disable firefox native inspect element context menu

With the latest update of Firefox to version 10.0, they included some new developer tools which are similar to what is available via Firebug or WebKit’s developer tools.  About time!  Unfortunately, I still am so used to firebug that will continue using it instead of these new native development tools.  One thing that really grinds my gears was the native “Inspect Element” context menu item because it lives directly above the Firebug one.  This was extremely frustrating for me because I kept clicking on that instead of the “Inspect with Firebug” menu item.  This would bring up the native inspector console, which I would then have to close, then go back and right click again and make sure I click on the inspect with firebug menu item.  Sigh…..how annoying.

Anyway, there is a simple way to disable the native inspect element context menu item.  In the Firefox address bar, put “about:config” and press Enter.  This will bring up Firefox’s preference configurations.  In the “filter” search box enter “inspector”.  This will bring up three configuration preferences.  Simply double click on the “devtools.inspector.enabled” preference to change it to “false” and viola!  No more native inspect element in the context menu!  Horray.


A recent update to the firebug extension add’s config preferences for hiding the default inspector (thanks Ilya).  Now when you filter your config preferences by searching for “inspector”, some new firebug config settings appear as well.  Simply set “extensions.firebug.hideDefaultInspector” to “true” in addition to setting “devtools.inspector.enabled” to “false”.


Don’t muck around in here too much or you will mess up your firefox configuration.  I hope someone finds this useful =)

30 Comments to disable firefox native inspect element context menu

  1. james's Gravatar james
    July 19, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Changed the screenshot =)

  2. July 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Great! Thanks a lot. I used to click the wrong context menu item every single time. 🙂

  3. August 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    please can you help me how to disable inspect element option for my website…….

  4. mark's Gravatar mark
    August 9, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks, this is really helpful 🙂

  5. Miriam's Gravatar Miriam
    August 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I could kiss you for this. Thanks! Frakking muscle memory. I was opening that useless native inspector all damned day.

  6. Spuds's Gravatar Spuds
    August 20, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Perfect, thank you very much! The native inspector blows goats, don’t know what they were thinking of when they added that but it’s a massive pita.

  7. Hans Kuijpers's Gravatar Hans Kuijpers
    August 27, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Perfect… countless times I clicked the native inspector when I switch from Chrome to Firefox.

  8. slimhun's Gravatar slimhun
    September 13, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this great tip…

  9. Max's Gravatar Max
    September 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Yes – exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for saving me from the same frustration.

  10. just2thanku's Gravatar just2thanku
    October 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Just came to say THANKS for this! The inspect element in the context menu has been driving me nuts. I searched several times for the solution, gave up, but resumed the good fight because I was too annoyed not to. :p Your post did the trick. :p

  11. October 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I found that setting extensions.firebug.hideDefaultInspector to “true” worked by itself. Thanks for this post!

  12. December 2, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Whooo! It’s gone! I have no idea how many times I have clicked on the FF inspect element instead of firebug!

  13. January 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. I like firebug better and wanted to disable this. Much appreciated.

  14. L.P.'s Gravatar L.P.
    February 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    That’s what was needed!
    Much appreciated!

  15. February 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi James,

    First thing is: Firefox’s native inspector is awesome to me, but I never used firebug, personally, I just wanted to say, it seems more complicated to involve a third party in the mix when it can done through first party. . .which I think is a win.

    BUT. . .Secondly, I want to know what’s going on with your background! what is it exactly? I figured I could just ask you instead of trudging through code trying to figure it out. I was mostly impressed at first because it doesn’t appear to be flash. . .then next, because you had a lil start/stop animation button on high, please. . .at least briefly, explain.

  16. james's Gravatar james
    February 15, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Firebug is invaluable to me. I have tried switching to chrome and cannot give up my old familiar firebug….but to each his own =)

    The background is built using HTML5 canvas and javascript. You can see details on how its done here:
    Polar Arc Animation Using Canvas and Prototype

  17. February 16, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks, this worked!!!!!!

  18. nigedo's Gravatar nigedo
    February 19, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks dude!

  19. FBL's Gravatar FBL
    February 20, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    This made my days, Thanks !
    I’ve been used to addon:
    and FX Developer always got in the way like a pain in the arm.
    Now wasting hours of C&P + examining got needless.
    Thanks again,

  20. March 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    thank you. super helpful.

  21. Thankful Man's Gravatar Thankful Man
    April 5, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink


  22. Breno's Gravatar Breno
    July 30, 2013 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks very much for this

  23. August 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Alot for this. Just what i needed.

  24. John Martin's Gravatar John Martin
    October 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    When Firefox displays an image, there is a big “q”-like symbol superimposed on it if the cursor is over the image. Apparently this is the Inspect button. How can I stop it showing up? I tried changing “devtools.inspector.enabled” to false but it made no difference.

  25. james's Gravatar james
    November 7, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I am not familiar with this “q” symbol you speak of…. sorry, can’t help =/ I would check extensions and turn them off one at a time until the symbol goes away…

  26. February 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    thanks, i was running into the same thing you were, kinda messes up your flow when you see this big black inspector come up and get in your way when your trying to firebug.

  27. May 12, 2014 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Thanks a bunch! =)

  28. pog's Gravatar pog
    January 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


  29. JRae's Gravatar JRae
    March 28, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!! That was driving me batshit 🙂

  30. Steve's Gravatar Steve
    November 30, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Saved my day mate 🙂

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