Refresh tabs automatically in Firefox and Chrome with Tab Reloader

Waiting for an online sale or video stream to start, or an auction to end, but don’t want to be constantly refreshing the tab? You can use a Firefox and Chrome extension called Tab Reloader to refresh the tab automatically.

Refresh tabs automatically in Firefox and Chrome with Tab Reloader extension

While YouTube lets you set a reminder (when you’re logged in) for upcoming videos, not a lot of sites offer the option. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shopping site that has such a feature.

The extension’s name is Tab Reloader (page auto refresh). Very catchy! Install the add-on and you’ll see it’s icon on the toolbar. Click it to view a pop-up window; it has a few toggles. These settings are tab specific and can be used to enable the Reloader for the selected tab and set the time interval.

How to set a tab to reload – Method 1 (toolbar icon)

The first step is to set the time after which you want the tab to reload. You can choose the time from as low as ten seconds and up to several days. There are no limits to the number of tabs that you can set to reload. Click the “Enable Reloader for this tab” option to set the timer.

Tab Reloader timer set

When you set the reloading job, the timer settings become grayed out. The tab will automatically reload when the timer reaches 0.

By default, the active tab will also reload (if you had set a timer for the tab), but you can toggle a setting that disables the current tab from reloading. The number of active reload jobs, and the list of tabs on which they are active are displayed at the bottom of the pop-up window.

If you don’t want the page to load its latest content from the server, enable the “Use cache while reloading” option to load a locally cached version. The other options can be used to bypass form submission, or to scroll to the end of the page after it has been reloaded. You may run a custom JavaScript code after each reload, for e.g. to play a sound or to change the reload setting.

Tab Reloader’s icon displays a badge counter which indicates the number of tabs that are currently set to auto refresh.  Right-click this icon to view a menu that allows you to reload all tabs/tabs in the current window, stop all active reloading jobs or restore old reloading jobs.

Tab Reloader toolbar icon menu

Method 2 –  Tab bar right-click menu (Firefox only)

This method is much easier than the pop-up window, and there is the added bonus of not having to switch tabs while using this menu. Right-click on a tab to view the Tab Reloader (page auto refresh) menu. This allows you set the auto refresh interval quickly. You can set the tab to reload every 10 or 30 seconds, 1 or 5 or 15 minutes or every hour. There are shortcuts to reload the tab manually, reload all tabs or all tabs in the current window. To cancel the task, select don’t reload.

Tab Reloader tab bar right click menu


When you close a tab, the reloader settings for it are discarded as well.  That’s quite simple to use, isn’t it?

Head to the add-on page to manage Tab Reloader’s options. You can disable the badge icon, enable the add-on to restore the reloading jobs when you restart the browser. You can backup the add-ons settings and import it from the options page.

Tab Reloader add-on options

Tab Reloader is open source.  It’s available on the Firefox AMO and Chrome’s Web Store, and has been featured in Mozilla’s Recommended Extensions program. Check out our guide on reloading tabs automatically in browsers for additional tips.

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View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome

There are plenty of add-ons that make tab management easier in Firefox. Tab Session Manager, Foxy Tab, Tree Style Tab are some good options that come to mind.

View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome

Tab Manager Plus is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that lets you view all your tabs in one place, search in open tabs and move them between windows.

The add-on places an icon on the browser’s toolbar; it displays a badge that indicates the total number of tabs that are open at the time. Click the icon to view the add-on’s interface. This pop-up window contains favicons of every tab that is opened. Mouse over a favicon to view the tab’s title and URL.

Tab Manager Plus change title

Tab Manager Plus assigns a title to the window that is based on the number of tabs you have opened per site. For.e.g If you had 6 or 7 gHacks tabs open or 8-9 of GitHub, it will use gHacks and GitHub.

Mouse over the title and click on it to customize it if you prefer a different one. You may change the background color of the window from this screen as well and click on a favicon to switch to the tab instantly. There are four buttons below the tab icons for closing the window, minimizing it, setting the window color and title, and opening a new tab.

If you want to jump to a specific tab, but aren’t sure where it is, use the search box at the bottom of Tab Manager Plus’interface. It works on an as-you-type basis in real time, and highlights the tabs which match the search term. For e.g. If I type “ghacks”, the extension highlights the tabs which have the word in the url or title.

tab manager plus search demo

Right-click on a tab’s icon to select it, you can select multiple. Press enter to move tabs to a new window, or drag the icons from one window’s pane to another.

tab manager plus move tabs

The toolbar at the bottom of the add-on’s interface can be used to highlight duplicate tabs, open a new window, filter tabs that don’t match your search, or to pin the current tab. The other two options are handy for managing tabs that you have selected, they can either be discarded from the memory or closed.

