Featured Tip, Tricks, & Reviews

20 Useful [& Hidden] Commands for Firefox and Chrome

From useful to funny, with these special commands for the address bar, power users can access hidden the settings, user statistics, and a hidden screenshot machinery.

Similar to Windows with its command line, Firefox and Chrome each provide input options that accept commands by keyboard. These can then access hidden menus, create new software versions, get the latest program versions immediately, analyze the resource requirements – the ideal playground for fine tuning and finding solutions to issues. If your browser has become extremely slow or it is no longer in useable condition, then you can reset it completely. Nothing is like an adventure into the hidden code. We gives you 66 commands that usually have a practical effect immediately.

Practical helpers under the hood of Firefox and Chrome offer things that are sometime very alike; there are some unnecessary things – including funny things. Among other things, a fun side of the programmers reveals that robots are visiting this world peacefully and with good will. Perhaps such things are too silly for you? 🙂
You want to give the browser more speed and security? No problem: statistics reveal the ram consumption; a special button lowers it. Collected telemetry usage data that the program sends invisibly to Mozilla, you can see that too. You can stop the data being sent permanently in seconds. If you want to close your browser quickly, then you can do this with a bookmark with a specific address. The past browser usage arouses your interest? This satisfies the cache display; it provides the NTFS folder path of the Firefox cache folder, a few clicks in this area reveal the time of page visits. Another area reveals the number of previous browser launches. Analysts assess how once downloaded web sites are technically constructed; is the contact made SSL-encrypted and using the acceleration standard HTTP/2?

Why is there stuff so much under the hood?
Some of them are hidden, so that users do not cause any damage and the surface remains clean and simple. In particular, the latter should be the intention for Mozilla and Google to accommodate secondary functions less intuitively accessible. Only a few menus allow you to play around, which leads to an evil awakening in the wrong way; in the worst case, you can totally trash your browser. A lot of inspiration is provided by the tip galleries. Just create a full back up before the big exploration tour. The programs are inherently proficient, but the integrated synchronization solution does not always work as desired. There are offline wizards like MozBackup, Firesave, and Google Chrome Backup. For example, if you have an emergency backup software and a backup is created in the backhand, then you can get the browser back with all the same settings later after a crash.

Chrome commands are also suitable for Opera
With untarnished and therefore hidden settings, Chrome invites you to experiment into the hidden world. You can reach them via the address about: flags. Interestingly, many commands also work in Opera. This is because the Norwegian browser builds on Chrome and interprets HTML code with the same renderer module, so webpages are processed in a similar way. Certain commands quickly delete data garbage or open configuration menus, where you define exceptions for security-relevant restrictions. This enhances safety is there without compromising comfort. If you want to use a proxy and browse the internet anonymously, then you only have to enter the proxy web address once. Google relies on Internet Explorer (or its internet options alias inetcpl.cpl) and does not set the adjustment in its own settings menu. However, the provider cooks its own soup in user account management; it is more complex than with Firefox and each user gets their own Avatar/picture. Changing the language of Chrome does not require any add-on other than Firefox. How it all works, is shown below.

Firefox First:
1. Create screenshots (command line)
Additional programs are required to make screen captures? Firefox has, similar to Windows, a command line. The browser counterpart takes care of the content of the open web presence.
Invoke the command line with Shift-F2. The following command copies the visible of the displayed page to the clipboard:
screenshot –clipboard
Press Enter, and then paste the content into Paint (press Windows-R, type mspaint) with Ctrl-V.

2. View cookies (command line)
Cookies are used by the browser to recognize visited websites. You want to know which site created how many of them? The answer is provided by the Firefox command line cookie list (to open the command line, press Shift-F2 if necessary).
If the input line is already open, you will save a lot of time. In most cases, people with inquiries will find their way through the settings (Privacy> Show Cookies).

3. Restart program (command line)
Another talent of the command line is to terminate the browser and to call/start it again. This may result in a lower RAM consumption. To prevent this problem and to prevent any other problems, use restart command.

4. Simulate mobile screen (command line)
This is interesting for web developers while others will see it as a joke. There is a command that resizes screen, which represents the currently displayed web page in mobile view. You can see how your website design works on a smartphone or tablet. The display is variable; use the upper menu to adjust the resolution. To end the mode, click on the X in the upper left corner or enter resize off.

5. Web pages to make superfluous (command line)
Although you are not accessing the source code of a called page on their server, you can remove the page elements that are classified as unnecessary. If necessary, open the Firefox command line with Shift-F2. Then type:

a. pagemod remove element img
(to remove all images)
b. pagemod remove element h1
(to remove all headings)
c. pagemod remove elementform
(to remove all input forms)
d. pagemod remove element table
(to remove all tables)

The commands are directly combinable by sending them several times (confirm with Enter.) You can print such a reduced in size page, if your printer has less ink or toner, or you want to save them.

