In Firefox 4, the URL bar autocomplete pop-down now has an entry called "Switch to Tab", for URLs which are already open in other tabs.

I never want this, and always end up hitting it by mistake. Is there a way to disable it?

Most new features of FF seem to have a switch in about:config to turn them off, but I didn't see anything obvious for this.


a quick search on google showed a massive pile of flame on mozillazine.org. ( http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1977593 )

Code by lithopsian ( originally on http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1977593&start=30 )

This is obviously inside an existing extension, but place the code anywhere you like.

CSS like this:

    -moz-binding: url("chrome://NoTabs/content/NoTabs.xml#NoTabsUrlbar");

    -moz-binding: url("chrome://NoTabs/content/NoTabs.xml#NoTabsRichlistitem");

And bindings like this to replace two key methods:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<bindings id="NoTabs-urlbarBindings"

  <binding id="NoTabsUrlbar" extends="chrome://browser/content/urlbarBindings.xml#urlbar">
    <implementation implements="nsIObserver, nsIDOMEventListener">

        onBeforeValueSet is called by the base-binding's .value setter.
        It should return the value that the setter should use.
      <method name="onBeforeValueSet">
        <parameter name="aValue"/>
          this._value = aValue;
          var returnValue = aValue;
          var action = this._parseActionUrl(aValue);
          if (action) returnValue = action.param;
          return returnValue;


  <binding id="NoTabsRichlistitem" extends="chrome://global/content/bindings/autocomplete.xml#autocomplete-richlistitem">
    <implementation implements="nsIDOMXULSelectControlItemElement">

      <method name="_adjustAcItem">
          var url = this.getAttribute("url");
          var title = this.getAttribute("title");
          var type = this.getAttribute("type");


          var setupUrl = true;

          // If the type includes an action, set up the item appropriately.
          var types = type.split(/\s+/);
          var actionIndex = types.indexOf("action");
          if (actionIndex >= 0) {
            let [,action, param] = url.match(/^moz-action:([^,]+),(.*)$/);
            url = param;

            // Remove the "action" substring so that the correct style, if any,
            // is applied below.
            types.splice(actionIndex, 1);
            type = types.join(" ");

          // If we have a tag match, show the tags and icon
          if (type == "tag") {
            // Configure the extra box for tags display
            this._extraBox.hidden = false;
            this._extraBox.childNodes[0].hidden = false;
            this._extraBox.childNodes[1].hidden = true;
            this._extraBox.pack = "end";
            this._titleBox.flex = 1;

            // The title is separated from the tags by an endash
            let tags;
            [, title, tags] = title.match(/^(.+) \u2013 (.+)$/);

            // Each tag is split by a comma in an undefined order, so sort it
            let sortedTags = tags.split(",").sort().join(", ");

            // Emphasize the matching text in the tags
            this._setUpDescription(this._extra, sortedTags);

            // Treat tagged matches as bookmarks for the star
            type = "bookmark";
          } else if (type == "keyword") {
            // Configure the extra box for keyword display
            this._extraBox.hidden = false;
            this._extraBox.childNodes[0].hidden = true;
            this._extraBox.childNodes[1].hidden = false;
            this._extraBox.pack = "start";
            this._titleBox.flex = 0;

            // Put the parameters next to the title if we have any
            let search = this.getAttribute("text");
            let params = "";
            let paramsIndex = search.indexOf(' ');
            if (paramsIndex != -1)
              params = search.substr(paramsIndex + 1);

            // Emphasize the keyword parameters
            this._setUpDescription(this._extra, params);

            // Don't emphasize keyword searches in the title or url
            this.setAttribute("text", "");
          } else {
            // Hide the title's extra box if we don't need extra stuff
            this._extraBox.hidden = true;
            this._titleBox.flex = 1;

          // Give the image the icon style and a special one for the type
          this._typeImage.className = "ac-type-icon" +
            (type ? " ac-result-type-" + type : "");

          // Show the url as the title if we don't have a title
          if (title == "")
            title = url;

          // Emphasize the matching search terms for the description
          this._setUpDescription(this._title, title);
          if (setupUrl)
            this._setUpDescription(this._url, url);

          // Set up overflow on a timeout because the contents of the box
          // might not have a width yet even though we just changed them
          setTimeout(this._setUpOverflow, 0, this._titleBox, this._titleOverflowEllipsis);
          setTimeout(this._setUpOverflow, 0, this._urlBox, this._urlOverflowEllipsis);
  • 1
    Wow, that's kind of scary. I hope somebody makes that into an extension someday. – Ken Dec 19 '10 at 17:33
  • @Ken: Someone made this into an extension, but it doesn't seem to work since Beta 12, and the author hasn't updated it. – Sasha Chedygov Mar 13 '11 at 20:46

This will completely disable that special feature.



switch-to-tab Blacklist allows you to specify websites that you don't want the "Switch to Tab" feature to work for. The great thing about it is it uses regular expressions, so changing the blacklist to [".*"] disables the feature for every website.

It doesn't have a GUI yet unfortunately, but instructions are on the add-on page.


Answering this again, as the other answers have dead links and are out of date for the current firefox release. Here's how to disable it for Firefox Quantum (tested version 68)

hamburger menu -> options (preferences on mac/linux) -> Privacy & Security -> Address bar -> Uncheck 'Open Tabs'

That's it!

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