Mozilla Adds “Container Tabs” Feature to Firefox Web Browser
If you are a regular reader of this website, you might be aware of the "Nightly" builds of Mozilla Firefox web browser which are actually testing builds of upcoming versions of Firefox. Mozilla tests new planned features in Nightly builds and then it implements those successfully tested features in stable versions of Firefox which are released to public.
Today in this article we are going to discuss about a new feature called "Container Tabs"(previously referred as contextual identities) which was recently implemented in the new Nightly 50 build. Currently this feature is under development and testing phase and once the feature becomes stable, it'll be put into stable release of Firefox's upcoming versions in near future.
Container tabs can be considered as a privacy feature which allows Firefox users to use multiple login accounts of same website in same browser window. For example, generally if you have logged into any particular website account, all tabs in Firefox browser window will show you logged in with the same user account and you can't use a different user account created on same website. To use a different user account, you'll need to first log off/sign out of the existing account and then log in using new user account.
But if you take help of the new container tabs feature, you'll be able to use different user accounts and identities on same website in same Firefox browser window. It becomes possible because each container tab has its own dedicated local storage (cache) and session manager (cookies). That's why you can use multiple accounts of same website in different tabs of same Firefox window. Any container tab will not share its user data with other tabs. So it'll also help in preventing user tracking on websites.
To access container tabs feature, press ALT key to show Menu bar and then select File -> New Container Tab option. Currently following 4 types of container tabs can be created:
Mozilla also provides a direct button to create container tabs to put on standard toolbar. Right-click on Firefox titlebar or toolbar and select Customize option. It'll open toolbar customize window where you'll find "Open Container Tab" button.
Just drag-n-drop the button to any desired place on the toolbar. Now you can directly create container tabs easily and quickly by clicking on the toolbar button and selecting desired container tab option.
Mozilla shows a colored bar on each container tab to easily distinguish it with other container tabs. Also the type of the container tab is shown in the right-side area of the addressbar. The container tabs names are just suggestions. You can use any container tab to sign into any desired website. It doesn't matter if you use a Shopping container tab to log into an email account website, etc.
With the help of the container tabs, you'll no longer need to use multiple web browsers to sign into different website accounts. You can manage multiple website accounts in same Firefox window by using container tabs feature.
In the latest Nightly 50 alpha build, Mozilla has also added a direct option to enable/disable container tabs feature in Firefox Preferences. By default the container tabs feature is on, to turn the feature off you can open Firefox Preferences by clicking on Firefox hamburger (3 lines) menu and selecting Options. Now go to Privacy tab and disable "Enable Container Tabs" option.
The above option actually toggles value of privacy.userContext.enabled preference present in about:config page. You can directly set this preference to true or false to enable or disable container tabs feature in Firefox.
Once this feature is finalized, Mozilla will put this feature into Firefox's stable release and will add a separate button for it the toolbar as well as Hamburger menu to help users in easily and quickly using this feature.
What do you think about this interesting initiative? Feel free to share your comments...
Posted in: Mozilla Firefox
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