TrayHotKey Add-on Protects Your Privacy
Article by George Norman
On 25 Nov 2011
Here’s a scenario you can relate with: you’re browsing the web when someone walks in; you don’t want that someone to see what you’re browsing for, so what do you do? You could minimize the browser window. You can rapidly do that with the Windows + M keyboard shortcut that minimizes all active windows or the Windows + D shortcut that displays the desktop.

If you’re on Mozilla’s Firefox browser, a properly good browser if you ask me, you could get the TrayHotKey add-on and set a keyboard shortcut that will minimize the browser window and hide it out of sight. With a simple press of Ctrl + Q for example (that’s the keyboard combo I went with; you can choose anything you want) you can hide Firefox out of sight. Press Ctrl + Q again, and Firefox pops back into sight.


This is much welcomed functionality as far as I see it. Functionality that protects your privacy when you want to quickly hide Firefox out of sight and thus prevent others from seeing what you’re browsing for.

Wasting time on Facebook instead of working on a report and the boss walks in? Quickly hide Firefox out of sight and pretend like you’re busy.

Searching for a Christmas gift for your girlfriend and she walks in at a most inopportune moment? Sure, Firefox’s Private Browsing mode helps you browse the web anonymously and not leave clues behind, clues that your girlfriend could use to find out what you’re going to get her. But what’s the point if she walks in right when you’re placing the order? Use TrayHotKey to quickly hide Firefox out of sight so she won’t see.

If you do not select the “always show tray” option, TrayHotKey will completely hide Firefox out of sight. There will be no icon in the Task Bar and no icon in the System Tray. The only way to bring Firefox back into focus is to hit the keyboard combo again or to access the Task Manager. But since your girlfriend doesn’t know the key combo you set up, and since she doesn’t have any reason to be messing around in the Task Manager while you’re on the computer, you’re safe and she’ll never find out.

Here’s a quick guide to using TrayHotKey:
  • Get the add-on from Mozilla here.
  • Restart your browser after the add-on has been installed.
  • Access the Add-ons Manager (a simple way to do that is to type about:addons in the URL bar) then search for TrayHotKey.
  • Click Options to play with the add-on’s settings. Click Disable or Remove if you want to, well, disable or remove the add-on.

Today is Update Your Parents’ Browser day, so if your parents are on an old version of Internet Explorer, do them a favor and upgrade them to Firefox.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Add-on, TrayHotKey
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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