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I want to open a web page from a shortcut on the desktop, but I also want it not to show the browser toolbars, except for perhaps the address bar. I essentially want the web page to look almost as if it is its own standalone program as I use it. (More for aesthetics. It differentiates the page from the browser.) I use Firefox as my default browser.

Here's what I've tried:

#1 - Starting with an Internet Explorer shortcut I edited the Target to add -k and my webpage address to open in Kiosk mode.

[NOTE: I added spaces and $ so my fake links aren't seen as links.]

Example: Target of desktop shortcut set as "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -k "https:// any$webaddress.net/"

This works well, but makes me unable to minimize or resize if I wish to. I still want a window that I can manipulate.

#2 - I used the -jsconsole tag within a Firefox desktop shortcut target with a JavaScript parameter. (By the way, apologies if I'm using incorrect terms. I'm not versed in JavaScript.)

Example: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -jsconsole "javascript:window.open('https:// my$webaddress.net','Title',toolbar=0,menubar=0); windows.close()"

This last attempted solution I found through Google searches. What keeps this from working is when I click on the desktop shortcut it opens Firefox with a blank tab and brings up the popup blocker. The option to allow says Allow popups for moz-nullprincipal:{0952f857-ddff-493e-844a-96cea2e964a6}. If I allow this and try again it generates a new hex. number at the end of moz-nullprinciple so the previous allowance doesn't help and allowing this one won't help either. If I click the bottom option that says Show 'http:// my$webaddress.net/' it opens up the web page in a new window just like I want without toolbars, except for the address bar which is fine with me.

I've done more searches to try and find an answer, but I've come up empty. It's probably because I don't know what to search for I'm sure. I've also seen this Super User post but it seems like a convoluted solution involving Firefox profiles and I'd rather not make separate profiles if possible. So how can I get around the popup blocker with my current solution or is there a better way?

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A working but not perfect workaround is put that Javascript code in an HTML file:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <script type="text/javascript">
      window.open('https://my$webaddress.net','Title',toolbar=0,menubar=0);
      //window.close(); // doesn't work due to security restrictions
    </script>
</head>
<body>
</body>

Supposing that you save this as C:\Example\OpenAsPopup.html, double-click to open it and Firefox will show in the popup blocker options Allow popups for file:///C:/Example/OpenAsPopup.html and it will remember that option (if you have another browser as default use "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -url "C:\Example\OpenAsPopup.html" to open the file).

The only problem is that window.close() fails with Scripts can't close windows not opened by a script so you have to close the initial window/tab manually.

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  • That works! Thanks so much! That's such a simple solution. I probably should have thought of it, but I haven't written an html file in a very long time. I removed the window.close() script. I thought that might be a auto-close command, but wasn't sure so I left it. I don't need it to close by itself so it's unnecessary. It would be nice if the initial window/tab closed itself, but I can deal with that. Like you said, it's not perfect, but it does what I need. Thanks again. – perfectlydiverse Oct 18 '17 at 3:01
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Firefox 73+ has a 'Site-Specific Browser' feature: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1283670

Nowadays, use '-ssb' instead of '-url' to open up a webpage directly as a web application with no toolbars, etc.

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