You can try Vertical Tabs in Firefox now

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 25, 2024
Updated • Jun 25, 2024
Firefox
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It is no secret that Mozilla is working on bringing vertical tabs to Firefox. The organization confirmed the plan back in May after a test version of Firefox leaked that supported the functionality already.

Now, Mozilla has added the functionality in Firefox Nightly. This is the cutting edge development version of the Firefox web browser. Most features are added to Nightly first before they make their way into Beta and then Release versions of the web browser.

Note: features may change during development and some may even be pulled before they reach the stable version of the Firefox web browser. This is a first look at the feature as it stands right now.

Vertical tabs in Firefox

Firefox with vertical tabs

Once enabled, tabs are moved to the side. Firefox already supports displaying them on the left or right side. Tabs are displayed with their icons only by default, but you can expand the sidebar to display the first few characters of the website title as well.

These tabs have no hierarchy right now, which means that they are all displayed on the same level. The classic Tree Style Tabs extension for Firefox supported hierarchies, which showed relations between tabs. Yes, we reviewed it here in 2009 for the first time. It was turned into a WebExtension when Mozilla switched off the classic Firefox extensions system in favor of Chromium's WebExtensions system.

What you can do already is move tabs around and use other tab-related features, such as pinning. This works well already for the most part, but the introduction of tab groups will certainly add a new dimension to this. While you can drag & drop tabs in the horizontal tab bar as well, less tabs are shown at the same time by default on most systems.

Test vertical tabs in Firefox

firefox tabs sidebar settings

Vertical tabs is clearly a work in progress. It may take a while before the feature lands in Firefox stable. If you want to give it a try right now, you need to do the following:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Firefox Nightly on your system. You can grab a copy for all supported operating systems from Mozilla's website.
  2. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  3. Select Accept the risk and Continue.
  4. Search for sidebar.
  5. Toggle the value of sidebar.revamp to True.
  6. Toggle the value of sidebar.verticalTabs to true.
  7. Restart the Firefox web browser.

Firefox should display vertical tabs right away. There is a "show sidebars" button to display open tabs and page titles. You may also select the customize option to move the sidebar from the left side to the right side.

Closing Words

Vertical tabs support is a much requested feature. While Firefox is not the only browser that supports it, it is always welcome if users get the option. Whether it is used is entirely up to the user, as nothing is being taken away from Firefox's horizontal tab bar.

Mozilla has yet to announce when the feature will make it into stable Firefox. It may be too early at this point to make such an announcement.

What about you? Do you prefer vertical or horizontal tabs? (via Windowsreport)

Summary
You can try Vertical Tabs in Firefox now
Article Name
You can try Vertical Tabs in Firefox now
Description
Mozilla is working on bringing vertical tabs to the Firefox web browser, and you can try the feature right now, if you want.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. piomiq said on July 15, 2024 at 11:18 pm
    Reply

    I wonder if they will implement also making “folders” to group selected tabs, where will be also allowed to add and remove tabs from group.
    This functionality is provided by “TST More Tree Commands” which is extension to “Tree Style Tab”.
    Anyway “Tree Style Tab” is available only in Firefox. Other webbrowser have only something similar with limited functionality. Additionally it has huge options to set, so if Mozilla will want to implement all then…. we will wait, wait and wait.
    I’m not sure it this is reinventing the wheel.

  2. happysurf said on June 26, 2024 at 11:57 am
    Reply

    I don’t understand because Mozilla don’t make two horizontal tabs rows, is not difficult to do and is the best way for the space and functionality.
    Vertical tabs in side bar is just crazy.

  3. owcraftsman said on June 26, 2024 at 12:08 am
    Reply

    I use “Tree Style Tab” and “TST Mouse Wheel and double Click” not only are tabs right or left I can scroll thru them with mouse wheel I don’t care much for the tab grouping but it is there customizable and effective. Both platforms are mature and bug free. I’ve been using for 10+ years. If Mozilla wants something working it makes no sense not to pay these developers what they deserve for supporting them and incorporate something that is refined and works. Makes no sense to do it in house.

