Load Pinned Tabs on Demand Coming

A while back I mentioned my unhappiness with a change Mozilla made in Firefox 9 with the new ‘Don’t load tabs until selected’ feature introduced in Firefox 8. For those who don’t recall the change, in Firefox 8 when this option was selected, any tab (normal or pinned) would not load until selected. Then in Firefox 9, this option only applied to normal tabs and pinned tabs would always load upon startup. Mozilla’s justification for the change was that the purpose of the pinned or app tabs was for web applications (chat, email, etc.) and therefore it would be desired that these always load upon startup. Well, I (and many others) don’t use pinned/app tabs for their intended purpose. I used them for sites (which does include a webmail site) I always have use and therefore having only the favicon showing freed up space on the tab bar.

After much user outcry (Bug 708585) Mozilla has introduced a (hidden) preference starting with the 01-21-2012 Firefox 12 Nightly Build that will allow users NOT to load pinned tabs on demand. By default, this option is disabled so you will need to enable it:

  1. In a new tab type about:config in the URL bar and press enter
  2. Filter for browser.sessionstore.restore_pinned_tabs_on_demand
  3. Double click on the entry to change it from False to True.
  4. Change takes effect next time Firefox starts

A couple important notes:

  • This feature will not be available on non-developmental builds until Firefox 12 is released on April 24, 2102.
  • rob64rock on the Fireofx Builds forum has reported that this does not work when used with the Tab Mix Plus session manager.