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Firefox: tabs on bottom

2952 hits Updated: 09 January 2018 Blog
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Firefox Quantum (Firefox 57) uses tabs on top

How to place tabs on bottom

This article shows you how to change Firefox’s appearance from tabs on top (where the tabs appear above the URL address bar) to display the tabs below the URL address bar.

Before the release of Firefox Quantum (i.e. FF v57), it was possible to change the location of the tabs by changing a browser parameter setting.  The setting was

browser.tabs.onTop = false

FF 57 still retains the parameter but its functionality has been disabled; browser tabs remain on top (above the URL address bar) regardless of this parameter’s value.  We will see how it’s possible to change the location of the tabs.

Tabs on top vs. on bottom

The following image shows the difference between tabs on top, which is the new behaviour for FF 57 (shown on the left), and tabs on the bottom (shown on the right).  It is a matter of personal choice whether people prefer one style over the other.

ff57 tabs

To change the behaviour so that the tabs appear on the bottom we will need to write a small piece of CSS and store the file on your computer.

Creating the CSS file

Locating your Firefox browser profile

Press the keyboard characters ⊞ Win + R to bring up the Run dialog.

FF profiles windowsType %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles in the text box and press OK.  This will open Windows Explorer (see the image on the right; click to enlarge it).

You should see a folder with the name xxxxxxxx.default (or possibly xxxxxxxx.default-nnnnnnnnnnnnn) where xxxxxxxx are randomly-generated characters and nnnnnnnnnnnnn is the epoch timestamp representing the date/time when the folder was created.

ff profile chromeThe next thing to do is to navigate within this just-named, folder.  Look for a sub-folder named /chrome (see the image on the right for more information).  Navigate into that folder.

It is highly probable that there will be no files within the chrome folder.  The next thing we will do is create a new file named userChrome.css.  Open an instance of Windows Notepad, select the code segment below and paste this text into Notepad.

/* Tab bar below Navigation & Bookmarks Toolbars
For best results, show Title Bar or Menu Bar */
#nav-bar { /* main toolbar */
-moz-box-ordinal-group: 1 !important;
border-top-width: 0 !important;
#PersonalToolbar { /* bookmarks toolbar */
-moz-box-ordinal-group: 2 !important;
#TabsToolbar { /* tab bar */
-moz-box-ordinal-group: 3 !important;

Save the file with the name userChrome.css.

Close all existing instances of Firefox—i.e. close all windows that are running FF—and then open a new instance; effectively “restart” Firefox.  You should now see the tabs on the bottom.

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About the author:

is a website hobbyist specialising in Joomla, a former member of the Kunena project for more than 8 years, and an active contributor on The Joomla Forum™. The opinions expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. View his profile here.

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