Restore Firefox's All Tabs preview feature

Martin Brinkmann
May 24, 2013
Updated • May 24, 2013

If you have upgraded the Firefox web browser to version 21, the most recent version at the time of writing, you may have noticed that it is missing the All Tabs preview feature that was included in previous versions of the browser.

It displayed a button in the web browser that you could click on to display an overlay window displaying all open tabs of the browser as thumbnail previews.  It furthermore displays a search on top that you could use to quickly find a tab you wanted to open at that time.

Mozilla removed the All Tabs panel code from Firefox 21 which means that the feature is no longer available from that browser version on.

Let me show you how to fix the issue so that you can get the All Tabs preview feature back in Firefox:

  1. Download and install the All Tabs Restorer extensions for the Firefox browser.
  2. Once you have done that and restarted the web browser, you have two options to invoke the menu displaying all open tabs in the browser.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Tab.
  4. Through a new menu icon.

firefox alt tab

To add the menu icon to Firefox do the following:

  1. Press the Alt-key on your keyboard.
  2. Select View > Toolbars > Customize from the top menu.
  3. Find the All Tabs icon in the Customize Toolbar window that opens up.
  4. Drag and drop the icon to a place in one of the browser's toolbars.

You can now display the All Tabs overlay in Firefox either with a tap on the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Tab, or with a click on the All Tabs button that you have added to a toolbar.

The overlay stays in place until you make a selection or click on a location outside of it. A click on a tab focuses the tab in the browser right away.

If you have many tabs open, you may find the search helpful as it will filter all open tabs based on what you enter in it. So, if you enter Firefox into the search field, all matching tabs are displayed in the overlay while all others are hidden from view.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Iregger said on July 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you!

  2. Rafael said on May 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Wait, “Panorama” is the feature being removed?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      It is “a” feature that gets removed, yes. The idea is to replace it with an add-on, something that they should have done in first place.

  3. Hugh said on May 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm


    The feature is working in my Firefox 21 as well.

    I followed Martin’s instructions for enabling in about:config and then ctrl+tab and Boomph! preview strip appears across the page.

    Now I’ve found it is going to go away. What a shame.


    1. Hugh said on May 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      On re-reading Martin’s original post he mentions:
      Enabling this preview feature in the advanced Firefox configuration will add a new button to the right side of the Firefox tabbar. This button, when pressed, will display an overlay window that contains thumbnail previews of all open tabs in Firefox. A click on any tab thumbnail will make that tab the active one in the web browser.

      It would seem, if we are not at cross purposes that the button is the only thing currently missing.

      ctrl+tab gives me the overlay.


      1. Tim said on May 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm

        That’s not the same feature. ctrl-tab gives a preview of the last 6 used tabs, the feature that got removed is an overview of *all* tabs in the current window, with a search bar. If you want to try it out, install Firefox 20 or earlier and set browser.allTabs.previews to true. It’ll pop up on ctrl-shift-tab, when you click the above mentioned button, or when ctrl-tabbing, going to the “Show all tabs” button.

  4. dashakol said on May 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Having more than 30 tab open this feature was a must and I used it a lot. All tab preview was so simple. Now I just can’t understand why such a useful feature should be omitted. Every time I update there is the same story of frustration and one or more disabled feature. Why?!
    Some one please let me know how to revert to previous version and also how to show the FF developers how dump they are. Please just tell me some address to show our protest.

  5. Aram said on May 24, 2013 at 7:28 am

    P.S. Love your site and your work. Thank you Martin!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Thanks so much ;)

  6. Aram said on May 24, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Believe it or not but mine is still working in FF 21.0. In the past it placed an “Group your tabs” icon in the upper right and that is still there and working. “Ctrl + Shift + E”, also (still) works. To my knowledge it will be permanently removed with upcoming “Australis” (a.k.a Googlezilla Firechrome).

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.