How to fix the Firefox 89 user interface
A new interface design, called Proton, will launch in Firefox 89, scheduled for a release on June 1, 2021. Mozilla wants to modernize the user interface of the Firefox web browser with Proton.
Firefox 89 ships with address bar, toolbar, tab and menu changes. One common denominator is that everything will be a big larger in the new interface. Proton will remove some options from Firefox, or hide them. The Compact density option won't be displayed anymore on the "customize" page of the browser if it has not been used in the past. While it is possible to restore it, most users won't because it requires editing a configuration preference that cannot be discovered accidentally.
Firefox users who want a design that is more compact may use the linked guide above to enable the compact density option in the browser to start using it. Another option is to modify user interface elements with CSS.
Firefox UI Fix includes CSS fixes that modify the Firefox 89+ user interface to make the interface more compact. It reduces padding and other design elements to improve the usability for users who prefer light interfaces over large ones.
Here are two screenshots of the Firefox 89 interface after the fixes have been made. The first screenshot shows the normal density design, the second the compact density design.
Installing Firefox UI Fix
Installation is not as straightforward as installing a Firefox add-on, but it is not complicated either.
First, you have to prepare Firefox to allow CSS files to modify the user interface:
- Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
- Confirm that you will be careful.
- Search for toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets.
- Use the toggle button to set its value to TRUE.
- Search for svg.context-properties.content.enabled.
- Use the toggle button to set the value of the preference to TRUE.
Once done, download the two CSS files from the project's Github repository. Select userChrome.css first to display it on GitHub, then the RAW button to display it, and right-click on the page and use Save As to download it. The filename should be userChrome.css on your computer. Repeat the steps for the userContent.css file.
In Firefox, load about:support and activate the "show folder" button next to Profile Folder; this opens the profile folder in the file browser on the system. You may close Firefox now.
Create a "chrome" folder in the profile root if it does not exist. Place the two files, userChrome.css and userContent.css, inside the chrome folder, and start Firefox again.
Firefox uses the CSS instructions and the interface is changed noticeably.
Note that you may need to check the GitHub repository occasionally for updates. If the files have been updated, download them and replace the older files in the chrome directory.
If you do know CSS, you may modify the information to customize the interface further.
Now You: what is your user interface preference, compact, normal or even larger?
If Mozilla wants to attract users by Googlizing their browser and removing features, they are very, very unlikely to succeed. Rather than try to win over new users that won’t come since they are happy with Chrome, Mozilla should listen to those who already use Firefox. It will not improve numbers, but could stop migrating to Chromium-based browsers. I use Firefox, I love it and… I much dislike the new Firefox design. Edge is getting more and more customizable and simply growing big, while Firefox is getting rid of customization options and getting leaner. You see, the Chrome paradigm is not a word from God because Edge is attracting new users without mimmicking the Google browser. MS makes their browser useful. Mozilla – the other way round. I’m afraid that in a few years’ time Firefox will sink into complete oblivion and die…
“Edge is attracting new users without mimmicking the Google browser” says the irrational Firefox hater. When Edge is literally a copy of Chrome.
Who are you people? Are you too young to know how Chrome copied Firefox?
Everyone copies from everyone else, and there’s nothing wrong with copying good ideas which benefit the user. Firefox, on the other hand, has been busily copying Chrome’s worst bits. Edge may not be the best in terms of privacy (debatable, dependent on your user case) – but it has been quite innovative in terms of usability and UI tweaks. Microsoft’s team is bringing lots of nifty little features which are good and useful; and that’s even before its best-in-class integration with Microsoft’s service offering, which is very attractive for corporate users.
“Are you too young to know how Chrome copied Firefox?”
Really? Right from the beginning Chrome was the antithesis of what Firefox stood for once upon a time – the open web, and customizability/choice on how best to experience the same in the hands of the user. And even if Chrome did copy some small bit of Firefox’s UI, are you too blind to see that the shoe’s now firmly on the other foot and all Firefox does is desperately try to copy Chrome, down to the last menu item and wording? (No matter that loyal users are pissed off by the irrational and clearly negative changes.) The shortsighted Mozilla people even openly declare this to be what their UI team is doing, in an exceedingly idiotic bass-ackwards attempt to try and regain some of the precious users they’ve lost. Haven’t come across any software team more self-deluded than this in a very, very long time. No wonder conspiracy theorists believe Mozilla’s doing this due to pressure from sugar daddy Google, because it boggles the mind that any organization would deliberately alienate its loyal user base and destroy its product like this.
I agree, I don’t like the new PROTON Firefox UI changes at all…
Mozilla keeps messing things up for us that have been with Firefox since the beginning..
for me that has been since v2 or was it v4 s oI have been using Firefox long enough to have a say in these ridiculous changes…
I really wish someone would tell me about getting back my search bar in the new firefox this new version is IMHO is really wack in so many ways. Can only use address bar which I never used and cant delete drop down menu as one of the many complaints I have with the 89 update,its like someone rearranged your house with out your knowledge,:=)
Pine. Do this. It works:
(1) In a new tab, type or paste: about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.
(2) In the search box in the page, type or paste: handoff and pause while the list is filtered
(3) Double-click the browser. newtabpage.activity-stream.improvesearch.handoffToAwesomebar preference
to switch the value from true to false
@pine or anyone else who needs such direction:
Simply do this (Firefox 89.0.2):
1. Go into “Settings”.
2. Click on “Search”.
3. Select “Add Search Bar to Tool Bar.
“Rather than try to win over new users that won’t come since they are happy with Chrome, Mozilla should listen to those who already use Firefox.”
