How To Fix The "Warn Me When Closing Multiple Tabs" Problem In Firefox 3:

[NOTE #1: As of this writing (11/26/17) Firefox is now up to version 57.0, so this page may not be necessary at all anymore, but I'll leave it up here just in case it can ever help anyone still using older versions of Firefox.]

[NOTE #2: I am told that there is now a Firefox Add-On called "Always Ask" that may fix this, so click the link to download it, and give it a try before you go through all the steps on this page. Then, if that doesn't work for you, come back here and try this.]

[NOTE #3: There are a lot of very good suggestions and solutions posted by the clever folks in the "Comments" section, below, so do be sure to check that out, too!!]

THE PROBLEM: Many users notice that Firefox no longer prompts or warns the user before closing or exiting Firefox windows with multiple tabs opened in the window. This warning when closing multiple tabs not working ‘error’ happens despite the fact that the “Warn me when closing multiple tabs” option in Tabs section of Firefox Preferences has been checked and enabled!

With the “Warn me when closing multiple tabs” option selected, Firefox is supposed to pop up a dialog box titled “Confirm Close” asking “You’re about to close X open tabs. Are you sure want to continue?” as happened in earlier versions of Firefox, however, this is no longer the case, and Firefox may now just close and quit without warning or confirmation even with more than one tab open, and, even worse, this happens despite the fact that the user has set their preferences otherwise!!

THE SOLUTION: To be alerted every time you close a Firefox window with multiple tabs, even when quitting:

First, open up the "Firefox>Preferences" (Mac) or "Tools>Options" (PC) dialog window.

On the "Main" tab, set your "When Firefox Starts:" preference to: "Show my homepage" or "Show a blank page"

Then, on the "Tabs" tab, click the little box to set your "Warn Me When Closing Multiple Tabs" preference to "on," and close the Preferences/Options dialog window.

(You've probably already done all that and it hasn't worked, which is why you're here, but I have to include it, just in case.)

Now comes the good part: Type about:config into the browser window's address bar, press Return and then click "I'll Be Careful..." to get into Firefox's Hidden Preference Settings. Oooh, scary!! (Not!)

Scroll down to find browser.warnOnClose and if it's not already set to "true," double-click it to set it to "true."

Now find browser.tabs.warnOnClose and if it's not already set to "true," double-click it to set it to "true."

Then find browser.tabs.warnOnQuit and if it's not already set to "true," double-click it to set it to "true."

NOTE: If there is no browser.tabs.warnOnQuit item (and there probably won't be), you will have to make your own, but don't worry, it's easy-peasy, mate!

Here's how to do it:

Control-Click (Mac) or Right-Click (PC) anywhere on the page and select New>Boolean from the pop-up menu that appears.
Enter browser.tabs.warnOnQuit as the Preference Name (note the capital O and Q) and click OK
Select true in the next window and click OK

That's it, you now have a browser.tabs.warnOnQuit setting, and it's set to true, so close the about:config tab.

Now, the next time you press Command-Q (Mac), or click the Red X (PC), whether accidentally or on purpose, Firefox will ask you what you really want to do BEFORE it quits with a "Warning" dialog box where you can click "Cancel." Hooray!

(Bear in mind, however, that this only works with multiple-tab-windows... if you have a browser window open with no additional tabs open in it, and you accidentally quit, it's just gonna quit, my friend, with no warning at all!)

And, finally, if you ever want it to stop doing this, just click "Do Not Ask Next Time" in the Warning box, and it will go back to the way it was originally. Then, of course, if you want it to start warning you again, just repeat the steps above to turn it all back on!

Good luck, and, if this works for you, please spread it around! Link to this page, tell your friends, call the neighbors, wake the kids, but please do let other folks know how to fix this really dumb Firefox problem!!

Or, if, for some reason, this doesn't work for you, well, sorry... this is what worked for me on my Mac, but, as always, "your mileage may vary," as they say.

BTW, since I'm on a Mac, I had to guess at some of the Windows steps, so, if I got any of it wrong, sorry, just let me know in the "Comments" section, below!

.....

