Petition To Bring The Old Firefox Status Bar Functionality Back

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 22, 2010
Updated • Feb 28, 2015

Firefox users who are currently running version 3 of the browser will notice lots of changes once they upgrade their version of the Internet browser to version 4.

As always, some changes are welcome by almost everyone while others cause controversy, or in this case a petition to not go ahead with the change.

A petition to keep the old Firefox status bar, or at least its functionality has been posted at the user voice website.

Regular readers may recall that the Mozilla development team responsible for the Firefox browser has made drastic changes in that area. The team removed the status bar from the web browser and replaced it with an add-on bar that users need to activate to use.

The add-on bar has been added to provide space for information that add-ons have placed in the status bar. But the add-on bar has three important disadvantages over the status bar:

  • It does not show the connection status anymore
  • Download information are not displayed on a glance anymore
  • It does not display web address information when a user hovers over a link in the browser.

The team moved the web address information that are displayed on hover to the url bar at the top of the web browser. Many Firefox 4 users have installed the add-on Status 4 Evar to bring back the old functionality of the status bar. This add-on in conjunction with the add-on bar offers a similar status bar functionality.

Most commenters on the petition website mention these issues, that they cannot see "what the browser is doing when it's being slow", or that the url bar is not large enough to (often) show the full address of a hovered link.

So what's your take on the design change? Do you think it was a good decision to remove the status bar in Firefox 4 and replace it with a replacement that does not offer all of its functionality? Let me know in the comments. (thanks Roman for the tip)


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  1. Skynet said on August 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I will never update Firefox again unless mozilla restores the GUI of version 2 with the classic status bar and menu. FUCK YOU, MOZILLA!

  2. ikk said on May 2, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I’m using Status-4-Evar too (and hope that the official status bar will come back someday), simply because the new style is NOT FUNCTIONAL.

    Without a true status bar, everytime I use in-page search, and it finds a link down the page, FF scroll exactly the necessary amount to show the link, but then the floating status bar appears on the same spot and obscures the link (and consequently the thing I was looking for)! Damn!

  3. Mike said on February 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Another vote to bring back the original statusbar
    That status4ever extension works but its far from a 100% solution

  4. David Xavier said on January 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I completely agree with MozillaKilla , firefox has turned into the worst browser out.
    And i refuse to use google chrome or anything else from google.

    Currently i’ve been using SRWare Iron along with many of my own tweaked “JonDoNym” and “JonDo” …”hacks”. Including changing the time on my PC’s clock and different things of that sort.

    The decision to remove the status bar was the worst thing the developers could have ever done.
    It hurt the browser tremendously! And that “status-4ever” extension only does far more harm than good.

  5. MozillaKilla said on January 11, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Firesucks is shit! They removed the status bar which is a real necessity and what’s so great about the newer versions: 4-10? Nothing, they are all shit! I piss on the Mozilla team or whatever they are called for making shit changes! Instead of leaving the status bar, which works great, they remove the only thing worth using Fireshit! Fuck them all!

  6. Mark said on January 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Add me to those who want a no-special-config-needed method of displaying the ***COMPLETE*** URL of a link, in the Status Bar, when mousing over a link.

    I mean really, that’s the first-level defense against bogus sites. I don’t want to even click on it if there’s something obviously bogus about the link, and I don’t want to be bogged down by the “web forgeries” and “attack site” functionality (which slow the browser down), or by concerns that those functionalities are up-to-date and accurate.

    Please just let us know what the link claims to be, and we’ll take it from there. Sheesh!

  7. F. Mozilla said on July 30, 2011 at 7:10 am

    The infamous, google-inspired monthly major “revision” changes and developer-to-user no-need-to-test direct nightly builds and downloads (as opposed to do-it-right-the-first time) infected mentality now at mozilla will only give them even more reason and opportunity to change things for no reason. Marketing in charge where engineering used to ensure quality. It’s absurd.

  8. Mike said on June 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I tried Firefox 4 for a couple of months, hoping some of these issues were fixed. I finally gave up and rolled back to Firefox 3.6.17. The add-ons I cared about the most would not work properly without a status bar. The Firefox development team doesn’t seem to pay attention to the user community.