This is soooooo true. I think I’m one of those long time FF users, that is slowly but surely fed up with the fact that I need to fix my browser every time after an so-called update. You know, I do like my tabs where they are, I do like to use my preferred search engine, don’t need anything from Amazon or ebay, and certainly don’t want to read and put in my pocket what some seem to want to advise me. I know Mozilla want my browser to look at their warped view of esthetics dictates, but since it is my box, I expect it to honour my chrome/ css settings. But does FF 89 do that? Noooooo…. So that is then the definition of MALWARE.
And it used to start so idealistic about 20 years ago… Ah well… Waterfox, here I come…
I agree. For the moment my wife and I have fallen back to version 88 which was customised to be exactly how we like it and how we find it easy to work with.
I have no objection to FF coming up with new UI’s but they should leave the existing ones alone and make the new ones optional.
FF seem to be taking the old Microsoft approach of forcing the user to do things the way some twit at Microsoft thinks is best. I think that is part of the reason that there are no longer any windows phones.
I still use a Windows mobile 6.1 phone because I prefer the UI an Office 2003 because it works better and more logically than the stupid ribbon.
I agree with many of the negative comments about the changes to Firefox made here. For example, I shouldn’t have to go into the config menu to get simple things done, like place downloads on a desktop. All I’m looking for in a browser (and all users I know) is a simple, easy to use, but secure ability to browse. Firefox’s latest update makes this harder, at least for me and others I know. Making assumptions about user preferences is really annoying, such as often making functions just icons, instead of identifying them with labels as well. Icons are okay for some, but for others I give help too, the icons are terribly confusing because because they can’t remember what each icon means if they don’t use it regularly. These aren’t stupid people, just people who don’t want to be techies. All they want is something easy to use, and these days for them, it isn’t Firefox.
I’ve always kept Firefox’s UI density to its default ‘normal’ value and built heavy userChrome.css and userContent.css on that basis. In my case therefor announced Firefox 89’s Proton UI modifications likely mean some work to keep the browser’s UI conform to my preferences.
This article, the work of black7375 on his GitHub repository will be of great help.
Also, as always, dedicated Firefox pages on Reddit continue to provide hints and solutions :
[https://teddit.net/r/firefox/] and [https://teddit.net/r/FirefoxCSS/] (replace Teddit by Reddit if you prefer).
Here we’re preparing ‘Operation : Mozilla Firefox 89 PROTON UI FIX’ with all available information.
‘Let’s do it to them before they do it to us” becomes ‘after they’ve done it to us’, or ‘to me’. An aggressive statement perhaps but I fear the worst when Firefox’s UI is announced to be deeply modified GIVEN my very personal approach of the UI I intend to work with, consequently this is a 100% subjective.
There comes a point where maintaining a browser’s config and appearance becomes almost a part-time job, and I’m finding that this tedious milestone has been reached with FF some time ago. It’s beyond me why some wish to spend so much time and effort on tweaking and re-tweaking every new version. A browser should facilitate and enable, not be an end in itself.
I completely agree. It was so much easier because the options were there. But now they removed it all. I will switch to another browser.
Yes, the numbers make it clear that more and more users have reached their breaking points already and finally decided to stop wasting time and energy and just switch to better alternatives. Not that Mozilla cares – it’s way too busy ripping off Chrome’s UI.
calm down bro and check the actual numbers: steady as fuck for two years at around 220 million users
Steady doesn’t mean they are successfully retaining users. It means no growth.
For all you know a quarter of those users are new users and they keep losing a large portion of the regular userbase whenever they roll out these ridiculous changes.
They keep doing this one day they are going to get an update wrong and they will lose all those new users, and possibly even more from the regular userbase.
vs the 720 million users they had in 2009 before they started the ‘tabs-on-top and lets strip away user options’ fiasco
Yeah yeah, calm down they only lost half a Billion customers. Everything is FIIIIINE! Carry on as you were…
So you are saying no growth is an accomplishment?
You can also check out the GitHub repo of Aris-t2.
He has a (very) compact mode here (work in progress):
Screenshot of mine (new test profile):
I’m also a happy customer :-) of CustomCSSforFx from Aris-t2 (since Firefox 57) and always activate/use its most compact options. I hope it will be ready for Firefox 89 when it arrives. I’d rather prefer to stay with CustomCSSforFx than switching to “Firefox UI Fix”. Only one thing is sure: Compact mode is the first that I activate on every Firefox installation. :-)
Aris is a hero, that’s for sure, and I admire their long-standing commitment. But why should it be necessary for me to literally re-tweak every new version of FF, comb through the latest about:config modifications, keep myself updated about important changes via gHacks and others, use CSS files to restore UI elements, and generally spend valuable time on frequent FF sanity-checks?
I’ve just set
browser.proton.enabled to false
browser.uidensity to 1
and it looks like this
but I am using developer edition, not sure how it will work in standard firefox
I received the official update and it worked here, I hope it will last forever
Works like charm, thank You good Sir.
Thank you, random hero on the internet, you have saved my day and my firefox.
Me too kingpin, and I’m not a developer.
The first thing I did after ver 89 installed was look for a “fix” to lack of demarcation lines (tabs) and the expansion of my Bookmarks list with too much space.
Found those tweaks and I’m happy again but if they keep making these nasty changes, this longtime Firefox user will depart.
I’m using the standard edition (not developer) and it worked a charm. This made my day. Thank you!
Thank you so much.
It was actually the now ludicrous bookmark menus that were bugging me, for which I had to change
browser.proton.contextmenus.enabled to false.