55 comments:

drew1828 said...

Wow, I've been looking all over for a way to do this... Thanks! I wonder if Mozilla is ever going to fix it?

sk said...

Cool!

Thank you for this info!

This was getting really annoying, and I couldn't find how to fix it.

This was a BIG help!

Anonymous said...

Tried all 3 suggestions but they didn't work! Can someone do a workaround for this problem? I lose a lot of work every time I close the window and nothing seems to work...

Anonymous said...

In FF every time there's a new add on
something weird seems to happen just after the add ons get updated. I find this a constant battle wondering what next in FF will fail because of these updates...first it was the buttons that disappeared on youtube, now it's the warning on closing thing...

Anonymous said...

Just tried "Tab Mix Plus 0.3.7.3" and this didn't work either...any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

for me, this fixed the problem:

go to about:config
set both of the following to true:

browser.warnOnQuit
browser.warnOnRestart

btw, i think i also know how these settings got messed up. i think the "tab mix plus" extension can alter these settings and they stay that way even after you've uninstalled it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch...

This issue has been bothering me in the back of my head for months now! I mistakenly pressed the "Do not ask me again" when check box when quitting firefox at home and then made the same mistake at work. I have tried everything, even about:config with no success. What did the trick was "Show my home page on startup" instead of "Show my Windows and Tabs from last time."

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was having the same problem. I changed my: Tools>Options>Privacy Tab settings from Never Remember My History to Use Custom Settings For History, then unchecked the 'Remember' boxes. Now I get the warning message when closing multiple tabs.

Anonymous said...

The below worked for me and what u can do is change the "remember my history" to 0 days if you don't want to save your history. i get the warning after i changed the setup below. thanks for that! it worked...

I was having the same problem. I changed my: Tools>Options>Privacy Tab settings from Never Remember My History to Use Custom Settings For History, then unchecked the 'Remember' boxes. Now I get the warning message when closing multiple tabs.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info.

that's been really bugging me.

martijn said...

worked! thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've tried this ni FF 3.6 and not works :( any help?

Anonymous said...

Does not work on the sill ff 3.6. Any suggestions please?

Anonymous said...

yes it worked... thanx and i have the new firefox 3.6.2. i had accidently pressed dont warn me again. but when i changedit to show home page it worked. thx again

Dave said...

Nope. Didn't work with Firefox 3.6.6. And yes, I also found both of the following to be true:

browser.warnOnQuit
browser.warnOnRestart

Anonymous said...

Thanks... it worked for me.
I DID have to create a
browser.warnOnClose setting, and then set it to true.
VERY big help!

Anonymous said...

Thanks... it worked for me.
I DID have to create a
browser.warnOnClose setting, and then set it to true.
VERY big help!

... forgot to mention... I have FF 3.6.8

Anonymous said...

AMEND: After restart (apparently), the "browser.warnOnClose setting disappeared, and of course, problem reappeared. ~sigh~


Thanks... it worked for me.
I DID have to create a
browser.warnOnClose setting, and then set it to true.
VERY big help!

... forgot to mention... I have FF 3.6.8

Scott said...

This solution is fine for people who don't want to ever restore the tabs from their previous session. But what can I do if I do want to restore the tabs from my previous session, but I still want to be warned if I accidentally close the window?

Anonymous said...

using FF 3.6.12 on Windows 7 64-bit. Tried all of the suggestions in this posting and all of those in the comments section, but still have the problem. anyone else have any ideas or a fix that works? Thanks in advance :)

Anonymous said...

using FF 3.6.12 on Windows 7 64-bit. I just made a freak discovery.

I tried all of the suggested fixes in this blog and in the comments, but none worked.

However, by accident, I discovered that if I have several tabs open, and then open a seperate window (so i have one FF window with two or more tabs open, as well as a second FF window with only one tab or web page open), if I click on the X of either on one of the FF windows, it will give me the tabs warning. I choose to close that FF window.

I then click on the X of the second window to close it and also receive the "you are about to close" warning.

If I close it, so no FF is open, then open FF afresh, open more than one tab, then click the X to close it, no more warning sign.

