Add An Easy Interface To Tweak Firefox Advanced Settings

Firefox stores advanced configuration settings in the about:config menu (see Tweaking Firefox for more details). Anyone used to tweaking the preferences in about:config will know that it is basically a very long list of preferences in alphabetical order – they’re not grouped into relevant sections e.g. ‘Security’ or ‘User Interface’ and it is difficult to figure out what function in Firefox each preference relates to.

I have previously reviewed the ‘What’s That Preference’ add-on (now obsolete!) which added new items to the about:config context menu, linking to the MozillaZine Knowledge Base page for the selected preference. This greatly speeds up the process of finding reference data for individual Firefox preferences but it doesn’t arrange them in groups or a nice GUI – you still have to use the basic about:config menu page to change settings.

Configuration Mania does a lot more than this to make tweaking advanced settings much easier. It is a Firefox add-on (extension) that provides a great user interface for tweaking the advanced settings usually hidden away in about:config.

It removes the need to know the preference name of each setting – effectively it converts many of the about:config preferences into a proper options menu, similar to the standard Firefox menu bar Options – and just as easy to use.

  • The settings become mainly self-explanatory due to their description and position within the sections of the Configuration Mania interface.
  • If more detail is required, right click the setting that you want to know the description of, then click on ‘Search in MozillaZine Knowledge Base’ for the setting description page.
  • Not all about:config preferences are included in Configuration Mania e.g. HTTP settings and referrer settings are omitted because Mozilla regard changes to these as potentially leading to security vulnerabilities and warn add-on developers not to change them.

Configuration Mania is available from the official Mozilla add-on site here.

configmania

Backup

The interface provides a nice ‘front end’ GUI to the hidden about:config menu preferences so any changes you make to those preferences in Configuration Mania will persist – even if you subsequently disable or uninstall the add-on. This is just the same as if you manually changed settings in about:config yourself.

As always with these advanced settings, I would highly recommend that you backup your Firefox preferences file before making any changes to it in case you ever wish to revert back to it.

Conclusion

Configuration Mania is an excellent and easy to use add-on that makes it much easier to tweak advanced Firefox preferences stored in the about:config menu.

It is likely to be of most value to advanced (or adventurous!) users who regularly need to tweak Firefox preferences – or those wishing to experiment with Firefox settings that are normally hidden behind the scenes.

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