Quick trick: get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back

Quick trick: get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back

Summary: The new Facebook Photo Viewer sucks. Here's how to get the old one back.


If you're like me, and you hate the new Facebook Photo Viewer, this quick trick is for you. The new Facebook Photo Viewer is basically a prettified popup: it's slow, it covers up all the rest of your Facebook content, and you have to close it every time you want to get back to browsing the social network.

To get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back, all you have to do is reload the page. Once the new Facebook Photo Viewer has loaded, hit enter on the URL again, hit your browser's refresh button near the address bar, or just hit F5. Voilà!

From this point on, you can browse the rest of the album you already have open in the old Facebook Photo Viewer. Unfortunately, this solution is not permanent because every URL that points to a photo on Facebook now ends with "&theater" - this is what tells the service to use the new Facebook Photo Viewer.

Thankfully, Firefox or Chrome users can have this extra part stripped out of the URL. If you have the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox or the Tampermonkey extension for Chrome, all you need to do is get the Facebook Photo Theater Killer userscript. Alternatively, there's also a Chrome extension that does the same thing: Revert Facebook Photo Viewer, which is what I personally use. Now all photos will automatically open up in the old Facebook Photo Viewer.

If you know any other plug-ins that get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back, do not hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below. The same goes for if you want me to post another Facebook workaround in general.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • Different tastes . . .

    I much prefer to new photo viewer.
  • RE: Quick trick: get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back

    The Greasemonkey JS isn't installing.... all I get is the script and no prompt to install. Ideas?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Quick trick: get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back

    I read this and thought..... WTF? Why would anyone not like the new viewer? It's exactly what's used on Smugmug. But they use it to keep your photo's more secure there. It's using new layered CSS3 coding and like it or not it is a part of forward thinking HTML5 page viewing.

    Next when they move all your photos into their secure servers, you won't be able to bypass the new Photo Viewer. lol... what will you do then? Besides that, right now it's simpler to just backspace the '&theater' out of the address bar and hit enter. This disables the Theater mode too! ....for now that is!!!
  • RE: Quick trick: get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back

    Right click and open new tab :)

    Or use the scroll button on your mouse and click on any photos.
  • RE: Quick trick: get the old Facebook Photo Viewer back

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  • Now time to stop worrying about this.

    Finally Facebook launched the new photo viewer (2 times faster,more resolution and white background)... Its much better than the black background photoviewer..http://www.bluefacebook.com/facebook-photoviewer
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