Firefox Doesn’t Warn When Closing Multiple Tabs – Firefox Confirm Exit

December 29th, 2010

Setting Firefox 3 To Show A Warning Or Prompt On An Attempt To Close Multiple Open Tabs

If you have upgraded your browser from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3, you must have noticed that you no more get a prompt or warning while you try to close a Firefox window having multiple active or open tabs.

You do not get the warning or prompt even if you select and enable the respective option in the “Tabs” section within Preferences of Firefox 3 for displaying a warning on an attempt to close a window with multiple active tabs.

Once you have selected the respective option in Firefox 3 Preferences for showing a warning while closing multiple tabs, the Firefox browser is actually supposed to show a dialog box with a title “Confirm Close” notifying you that you are in a process of closing “X” number of open tabs and asking you whether you would like to continue.

However, this doesn’t happen in Firefox 3. Instead, Firefox 3 directly closes all the active tabs in the window without showing a warning or asking for any confirmation, even though you have set the preference “browser.warnOnQuit” as “true”.

However, the developers in Bugzilla@Mozilla do not consider this behavior as a bug. Instead, it is believed to be an intentional change brought in as Firefox 3 is configured with the session restore feature by selecting the startup option (setting browser.startup.page to value “3”) where Firefox reopens and restores all active tabs and windows on next restart automatically.

Firefox 3 does not prompt for any confirmation when you either close a single window having multiple active tabs or exit the Firefox application having multiple active Firefox windows as long as it believes that the tabs/ windows can be restored at the time of next startup.

So as per the existing behavior of Firefox 3, you will no longer be prompted while trying to quit Firefox every time. The warning or the pop-up dialog box will be prompted for confirmation only if Firefox is unable to restore or reopen the tabs/ windows at the time of next startup.

Some users who feel quite annoyed to respond to the warning or prompt all the time may be happy with this new change. However, others who tend to open a lot of tabs in a single Firefox window would not be much pleased with this behavior as a single accidental click on the “X” (close) button can make them loose all the open tabs.

Nevertheless, if you want to be warned or prompted for a confirmation before closing a Firefox window having multiple active/ open tabs or quitting Firefox application, you can make use of the following workaround.

You need to simply set firefox to open with a blank page or home page at the time of every startup so that the system restore feature is disabled. For doing so, follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Open the Firefox 3 browser and click on “Tools” to display the tools menu. Select “Options”.
  2. Within the “Startup” section in the tab “Main”, choose to load either blank page or homepage in Firefox browser on every startup for the option “When Firefox starts”.
    You need to note that the option that displays tabs and windows from last time is nothing but the “system restore” option which means that if you select this option, you will not get any warning while closing multiple active tabs.
  3. Click on “OK” button.

Once you have made the setting for loading blank page or homepage in Firefox on every startup, you will get a prompt every time you try to close a Firefox window. Firefox 3 will display a dialog box with the title “Quit Firefox” asking you whether you would like it to save the tabs and restore them the next time firefox loads.

You may override the Firefox startup setting by selecting the option “Save and Quit” so as to save and restore/reopen all the active tabs in the next Firefox session. You may start anew with a blank page or homepage by selecting the option “Quit”. If you choose “Cancel” option, the exit operation will be cancelled allowing you to continue in the current Window.

However, “Quit Firefox” dialog box also has a check box with an option for not showing the prompt henceforth. If you tick on this checkbox and select the option “Save and Quit”, the startup option for displaying all tabs and windows from the last Firefox session on every startup will be automatically activated (setting the value for “browser.startup.page” as “3”)

Alternatively, if you tick on this checkbox and select the option “Quit”, the option for receiving a warning while closing multiple tabs will automatically be unchecked (setting “browser.tabs.warnOnClose” as false) in the “Tabs” section within Preferences of Firefox 3, which needs to remain checked for the warning or prompt to be displayed.

Therefore, to get the “Quit Firefox” dialog box every time you attempt to close a firefox window containing multiple active tabs, make sure that you do not tick the checkbox corresponding to the option for not showing the prompt henceforth.

The new dialog box “Quit Firefox” in Firefox 3 is different as compared to Firefox 2. It does not display the number of open tabs. If you want to receive the dialog box “Confirm Close” like in Firefox 2 you may use a simple workaround as follows.

Just open/ launch more than one Firefox windows (two, three or more) and close the window having multiple active tabs and you will get the usual dialog box “Confirm Close” notifying you that you are in a process of closing “X” open tabs and asking for a confirmation that you want to continue.

The dialog box also shows two buttons “Cancel” and “Close Tabs” and a check box with an option to get the warning each time you try to close multiple open tabs. Ensure that the check box is always ticked or selected.
This feature influences Firefox 3 in most operating systems including Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

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