindcontrolproject July 24, 2008 4:23 pm 

    very helpful. thanks for the post!

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  21. orlando_ombzzz August 6, 2008 11:35 am 

    “Discontinuous selections. Make a selection with the mouse as you usually do. Then press and hold the Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) key to make additional selections and create a larger discontinuous one so you can copy or print just what you need.”

    this would be wonderful … but Firefox Selections printing is broken: usually it spits blanks pages when you print selections. I suspect this is the reason why UI team decided to hide the “print selection” option from the user ( it is in a separate tab … complicating the user to print selection ). If you want that the user actually *use* this feature, the solution is simple and no brainer: when the user makes a selection ( continuous or discontinuous ) add a contextual menu item “print selection” … simple, elegant and easy to do.

    But FIX SELECTION PRINTING in Firefox first !!

  22. shane lily August 13, 2008 3:17 am 

    how about the modification on file upload ?
    does firefox give us any option to override it ?

  23. thanushka August 27, 2008 12:27 am 

    Please make FF3 backward compatible. Things that work with FF2, Break with FF3. This should not happen.

  24. Nureet Cohen August 31, 2008 2:54 pm 

    I have downloaded what I thought was an upgrade to Firefox 3 and the system crushed. I got a message that thier is a problem with Firefox, it crushed and send a report. I did, but did not get a reply from anyone. I removed the program from my computer, reinstalled, and I got the same message. Ca someone please tell me what to do?
    Thank you much
    Nureet Cohen

  25. Nureet Cohen September 10, 2008 12:28 pm 

    I downloaded Mozilla Firefox 3 and it crushed. What shell I do? I have sent Mozilla several inquiries and did not get an answer. Can someone respond?

  26. Pacificapocalypse » I *so* knew it. September 23, 2008 12:55 pm 

    [...] every combo of CTL+ALT+SHIFT+TAB+WTF! Then while cruising Reddit today I came across this entry: Firefox 3 features you may not know And there it was, top of the list: 1. To duplicate tabs press Ctrl  while dragging a tab to create [...]

  27. rootwalla September 29, 2008 4:37 pm 

    Undoing closed tabs: middle click on the “tab bar” once for every undo. (anywhere will do, even in the little space between a tab and the upper border)

  28. Sai October 24, 2008 6:29 am 

    i think we’ll have to say good bye to Firefox 3 use if it does not give the full path in the file upload control on the client or server side

  29. Minimal Firefox - Mozilla Links October 24, 2008 9:57 am 

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  30. Nureet Cohen October 24, 2008 12:40 pm 

    I love the new Firefox, can you just make sure my bookmarks are not lost each time we have an upgrade?
    Nureet Cohen

  31. Lloyd Prentice February 17, 2009 2:22 pm 

    Some things do not work in Firefox ver. 3.0.6 on Macintosh 10.5.6. One is Jajah log-in with the Jajah button. Can you help me? Do I need to reinstall ver 3 and go through the updates? If so, should I avoid 3.0.6?

  32. Nureet Cohen March 3, 2009 12:14 pm 

    I am sorry but no matter what I do, Firefox is not working on my computer
    Please help

  33. CoBfan1987 March 11, 2009 11:54 pm 

    Ctrl + Shift + T works just fine in FF 3

    What are you guys talking about?

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