About software, technology and random things


Disable Autoplay For Videos in Firefox 63


Just after updating to Mozilla Firefox 63 (on Windows), I found that my setting to disable autoplaying media / videos was no longer effective - at least for HTML5 videos.

Apparently one of the changes for this release was to include an autoplay video blocker, but I could not find anything definitive about this in the settings.

I decided to disable autoplay for all videos (which is my preferred setting anyway) once again by doing the following:

  1. Open the config editor by entering about:config in the navigation bar.
  2. Enter the "autoplay" as a filter.
  3. Find the entry "media.autoplay.default", double-click it and set it to "1" to disable media autoplay browser-wide.

I just left the old setting "media.autoplay.enabled" as "false", even though it does not seem to be relevant any more.

After reloading the website with the video (in this case YouTube), once more it showed the play icon on top of the video instead automatically starting playback.


I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for reading!


Hiding the Closing Button (X) on the Firefox Add-on Bar


Since the introduction of Firefox 3 or 4 (I don't quite remember) and the removal of the status bar I have liked to use the Add-on bar instead. In the newer versions of Firefox, however, that Add-on bar comes with a closing button, an X on the very left.

Unfortunately, there is no built-in option to disable that particular button. Right-clicking and "Customize ..." doesn't allow moving or removing that button either.

After searching the web for a while, I stumbled upon a Google Groups thread:

In that thread, Chris Ilias gave a simple solution (thank you!):

  1. Go to your Firefox profile directory. For that, just enter about:support in your URL bar (or click on Firefox => Help => Troubleshooting) and click on the "Open Containing Folder" button next to "Profile Directory".
  2. Close Firefox. (So maybe it would be better to continue reading these instructions beforehand and/or copy them into a text editor. 🙂 )
  3. Enter the subfolder "chrome" in the profile directory.
  4. Open the file "userChrome.css". If it does not exist, copy "userChrome-example.css" and rename the copy to "userChrome.css".
    If you are using Notepad, you won't be able to see line breaks / new lines. Therefore I recommend using a program that can interpret these kinds of line breaks, for example TextPad, Notepad++ or even WordPad, which comes with Windows itself.
  5. Add the following line to the file:
    #addonbar-closebutton { display: none }
  6. That's it! Save the file, start up Firefox again and enjoy the Add-on bar without a closing button!

These instructions were written for Firefox 11, but they should stay viable for the next couple of versions as well.

I hope this was of any help to you.

Thanks for reading!


Blocking the Facebook Like Button via Adblock Plus


This particular tip was written over at Any credit goes to the original author. I am merely posting this on my blog to have a reference for myself in the long run.

You might have heard about the fact that even without clicking on Facebook's Like buttons you might be tracked by Facebook (technically it is absolutely possible for them to see which site it is you visited and had the Like button on it).

So if you are using Firefox and have the Adblock Plus addon installed (which I strongly recommend in the times of annoying flash advertisements) you can just add the following lines under the Adblock Plus preferences => "My Ad Blocking Rules":


These rules disable any Facebook scripts that are not used from the Facebook domains (,,, themselves, including the Like buttons or any other webpage widgets they offer.

Of course, if you are using a different browser or a different kind of ad blocking / script blocking script, the idea is the same: forbid Facebook's scripts to run anywhere but their own website.

As always, I hope to have been of any help to you.

Thanks for reading.


PDFCreator and (Adware!)


If you have recently encountered a weird behavior within your browser (I only know of Firefox because that's what I use), chances are that Adware has been installed onto your computer.

When I was looking for a picture on my own website and I mistyped the URL, I noticed that immediately after it showed me my custom 404 page, I was redirected to a domain called The URL was:[404URL]&type=404&ISN=[funkystring32]&ccv=130&cnid=302398&cco=US&ct=12

with [404URL] as the wrong URL. [funkystring32] seemed to be some kind of MD5 string (32 characters, 0-9, A-F), maybe a unique identifier.

After searching the internet for a couple of minutes, I read a thread on the official Avira forums. In it it was explained that PDFCreator comes with an Adware called "Search Settings Plugin" that installs and enables itself in Firefox. Luckily, being a normal addon, the problem was quickly solved from there: Tools => AddOns => Extensions => Search Settings Plugin => Uninstall/Disable.

I can only shake my head at things like this.

There has also been discussion on the official pdfforge (PDFCreator) forums about this:

Thanks to the people at the official Avira forums! Oh, and nevertheless, in all honesty: thanks to pdfforge for providing such a nice tool. I have the feeling it's gonna be of great help to me in the future 🙂



Firefox Lags + Sysinternals


I've recently found out about a majorly annoying phenomenon that can be experienced if you launch a performance-hungry application through Firefox, mostly through downloading a file and opening it directly from Firefox.


Speaking in terms of process trees, firefox.exe is the root process (or parent process) of the child process, say for example Azureus / Vuze. Vuze is known to be rather performance demanding and when it needs resources, it will take them not only from the system itself, but also noticably from the parent process. I don't know if it's common behavior, but usually that shows in Firefox experiencing the occasional couple-of-seconds lags.

The solution? Close Firefox and restart it. That way, all its child processes are raised to the same level firefox.exe was on and you can now browse without any more lags disturbing your streaming videos or anything else 🙂

I realized this when I was running Process Explorer by Sysinternals (a company that creates awesome tools for Windows. In fact so awesome they ended up being bought by Microsoft :D). It's a great tool to see not only Process IDs, CPU usage, RAM usage and executable names, you can also see dependencies (parent/child processes), CPU time, threads, etc. As a very nice feature it can also show little diagrams of resource usage (CPU and I/O ops) as task icons in your task bar next to the system clock! So much better than the built-in task manager! 🙂

Also check out the other tools by Sysinternals. I use Process Explorer and Process Monitor.

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