Firefox: Resetting the Feeds Default

Firefox has a terrific feature which allows you to select one of many feed handlers.  So, what’s a feed?  And what’s a feed handler?  We’re going to cover all that right now.

Websites with more or less regular content generation, such as blogs or news sites, have syndication feeds.  There are two types of feeds: RSS and Atom.  We’ll just call them feeds for now.  A feed is a file that other programs or sites can read on a regular basis to see if any new content has been added.  You can tell a site has a feed when it displays the feed broadcast icon in the address bar.  It looks like the image at the top of this post.  It used to be orange; but for some reason, Mozilla changed Firefox’s feed icon to blue.  Dunno why.

In any case, when you click on the feed icon and, by default, Firefox will invite you to subscribe to the feed with one of a number of what are called feed aggregators.  Moreover, you have the option of always using the aggregator you chose to subscribe to all future feeds you click on.  Which means, Firefox won’t ask you which one you want to use anymore.

Great.  But what if you want to see that list again, and possibly change your aggregator?  Well, there used to be a way of resetting the default, but that seems to have gone bye bye.  Now you have to go mess in Firefox’s configuration data.  It’s not rocket science, but if you’re not careful, you could seriously trash your Firefox setup.  So, I’m now going to walk you through this scary surgery.

  1. Start up Firefox.
  2. If you don’t have one already, open a new tab.
  3. In the address bar type: about:config
  4. In the Filter field type: browser.feeds
  5. Right click the top entry (browser.feeds.handler) and select Reset
  6. The value should return to ask

And there you go!  Now, when you click on a feed icon, Firefox will ask you which aggregator you want to use.  You lucky bastard.

2 thoughts on “Firefox: Resetting the Feeds Default

  1. I used to use Bloglines, but I’m now exploring Google Reader as well. I like to have the default selection page because it allows me to see the XML underneath, which I need when I’m creating the RSS feed myself.

    I guess I should have mentioned that in the post.

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