Pinned Tabs 101

Firefox comes with the ability to pin tabs to the browser.  What exactly does this do?  Well, you can keep some websites (like Facebook or Twitter) a click away.  This makes it a lot easier to prevent accidentally closing them and they will also start when you start the browser up. 

So, how do you make a pinned tab?

You can see how useful this browser feature is by right-clicking on the tab you want to turn into a pinned tab, and then select “Pin as App Tab”.  The tab will now shrink and only show the favicon for the website in question. I personally use this a lot of the time for my Gmail account. 

How do you unpin a tab?

To unpin a tab, all you need to do is right-click on a pinned tab and select “Unpin Tab”.

Here are a few more ways that pinned tabs are different from normal tabs in Firefox:

  • App Tabs are small – only showing the site’s icon, not its title – and they live on the left side of the Tab Strip.
  • App Tabs don’t have a close button so you can’t accidentally close them.
    • You can still close them by right-clicking on them and selecting Close Tab from the menu.
  • App Tabs notify you with a blue highlight when they change.
    • If you have Gmail set as an App Tab, for example, and you are using a different tab when a new email is received, your Gmail tab will glow.
  • All of the App Tabs you have set when you close Firefox will open as App Tabs when you start Firefox again.
  • Links to other websites open in a new tab so that your App Tab doesn’t change.
    • Many web apps, like Facebook, already do this but an App Tab will make this happen even when the website isn’t set to do it.

You can learn more about pinned tabs from the Firefox support website.

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2 Responses to Pinned Tabs 101

  1. inst Jan/14 at 2:35 am #

    One more thing to notice the difference from ordinary tabs is if a person uses Tab Groups (previously known as Firefox Panorama), Pinned Tabs will appear across all groups.

    • Mitch Jan/16 at 7:26 am #

      Did not know that, thanks for the tip!