Four Most Essential Firefox Add-Ons And Settings. Plus Eight Extras.

My dear friend Sabrina called and complained about a lot of popup windows and stuff when surfing the web. These are my recommendations for some essential plugins and settings in Firefox. Especially for you, Sabrina.

April 16th 2018, Update: I can no longer recommend using Firefox as they have kicked millions of users and thousands of add-on developers in the a** by disabling many important APIs in FF, which makes it impossible for the add-on developers to adapt. Many of the add-ons recommended below do not work anymore with FF Quantum. I am using Waterfox now. It is a FF fork which wants to keep the old APIs – and all my recommended add-ons work.

Two Most Essential Firefox Add-Ons

An Adblocker

An adblocker the essential add-on. I couldn’t use the web without one. It stops most of all those annoying blinking ads which try to distract you from your work in intrusive and flashy ways.
May 5th 2017, Update: I can no longer recommend Adblock Plus, as it lately often lead to complete hangs of Firefox. I do use now uBlock Origin.
To install, select the given link and there click Add to Firefox. Follow further instructions there.


The second add-on which is a couldn’t live without it is Flashblock. It replaces all the Flash stuff that tries to capture your attention in disturbing ways with a nice and silent f icon


. If you really want to see the video or hear the music behind the f, just click the f.
To install it, click here and there Add to Firefox. Follow further instructions there.

Three Most Essential Firefox Settings

Block Popup Windows

  1. Open the Settings dialog in Firefox
  2. Select the Content tab.
  3. At the top, check Block Popup-Windows
  4. Press the Ok button.

Switch Off Gif Animations

First check out this site. Are there a lot of smilies winking, blinking, smiling, jumping around and even vomiting? So that you would get crazy if you looked at it for more than ten seconds? Yes? These are animated gifs. Not that I dislike them. No. I hate them.

Thank god, they’ve built something into Firefox to switch them off. It may seem a bit complicated for everyday users, but it is worth it.

  1. Type about:config into the address bar of firefox.
  2. Ignore the following warning about The guarantee ends here and press the button I’ll be cautious, really.
  3. A huge list of settings will be shown. Type image.animation_mode into the search bar at the top so that the list will be reduced to one entry. The page then will look like this:
  4. Double-click the marked normal in the line. In the upcoming dialog, type in none and press ok. Close the about:config tab.
  5. Revisit the animated smilies page. You should look into complete quiescence now. Ah. This calmness. How relieving. Like a cool breath on a hot and humid day.

Turn Off Spell Checking

13 Nov 2017 Update Some time ago, those FF developers thought it would be a good idea to turn on a spell checker by default. It is not. You can turn it off via Preferences/Advanced/Check my spelling as I type.

Some Extra Add-Ons I Like

  1. Leechblock is from heaven for people who tend to surf the web (-hell) too much.
  2. Video DownloadHelper makes it possible to download videos from Youtube.
  3. With Fireshot, you can make screen shots of web pages that are too big to fit on the screen at once.
  4. JS Switch adds a toolbar button to the browser with which you can switch off and on JavaScript with one click.
  5. LEO Search adds a context menu entry to translate selected words.
  6. Vertical Toolbar lets you move your bookmarks and other buttons from a horizontal toolbar into a vertical one. This is very useful with the wide screens in use nowadays.
  7. Morning Coffee This extension lets you organize websites by day and open them up simultaneously as part of your daily routine. This is handy if you read want to read different newssites daily. I like it much.
  8. Firebug is an addon which is essential for all people creating web pages in one or another way. It helps you so much in debugging and creating HTML and CSS.
  9. Web Developer got a lot of five star reviews. I have to check it out.

Did I miss an essential add-on or setting? What are your favourites? I’d love to read about your opinions in the comments.