How to make Firefox as nice as Google Chrome on macOS
AKA We are one Firefox away from a monopoly: A year later
It’s official: The new Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium. Today is the day to switch to Firefox.
How Firefox looks fresh after installation:
After applying the instructions below:
How to achieve that
Import your data from Google Chrome
Close Google Chrome. Open Firefox. Select “File” from the menu bar. Choose “Import Data from Another Browser….” If you see more than one browser in the list, choose Chrome. Click “Continue” twice. Enter your password. Click “Done,” and voilà, your data from Google Chrome is in Firefox. You’ll find your bookmarks in Bookmarks → Bookmark Toolbar → From Google Chrome.
Set your preferences
If you’re like me, you'll want to turn off “Check your spelling as you type.”
I don’t know about you, but I like to save files directly to “Desktop” instead of in “Downloads.” No matter what your download preferences are, this is where you can express them.
New Windows and Tabs
Change “Firefox Home (Default)” to “Blank Page.” Less is more in this context.
Default Search engine
Change “Google” to “DuckDuckGo” – the search engine that doesn’t track you.
Relax, it’s not as huge a change as you may think. Google will still be at your fingertips: Start your search query with “!g” (like “!g greg wolanski”), and Firefox will show you search results from Google.
Turn off “Provide search suggestions” if you’re not 100% sure that they’re essential to you.
One-Click Search Engines
Remove every search engine except DuckDuckGo.
Privacy & Security
Do Not Track
Change “Only when Firefox is set to block known trackers” to “Always.”
Login and Passwords
Consider turning off “Ask to save logins and passwords for websites” and using 1Password instead.
Firefox Data Collection and Use
Turn off “Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla.”
Sign in to Firefox Sync even if you use only one computer. You’ll thank yourself when you're forced to change computers. Let’s face it: Configuring web browsers isn’t fun. Firefox Sync can help you avoid doing it again.
Customize the toolbar
Right-click the toolbar and choose “Customize….”
Remove “Home,” “Library,” “Sidebar,” “Firefox Account,” and “Flexible Space” from the toolbar. You can do so by dragging the icons into the grid of items below.
It’s up to you, but I prefer my computer in dark mode. If you do as well, set the theme (at the bottom) to “Dark.”
Set the density to “Compact.”
If you use an Apple computer with a touch bar, remove all items from the touch bar to prevent yourself from accidentally going back in your browser history.
Firefox downloads PDF files by default instead of displaying them in the browser. It’s annoying. This extension fixes this inconvenience.
If you, like me, can’t stand Firefox's built-in download manager, try Maxel. It costs $9.99, but you can download a free demo, and the app is worth every penny.
Many reviews say Folx is the best choice on macOS. I tried it. Can’t recommend. I found Maxel because Folx failed my expectations.
You might want to install AdBlock Plus, Copy PlainText, Disable Facebook News Feed, Disconnect, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, Facebook Container, Ghostery, HTTPS Everywhere, and uBlock Origin as well.
Now, you’re ready to set Firefox as your default browser. Go to “Preferences” and click “Make Default….” Enjoy! :)