How To Change Website Permissions In Firefox – Part 2

Firefox offers a variety of options to change website permissions – you can customize permissions on a per site basis or set default permissions for all websites you visit.

In Part 1 we reviewed Page Info Permissions – used to change permissions for the website you are currently viewing. Now in Part 2 we review the Permissions Manager – used to change permissions for an individual site in your web history OR set default permissions for all sites.

Many of these options replicate the functionality of the standard Firefox Options menu but it is quicker and easier to set them in one place. We will note the equivalent Options menu settings where applicable.

To open the Permission Manager, type about:permissions into the address bar and hit Enter. Tip: for quicker access in future you can Bookmark the page, just like a website.

The Permissions manager opens by default with the All Sites category selected as shown below:

permissions 1

Here you can set default permissions for all websites – changes take effect immediately.

Permissions Manager For All Sites

Store Passwords
Replicates the functionality of Firefox Options \ Security \ Remember passwords for sites.

Allow or block Firefox from storing passwords for all websites.

Click Manage Passwords to open the Saved Passwords manager if you want to view or delete individual passwords – replicates the functionality of Firefox Options \ Security \ Saved Passwords.

Share Location
Default is ‘always ask’ – when you visit a page that requests your information, you’ll be asked before any information is shared with the requesting website.

Allow or block this behavior for all websites.

Tip: if you want to disable the Share Location feature completely, in the address bar type about:config then type geo.enabled in the Search box

The geo.enabled entry is set to True by default – double click it to change it to False. Location-aware browsing is now disabled.

Set Cookies
Replicates the functionality of Firefox Options \ Privacy \ Accept cookies from sites and ‘Keep until:’

Allow/block or set cookies for the current session for all websites. Bear in mind that some websites may not function correctly if cookies are blocked. Also gives options to Remove All Cookies or Manage Cookies.

Open Pop-up Windows
Replicates the functionality of Firefox Options \ Content \ Block pop-up windows.

Allow/block pop-up windows for all sites.

Maintain Offline Storage
Replicates the functionality of Options \ Advanced \ Network \ Tell me when a website asks to store…

Default is ‘always ask’. Allow/block all websites from storing information on your computer for use when you are offline.

Plugins
Default is Allow. Choose to ‘Allow’ or ‘Always Ask’ all websites wanting to use a plugin e.g. Adobe Flash Player.

Best security would require choosing ‘Always Ask’ – you then have to click to activate each plugin within a webpage before it can run – as shown below:

permissions 2

Personally I leave this option as the default of ‘Allow’ as so many sites use Flash (and other plugins) that I find it more trouble than it’s worth to have to keep clicking to activate them…

Fullscreen
Allow/block all websites from putting Firefox into full screen mode (the equivalent of pressing F11).

If you find yourself in full screen mode by mistake, press F11 again to come back into normal windowed mode.

Permissions Manager For Individual Sites

To manage permissions for an individual site in your web history, just select that site in the left column as shown below:

permissions 3

If you have hundreds of sites in the list, either scroll down it or type part of the site name into the ‘Search Sites’ box and it will actively filter the list.

Note: these Permissions relate to the primary domain name e.g. techlogon.com and apply to all pages within that website e.g. this article and techlogon.com/contact etc.

The permissions you can set for an individual website are the same as those for ‘All Sites’ reviewed above – except for the following differences:

1. Each permission applies to the individual website only.

2. The ‘Forget About This Site’ button removes the site from the list – useful if you messed up the permissions for it or want to reduce the list size.

3. Store Passwords option – Manage Passwords opens the same Saved Passwords window but it is pre-filtered to only show passwords with the individual website name in the ‘Site’ or ‘Username’ fields.

4. Set Cookies option – Manage Cookies opens the same Cookies window but it is pre-filtered to only show cookies from the individual website.

5. Plugins option – this does not exist for individual websites. It is a global permission that applies to all websites.

Conclusion

The Permissions Manager in Firefox let you set permissions for all websites or a particular website from your web history.

This can be useful to set exceptions for a specific website – not all of the options included are available in the Page Info Permissions we reviewed in Part 1.

2 Responses to: "How To Change Website Permissions In Firefox – Part 2"

  1. Mark W. says:

    Thanks Roy. Well-written and illustrated.

    “Tip: for quicker access in future you can Bookmark the page, just like a website.”

    Why didn’t I think of this? :) I may do this for about:plugins, etc.

    • Roy says:

      Ho ho, I hate to think how often I used to (mis!)type about:config before realizing it would save time if I just bookmarked the thing ;-)