This seems like a simple question with an incredibly simple answer, but the issue here is actually a tricky one, and I'm hoping someone can come up with an elegant, efficient answer.

I want the default browsing behavior to be to not load ANY images for any site, anywhere. Then, I want to be able to add selected specific sites to a whitelist, to allow them to load their images always.

There is a built-in feature of firefox that you would think would solve this, but it doesn't and here's why:

When you whitelist a site in the existing Firefox preferences, images are loaded ONLY for that specific domain. This means that if the images are served via CDN or simply from any 3rd-party domain, they will not be loaded. So if a site uses images say from wikimedia of flickr etc., they will not load unless you also whitelist wikimedia or flickr - something I don't want to do.

Additionally (bonus points for a good solution to this part!) there does n't appear to be a "Load Images" button/menu item option anymore in Firefox 13. Once upon a time, it was trivial to browse with images disabled, and then load them at any time as desired. This appears to no longer be possible...???

Now, you might say "There are Firefox adons to do what you want!" but before you suggest them, let me explain what I have already found with all of the ones I have tried.

They either...

  1. Simply leverage the built-in image whitelisting capabilities and therefore suffer the same 1st-party domain limitation listed above.
  2. Load/block all images for an entire browser window and ALL tabs within that window. This is unacceptable as image loading/blocking needs to be on a per-tab/per-site basis.
  3. Require blacklisting/blocking only specific sites on an individual basis, or certain filetypes (jpg, gif, etc.) on an individual basis.
  4. Require that images first be loaded, then selected within the page and deactivated.

So, with all this taken into consideration... does anyone have any suggestions for how I can by default, block ALL images from loading for all sites, but the user can arbitrarily load all images for the current page if so desired, and selectively whitelist specific domains such that ALL images on the page, 1st and 3rd party, will always load for that domain?

EDIT: WOW so no solution for this then? I'm really shocked.

  • @nixda Note that the OP was rather specific in this question, so it's unlikely the other post has the answers he's looking for.
    – slhck
    Aug 21, 2013 at 11:47
  • @slhck You're right. I retracted my close vote (Related: Disabling images in Chrome/Firefox)
    – nixda
    Aug 21, 2013 at 11:56
  • did you tried ImgLikeOpera addon in firefox ?
    – Rashi
    Nov 28, 2015 at 12:49

6 Answers 6


You should be able to accomplish this by using the free AdBlockPlus extension for Firefox. I would play around with the blacklist and whitelist filters. There is information on how to write these filters here.

  • Nope, AdBlockPlus is exactly what fits into category #3, where you have to specify individual file types. That's not acceptable for my needs. This ultimately is for my wife and can't require an understanding of creating filters and exceptions beyond simply entering in a domain name - as the built-in image allow/disallow feature would appear to allow, but only for 1st-party images.
    – JVC
    Jul 13, 2012 at 6:49
  • It may turn out to be your best bet if you can't find any other solutions. As far as images go you are looking at .jpg .png and .gif. You may be able to specify a wildcard to block any picture with a wildcard something like: <code> www.*/*.jpg </code> to block all jpegs. Give it a try. Jul 13, 2012 at 15:09
  • There is still no easy way to load images for the current page if she so desires. My "bonus question" was wondering where the "Load Images" button/option went in FireFox, because when she is on a page that she needs to see images for, the AdBlock solution would prevent them from loading and the only solution would be to permanently place that site on a whitelist, which would be a bit too complex with AdBlock. Really I'm just wanting the built-in image loading to work the way a non-developer would naturally expect it to work ... "I added this domain to the whitelist, why don't images load?"
    – JVC
    Jul 13, 2012 at 16:18

Chrome has OOTB support for enabling Javascript, image and cookie (not shown in screenshot) loading on a per-site basis, managed in content settings.

Firefox (23.0) allows global enable and disable via about:config, but not in its settings dialog; whitelisting is available through third-party plugins.

This is not a bug. Mozilla, in their infinite wisdom, chose not to implement it. Ostensibly, the solution is to use Chrome, if only for this specific functionality. As an avid user of both browsers, I can confirm that Firefox offers minimum support and Chrome exact support.


For every browser, there exist Extension AdBlock (also, there exists Adblock Plus) -
For Chrome;
For Firefox;
For Opera;
After instalation, on the right upper corner (along with address bar) there appears an icon. right click on that >Settings> Edit filter> and add these lines


and click Save. after this, the images+flash files wont be loaded on sites, but if you want to temporarily enable for specific site, then while you are on that site(page), click the icon and clcik Dont run on this page (or pause). then you can again re-enable.

Anyway, there exist other several extensions to disable image load :
for Firefox : 1) Image Block; 2) ImgLikeOpera (for image blocking) + FlashBlock (for flash blocking)
for Chrome : 1) HideShowImgs; 2) Text Mode
for Opera : Click CTRL+F12>Pages>Images>Dont load, also enable Opera turbo from left bottom corner.


The firefox add-on "Tab Permissions" (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-permissions/) allows you to accomplish this.

It adds buttons to switch images per tab, and to set the default for new tabs. You can configure whether, if ou open a new tab from a link in an old one, it inherits the setting from the parent or it uses the default.

Similar settings for JavaScript, plugins, frames, redirections.



it's firefox addon. it does what you needed. it allows to use filters also. And each tab can have separate policies. and it provides 4 policies for a tab

  1. don't load images
  2. load cached images only
  3. load images for the originating Web site only
  4. load all images

to work on firefox 37 and above,

  • go to about:config
  • and set browser.cache.use_new_backend_temp to false.

to whitelist a website:

  • add a filter with the website domain and set the policy 4

sadly, I found this bug very annoying, it crashes firefox.


here is two more firefox addons for more advanced users. uMatrix is the recent one.

  1. Policeman
  2. uMatrix

Ublock Origin allows you to block all image downloads by default but allow image downloads on specific websites. It takes only a few clicks to white-list the current site (read the manual).

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