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How to Set Up Firefox: Basic Steps Right After Installation

This article is going to explain how to use Firefox’s default features like syncing, bookmarks importing and add-ons to your advantage.

The great thing about Firefox is that you can use it on any operating system and it still works great for a default browser. If you use Windows 10, it also takes over Cortana’s addiction with Bing with no additional work. Firefox is also updating with many pro-user privacy stuff lately, like their Private Browsing that is really private and even blocks ads with tracking. They are also working on ads that respect a user’s preference settings.

There are advantages that Firefox has over Chrome as well, such as cloud-based abilities to sync your browsing history, bookmarks, and even open tabs across different devices.

Keep reading to learn how you can take advantage of Firefox’s features. (The following tutorial is based around the 41.0.1 version of Firefox.)

Firefox Sync

This is Firefox’s version of Chrome’s cross-platform abilities, and it allows you to sync your computer and mobile device to each other. You can sync your bookmarks, history, even your add-ons and open tabs!


First, you will have to register a free Firefox account, which you can do from the browser.

Click the menu icon (top right) and then Sign in to Sync near the bottom. A new tab will open allowing you to sign up for a new account. Just fill it out and hit Sign Up.

You will receive an email for verification. Just open it and follow the instructions. When you have done that, your data will start syncing with Firefox server, and you can begin accessing it on any Firefox browser.

The default settings will sync your bookmarks, tabs, history, add-ons, preferences and even your passwords. If you want to make changes to this, open a tab and type in about:preferences#sync.

From here, simply uncheck any of the boxes underneath “Sync” that you don’t want to be synced any longer. If you use a password manager, you may not want to have passwords saved and synced, as this can be risky.

To turn the password storing feature off, type about:preferences#security using a new tab and then go down to “Passwords” and make sure “Remember passwords for sites” is unchecked.

Importing bookmarks

When first installing Firefox, you are provided with the choice of importing bookmarks from your other browsers. If you didn’t want to then and you do now, you will need to look into exporting bookmarks from IE, Safari and, of course, Chrome.

If you are provided with an option, you should export bookmarks in HTML format before saving to your computer. Remember to save it wherever you can easily find it, for example, your desktop folder.


Once you have these steps done, open Firefox and press Ctrl+Shift+B. This shortcut will open your Bookmarks Manager. In the new window that appears, click on Import and Backup, then select Import Bookmarks from HTML. Simply browse for the HTML file you previously exported and saved on your computer, and you’re done.

Add-ons that are a must-have

Firefox has a large catalog of add-ons that will help improve the browser functions. To begin installing the add-ons, open a new tab and type about:addons or use the main menu and select Tools > Add-ons.

If you are cautious about your security and privacy while browsing, you will want to check out Giorgio Maone’s NoScript add-on that prevents JavaScript from running without your permission. It has a permissions setup that lets you choose what will and won’t run on each site you go to.

Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed an add-on that many find useful. It’s called HTTPS Everywhere. This add-on forces sites to run on a HTTPS connection, as it is more secure. This also helps to eliminate unwanted spying on your browsing activities. You may not consider that looking at news or blogs is anything private enough to worry about, but these are activities that allow betrayal of interests, even religious and political views. These are just some of the points why these little things should still be secure.

Download Manager Tweak is another good add-on that increases Firefox’s default download manager. It allows you to open the manager in the sidebar or a tab, re-download files, or delete a file that has been downloaded.

Another add-on that Firefox comes with is built-in Pocket which is a read-it-later service, somehow similar to Clearly add-on from Evernote.

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