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I created the shiftcommandn shortcut for Firefox in Syst Prefs to match other browsers' behavior.

syst prefs

It registers in the Firefox Menubar.

menubar

But pressing the shortcut opens a new non-private window, and it loads there the first item in my "Top Sites".

I imagine I could create another shortcut to override this behavior, but what is this behavior? I don't see anything highlighted in the Firefox Menubar when I hit the shortcut. Or might there be another solution (other than using a different shortcut to open new private windows)?

Problem exists on both Mojave and High Sierra. Default Firefox shortcut (shiftcommandp) still opens a new private window.

  • If you remove your shortcut - does Shift - Command - P open a private window? If that goes to the private landing page and then the Shift - Command - N goes back to new window, this would be a bug with the Firefox app since it's up to the app to handle the keys properly when the shortcut is handed off by the OS. You could mess with the N key to change it to Z or S to verify that it's the app ignoring the menu being pressed and instead parsing the keys (potentially). – bmike Nov 17 '18 at 19:34
  • related apple.stackexchange.com/questions/338704/… – pkamb Nov 17 '18 at 19:46
  • Command-shift-p still opens a new private window. – jtheletter Nov 17 '18 at 23:11
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This has been a known Mac Firefox bug for years and years. Because Firefox is not truly a native macOS app, it carries over odd behaviors, one of which being that you cannot fully override its pre-defined keyboard shortcuts.

Firefox 55 addressed this partially as Mozilla bug #429824, which allowed new keyboard shortcuts to be created via System Preferences. Overriding existing shortcuts like "New Private Window" or "Paste" or whatever is still not completely possible, but progress (or lack thereof) is being tracked by Mozilla bug #1333781. In any case, you get all sorts of weird, undefined behavior if you try to override those shortcuts anyway.

Before the great extension purge in Firefox 57, Firefox extensions like keyconfig let you work around the problem by remapping those shortcuts within Firefox itself. After Firefox retired all legacy extensions, this once again became impossible.

Since Firefox 57 (being so annoyed by some of its default, un-Mac-like shortcuts) I've compiled Firefox from source code just so I could patch its keyboard shortcut configurations. Not something I'd recommend to most people, but it is one potential workaround until the bug is fixed upstream.

  • How is FF "not truly native macOS"? I'm new to FF, recently switched from Safari (tired of a full-screen/YouTube bug there). – jtheletter Nov 24 '18 at 16:26
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    @jtheletter Firefox is built to be cross-platform and has its own UI framework, so it doesn't use parts of the native Cocoa framework that makes up the look-and-feel of macOS. So lots of things that Cocoa apps get for free (like the ability to have its shortcuts overridden via System Preferences) they have to implement manually. This is also expressed in the rest of its UI, which often behaves just slightly differently from "true" macOS apps (e.g. kilianmuster.com/firefox-the-good-bad-and-ugly ). It's gotten much better over the years though. – vykor Nov 24 '18 at 16:42

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