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When you use Ctrl-Tab in Firefox, you move through tabs in the order that they are listed in the tab bar at the top of the window. I would prefer that when I use Ctrl-Tab the next tab that I switch to is the most resently used tab. That way if I have two tabs I am using frequently I can easily switch between them without having to manually modify the ordering of the tabs via drag/drop. This is a feature that Opera has which I find to be very productive. Does anyone know of a setting or plug-in that will accomplish this for me?

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7 Answers

  1. Type about:config in address bar and then Enter
  2. Type "ctrl" in the "filter" box
  3. Double-click "browser.ctrlTab.previews" item so the value becomes "true"
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I like this solution, it works pretty well. The tab preview window doesn't slow down your system much since it doesn't appear if you switch fast enough. –  Jonn Jul 12 '11 at 6:03
    
@John: The Tabs Mix Plus add-on allows you to set this option with a check box and it also provides the option to turn off the tab preview. –  raven Jun 15 '13 at 17:29
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I would recommend Tab Mix Plus. It allows you to completely customize the way the tab menus function. Quite a bit of configurable behavior.

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It looks to me like Tab Mix Plus just uses browser.ctrlTab.previews for this behavior. It does have a lot of cool options, though. –  Braden Anderson Mar 22 '13 at 18:41
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Two extensions you could check Ctrl-Tab and Tab-Mix-Plus


Ctrl-Tab -- the highlighted part is what you want.

Ctrl+Tab navigation for Firefox tabs:

  • Tabs are presented in most-recently-used order,
    similar to Alt+Tab on various operating systems
  • Releasing Tab and pressing it again moves to the next preview
  • Pressing W closes the selected tab
  • Releasing Ctrl switches to the selected tab
  • Hidden preferences: browser.ctrlTab.mostRecentlyUsed

Ctrl+Shift+A / Cmd+Shift+A shows all tabs in a grid:

  • Shows all open tabs
  • Tabs can be closed by middle clicking
  • Search field filters tabs based on their titles and addresses, Enter selects the first tab


Tab-Mix-Plus -- also supports the MRU scheme you want; with lots of other features

Includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.

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If you enable the tab preview functionality in Firefox then this changes the ctrl+tab behavior so that it moves through the tabs in the order that they were most recently used.

To enable the tab preview functionality in Firefox 11 do the following:

  1. Open a new browser tab in Firefox
  2. Enter "about:config" (without the quotes) in to the address bar and press 'Enter'
  3. Click on the 'I’ll be careful, I promise!' button.
  4. In the 'Search' textbox that appears enter the following: browser.ctrlTab.previews
  5. (This should bring up the currently set preference value)
  6. If the current value is 'false' then double click anywhere on the preference - this should change the Status to 'user set' and the Value to 'true'
  7. Close the tab (there is no need to save anywhere)
  8. The browser should now display the required behavior

If you ctrl+tab quickly enough then you will not see the preview overlay.

Please note that this is just more granular description of the instructions given above for those less savvy.

I hope this helps.

Thanks, Jonathan

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In Firefox 7 (maybe earlier versions too?), go to about:config and set the option browser.ctrlTab.previews to true.

If you release the Ctrl key quickly after Ctrl+Tab, you will get the MRU tab switching behavior you described (without previews).

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The ability to toggle between any two tabs can be achieved with the Tab Mix Plus option labeled "Ctrl-Tab navigates tabs in the most recently used order", on the "Tab Features" tab of the "Events" page of the options dialog.

enter image description here

I know this doesn't sound like it will toggle between two tabs, and it won't, if you press it quickly enough. If you press it quickly enough, or simply hold it down, it will do what it says, "navigate the tabs in the most recently used order". However, if you wait long enough between presses (only a half a second or so), it simply toggles back and forth between any two tabs (the Firefox equivalent of Window's Alt-Tab, only with browser tabs instead of applications).

Checking this box will set the option as described here, but Tabs Mix Plus also gives you the option to turn off the tab preview.

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You could just use ctrl+shift+tab and ctrl+tab to go back and forth. That's how most things work and it makes more sense.

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These hotkeys simply move to the tab to the left or right. They do not allow you to toggle between any two tabs. –  raven Jun 15 '13 at 17:03
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