Firefox 61 will warm your tabs up so they're ready when you need them


Firefox 61 has arrived on desktops, with faster tab switching, more flexible search options and extra tools for plug-in developers.

Firefox can now 'warm up' tabs by pre-emptively loading them when you hover over them. This makes tab-switching noticeably quicker – great if you're the kind of web user who keeps dozens open at once,

To speed things up even more, Firefox 61 also adds Retained Display Lists, which speed up page loading by remembering elements like backgrounds, text and borders, so it doesn't have to be totally loaded from scratch each time you re-visit a page.

It's easier to add custom search engines to the Firefox address bar for one-click search, too. Simply go to the appropriate site, click the 'Page actions' button in the search bar, and select 'Add search engine'. 

Tab hiding

Firefox 61 gives developers more freedom when creating extensions, too. It's now possible for Extensions to hide tabs, and manage how the browser behaves when tabs are opened and closed.

To see this in action, check out Hide Tabs. This extension is particularly handy if you're using a video streaming site to play music in the background, and don't want the tab cluttering up your browser window.

Before the debut of Firefox Quantum last year, developers could create extensions that changed pretty much any aspect of the web browser and its operation. Unfortunately, although that gave the community a huge amount of freedom and led to some really creative ideas, it also had serious security implications.

To avoid problems, Mozilla switched to WebExtensions, which essentially provides developers with a set of building blocks for making their plugins. The selection of 'blocks' was quite limited at first, but is gradually expanding with the addition of new features like tab hiding.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)