  9. Is Firefox 4 good or bad? said on May 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Firefox 4 is bad.

  10. Emiel said on May 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I cannot see a single reason why the status bar is completely removed. At least there should be the possibility to turn it on, but even this is not possible.

    It seems that the only reason that it is removed is that they want to be more ‘modern’ and trendy and it looks like Mozilla wants to look more like Microsoft, who removed a lot of useful user interface functionality in Win7, with not even the possibility to turn it back on. Complete madness if you ask me!

  11. alex said on May 6, 2011 at 3:23 am

    bring it back!!
    Now designers cannot have sites with bottom aligned nav!! the whole viewport should be EXCLUSIVELY the domain of the website owner not the browser!!!

  12. Jim said on March 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Please let me go back to what I had. Now I cannot return to Home and have all kinds of problems with the new. I am not a computer expert and did manage the old well. I may have to go back to something else that is simpler to manage…Jim

  13. wap-tek said on December 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    NO status bar in the new firefox = now you are blind ,
    the status bar made it easy to tell if a site link
    lied about where you were going and this was
    just not coperate / advertizer friendly

    webgl = require a beta browser = maybe see something

    vrml/x3d = use a plugin or viewer
    in any browser, = it worked over 10 years ago!

    why cant mozilla just use
    a generic vrml / x3d plugin
    BUT make it FAULT TOLLERANT = as in
    ignore the deliberate standards breaking
    that the major players did 10 years ago

    google , mozilla, and many other “good guys”
    jumped the shark or drank the flavoraid

  14. Nathaniel said on December 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Have you seen the new firefox for screenshots?? IIts going to hell. I hate it.
    To much like Google chrome

  15. Fn said on November 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve got several add-on I use quite often sitting on my 3.6 status bar. If firefox doesn’t allow me to do the same I won’t install it.

  16. Ram said on November 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I think is sponsored by M$, google chrome or Opera, may be. They always unnecessary criticize the Firefox which is completely open souce, fast, Free & yes highly customizable Internet Browser available.

    There are thousands of add-on available, by which you can personalize your browser. (That’s the best part of FF)

    Do you have such kind of flexibility with any other browser?

    Obvious answer is NO……………..

    Long live Firefox……. & thanks a lot for making our life easy……….


    1. Martin said on November 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      Ghacks is unfortunately sponsored by no one ;)

  17. BobbyPhoenix said on November 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    At first I didn’t mind, but as I start to look for it more and more, I found I really used it more than I thought. The new add-on bar with Status 4 Evar is good, but we shouldn’t need an extension to get what was there. Also the new add-on bar when shown is way to thick. I think it is almost two times the size of the old normal status bar.

  18. bg said on November 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t miss the ild status bar — there was a lot of wasted space and it was difficult to customise. For these reasons, I like that the new add-on bar (e.g. I moved my search bar there to make better use of the “empty” space).

    I also think that Status-4-Evar is a great extension with a lot of ideas that the original FX devs didn’t think about or didn’t get around to. And the response from the S4E developer to new ideas is super.

    In other words, this change has opened up a number of new options and customisations …. all in the best traditions of FX!

    BTW, you don’t need an extension to enable “incompatible” extensions. Just add the boolean config option “extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b” and set the value to false.

  19. lawson said on November 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I will be staying with 3.6.12 for quite a while.
    New is not always better.

  20. BKV said on November 22, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I’m using 3.6.6 on my laptop. I tried one of the Version 4 beta on my desktop, but it’s a bit……annoying! A lot of my major add-ons don’t work.

    1. Jim said on November 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

      I don’t get people saying they’re using 3.6.6 and 3.6.9. The current version is 3.6.12. Don’t you realize you’re missing security updates?

      1. BKV said on November 23, 2010 at 3:23 am

        Thanks for the info Jim. Last time Firefox tried to update, it wanted to install one of the Version 4’s. Didn’t notice there were other 3.6.x

      2. Dougle said on November 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

        I couldn’t agree more.

