How to restore the old Firefox address bar

Mozilla released Firefox 75.0 Stable on Tuesday and the main change in the release was the revamping of the browser’s address bar.

One of the changes expands the address bar automatically when a New Tab Page is opened. Mozilla may have decided to make the change to put the focus of the user on the address bar on New Tab Pages. Mozilla highlights other improvements such as improved search suggestions readability, automatic display of top sites when the address bar is selected, common Firefox issue fixes for certain search terms, and an improved user experience on smaller screens.

Not all Firefox users like the change. Comments here on this site and on others show that part of the user base is less than thrilled about the change. Common points of criticism include that the auto-expanding address bar feels inconsistent and that it pushes into the bookmarks bar, that the Esc-key does not work as before anymore when used on the address bar, and that the history dropdown (the small down arrow on the right side of the address bar) to the right is no longer available.

firefox new address

Feedback is being reported to Mozilla’s UX team according to bug reports but it is unclear if the designers or Mozilla will react on the feedback to make changes to the current state.

Firefox users may roll back the address bar changes currently but some of the preferences will be removed in the near future (likely in Firefox 77).

For now though, Firefox users may make the following configuration changes to get the old address bar back:

  1. Load about:config in the browser’s address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Search for the following preferences and set them all to FALSE
    1. browser.urlbar.openViewOnFocus
    2. browser.urlbar.update1
    3. browser.urlbar.update1.interventions
    4. browser.urlbar.update1.searchTips
    5. browser.urlbar.update1.view.stripHttps
  4. Restart the Firefox web browser.

Note that update2 preferences are already present but disabled at this point in time.

A second option, one that will resolve most of the changes even if Mozilla removes the preferences listed above, is to make modifications using a userChrome.css file.

firefox css old address bar

Here is how that is done:

  1. Load about:config in Firefox.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Set the preference toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets to TRUE to enable the loading of the userChrome.css file when Firefox starts.
  4. Load about:support in Firefox.
  5. Click on “open folder” next to user profile.
  6. Close Firefox.
  7. If you don’t see a folder named chrome, create it.
  8. Open the folder.
  9. If you don’t see a file named userChrome.css, create it.
  10. Paste the following content into the file, save it, and start Firefox.

/* based on */
#urlbar[breakout][breakout-extend]:not([open]) {
top: calc((var(–urlbar-toolbar-height) – var(–urlbar-height)) / 2) !important;
left: 0 !important;
width: 100% !important;
#urlbar[breakout][breakout-extend]:not([open]) > #urlbar-input-container {
height: var(–urlbar-height) !important;
padding-block: 0px !important;
padding-inline: 0px !important;
#urlbar[breakout][breakout-extend][breakout-extend-animate] > #urlbar-background {
animation-name: none !important;
#urlbar[breakout][breakout-extend]:not([open]) > #urlbar-background {
box-shadow: none !important;

Not all changes are reversed but the address bar won’t expand anymore after the change is made.

Now You: What is your take on the revamped address bar?

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How to restore the old Firefox address bar appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

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