A few days ago we talked about Google and how they are seeking to make as much money as possible off of a feature literally none of their users want: ads. Since Google makes a ton of money running their Ad empire, it makes sense that they would want to try and stop people from blocking them. But boy, it sure is evil. Following the announcement that Google was going to ignore their users and make the most powerful and popular ad blockers inoperable on their web browser, I decided to take the plunge and finally switch from Chrome to their main competitor, Firefox. I encourage all of you to do the same, and here’s how you can do it, too.
Step one is, obviously, to download the browser from their website. It only takes a few moments to download and set up and you’re basically ready to go. Of course, those of us who used chrome have a lot we want to bring with us, so we’ll look at that stuff next.
If you plan on using Firefox on your phone and any other device, you can set up what is essentially a google account, but for only the Firefox browser. This will allow you to sign in and sync tabs, bookmarks and windows across any app or computer that you open Firefox on. I highly recommend it, though the idea of having a google account and a Firefox account (you can never really escape google completely, can you?) does seem a little ironic.
Next up is pulling the plug completely and making Firefox your default browser. You can do that in Firefox by clicking the three horizontal lines in the top right, clicking on options and following the browsers instructions from there. If you have Chrome pinned to your taskbar, it’s time to unpin it. Maybe even delete it from your desktop. Like smoking, we’re gonna quit cold turkey.
Now it’s finally time to start making Firefox feel like our home browser. We’re going to bring over our bookmarks by clicking on the icon that looks like a bunch of books leaning against each other. From there we will click on “Show all Bookmarks” and click on “Import and Backup” in the new window that pops up. Choose “import data from another browser”, select Chrome, make sure all the checkboxes are marked and hit Next. Firefox will automatically import your browsing history, cookies and bookmarks and place the bookmarks in a folder labeled “Google Chrome”. That’s all you have to do.
Well, not all you have to do. Finally we get to the meat of why we left Chrome in the first place: the add ons. Luckily enough, Firefox has a large and diverse add-on library just like chrome does. From adblockers to password managers to page suspenders, anything you could have or do on Chrome you can have or do on Firefox as well. Find their catalog here so you can get back what you left behind.
With that, it’s time to let the healing begin. Firefox can be further customized to act and feel similar to what you are used to, but it should be ready to serve as your daily web browser now and you won’t have to worry about Google changing how you access and enjoy the internet on a whim. Plus, Firefox has some pretty great themes you can sort through to make it truly your own. Enjoy!
Caleb Edwards is a senior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. When he isn’t working or writing you can find him tending his fish, taking care of his cats and dogs or trying to find free time that he can waste (there never is any). You can follow him on Twitter @CEdwardsSam or find him at his website CalebMEdwards.com