WTF?? is all i can say LOL why would having two FF windows open allow the feature to work?

Ferchrisakes, Mozilla, fix this stupid and longstanding error.

Anonymous said...

Tonight I figured it out. I always have Firefox start in a private browsing session.

If I uncheck that choice in options, close options, then click on the X to close my multi-tabbed FF window, i receive the warning that I am about to close multiple tabs.

If I once again check " always start FF in a private browsing session", I once again do not get warned when closing more than one tab.

I don't understand WHY the "closing multiple tabs" warning would not appear just because I am in a private browsing session.

I could understand if the warning messge appeared and only gave me the choice to quit FF or cancel, and did not give me the choice to save the tabs - saving the tabs would be against the private browsing session - but, why would FF not create the alternate warning that would work in a private browsing session and only allow you to quit FF or cancel??

Over to you, Mozilla... now we know what causes the problem, how about the fix? how about that alternate warning that will work in private browser sessions?

Yashesh said...

Thanks Good Fella !!

Worked like a charm for me :)
Mozilla Version 3.6.12

Anonymous said...

Nice guide, but unfortunately all this doesn't work for me! That thing is making me crazy, I have 2 profiles and one is completely broken (I tried every possible config variable in your post and in the comments) while for the other the warn on close feature never stopped working properly... I'm once again getting fed up with Fx...

James Fowlkes said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing. Been looking all over for this. My wife thanks you! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't work on Firefox 4 :(

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing this may be the problem for many people:

"do you have Firefox set to restore your windows &
tabs from last time? If so you won't get a prompt even with warnOnQuit == true.
That relationship didn't change in bug 592822 - Firefox 3, 3.5, and 3.6 were
like that"

from the following link:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=629307

But this can be fixed with the "Always Ask" add-on:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/always-ask/

Anonymous said...

Try adding "browser.showQuitWarning" & set it to "true" in about:config.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous
`Try adding "browser.showQuitWarning" & set it to "true" in about:config.'


Also find "browser.startup.page" in about:config & change the value to "1". Tested & worked fine on "Mozilla Firefox 4.0.1".


Now when I try to quit with multiple tabs open, it prompt me with this:

"Quite Firefox

Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?"

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Ophe said...

""""" @Anonymous
`Try adding "browser.showQuitWarning" & set it to "true" in about:config.'


Also find "browser.startup.page" in about:config & change the value to "1". Tested & worked fine on "Mozilla Firefox 4.0.1".


Now when I try to quit with multiple tabs open, it prompt me with this:

"Quite Firefox

Do you want Firefox to save your tabs for the next time it starts?" """"""

For me, I was having this issues, as many. Though this seems to be an old thread. I currently have firefox 6.0.2

I accidentally clicked "Do not ask next time" when it warned me about closing multiple tabs to either save & quit or just simply quit.

I tried many methods, such as creating .warnOnClose, .warnOnQuit, .tabs.warnOnQuit, etc etc. Setting them all to true.

Now, the ones I created did not disappear, as I've read some user's inputs do.

But regardless of trying to change options und whatever. Nothing seemed to work.

What did work:

I did not have to download anything. My showQuiteWarning was set to true, but this really helped me. ~Points up.~ Setting "Also find "browser.startup.page" in about:config & change the value to "1". Tested & worked fine on "Mozilla Firefox 4.0.1"." to "1" just as instructed.

Though, at first, it did pop up when I hit the "X" only when I clicked on Save & Quit, it did not quit. Firefox wouldn't close. So, I changed the value to "2" (Originally, it was set on "3" when I started having this problem) und the warning popped up. Saved & Quit. Started it back up for test. Worked like a beauty. I got curious, so I changed it back to "1" und it worked how it was supposed to. Firefox quit und saved my tabs. I don't know if it was a glitch or what. But that was great help.

Thank you.

~Ophe

~SaitoxSama~ said...

exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

work with firefox 3.6.24, XP, thanks

Anonymous said...