That’s cheered me up.
In my FF, there is a small problem with the display in the right corner with the button (closure / minimization / deployment) element has a color white or black, depending on the dark or light default mode in windows.
This bug appeared when installing third-party topics for Windows, that is, unsigned topics, for example, I used UltrauxThemepatcher How to find a way to get rid of crap and in general who is not from experienced FF users faced such a problem?
Sometimes I use the combination f5 + hide the toolbar, but the taskbar is not visible â€“ it is inconvenient
Can someone tell the answer how to fix this defect in my browser?
Speaking of fixing things…
It’s been a long while since that link you put under the page heading (gHacks article title) which is supposed to take you to the beginning of the comments on each page has actually worked (it’s just the page URL).
That Mozilla requires you to enable use of userChrome.css et al in Firefox now tells me all I need to know about Firefox and Mozilla.
I’m gonna wait before judging it, but my immediate thoughts are that they’re copying the new Edge wrt aesthethics.
I really don’t like how tabs are just floating. Thanks for the css.
Is it just me or are the 2 sample before and after exactly the SAME?
This is not before and after, this is the “fixed” design in normal and compact mode.
While it’s fine that you speak up to clarify the commenter’s “mistake” (it’s not “before fix” vs “after fix;” it’s “fix in normal mode” vs “fix in compact mode”), why not answer the question, too?
No, they ARE different, dlb. You’re to notice a difference in the height of the tabs, or tab boxes, and in the address bar and menu, too.
If you look closely at the top inside edge of the highlighted tab box and check it’s distance to the top of the letters inside that tab box (and do the same again at the bottom of the tab box), you’ll notice there is slightly less space in these areas in Compact mode – the second view (or the “after” view, if you prefer, though both views are AFTER this article’s proposed fix to the v.89 update, just one is showing the fix in normal mode while the second shows it in compact mode) – than there is in Normal mode – the first view. The same is true of the address bar.
Next, this is how I initially resolved that the menu must also be slightly more compact in the second view than the first (though after looking at it for as long as I have to write this, I can now pretty easily the difference just by looking at it):
Look again at the difference in height in the tabs and address bar in the two versions. In the url, for instance, the amount of space between the bottom of that low hanging “g” and the lower edge of the address bar box is … well, slightly less in the second view than in the first. There is an even more distinguishable difference at the top of the address bar – say, from the top of the “h” in the url to the top of the box. We’re only talking fractions of millimeters, here, from the views on this page, but it will be more evident when it’s on your computer screen.
In any case, all the vertical space that is saved at the top and bottom of the address bar and the top and bottom of the tab bar is raising the height of the page and is given back to you at the bottom of the page. On the bottom right of the page, you see a 1, 2, 3 (it probably says “Popular Posts by [author]” or something like that), mostly covered by the open menu. Look at the bottom of the text for #3. All the space saved by Compact mode in the bars at the top can be seen in the space between the bottom of the low hanging “g” in “…changed in Firefox 88.0” and the bottom edge of the page. In Normal mode, the “g” couldn’t be any closer to the bottom without touching it, but in Compact mode, there’s so much space you can even (just barely) see the top of the text of whatever #4 would be.
But right now, we’re supposed to be talking about whether the open menu is more compact, too, right? The reason I highlighted the space that’s saved at the bottom of the page, even in this context, is that that space savings (or difference in height) will be uniform at any point on the page, because Compact view will only affect the browser interface, not shrink the page you’re viewing itself.
To see the difference in the compactness of the menu in Compact mode, look at the bottom edge of the open menu in relation to the text on the page behind it. There is clearly more space in Compact mode between the bottom of the menu and the text, “…from Firefox’s Customize…” on the page behind it than there is in Normal mode, by probably a full mm or more.
So, even though the space savings in the bars at the top has pulled everything on the page up by maybe 4 mm or so (as is evident at the bottom of the page), the difference in where the bottom of the menu is in relation to the text behind it is still probably another full millimeter higher yet, so the menu itself must have shrunk by at least 5 mm!
I hope this helps.
Not sure why one would equate “change” with “broken” which results in the need to “fix” something. The FF 89 user interface isn’t “broken,” and it doesn’t need to be “fixed.” It’s been “modified”; some folks may find that utterly unbearable, but it isn’t broken.
It reminds me of the “old man” in “The Lottery.” Mozilla eliminates compact density; therefore, we have returned to the age of the caveman.
Just change the “Belief Window” sticking out front of your mind. Flexibility? How have we arrived at such in inflexible group of users.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I understand.
The beauty of FF is its configurability. OOB it’s SOS ugly. Takes a lot of time to understand about:config but its worth it. I’d venture the “Bad, bad Firefox” crowd hasn’t.
But, y’know what? At least some folks are interested, plus or minus. Most people I ask, don’t know what browser they’re using.
I’ve got a couple of friends who are nearly 90 and have been happily using FF for several years. They are not technically minded but can get around using computer programs once they’ve had the functions explained to them and they get used where things are and the way it works.
They are now totally bemused by the new FF UI and will need a long time spent with them to re-orient them to the new layout. There must be an awful lot of people like that out there who don’t need the hassle.
As you correctly mentioned its not broken or anything, and some folks like me apart from that huge URL toolbar(IOW wasted space) have found changes good for a start.
Now that doesn’t mean that new modified version is perfect, of course majority who used compact mode would not like it but I never enabled that mode and most of the time it was left as it is.
The one positive I immediately noticed was Preferences renamed to Settings which was long overdue.