Click the three-line menu button to change the view. The default view is the horizontal view, and the others are vertical view, block view and big block view. Right-click on the Tab Manager Plus icon to view a context menu. This allows you to open the add-on’s interface in its own tab which can be useful if you’re using the vertical or big block view modes.

Tab Manager Plus horizontal view
Tab Manager Plus vertical view
Tab Manager Plus block view
Tab Manager Plus big block view

The wrench icon in the top right corner opens the extension’s Options panel. You can set the maximum number of tabs per window (for e.g. 15), once it reaches the limit, new tabs will be opened in a new window. The pop-up interface’s size can be customized in terms of height and width. Not a fan of bright colors? Enable dark mode. Compact mode trims the spaces between each icon.

Tab Manager Plus dark mode

Tab Manager Plus supports some mouse and keyboard shortcuts. As mentioned earlier, right-click selects tabs, holding shift while right-clicking selects multiple tabs. Close tabs using the middle mouse button. Pressing the enter key opens a selected tab, or moves multiple tabs to a new window. You can toggle animations, window titles, and the tab counter from the add-on’s options page.

The extension has a couple of experimental features for session management. But I couldn’t get these to work in Firefox or Chrome.

Tab Manager Plus is an open source extension. This reddit post explains the origin of Tab Manager Plus. Apparently, the developer was using a similar Chrome extension which was eventually sold and then went bad. So he forked the original add-on (before it went rogue), improved it and later ported it to Firefox.

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Make YouTube faster on Firefox with this extension

Google launched a new design of the company’s YouTube website recently that made the site slow on Firefox when compared to Google Chrome. Firefox users who open YouTube in the browser may notice extended loading times and other issues after the design change was published by Google.

We covered a discussion about YouTube being purposefully slower on non-Chrome browsers by Mozilla Technical Program Manager Chris Peterson on Twitter back in mid 2018. Peterson stated that Google used a deprecated API only implemented in Chrome on YouTube that made the site slower on non-Chrome browsers.

The Firefox extension Disable Polymer on YouTube fixes the issues caused by the new design on Firefox by disabling it. All the extension does is append the parameter disable_polymer=true to the YouTube URL.

speed up youtube in firefox

Firefox users may give it a try without installing the extension to compare the performance on classic YouTube and the new YouTube design. Chance is that classic YouTube loads faster and performs better than the current design of the site.

All the extension does is automate the process by adding the parameter to the YouTube URL automatically.

The polymer redesign of YouTube has made the site very slow for Firefox users. This add-on adds the “disable_polymer” option to YouTube URLs in order to revert back to the old classic design.

Just install the extension in Firefox and it will add the parameter to YouTube’s URL automatically. The extension requires access to data on YouTube but that is the only special permission that it requests during installation; good.

Note that the functionality depends on Google keeping the parameter enabled on YouTube. The return to classic YouTube to speed it up on Firefox won’t work anymore should Google decide to remove it from the site.

The parameter may also be useful to non-Firefox users who prefer the classic design over YouTube’s new layout.

Another alternative that users have is to use a third-party tool to watch YouTube videos, e.g. video players such as SMPlayer support YouTube playback.

Now You: How often do you use YouTube?

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Download images easily with the Double-click Image Downloader extension for Chrome and Firefox

Occasionally you may run into some websites don’t allow you to download images from their servers. It may be a precautionary measure to prevent others from re-using the pictures, or as part of the backend code, or even caused by a gallery plugin.

Download images easily with the Double-click Image Downloader extension for Chrome and Firefox

Whatever the reason maybe, if you want a way to download images or bypass restrictions, Double-click Image Downloader offers a simple solution. And yes, it works on Facebook photos too.

Install the add-on and double-click on an image on any web page to download it. A pop-up notification appears near the bottom right corner indicating that the picture has been downloaded. The downloaded image is saved to your browser’s default downloads folder and the original format (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc), resolution and file name are preserved. You can right-click on an image and use the browser’s context menu and select the “Download Image” option that was added by the add-on.

Double-click Image Downloader extension for Chrome

Double-click Image Downloader options

The add-on’s options page has many settings that can be used for changing the download behavior and trigger.  You may toggle the download complete notification from this page. Notice how the image sort of greys out for a split second when it is being downloaded? This effect can be disabled from the options.