Mac OS X 10.6.8
Firefox 9.0.1

Tried all the steps in blog post, and the steps from "Ophe" comment from 9/17/11. I would get a warning when I hit the "red x" in the corner, but not when I hit "command+Q", which is the only thing I needed a warning for in the first place.

In the about:config file, you might also need to find "browser.showQuitWarning" and make it true. That's what worked for me.

- Jessica

Morgan said...

You're the best! Many thanks for taking the time to create an easy to read fix for this problem.

Anonymous said...

This fix didn't work for me but I found that browser.showQuitWarning had been switched to false. I made it true and it worked perfect

Ajit Shetty said...

It did not work with version 3.6 for me on Windows XP

Anonymous said...

Well thanx a lot, I remember the time when Firefox was a quality browser before 3.0

tony m said...

Thankyou for your easy to understand solution to this very annoying problem.

Anonymous said...

Firefox, why are you turning into IE?

Anonymous said...

oh nooo I got a problem, I was messing with it after I added that and now the Boolean has changed to String and I don't know how to change it back, help pleeeaaaase

Anonymous said...

oh nevermind I found out how to delete it and redo it again, thanks

Anonymous said...

It still doesn't warn me :(

View from the Top said...

Hello. Firstly, it's funny that you got a whole webpage dedicated to just this one thing LOL!

Having said that, I need to do it the other way 'round. One fine day, my FF started warning me every time I'd close multiple tabs and that was annoying as hell.

So thanks to your site, I've been able to change that through browser.tabs.warnOnQuit.

browser.tabs.warnOnClose was set to "false" by me already, but that setting obviously wasn't meant for this, I now realize.

Thanks again. :-)

P.S. - I've always found The Human Calender thing to be major league LOL! Thanks for using the widget on your site :-D

So long, buddy :-)

Jordan Bokor Warner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jornywar said...

I found the following post most helpful:

" Anonymous Anonymous said...

This fix didn't work for me but I found that browser.showQuitWarning had been switched to false. I made it true and it worked perfect

3/27/2012 "

It worked for me too!

Anonymous said...

browser.showQuitWarning

worked for me as well!

thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I shall never forget it.

tc3... said...

I followed your instrux, created a new browser.tabs.warnOnQuit Boolean, set it to True - but didn't work :-/

When I Quit my FF (v18.0.1), the window with multiple Tabs closes, w/ no warning :-(

Any suggestions?
My OS is 10.7.5, by the way.

Alex Walker said...

great solution to this problem..greatly appreciated..keep it Up!!!

Useful Link-Firefox not working

Thanks

Anonymous said...

none of these fixes work for me FF v17x

When I change my options from "always start in private browsing mode" to "never remember history", and restart FF, when I check the options again, they have been reset back to "always start in private browsing mode".

what is the point in having those choices if they are being overridden by something else? something in chrome? in another JS file?? why would those options revert back to "private browsing" every time?

and why has FF not fixed this long standing error with the tabs warning? LOL

Anonymous said...

Useing FF v 17x - just installed the "Ask Me" add on. It did not work.

HOWEVER.. when I disabled the FEBE add on, the Ask Me add on DID work.

When I disabled both of those add ons, and did all the above mentioned "About : Config" fixes, I did NOT receive the warning.

So, something is still totally out of whack in FF and no sign of mozilla trying to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Have had this problem multiple or more times with Firefox. WarnOnClose settings to true dont solve it. However Tab Mix Plus can solve it.
It has option settings for warning on close tabs that by default restore the warn on close warning.

Anonymous said...

I just learned how to add new bootleans. That's cool. It worked.

Anonymous said...

I tried your trick, thanks! But unfortunately it did not entirely work.

Within the about:config page, following the above instructions PLUS doing the following given in Time Magazine worked for me: "filter for “quit,” and set the “showQuitWarning” to “true.” Huzzah! Now any time you’ve got more than one Firefox tab open, it’ll warn you before quitting."

It seems that the key was setting showQuitWarning to true.

Quoted from Alex Fitzpatrick, "How to Stop Accidentally Closing Your Browser All the Time",
http://time.com/3599444/chrome-firefox-browser-closing/
November 21, 2014.