So “Flexibility” in your opinion means “You gotta like whatever new crap design Mozilla comes up with”? There were extremely good reasons people hated Australis, and why they do Proton. Yes, the UI is absolutely 100% broken if it doesn’t work for the very people that use it day in and out. It’s one thing learning something new and useful, and quite another wasting valuable time and effort on changes that have no actual justification, are embarrassingly bad and make the browser look like ðŸ’© without extensive customization to fix the damage wrought by amateur UX designer wannabes.
If you use any software or any mobile apps, I guess you would know that USER INTERFACE changes constantly. Take Fotmob for example, a closed source yet excellent app for Football fans, its UI changed slightly last month, so now should I hate it because certain icons were shuffled or have I become OH YEAH I LOVE THIS NEW DESIGN user?
As I said in my comment many are not happy because they used compact mode but then many including me didn’t used it, I don’t think there’s any harm in saying it.
Plus if someone is really sweating because few icons were shuffled in Firefox then its called inflexibility.
Yash, first of all I was obviously responding to Violet and not you, so don’t know why you’re taking it so personally. Secondly, please do not lie and try to cover up Mozilla’s UI design incompetence by saying that only a few icons have been shuffled. You think all the hue and cry about Australis, Photon (to a smaller extent) and Proton now (with the comical spacing and idiotic floating tabs, among many other negative changes) was/is only due to minor icon shuffling? Come on, stop being so silly if you’re interested in having an actual discussion instead of turning this into a joke session.
Ron, no I’m not taking anything personally because its a public forum and I at the time of writing comment wasn’t in the bad mood either.
Now do I think this proton design is good, honestly its a total crap and besides renaming preferences into settings, I don’t know why its called Proton anyway as I didn’t find any meaningful changes, but since I don’t use compact mode I didn’t find any meaningful downgrades either.
UI design in any software changes constantly for better or worse and unless it affects other things, I’m okay with it, even Australis has its precursor mind so change is not something new. Even Firefox for Android would have certain minor changes in upcoming version 89.
So yeah certain compact users would be disappointed and there’s no denying that.
Personally I like UI changes as I get bored watching same thing again and again as long as its not having a negative impact on software’s main functionality.
I read such “cool” tales of “the new user interface isnâ€™t broken, and it doesnâ€™t need to be fixed” with every release of the new Firefox interface.
But time passes and this “isnâ€™t broken, and it doesnâ€™t need to be fixed” interface turns out not to be so fine according to Mozilla itself, so they make the NEXT “isnâ€™t broken, and it doesnâ€™t need to be fixed” interface.
Save the link to this post of yours and then reread it the next time there’s an interface change of Firefox (If the browser is still alive by then).
I don’t really care about icons in the breakout menu – I restored the top menu bar as soon as it was removed by default the first time in an ill-advised design move years ago. I do find it hilarious that they’ve almost come full circle back to exactly that design, while still bafflingly keeping the breakout-and-tabbed menu style at all on horizontally-oriented desktop/laptop computer screens with mouse control* (the tabbed menus are useful for touch interfaces because there is no hover control for touch interfaces, and the hamburger button dropping a single vertical menu is only good for screens that lack horizontal space for a menu bar and/or benefit from a larger, more square icon as a finger target, as it necessarily hides features multiple clicks deep by collapsing distinct top-level menus under the hamburger).
A few years back, they were INSISTING that removing text in favor of icons was a much better interface that more people found more intuitively useful (this started in a serious way with Microsoft pushing their Ribbon instead of having menus), which was never true (text is far less ambiguous than icons, ESPECIALLY for users not already familiar with a particular design language). In case it’s not clear, none of this has anything to do with interface utility; it’s entirely driven by fads in design and the weird population of people who get off on change for its own sake. From a comment below, summarizing that particular neurosis perfectly:
“Personally I like UI changes as I get bored watching same thing again and again as long as its not having a negative impact on software’s main functionality.”
This is a psychological maladaptation: an inability to cope with routine, a persistent need for novel stimulation. And there was already a solution that doesn’t involve breaking things for other people: themes. People who get “bored” with a UI or get a dopamine hit when something looks different than it did yesterday can simply change themes every once in a while to achieve that effect without having to impact the entire rest of the user base. That’s win-win; pointlessly (at best, harmfully at worst) changing the UI for everyone is win-lose. Stop making your psychological issues around aesthetic boredom a functional issue for other people.
And UI changes ALWAYS disrupt the experience of the existing user base, negatively impacting utility/productivity; there is no such thing as a UI change without a negative impact on user experience. Good changes will be 1) easy to adapt to, minimizing the learning curve, and 2) have technical benefits that outweigh the technical deficits, so that, over time, the benefit of the change outweighs not only any *inherent* deficits, but also the deficit caused by the adaptation to a new interface. This stuff isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s a quantified area of psycho-social study. And Mozilla’s team, for years, has been approaching it wrong (from a UX perspective, which suggests there’s another motivation – I’m unsure whether it’s a planned strategy to e.g. look more like Chrome to try to lure naive users or simply design fads operating through the bandwagon effect, but I can say with certainty that standard principles of good UI design are not the motivating factor for many of the changes).
The tab bar changes have the biggest impact on my personal utility. Sure, it wastes vertical space, but that’s mostly an aesthetic preference (except on low resolution screens, where it becomes a functional problem); the problem for me is that it also makes the tabs shorter horizontally, cutting off a few characters of text I can use to more easily differentiate between tabs when I have many open, especially many from the same website (and losing the divider makes identification of the click zone for a given tab less precise and slower, though that’s not as much of a problem).
