Get Snappier Firefox Tabs by Disabling the New Tab Animation

Today we are seeing a lot of animations and effects integrated into operating systems and third party software to provide a more visually appealing feel to the user. Obviously we won’t want to go back to the Windows 95 era where the graphical user interface is so boring and I get sleepy by just looking at it. However, too many fancy effects and animations get on my nerves as well. For example, there are a number of effects in Windows 7 like minimizing or maximizing a folder that is already opened, or opening a new window when it zooms in and back out again when closed.

These sorts of effects can be nice as they don’t put on any real extra load on the system. But if I boot into XP for instance, the difference in the speed opening XP’s windows, to me anyway, is quite noticeable. Thankfully, at least they can be turned off. I do have that few milliseconds to spare and it isn’t going to ruin my day, but I personally prefer things to work snappy and don’t like it when things seem to work slower because of extra eye candy.

If you haven’t noticed, there is animation when you open a new tab in Mozilla Firefox features. It is obviously there to make the browser more visually appealing and is similar to the opening a window animation in Win 7. If you are like me and prefer things to be snappy, fortunately there is an easy way to disable the Firefox new tab animation.

1. Type about:config at the URL bar and hit enter. Click the “I’ll be careful, I promise” button.

2. Type browser.tabs.animate at the filter bar and hit enter.

3. Simply double click on “browser.tabs.animate” to change the value from true to false. You will notice when this value is changed, the status changes to user set. Useful if you want to make changes to this or any other settings in Firefox later on, as you will know which ones have been changed by the user from the default setting.

Snappier Firefox Tabs

This change will take effect immediately without restarting the Firefox browser. Simply try opening a new tab while the config window is still open, if you don’t like it, just double click again to reset. You should now feel that opening a new tab is slightly faster when the animation is disabled.

As a simple demonstration, checkout this small tutorial clip which shows you the difference between having the animated Firefox tabs and turning off the animation. Believe it or not, the difference is noticeable, even at 10 frames per second!


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