I am using Firefox 59.0.2 (64-bit) on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).

When there is only one tab opened in Firefox, closing the tab will also close the web browser. This is contrary to that in Chrome browser, closing the only tab doesn't close the Chrome browser.

Is it possible to leave Firefox open when closing its only tab?

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    I'm pretty sure closing the last tab will close Chromium, but there is a setting for "Continue running background apps when Chromium is closed" (whatever that's useful for). Isn't just leaving one blank / new tab good enough? (If it's all the distracting stuff that's in a new tab, it can be set to be empty/blank)
    – Xen2050
    Apr 1, 2018 at 16:58
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    You can pin a blank tab in Firefox. Pinned tab does not close with Ctrl+W.
    – Biswapriyo
    Apr 1, 2018 at 18:05
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    @Xen2050: Chromium Apps don't necessarily need to have a GUI, or at least, they don't necessarily need to live in a browser tab. The Google Hangouts app for Chromium, for example, usually lives in a small window outside of the browser GUI. If you use the Hangouts app for, say, video chatting, it would be annoying if your chat were aborted just because you closed the last browser tab, maybe even on a different screen or virtual workspace! Apr 1, 2018 at 20:08
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    Despite the fact I have no idea why you dont want to close it, If you will open download box- by default probably CTRL + J, then you can close all tabs, but firefox fill be still "running" :D Apr 3, 2018 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


While it isn't possible to keep Firefox open with no tab showing, you can prevent quitting the application when the last tab is closed by having a new tab created automatically (your choice of home page or blank tab). Use about:config to change this behavior.

  • In the URL box, type about:config and press Enter.
  • If you get a warning that emphasizes "Changing these advanced settings can be harmful...," click the button that says I accept the risk!
  • Find the Preference name browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab by typing it in the Search box or copy-and-paste it from here.
  • Double-click the Preference to change it to false.
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    You may add the details of that preference from this article kb.mozillazine.org/About:config_entries
    – Biswapriyo
    Apr 2, 2018 at 4:47
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    You could also leave a non-tab open like the history or downloads window Apr 3, 2018 at 0:53
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    Just curious: I thought Firefox is free; what warranty are we talking about? Apr 3, 2018 at 4:00
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    @alwayslearning: It's just to prevent people who know nothing about computers from changing anything there and then complaining that it does not work after they broke it.
    – user21820
    Apr 3, 2018 at 4:49
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    @alwayslearning it's not voiding the warranty. It's in quotes because it tries to convey the spirit of the message, not the actual contents. In reality it starts off with "Here be dragons!" (literally) and then explains that changes made there can be cause a problem and it'd be your fault if that happens.
    – VLAZ
    Apr 3, 2018 at 8:00

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