The transparency (which it it’s grabbing from my general interface window theme, and may be a consequence of a lazy or ill-advised implementation of the dark/light theming mode support; it’s dynamic, and that’s exactly the problem – it needs to be a static background color that contrasts with the text as it was previously) is simply such a bad idea that it should be classified as a bug: it makes the tabs all but impossible to read when there’s any kind of visually busy (or even just light-colored, for light mode, or dark-colored, for dark mode) display behind them (desktop icons, another program’s busy or unfortunately colored window); tabs need a visually uncomplicated background with a color that contrasts with the text to be easily read, and the only way to ensure that is to have a stable background, NOT a transparent or even dynamic one.
I didn’t come across any more changes before killing the Proton UI, so I can’t comment on other elements of the design.
*I’m aware that many desktop and laptop computers have touchscreens in addition to their keyboard and mouse/trackpad. In fact, I have one; I disabled the touch interface almost immediately, as it provided no additional utility but did occasionally misinterpret accidental touches. (To be fair, pinch-to-zoom is quicker to use and much more intuitive than pressing a control key and scrolling a wheel, but it’s also much more prone to misinterpreted touches doing unwanted things.) Touch interfaces are useful when there is a necessity to integrate the interface into the display and have no other control method; they’re technically inferior to mouse/keyboard input in any case where that is a physical possibility.
Well stated, I agree.
> How to fix the Firefox 89 user interface
Install a browser that is still going to exist in 5 years time. Fixed it for you.
Google pays for Firefox to exist.
Yeah, but Google can’t really ensure a relevance threshold. If the FF project is run into the ground despite all the Google money, Google can do very little about it (except maybe subtly advertising FF, hehe).
Google will keep paying them to run themselves into the ground so there is “competition” if Gecko or whatever their rendering engine is called stops development and the company announces they will no longer work on Firefox, there will be no competition and Chromium will be seen as a monopoly.
Personally I prefer Chromium browsers, because they are faster and more compatible with the web. Firefox was good when it was competing with Internet Explorer and Presto Opera, but since then Firefox compared to Chromium browsers feels like Internet Explorer 6 competing against Chromium 90.
Firefox is strong enough on the market to command +300 million every year from Google.
But Brave is such a poor company that without the help of Google developers in compiling their executable file, the Brave project would have been immediately bankrupted
Iron Heart said on April 19, 2021 at 2:49 pm
Nothing more to say here? Oh, have a nice day …
I have been using the beta version of Firefox and rather loving the UI changes. It fits in very well with GNOME (Ubuntu 21.04 in my case).
Plus 200 million Firefox users around the globe as well, definitely not in the extinct category.
FYI Windows 98 isn’t extinct either because some diehard crazies still use it, so don’t worry, at this rate it won’t take long for Firefox too to be in the same category.
@Anonymous That reminds me, I need to build a new case so I can run Win ME. Not for the web of course, because no browsers seem to support it anymore, but so I can just keep it offline to run all my old video games that wouldn’t run on XP or anything else since then. Games are expensive to buy, I’d hate to have to finally break down and chuck them into the trash lol The good part is that I have plenty of old hardware laying around and I just need to find a good older motherboard and processor to slap everything onto, as well as a monitor.
Yeah, Firefox is probably the only Linux browser (Epiphany doesn’t count since it lacks so many features) that integrates with a GTK based desktop well enough to (at least somewhat) actually feel like it’s a native application.
I use compact mode, I Iike screen real estate. New, Improved doesn’t look too bad, I’ll have to see it for real.
The issue I have with all these themes that follow the original edge Lots O’ White Space school is all the wasted space. That and the fine character outlines display terribly on poor screens.
We use ESR, not sure when the v.89 fast release interface will appear.
Firefox 91.3 ESR will be released 2021-10-19.
Maybe after Firefaux user base finally disappears ‘some’ of the old devs will band together, collect the pieces and resurrect a browser from the ashes, call it Phoenix(remember netscape?). History repeats itself on occasion.
I had been a Firefox evangelist for so many years. I ceased to actively promote it after Quantum, that was the definitive betrayal from Mozilla. I removed all links and FX banners from my web sites.
It looks like their bland efforts are more into other projects some of which are badly managed then abandoned (think Firefox OS, I was involved by Mozilla in that too). It has been years I do not understand their choices. So frustrating.
I refused to upgrade when 3.4 came out … I can’t live without my spacebar heater – https://xkcd.com/1172/
I can easily tell what browser I am using – if it crashes 10 times when looking at Facebook, it is Firefox. Finally I get told that naughty Firefox is being denied access to graphics acceleration. Uniquely Firefox, no other applications affected on Windows 10 fully patched. Instead of pratting around destabalising the UI, would they mind fixing the crashes in the core application.
To Dear Ray Foulkes,
Ghacks is a tech site and its comment section is a public forum so everyone is equal. But since you mentioned Firefox crashes 10 times when looking at Facebook or that Firefox is denied hardware acceleration, please provide some sort of proof(screenshot for example) or the specifics.
I’m asking so I can know if you’re not a troll so as to prevent your name being added in my uBlock Origin blacklist mode like I do with other trolls in this site.
Remember to add my name in your blacklist if you can’t back up your false claim.
I have the same issue with facebook, hell, I just thought facebook sucked, so I quit going there as much. Now I log in for about 30-60 minutes 3 to 4 times per year. If I get 30 minutes in and FF hasn’t puked its guts out, … I feel lucky. And NO, I am not going to go to FB just to get you some proof.
Not just Windows 10 either, I have been using FF for a long time and it did the same with XP, and Vista too.
