Unlock thumbnail previews for Firefox 3.6 on Windows 7

Tip originally posted by soumya at The Windows Club Forum with credit going to ZDNet.

By default, Firefox shows a single thumbnail when you hover the mouse pointer over its icon in the Windows 7 taskbar with Aero enabled. Here’s what it looks like:

The problem is, this particular Firefox window actually contains four open tabs, and it could contain dozens. It sort of defeats the purpose of the Aero preview feature if you have to open a window before you can scan which browser tabs you have open. IE8 does it right, showing all open tabs in thumbnail previews when you point to its icon. So how do you add the same feature to Firefox 3.6? Simple:

Open Firefox 3.6 (or later) and type about:config in the Location Bar. You’ll have to click to get past this warning dialog box and open the Preferences page. Use the Filter box (or just scroll down) to find browser.taskbar.previews.enable in the list of preferences. Note that by default it’s set to false. Double-click to toggle the setting to true. The value in the Status column changes to user set and the entire entry turns bold to indicate it’s been changed. It should look like this:

And now aim the mouse pointer at the taskbar again:

Every tab (even if those tabs are in separate windows) is now visible from the taskbar previews. You can change the focus to any tab temporarily by pointing at it, and you can close any tab from its thumbnail preview using the X in the upper right corner.

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3 Responses to “Unlock thumbnail previews for Firefox 3.6 on Windows 7”

  1. Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#67) « What's On My PC Says:

    […] Evilfantasy’s Blog Unlock thumbnail previews for Firefox 3.6 on Windows 7 […]

  2. IzaakMak Says:

    This is cool!

  3. Smite Evil Says:

    Once upon a time Carlo Zottmann had an evil firefox extension that provided thumbnails in search results for the low low cost of hijacking amazon URLs and afflicting them with his affiliate URL. Some people took notice and removed his crap ware. More people participated. He surrendered.. after being offered a job at yahoo to peddle his evil there

    and here we are with safe thumbnailing


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