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How to Restart Firefox in Offline Mode

written by: •edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 2/26/2011

If you want Firefox to remain in offline mode (usually achieved via File > Work Offline) when you restart your computer, follow these steps to learn how to restart Firefox 3.5 offline.

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    What to Do If Firefox Will Not Stay Offline After Reboot

    When using the Firefox browser you might find circumstances under which you want the browser to stay offline when your PC reboots. For instance, your computer might crash and restart, resulting in the applications that you had open reloading – if Firefox restarts under these circumstances, you might lose the version of the web page you were reading before the restart of Firefox 3.5 offline.

    It is more common to want to force a browser to stay online rather than offline, but if you’re having trouble forcing Firefox to stay offline after a reboot, a useful extension is available that can assist with this.

    If you don’t want to use the extension, however, you might alternatively choose to alter the background configuration on Mozilla Firefox.

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    Installing the Work Offline Extension

    Why Firefox Will Not Stay Offline After Reboot and How to Fix It Whichever path you choose, adding an extension to Firefox is always simple.

    You can find the Work Offline extension at – this is easily installed and can then be used to manage how your browser behaves. It adds a useful “connect” button to the bottom left of your browser’s status bar, similar to the one seen in Mozilla Thunderbird.

    To use the Work Offline extension, either visit the website link above and click Add to Firefox or go to Tools > Add-ons > Get Add-ons and search for “work offline." In the search results select the Work Offline add-on and then Add to Firefox… and follow the on-screen instructions, completing the process by using the Restart Firefox button.

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    Using the Work Offline Extension

    With the Work Offline extension installed, you can ensure that Firefox will stay offline after a reboot.

    In order to set the options for the extension, go to Tools > Add-ons > Extensions and find the Work Offline add-on; select Options to view the available options, where you can select between your preferred displayed icon as well as choosing one of three options in the When Firefox starts up section:

    • Do nothing
    • Force offline mode
    • Force online mode

    Although these options are configurable here, you may also use the status bar icon that has been added to Mozilla Firefox – simply clicking this icon will connect and disconnect your browser from the web, retaining the Internet connection to you computer but switching the browser offline and online with each click.

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    Using Boolean Configuration

    Why Firefox Will Not Stay Offline After Reboot and How to Fix It In the most recent versions of Firefox it is possible to circumvent the installation of the Work Offline add-on by taking advantage of the browser’s config settings.So, if Firefox will not stay offline after reboot, try this solution:

    To do this, open a new tab or new window and go to the address bar; type about:config and press enter. Take note of the warning, and proceed to the next screen, where you will find a variety of settings and options that manage how Firefox runs.

    As you will have seen in the warning, changing settings in this screen can prevent Firefox from working correctly, so unless you know what you’re doing in about:config, stick to these instructions!

    Press CTRL+F to open the filter and type browser.offline – the resulting entry will allow you to toggle between online and offline by double-clicking.

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    Solutions and Screenshots courtesy of Mozilla Firefox.