One of the things I like about Pale Moon is that it has never done a major UI overhaul. It still has the same UI as pre-Australis Firefox. (Remember old Firefox? The browser that everybody *loved*?) I have customized the Pale Moon UI pretty heavily, rearranging elements where I want them, putting toolbar buttons wherever I want them (including in the optional menubar, which otherwise has a *lot* of wasted space, in the English locale at least). I had the same arrangement in Firefox before Firefox 29 and was pretty unhappy when Australis came along and trashed it. Pale Moon has never done that to me. Note that the project’s experimental/development browser, Basilisk, is based on *Australis* Firefox, so I don’t know if my longstanding UI contentment will last indefinitely. But for now, I sure am happy that I don’t have to waste a lot of time recustomizing the UI every couple/few years. I don’t live for tweaking and customizing programs; I live for *using* them.
I can say more or less the same thing about LibreOffice, albeit to a slightly lesser degree. The classic menu-and-toolbars UI *occasionally* changes a default button or two and I sometimes (rarely) have to put the odd old button back, but my custom toolbars and custom buttons remain undisturbed. There’s none of this “everyone must now use the Ribbon” stuff. In LibreOffice, the Ribbon-like UIs are optional alternatives, not mandatory replacements. Are Ribbons easier to learn for *newcomers* and ultimately more efficient? I couldn’t say. What I *can* say is that they *aren’t* for users with over three decades of experience and muscle-memory invested in menu-and-toolbar UIs.
I’m not against radically improved UIs. If a new UI is markedly, objectively better than the old one â€” I can think of one really good program (AllDup) whose UI I *still* find pretty damn confusing â€” I’ll put in the time to master (and optionally customize) the new one. I’m just against imposed changes that don’t really seem to bring anything really compelling to the table. If someone can explain to me what’s so much better about Google-Chrome-family and modern-Firefox UIs, I’m all ears.
The 90’s called and want their interface back
Very well written Peterc.
I actually like the new interface. You have more space when viewing YouTube tabs. The colours of the new theme are not great though.
Proton design is ugliest useless redesign. I will switch to Chrome.
Really Mr Modern? That joke is even older than the 80’s! LOL
Martin has several tutorials on the subject of about:config
In addition, https://www.privacytools.io/classic/#addons landing page and then scroll down to “Firefox: Privacy Related “about:config” Tweaks”.
The 89.0 Firefucks update I did not ask for, it was crammed up my ass.
Why don’t these fucking developers ASK if people want their fucking shit?
I pretty much had it with Mozilla, and the rest of the mentally retarded fux who thinks Win10 UI designed for a bankrupt cellphone should also be applied to a desktop.
I liked Mozilla because it could be adapted to MY eyes, not to some fucking 18 year old zit-face.
“In Firefox, load about:support and activate the “show folder” button next to Profile Folder; this opens the profile folder in the file browser on the system.”
In “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:89.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/89.0” – I cant find this.
“Create a “chrome” folder in the profile root if it does not exist” -Can you be more Linux specific?
Why is this so damn ugly now??
it looks like 1985–nobody wants a 1985 computer people.
Change it back!!
Very disappointed here FF
Now it’s starting to suck.
It’s other stuff, too. FF will reorder the context menu. If it feels like something could be a link, “Copy” will not be the first option anymore. That’s already annoying me on a level that I’d want to punch my monitor.
I have a 23 inch widescreen monitor, but
the big problem I have with the new redesign is the
Bookmarks Line spacing, this is a big waste of space
& just ugly no more yellow folders.
I have set Proton to False. Also if you enable Compact Mode then
check Density it is listed there but it says (Not Supported) So it’s useless.
I always used Normal.
The people who work for Mozilla should all apply for jobs at Microsoft because
this is exactly what they do… Take away control from the USER.
I have given the Mozilla team feedback long ago when I told them if I
wanted Chrome I would just switch to using it.
Give Customization back to the User
It would be great if they actually made the user experience better, but
they constantly make things a lot worse.
Firefox 89 introduced double spacing of my Bookmarks Index.
I hate it and want my former look back. I want to see more Bookmarks when I click on it.
Wait til you get to a web page that you want to bookmark, then click on the “bookmarks” in the toolbar and notice the option is , … just, … well, … MISSING ! Now you must click “Bookmark This TAB” ?? I don’t even Like Tabs to begin with and I wish I could make THOSE disappear.
I guess I just like my full browser windows, regardless of how many I have open. Tabs blows ass !!
Oh yeah, I want MY yellow folders back and normal spacing in the bookmarks menu too.
It has been over 20 years with FF and I do believe my time is just about UP !!
I do use tabs but it is a pain to have to bookmark one first and then as a separate operation edit the bookmark to move it from whichever category it has gone into by default (possibly the one chosen for a previous bookmark) to the one where it belongs. Why oh why “fix” something that “ain’t broke”?
search for proton word in about:settings and disabled all that shit.
Two simple changes in about:config and back to the old FF I like.
Redesigning the interface, menus and making goofy bubble tabs is absurd.
They had an effective spoon in FF.
I didn’t get much soup on my shirt and I ate well.
Now they want to re-invent the spoon.
Stop. Just stop.
The spoon was great.
Spoons don’t need to evolve.
Coding on a spoon upgrade should be undetectable to the user.
It’s a spoon.
Be a good spoon so I can continue to eat with you and not get soup on my shirt.
Developer bosses, stop squeezing blinky crap out of your coders. Users don’t want this. Pay them for other things. Maybe a paid vacation was in order for the great work on previous versions.