The extension lets you assign a hotkey that can be used to download images when you hover over it. You can use a combination of Alt/Ctrl/Shift + any character of your choice. For e.g. alt + shift + d.

Double-click Image Downloader hover button

Blacklist domains that you want to ignore (never download from) and Whitelist websites directly from the extension’s options. Unsure if the double click worked? Enable the Hover button from the add-on’s options. When it is enabled, an icon appears when you mouse over images, click it to download the picture. The position of the hover button can be customized, as can the opacity and the size of the button.

Double-click Image Downloader hover button position

Personally, I prefer this method, as it allows you to download images that are linked to pages, so you aren’t taken to the web page when you double-click (or single click). For e.g. try clicking the images on our homepage. You can drag and drop images over the button to download them.

Double-click Image Downloader extension Firefox

Rename Files

Firefox doesn’t support renaming of downloaded files. So, this is a Chrome-exclusive feature. You can set it to use a counter, the domain name, folder path of the page or image source, or the page title.

Double-click Image Downloader options chrome

The “Save As” dialog is not supported by Firerox either. The browser however supports other filename conflicts such as overwriting file (which is not recommended) or automatically adding a numeric suffix. For e.g. image.jpg, image(1).jpg, image(2).jpg.

Prefer a single-click for downloading images? Want to use the right mouse button instead? Scroll to the end of the options to change the mouse button’s download trigger. You can choose from: single click or double click, for the left or right mouse buttons and also set a delay for it in microseconds.

Note: You’ll need to refresh the page for some settings to take effect.

Double-click Image Downloader makes it easy to download several images quickly.  You can get the Firefox extension from AMO or the Chrome extension from the web store. The extension is an open source project.

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automaticDark is a Firefox extension that can switch to dark theme automatically on a schedule

Firefox has a really cool native dark theme. You’re probably aware of this, but in case you don’t know, you can switch to it from the add-ons page: select the themes option on the side bar and click on the Dark theme.

automaticDark Firefox default theme

This process has to be done manually every time you want to switch between themes. Windows 10 has a night mode that can be enabled automatically, and when this option’s enabled, Firefox will enable the dark theme on its own, and reverts to the default theme when the operating system turns off night mode.

But not everyone uses Windows 10. If you’re on a different operating system, and want your browser to switch to a dark mode on a schedule, you can use an add-on called automaticDark. You may also find the add-on useful if you want to enable and disable the dark theme on a custom schedule.

automaticDark options

The extension doesn’t have a toolbar icon which means that you need to head to the add-ons page to manage it. The options page lets you set the dark theme at sunset, and switches back to the daytime theme at sunrise. The default options for sunrise and sunset are set to 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. You can change the time manually, like I’ve done. That’s a pretty useful option to have, since not everyone works during the same hours of the day. There is an option to automatically set the sunrise/sunset time, but if you enable it, you’ll be prompted to grant the geo-location permission for the add-on.

automaticDark Firefox default theme
automaticDark Firefox light theme
automaticDark Firefox dark theme

There are two more options on the page: these allow you to set the daytime theme and the nighttime theme. You can choose from any of the three default themes that Firefox ships with: Default, Light and Dark. If you’re a night shift worker and prefer using the day theme during the night (and vice versa), you can switch them per your requirement.

automaticDark dark theme

Once you have set the sunset and sunrise times, automaticDark will enable the corresponding theme automatically. I’ve been using it for about a week, and it has worked flawlessly. The extension does not change the appearance of websites, i.e., it will not change a page’s background to a dark color. If you want that, you should try Dark Reader.

Custom themes support

I don’t like the built-in themes in Firefox, so I use third-party themes. Will automaticDark work with it? Absolutely, as long as the theme that you’re using is listed in the Add-ons > themes section (and not under Extensions), it should work. The easiest way to check this is right from automaticDark’s options page, just click the daytime or nighttime theme setting, and the third party theme that you want to use should be available in the drop-down menu. Set it as the theme, and you are good to go.

automaticDark Firefox custom theme

On the other hand, I found that extensions which change the appearance of the browser like NightOwl, Firefox Color aren’t supported. This isn’t automaticDark’s fault, it’s just that these add-ons use a different method (modified CSS) to change the look of the browser.

automaticDark is an open source extension. The full name of the extension is automaticDark – Time-Based Theme Changer. This is a useful add-on, even for those on Windows 10.

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