5.1. Borrowed settings as a list
Several features lie hidden, as Mozilla does not give them their own user interface. To display the hidden settings, use the address bar and enter about: config page. With numerous entries, you can improve safety and speed. Often new Firefox functions are already found in the browser version that you are using, but Mozilla only officially provides them in a later version. Then those interested in these new features can turn them on in this menu for free.

Similar to the Windows registry or its registry editor, only do this if you know what you are doing and strictly follow the instructions. Otherwise, problems may occur. Often a good alternative is the free extension gui:config. As indicated by the front graphical user interface, it provides a graphical user interface for the cryptic settings list. After installation, type about: guiconfig in the address line. Among other things under Network, it displays the maximum number of HTTP connections, increasing the value promises increased surf speed.

6. Quit with bookmarks
If you create a special bookmark, the current tab closes. If only one tab exists, the browser window closes. To set this up, right-click anywhere in the Bookmarks toolbar. Select New Bookmarks from the context menu. Now about:newaddon?id=ABC (the text after = can vary) and confirm with Add.
If you enter the command directly into the address bar, the inconvenience of a bookmark does not exist and you can still close it.

7. Profile manager
Similar to Windows or Linux it works with Firefox to work with several people in transition without you getting into each other’s way. User profiles make this possible. To create new ones or to define the default profile (it loads every time you start without asking,) press Windows+R. When all instances of Firefox are closed, call the profile manager with the following command:

Firefox -p

If the Firefox program has been severely damaged, delete your existing profile as desired and create a new, error-free one. Note: If the Windows-R command call only opens a normal browser window, Firefox is still in RAM. In this case, end any invisible instance using Task Manager. The fastest way to open it is to use Ctrl-Shift-Escape.

When you type firefox -createprofile username in the Run dialog box, it creates a new profile silently. Therefore still, since the user name to be entered individually does not appear until the profile manager is called up later via firefox -p.

User profile manager
If several people are sharing a PC, it is recommended to create user profiles in Firefox. Type about:profiles in the address bar, you are already in the managing instance. Alternatively, if the browser is closed, press Windows-R and type firefox -p.

In contrast to the profile manager, you will find a classic window style (accessible via the mentioned p-switch) where your profile folder is stored. New profiles can be created, in case of performance problems restart the browser by clicking the button with deactivated add-ons. Especially the opening of the profile folder is useful. Experienced users can do this quickly; this is necessary if you want to create a file called userChrome.css to make optical modifications to the browser interface. One example is the coloring of tabs with on-board means.

8. Safe mode
In addition to Windows, Firefox has a minimum operating state that is suitable for repairs. Assuming there is no firefox.exe process running in the RAM/background, Press Windows+R and type firefox -safe-mode.

Click Start in Safe Mode to work with no extensions and some customized settings. If any add-ons are incompatible, they do not interfere, since they are first switched off. The next regular Firefox launch will work again as usual. To solve an extension problem, open the Safe Mode and use Ctrl-Shift-A to open the add-on management and disable or remove the culprit add-on.

If you press the Firefox button in the safe mode instead of clicking on the Start button, the Firefox will be set to a virgin state. Bookmarks will remain, not add-ons will wipeout.

9. Extension
There are add-ons in the form of extensions and themes. The former adds a functional range. The other genre modifies the design.
Which add-ons enrich everyday life (or disrupt, in the case of unwanted adware installations) is revealed by about: addons. With a newly installed Firefox, the possibility to upgrade the program in the connected Extensions portal is equal. It is also possible to update, deactivate, uninstall them. All three measures – the first measure not necessarily always needed- help against performance problems. Sometimes, add-ons eat too much power.

Installed plug-ins
Remove unnecessary add-ons with care. If the uninstallation does not work in the administrative dialog, then do it via Windows+R and appwiz.cpl.

Unfortunately, add-ons do not often disappear completely when you delete them. The eCleaner jumps in, which as an add-on that immediately informs you about the junk left behind by add-ons and offers to delete them.

10. Tabs, bookmarks, passwords
Many users have more than one PC, so there is a synchronization in the browser. This balances data from device A with those of device B. As a result, you will continue to work seamlessly with other hardware – using the address bar command about: accounts. Follow the instructions.
A about: sync-tabs displays the tabs that are open on other devices;-a search box at the top right.

Now Chrome:

1. Default settings
Basic and therefore important for the daily practice you can use chrome://settings:Tap command in the address bar. When the Enter key is pressed, the configuration center is opened.