I want my normal spoon back so I can get to work without importing github css to get rid of the plastic coating on this child-spoon version 89.
BTW go to github and undo this stupid upgrade.
“Nico said on May 9, 2021 at 11:39 am
You can also check out the GitHub repo of Aris-t2.
He has a (very) compact mode here (work in progress):
Screenshot of mine (new test profile):
I just got Firefox 89 with the new Proton design and hated it right from the start.
Why are menus so large? Where are my tab dividers? Why does the “new tab” show only icons and not previews of the suggested websites?
If there is no fast fix for it, I think I will change to another browser that is no playground for design kiddies.
“search for proton word in about:settings and disabled all that shit.”
Many thanks for tip! (about:settings is not good, about:config is good)
4 proton words modyified from true to false and Firefox look like before Firefox89.
My vision isn’t too bad but the new design makes it so difficult (or easy) to click the wrong tab. I am trying to find a way to bring back the deliniation between tabs and can’t find. I’m not a programmer so not wanting to code to achieve.
So dissappointing firefox did this and doesn’t have an option to keep the previous design. It doesn’t seem ADA compliant.
I really hate this new version.
1. The dark theme is too dark; the white theme is too white; to me, the black and white theme inexplicably looks just like the white theme; and I’m not gonna play with colored themes because it’s supposed to be a browser, not MySpace. How do I get the previous version back?
2. These floating tabs are horrible. I feel like I’m going to fall in. It’s making my eyes hurt. I want to see my tabs’ borders so I can … ugh, for SO MANY REASONS! How do I get the previous version back??
3. My screen space is incredibly valuable to me. Why the hell does everything take up so much space now? I know it’s on purpose, but I’m asking, Why??? I don’t want or need two lines of text and “extra information” in my tabs! I know (or knew) how to do everything the way things were before. How do I get the previous version back??
4. Stop making stupid changes in menu options that bring no added value. Without added value, all you’ve done is create unnecessary stress to longtime faithful users. How do I get the previous version back???
I’m sure you a-holes must all be reading the same textbook that says, “There is bound to be some pushback; just ignore this and continue on your path toward progress. You can never please everyone, and in the end, they’ll eventually accept whatever you give them as there is really no alternative anyway.” Or, “Just think of some hypothetical end user. You want to give him or her the best option you can, don’t you? Well don’t let these old inflexibles stand in your way. Just keep tinkering until you think it’s perfect. You can’t please everyone, so your only goal should be perfection!”
But there ARE alternatives. I am an entrepreneur, a budding developer, heading out into the big, bad world … and almost everything I want and need to do tells me to, “download this Chrome extension.” So, I’m already almost being forced to bail on you, taking all kinds of extra steps to find ways to do the same things on Firefox, and then Firefox comes along and shits on my pizza?! Man, screw you people!
This hypothetical punk who might like your crap will be the guy or girl who doesn’t know any better, who is just starting out with their first computer, or someone who doesn’t get on long enough to care. If you keep pandering to your idea of perfection without incorporating the real feedback of your current users, all you’ll be left with is this uneducated, totally fickle, and barely present crowd, while everyone who wants an aesthetically pleasinging, fully functional, easily customizable browser created by a responsive team of intelligent engineers will all be with someone else … or out creating your replacement themselves.
Again, I ask, How do I get the previous version back?
P.S. Thank you, Martin Brinkmann, for providing the best options I’ve seen so far for making this latest Firefox “improvement” suck the least.
I agree totally, leave well enough alone or at least let me go back to the way it was.
I know, right ? Remember the old school Windows “Classic Mode” ? FF could really use that one. Or even a “TweakUI” add-on, lol
Thank you @user for the about:config proton preference quick-fix tip.
I’ve been using userchrome.css to allow multiple tab rows (3) and the browser.proton.enabled preference made the 3 rows visible without any tabs actually occupying that additional space. Fixed!
This doesn’t restore the previous tab display, but I can live with “floating” tabs…for now. Not knowledgeable enough to incorporate Martin’s userchrome.css and usercontent.css (never used this one) without losing what I currently have (which Mozilla have managed *not* to break for a while).
Wondering how long before Mozilla hides those preferences…
chris said on June 2, 2021 at 3:11 am
“In Firefox, load about:support and activate the “show folder” button next to Profile Folder; this opens the profile folder in the file browser on the system.”
In “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:89.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/89.0” – I cant find this.
“Create a “chrome” folder in the profile root if it does not exist” -Can you be more Linux specific?
File browser (Nautilus etc) home > press control + h (show hidden files) > .firefox > profiles > profile name > chrome.
Create folders if not exist: user.js, userChrome.css, userContent.css etc and other folders what you need.
Maybe you can use Mozilla Firefox esr or Palemoon browser instead to avoid rapid changes.
I wrote .firefox hidden folder. I haven’t Linux now, please check ~/.mozilla.
I am sorry for an inexact answer.
Create *files* user.js, userChrome.css, userContent.css and maybe some folders if you need them.
I had to manually fix two problems that this Firefox update caused: typing in the search box ended up typing in the address bar, which I did not want; and the drop-down menus had a black background with white text, that I did not like. A third problem that must have been caused by this update, but which I have not as yet been able to figure out how to change, is that some icons by the quick launch (the magnifier and separators) and in the notification area, are now black instead of white. Anyone know how I can change that?
Hi @Martin Brinkmann, thanks for that. In the instructions, for “about:support and activate the “show folder” button next to Profile Folder” for me there is no “show folder” whatsoever, only a true/false possibility. Can you help?
