Change Firefox 3 Full Screen Mode

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 24, 2008
Updated • Jan 2, 2013

I'm normally not using the full screen mode in Firefox because I have a large enough Samsung LCD monitor that displays most websites just fine. Lifehacker discovered that Firefox 3 changed the display of the full screen mode. If you remember Firefox 2 still displayed the tab bar and location bar in full screen mode. Firefox 3 changes this behavior and hides everything. Yes, that is right, there is no bar visible on top when Firefox 3 enters full screen mode and even the status bar moves to a hiding place while in that mode.

There are probably some users who prefer the old ways and Mozilla Links posted a nice quick about:config fix that is bringing back the full screen mode of Firefox 2.

To change the Firefox 3 full screen mode type about:config in your location bar and filter for the parameter browser.fullscreen.autohide. Change the value of that parameter to False to change the full screen mode so that the tab bar is displayed as well.

Strange is that the other tip, to set the parameter browser.fullscreen.animateUp to 0 is causing some erratic behavior in Firefox 3. When I press F11 I still see only the tab bar and not the location bar and when I press F11 again to go back into normal mode the title bar is missing and everything is just misplaced by some 20 pixels or so. This changes when I alt-tab into another program and alt-tab back into Firefox 3. Not sure what this is all about.

Update: Full screen mode has been modified again in Firefox. You may notice that all bars vanish immediately, while the tab bar takes a bit longer to hide. When you move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen you can unhide it for the time being to switch between tabs. The shortcuts Ctrl-1 to Ctrl-9 are also working and letting you switch between tabs.


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  1. Oropher8598 said on June 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    There’s no need to resort to about:config hacks to achieve this. Just go to fullscreen mode, right-click on an empty spot on the nav bar, and uncheck ‘Hide Toolbars’.

    Easy ;)

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