How to Start Firefox using Command Prompt in Windows?

How to open firefox from command line in windows

Firefox browser by Mozilla is one of the most used browsers in the world. With thousands of plugins, themes and add-ons, Firefox becomes a full-featured browser for daily use. The best thing is that its FREE and available for all major operating system like Windows, Mac, Ubuntu and other Linux distribution. Few years back Mozilla has also launched android version of Firefox which extend its ability to share bookmarks, saved tabs, passwords, and other browser configuration across different devices. 

If you’re running Firefox browser on Windows and unfortunately, your application launcher is not able to launch Firefox browser then there is another way of starting Firefox in this condition. You can launch Firefox browser using command prompt in Windows. There are a set of few commands that you can enter in Command Prompt in Windows to start Firefox directly.

So, without talking much, let’s jump right in to steps to start Firefox using command prompt.

Steps to Start Firefox using Command Prompt in Windows:

  1.  Press Windows+R button to open Run dialogue box.

  2. Type cmd in the Run input box and hit enter. A command prompt window will now open.

  3. To start Firefox in default mode, type start firefox and hit enter. Windows will launch firefox if your firefox browser is installed in its default location.

  4. To open a firefox with a website type start firefox <site url> in command prompt. For example- start firefox This will launch firefox with a Google search homepage.

  5. To start firefox in incoginto mode type start firefox -private. This command works with some versions of Windows. Try your luck.

Other Important Command Line Options for Windows 10

Command line options in Firefox are used to start Firefox with different startup options. For example, you can specify a default user profile for your Firefox browser if you have more than one, or you can open profile manager to choose a user profile manually. 

Syntax for using Firefox Command Line Options in Command Prompt:

start firefox -[option] [argument]

e.g start firefox -new-tab

firefox command line options

Use the above format to enter Firefox command in command prompt in Windows.

25 Firefox Command Line Options for Windows

1. start firefox -profilemanger

This command will open profile manager at the firefox startup. Let you choose one user profile out of all profile exist in your Windows PC.

2. start firefox -CreateProfile profile_name

This command will create new user profile with name profile_name in the default user folder. profile_name must not contain spaces. This command does not launch firefox and avoid using it when firefox is already running.

3.start firefox -CreateProfile “profile_name profile_directory”

This command works exactly like the above command and create new user profilein firefox. The only difference is that you can specify profile_directory in this command where you want to save new firefox user’s profile data.

4. start firefox -P profile_name 

With this command you can bypass the profile manger at Firefox startup and tell your browser to start with the specified profile_name if it exist.

5. start firefox -profile “profile_path”

Like the above command, this command will start your Firefox browser with specific user profile. The only difference is that you can specify the full path location to your user profile file in your hard drive.

5. start firefox -migration

This command will start the import wizard that will let you import bookmarks, saved pages, saved logins from other browsers in your Windows PC.

6. start firefox -new-instance

Start a new instance of firefox browser in its own new process. You can run this command to have a multiple copies of the firefox running at the same time.

7. start firefox -allow-downgrade

Recent versions of Firefox browser has downgrade protection that lets Firefox prevent loading a user profile created in a later version of firefox. You can disable this protection by entering this command in command prompt.

8. start firefox -foreground

If you have multiple firefox window open in your PC, this command will start a new instance of firefox browser and brings it to the foreground and send all other opened window to the back.

9. start firefox -headless

This command will start a firefox instance in headless mode which is generally used for debugging and automated testing purpose.

10. start firefox -new-tab “url”

This command will add a new tab to the running instance of firefox browser and open the website provided by you in place of url in the above command..

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11. start firefox -new-window “url”

Entering this command in command prompt with a specific url will launch a new window of firefox browser and open the website entered by you.

12. start firefox -kiosk “url”

If you want to start firefox in fullscreen mode without any controls then enter this command in command prompt and replace url  with any web address you want to open.

13. start firefox -preferences 

This command will open firefox browser preference settings window directly. Try this command for Firefox version 3.x or above.

14. start firefox -private

This command as mentioned at the start will open a new firefox private window. This command will work in Firefox 3.x or later. For same functionality in newer version try the below command.

15. start firefox -private-window

From Firefox version 20 or later use this command to launch firefox with a private browsing window.

16. start firefox -private-window “url”

This is an extended form of above command. It will open a private firefox window with a website address you enter in place of url. This command works differently in different versions of firefox. So try your luck to check if its working for you.

 17. start firefox -search “term”

If you want to search any term on the internet, you can do so directly from the command prompt. Just replace term with your search term and Firefox will launch with search result from default search engine of your Firefox browser.

18. start firefox -setDefaultBrowser

If you want to set Firefox as your default browser at the time of launch, you can do so by entering this command in command prompt. It may ask for confirmation or permission if you don’t have authority to perform this action.

Firefox Command Line Options for Developers

19. start firefox -devtools

This command will be useful of web developer who wants to start firefox browser with a separate developer tools window for debbugging there web apps.

20. start firefox -inspector “url”

If you need your browser Inspector Tool to be opened at startup, you can use this command. Replace url with a web address and firefox will open that website along side inspector tool.

21. start firefox -jsdebugger

Another command line option for developers, this command will open JavaScript debugger module of your firefox browser in the new window launched.

22. start firefox -jsconsole

Just like above command open javascript debugger, this command will open console window in firefox at the start. 

23. start firefox -purgecaches

This one the most useful firefox commands for developers. Enter this command in the command prompt of your Windows PC will open clear all cache files of firefox automitically before your browser starts.

24. start firefox -start-debugger-server “port”

This command line option is useful for developer for remote debugging. It will start firefox debugger instance connected to the specified port.

25. start firefox -venkman

This command required Venkman to be installed in your Windows PC. When you run this command in command prompt it will open Venkman JavaScript Debugger if it is installed. If not installed then firefox starts with its default behaviour.

Frequently Asked Question About How to Run Firefox from Command Line.

How to open a url from command line in Windows?

You can open url by entering start firfefox <url> in command prompt in Windows.

How to open firefox from command line in linux?

Open linux terminal then change your directory using cd where firefox is installed. Then type ./firefox -new-tab in terminal windowto launch firefox with a new tab in linux .

Can these command work in Mac ?

Yes. you can try all of this firefox command line option in Mac.

Can opening firefox from command line is dangerous?

Absolutely not, All of the above commands are completely safe and can be executed without any additional permission. Although you have to be careful with few command line option like purgecashes, profilemanager, and preferences as these command allows you to change the configuration settings in firefox.

Conclusion :

Firefox is one of the most handy browsers ever used, but some time you may encounter problems and bugs that stop Firefox from launching normally. In such case, you can use these commands to launch Firefox browser with different startup options. I recommend trying them all, so it becomes easier for you to remember all those commands. 

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