Disable Full-Screen Browsing in Firefox – for eternity


We have moved from Internet Explorer (my internal codename Exploder) to Firefox within our company.

For some reason, with relative frequency, I get the very informative call from a user, "I can't see anything except [description of browser inserted here]." I usually interrupt their description of the problem with, "Press F11." This turns into a "Huh? No, you don't understand what I am telling you. I can't see anything except [insert browser description here]."

It is a feature I haven't found of a useful nature, nor has anyone I have ever worked with. Typically it just results in confusion.

Is there anyway to permanently disable the Full-Screen capability of Firefox? Either that or map the keypress to something a little more innocuous such as CTRL-F11? Registry settings, Firefox configuration settings, etc are accepted. The only thing I don't want to have to do is install an addon, although this problem happens often enough that I may even think of that as well.

I've done searches on the web, but unfortunately everything is the simple answer that I have used, "Press F11."

It is the little things that drive you nuts and take time away from your day. This may take the cake for the most simple-minded question on here, but definitely a useful solution and a time saver for some. 😉

Thanks in advance

Best Answer

A few thoughts come to mind, which may be of varying utility.

  1. if you open about:config in the browser bar, there's a preference called browser.fullscreen.autohide which is set to true by default. If you toggle it to false, the tabs and address/url bar won't disappear anymore. You can change that option globally with a script or GPO (a GPO with no script would require one of the custom FF adm templates out there) to eliminate some of the user panic caused by full screen mode. Menu bar will still disappear, but users who think a webpage made their computer disappear probably don't use that much anyway.

  2. The Firefox keyconfig add-on. You could use it to change the full screen to Ctrl-Alt-Shift-F or disable it all together. Honestly, I haven't done an enterprise Firefox roll out in forever, so I'm not sure how easy, difficult, or completely impossible it is to modify a setting in an add-on/extension via script or GPO.

  3. The function called to go into fullscreen is BrowserFullScreen();, which seems like it could be useful if you wanted to punch something up to intercept or block that function call.

  4. User education and/or abuse. True wisdom comes only through suffering. Make your users wise beyond their years. I'm rather partial to the below picture, but your users may be less intimidated by you, or not have a phobia about burning to death. YMMV.

Helpdesk fire