  4. John C. said on June 25, 2024 at 11:37 pm
    Reply

    I absolutely LOATH vertical tabs. Will never use them.

  5. ArcArseBrowser said on June 25, 2024 at 10:41 pm
    Reply

    I wish they would get rid of these ugly button tabs already. I hate having to fix my CSS style every time they make a change to the UI.

  6. Anonymous said on June 25, 2024 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    Looks so professional! and nobody has done any job like this before, Firefox users should be glad Mozilla is making this innovation! /s

    It looks mediocre and bad, even Edge/Brave VT looked better in the first commit they did.

    Firefox users must be happy that Mozilla finally adds something to the browser!

    1. Anonymous said on June 26, 2024 at 12:49 am
      Reply

      So much seething for something you said already exist. You must be some Brave fangirl huh?

  7. Steve said on June 25, 2024 at 7:51 pm
    Reply

    Pretty rudimentary right now – you are better off using Sidebery (Recommended extension, so it is checked by Mozilla).

    1. ganmo said on June 26, 2024 at 10:40 pm
      Reply

      +1 sidebery

  8. Bobo said on June 25, 2024 at 6:46 pm
    Reply

    127.0.2 with the YouTube fix is out, FINALLY.

  9. bruh said on June 25, 2024 at 4:37 pm
    Reply

    Great, I guess, but all of this superficial UI stuff can be done through custom css theming anyway.

  10. Tony said on June 25, 2024 at 3:59 pm
    Reply

    It’s shaping up and looking nice overall. However, it’s missing options like being able to close the tab (without right-clicking at least), and the + symbol is off-center. And as of yet, there is no option to hide the titlebar, which will be needed since there is a huge blank titlebar at top otherwise.

    I read that they are targeting end of year for release, so they have time to add these things.

  11. Tom Hawack said on June 25, 2024 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    I’ve always preferred tabs displayed horizontally but given habits forge love …
    Should I adopt vertical tabs that I’d likely hide/disable the default tab-bar, allowing extra vertical space but … here on Windows 7 the top-right button-box (min-max-close) is hard-coded : I can overwrite the buttons’ icons (have done so with something more aesthetic) but cannot disable the underlying functions… so that means keeping the tab-bar… which means less interest for a vertical tab-bar … which I happen to be excited by, lucky me :)
    Have I been clear enough or should I repeat ? LOL.

    1. bruh said on June 26, 2024 at 10:14 am
      Reply

      Tom,

      “here on Windows 7 the top-right button-box (min-max-close) is hard-coded”, as someone doing a bit of gui coding on windows 7 at the moment, I can tell you that any program can request to draw it’s own frame area from the OS, so hard coded is not quite accurate. There are probably firefox themes/extensions that do this already, but not easy from an end user perspective.

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 26, 2024 at 2:55 pm
        Reply

        @bruh, drawing a frame is indeed easy, as easy it is as simply hiding the button-box container. The problem is when you move the mouse over the screen location of the button-box you will continue to have the three tool-tips Minimize, Maximize, Close and clicking on those screen locations will inevitably run the functions : that’s what I meant by “hard-coded’.

        Now, I had searched everywhere to disable this “hard-coded” button-box screen location functions. I think I had read that this was not feasible with Win7 whilst doable with other OSs … I doubt a CSS could perform this, maybe not even a userscript but maybe a userChromeJS script could do it. The problem is that Firefox’s window is a Microsoft one, handled by the OS. You’d have to dig somewhere in the cores to modify that, which is far above my skills.

        What I did was simply to overwrite the Windows7 button-box for Firefox with my own buttons images, which is easy, with plain CSS.

        If you have an idea, a hint, do let me know : I’m buying, cash! :)

    2. John G. said on June 25, 2024 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      +1

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