Can you capture a screenshot of what you see? You could try about:profiles, but that is more complicated to use.
Can anyone help in increasing the font of the tabs and have them in bold?
Is there any possibility to put the url-bar in one line with the tabs or the menu-bar?
In all previous versions it was possible to minimize the waste of space…..but I can’t find a way to do this in 89….
the firefox changes suck big time and after having used firefox for decades, I am now looking for a GOOD browser.
I’ve used Firefox exclusively on windows and linux as long as it has existed. I’ve put up with figuring out how to get around the frequent UI changes I didn’t like until now. Version 89 was the final straw. I rolled back to version 88 and installed Vivaldi. I decided I like Vivaldi so uninstalled Firefox to finalize the divorce. Vivaldi developers seem to care about what the user wants. Firefox developers obviously don’t.
I’ve been using Firefox forever, but am desperately unhappy with the new design. I just don’t get it. I no longer see all tabs in one window, they are all separate. I had to chose to have each tab displayed as a preview in the Windows taskbar to be able to move between tabs. They also wound up at the bottom of the page and the space where the tabs used to be (below the bookmarks) is now an empty grey field. I don’t want anything floating, I just want to see my tabs easily. I am so lost and desperate, why would they make changes like that? If anyone can give me any pointers as to how I at least can have a tab bar showing again and move that up to where it used to be I’ll be forever grateful. I might have to switch to another browser otherwise, the way it’s now it’s become completey unusable for me.
I agree with you. Proton might look OK with just a couple of tabs open, but they don’t scale if there are more of them than will fit on a page. This means having to click on the + button on the right to see what’s been loaded beyond. That rapidly becomes irritating especially because the tab names are difficult to read due to the pale grey font.
I tried to disable Proton via about:config, but it doesn’t have any effect now.
That is bad with dark mode/themes. It is not possible to know which tab is currently displayed on screen.
New versions of Firefox are going down. Less user friendly interface, very often crash. I prefer old style firefox. Garbage 2021 updates.
Thanks a lot guys, I have a small monitor and the size of the menues were killing me, what an ugly UI, Mozilla loves getting dumber with every new update, I don’t know why I keep using Firefox, I guess I’m masochist.
I have rolled back to 88, but there is a nagging pop up window asking if I want to update. Is there any way to disable update reminder?
I think there used to be a browser switch that you can turn off to disable update reminders, but I heard it has been removed. There might be a tutorial out there for this, which involves tweaking the Registry.
After short research I found simple way to disable updates in two simple steps:
1- create new folder under c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\ “distribution” ( no quotes “”)
2 – create json file “policies.json” using text editor
the content of the file is very simple:
The padded spacing of the Bookmarks menu is an issue for me and, based upon the Comments sections here, quite a few other users. The fact that it is not an easily configurable parameter is a head-scratcher. I used to work in the UI for IBM (actually a security company that IBM bought), so I know a little bit about how to design a UI. What has been done with 89 isn’t it. I’m switching browsers. I honestly don’t know which one I am going to switch to yet, but I’m starting the evaluation and conversation process as soon as I post this comment.
Use another browser for your daily use.
If you want Firefox without the modern nonsense, use Palemoon.
If you want a Chromium-based browser without the ‘innovations’ of modern Chrome: Yandex.
If you want a built-in free VPN: Opera.
If you want a vintage Firefox experience: Seamonkey.
If you want to be a hipster: Brave or Vivaldi.
If you use a Mac: Safari. (Apple should really port Safari to Windows) .
Launch Firefox once in a while to use certain plugins e.g. Videohelper, Greasemonkey.
I cannot recommend Edge, because I personally condemn all Microsoft products and services.
Nope, stilll doesn’t fix the bug on my system. The font in the address bar has damaged characters (such as the”8″ looking like someone twisted the top half sideways), and I presumed it was something Mozilla broke. And of course they can’t be *bothered* to document what it uses for a font, or how it decides what font to use, so I can’t even try a different UI font. I feel like I’m dealing with Microsoft here instead of Mozilla.
Can fix Firefox 91 using this – I can confirm it still works but I am unable to change color of buttons in the title bar – New tab button, scroll arrows when there are many tabs open, the “View all tabs” button. Any one, any idea how to fix that for Firefox 91 despite applying the userChrome.css fix?
Here’s the result: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvOMnbjzo1eEkwPC2BIXJVevqG4J?e=mMOPnd Accent color back, active tab very clear and prominent, clean lines separating tabs, icons back for menus, even a line at the end of the lab inactive tab, and when too many tabs are open, the left-right scrolling arrows also clear with the left arrow supporting top-left hot corner.
There’s not ‘ “show folder” button next to Profile Folder ‘ but “Open Folder” with the explicit relative path shown there (ready to be opened)
By the way: no improvement in graphic interface
I assume this used to work, but it doesn’t now, at least for me, using Firefox 93.0.
I’ve just installed the CSS fix it and in FF96.0.3 looks like this now. https://i.postimg.cc/FKBSGLJw/Firefox-UI-fix.png
When you go to the Github site to download the two CSS files make sure you right click the RAW button and then click “Save Link As” rather than right clicking the page with the code.
To open the root of your FF Profile, type: about:profiles in the URL bar and then click “Open folder” to the right of whatever profile is in use. Here’s a pix to make it easier to see where you should be.
Who looks at the back of their hand?
The Firefox UI fix removes the tab close button. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not. It’s visible in the image I posted earlier above this one.
Not a problem for me since I use the about:config option “browser.tabs.closeTabByDblclick” set to “true”.