Mozilla’s Firefox web browser may soon support a feature that Mozilla calls Quick Actions. These commands can be launched directly from the browser’s address bar, for example, to view the source code of a page or to open the browser’s preferences.
Quick Actions in Firefox can speed up certain actions, and they can help users who have previously tried running commands in the browser’s address bar.
Google introduced support for Quick Actions in the company’s Chrome browser in 2020. Chrome users can run commands like “Manage Password”, “Clear Browsing Data”, or “Translate Page” directly from the browser’s address bar.
Mozilla’s implementation works similarly. When Firefox users start typing supported commands in the address bar, a quick action option appears in the suggestions list.
An example: When you’re on a site, you can start typing “view source” to get the option to view the page’s source code.
The implementation goes beyond this, however, to display certain commands when the address bar is enabled; This differs from Chrome’s implementation, which does not display commands when the browser’s address bar is enabled.
Firefox Nightly currently shows the following options: Clear History, Open Downloads, Refresh Nightly, Restart Nightly, Open Settings.
The feature is experimental at this stage, and some commands may be removed or replaced. The ability to refresh the browser seems like it could be a prime candidate for that, as it could cause the browser to refresh suddenly.
Typed commands are separate from Chrome’s Quick Actions feature. Firefox users can type “take screenshot” to capture the screen or “restart Firefox” to restart the browser.
Firefox Quick Actions: Experimental Features
Fast action is an experimental feature at this stage. It’s only available in Firefox Nightly, and there only for N-US locales. Additionally, Firefox users must first enable the feature in Advanced Preferences before it becomes available.
- Load about:config into the Firefox address bar.
- Make sure you stay alert going forward.
- Search for browser.urlbar.quickactions.enabled and make the boolean option. This should automatically be set to TRUE.
- Search for browser.urlbar.shortcuts.quickactions and make the boolean choice. This is automatically set to true.
Once done, you can start using Quick Actions by activating the browser’s address bar or by typing the first letter of a supported command.
Add actions quickly without taking anything into Firefox. Users who prefer to use the keyboard whenever possible may find this useful, as it may speed up some browser operations. Mozilla Firefox may be able to help users who unknowingly type commands into the address bar.
The quick action feature is experimental at this stage. It’s possible that it was removed from Firefox during development, but that seems unlikely, especially since Chrome also supports Quick Actions.
Now it’s your turn: Would you like to see any quick actions supported by your browser?