        As for extensions not working, you have to consider fx 4 is a beta product, not all conscientious extension devs will be updating their product until 4 reaches RC status, if then.

        If you want to make an extension, that has a recent update, but doesn’t work in 4, there are several methods, the easiest of which is to install

        Personally, I edit the install.rdf to change the max version…

  21. Nebulus said on November 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

    If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it :)

  22. Sandeep said on November 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I prefer the notifications in the old status bar better than the current implementation in Firefox 4 Beta 7 mainly because the starting point in the location bar is forever jumping around and can be hard to follow when hovering across a list of links. I have Status-4-Evar installed but have it disabled because it’s not that big issue and it’s not something I usually look at. There’s a bug to fix the starting point of notifications in the location bar and I suspect when this happens I’ll probably uninstall Status-4-Evar since it won’t make a difference to me either way and I have too many addons already!

  23. OAlexander said on November 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I see no reason to “up”-grade. I am still on 3.6.9, and am very happy with it. I simply don’t download 4.0. I did not download Vista either.

  24. Dougle said on November 22, 2010 at 2:44 am

    The only thing I like about the ‘add-on bar’ is it’s toolbar-like behaviour; meaning, any object that can be placed on the standard toolbars can be placed on the ‘add-on’ bar. Aside from that there is little to commend it.

    Perhaps I’m a Luddite with respect to fx 4 (which is my daily browser) but virtually every ‘innovation’ and change the devs have made, I have undone, either via extensions of by simply disabling/hinging the component. For example:

    I use Status 4 Evar to bring back the old status-bar behaviour
    I hide the Minefield button and use Personal menu
    I hide Panaramor as it serves no purpose for me
    I use an extension to bring back the page name in the title-bar

    1. bf said on November 22, 2010 at 7:26 am

      I wish I could go to the beta and start modifications, but 2-3 extensions that are critical for me still has not been updated to 4.0. Also, I got used to Metro Theme and it is does not work in 4.0 at all.

      1. FF4 user said on November 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

        You can force enable incompatible plugins, most will work whilst some won’t at all… my important extensions all work fine for me on 4.0 despite not being officially compatible.

        Set the “extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b” setting in about:config to false and you’ll be able to enable the incompatible extensions.

        RE: The topic at hand

        Totally agree, i blogged about the very changes you’ve highlighted and feel just as frustrated by them. The hover URL needs to be at the bottom of the browser, the statusbar was the perfect place for it, and the loading indicator is perfectly fine as a progress bar, i really hate that Vista-like swirling icon that’s now displayed in the tabs (it looks fancy, but again this info should be at the bottom of the browser – and as something i can see EASILY)..

    2. wrb said on November 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

      Best thing they could of done! The status bar is the worst looking thing I have ever seen. Firefox users need to stop bitching because FF it’s not the only show in town any more. Firefox needs to do everything it can to stay competitive which includes not looking like a browser from 2002. The add-on bar looks great, is fully customizable and blends in to the page. Use extensions to change it if you really must have the IE 6 looking status bar.

      1. Maksym Kozub said on January 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm

        Firefox needs to do everything it can to stay competitive which includes not looking like a browser from 2002.

        I never get this idea of “changes for the sake of changes”. Some browsers did look nice back in 2002, so I would have no problem if it performs well, has a convenient UI, and looks like a good browser from 2002.

      2. ReX said on November 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

        Except it was never “the only show in town”.
        And what the hell do you mean by “blends in to the page”? They’ve only removed the borders (apart from removing status, progressbar, link, download information, etc), which makes it look kinda ugly if you ask me.

  25. bf said on November 22, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Personally I mostly remade Firefox 3.6 statusbar into add-on bar using Stylish and Statusbar Organizer.

    1) I removed connection status. Instead I am using FasterFox timer.
    2) I removed download status because it is annoying. I have fast Internet connection. So if I decide to download file, it usually gets downloaded within few minutes. And since downloads start in a tab, as soon as download tab closes I know that file is ready. Really large files I download by external downloader.
    3)I still check link location in statusbar. But I have alternative for lack of this feature in Firefox 4.0. I have seen extension that shows link location just above statusbar.

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