It is also possible to write this and other command (s) with only one slash character: Chrome supplements the missing character in this case. In the called area, for example, you can configure the start page, see if a bookmark bar appears below the address bar, and another button allows you to set Chrome as the default browser.

2. Experimental functions
Similar to the Google Labs, which are now set up, Google has some experimental features for Chrome.
The chrome://flags address bar entry makes them visible.

In development, it appears in the overview, sometimes Google makes it easier for browser updates. Not everything is well explained, the switching on of some creates side effects. To better understand problems that may occur, like Windows Services Tuning, make a change, test it for some time, and then take the next step.

3. List of the history
The program keeps track of the websites visited and their addresses.
chrome://history
A search feature makes it easy to quickly track a web site and see what you or your partner has visited. This works if the respective data is not yet deleted. Deleting this data from a privacy point of view could be useful.

4. The dates and times of your page views.
As an alternative to address bar entry, ChromeHistoryView is recommended. The small free tool does not need any installation and does the same. Among other things, it is possible to create a backup in HTML format (without the Ctrl-S detour).

5. View Cookies
Websites recognize the user by means of cookies. You can see them via the following command.

chrome://settings/cookies

To avoid losing web page logins, click on their X for individual entries. If you use the search function on the upper right, you can save time. Without having to press the Enter key, the field promotes the cookies of a certain web page. The cookie list will then delete the X. By using the above command, the cookie list is good enough to find out whether security restrictions are imposed like websites are prohibited to create cookies, etc.

Note: Depending on your Chrome version, this command may not work.

6. Cached pages
Loaded websites end up in a temporary storage, so that their components do not repeatedly go through the Internet line when called again. For Chrome, check the cache with chrome://cache.

The overview is an alternative to that for the course to control the visited pages. If a stranger had used your PC unintentionally, you might notice the chronicle. Since the overview is mauve, the use of the search function is recommended via Ctrl-F. If you have deleted your Surf-Tracks via Ctrl-Shift-Delete, chrome://cache should show nothing more or much less, depending on the cleanup setting.

Before you clean up, look more closely at the cache entries: You can use the URL addresses to determine whether the page connections work with HTTP or the more secure HTTPS; In the case of picture links, the date format appears as JPG or PNG.

7. Bookmark list
The Ctrl-Shift-B key combination shows and hides the list of the websites whose addresses you have stored for quick access. By default, it does not appear; this is recommended.

Although many screens have more space than the height, not too many entries often fit into the bookmarks bar. Chrome://bookmarks, once sent via the address bar, you will get your favorites arranged among each other. A double click or mouse wheel click opens a linked content in a new tab.

8. Downloaded files
Which files have been transferred to the PC by file download, use chrome://downloads to find out.
The Chronicle divides storage operations from the network by date. A search function is also available.

There is a Show in Folder option. This opens the parent folder of an item, which, in download management, is the exact download address (URL.) In the containing folder, the object of the desire in the Windows Explorer is sensibly selected in advance.

The downloaded URLs in Chrome only shortened. A mouse click on a link re-opens the download page for a further transfer process, alternatively to look at the address, try to right-click on a download manager line copy the address of the link, then paste the contents into the editor with Ctrl-V.

9. Installed extensions
Extensions are Curses and Blessings at the same time extensions. In similar numbers as for Firefox, developers offer them to Chrome users. Some turn out to be useful, while others only reduce the working speed. It is important to find the right balancing act between functional growth and reasonable performance losses.

Free of mouse clicks chrome: //extensions in the overview of your extensions, sometimes called add-ons. This includes disabling or uninstalling. If you allow a tick in the Incognito mode, you can run an application continuously; however, anonymity could suffer here. Scroll down and select Download more extensions, which leads to the Chrome Store to expand the add-on inventory.

To share a related Address bar command: Chrome://system
In addition to the chrome version, the internal page with more entries than the above classic menu reveals which add-ons your existence time limits. Click on the show options. The memory footprint of your extension programs will result in a mouse click on ads after Mem_usage.

10. Define start page address
The start page selection controls which website appears when the browser is opened. The address is set by Chrome users. Instead of looking in the settings, do it easy by typing chrome://settings/startup into the address bar.

In the dialog that opens, insert a URL or enter the automatically loaded page or use the last page. If you select OK, Chrome will activate the Certain Page or Open Pages setting so that a start page appears instead of a new tab page or the most recently opened tabs on startup.

Depending on your version of Chrome, alternatively, if the above does not work, use the following address bar command:
chrome://settings/search=home?

About the author

Adil Khan

Adil Khan

Adil Khan is a 30 years old Nerd who has been playing with his toys, computers and electronics, since the late 90's. His passion lies in the digital world of 1's and 0's i.e. until quantum computers are available for purchase :)

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