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How To Revert Firefox 89 to the Old Tab Design on Ubuntu 21.04

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In this article, we’ll explore how to revert the tab design in Firefox 89 to its previous look on Ubuntu 21.04. The new Proton design introduced in Firefox 89 has been a point of contention for some users. If you’re among those who prefer the old design, you’re in the right place.

Quick Answer

To revert Firefox 89 to the old tab design on Ubuntu 21.04, you can either use the about:config settings to disable the Proton design, use a theme like "Qiyu Light" to improve visibility, or customize the Firefox interface using userChrome.css. However, please note that the about:config method may not be a long-term fix as the flags are planned to be removed in version 90 of Firefox.

Understanding the Proton Design in Firefox 89

Firefox 89 introduced a new design known as Proton. This design aimed to provide a simplified and modernized look, but it also changed the tab design significantly. Some users have found the new tab design less intuitive and harder to use, leading them to seek ways to revert to the old design.

Reverting to the Old Tab Design

Using about:config

  1. Open Firefox and type about:config in the URL bar. This will open the advanced settings page for Firefox.
  2. Search for “proton” in the search bar. This will bring up all the settings related to the new Proton design.
  3. Set the following values to false:
    • browser.proton.enabled
    • browser.proton.modals.enabled
    • browser.proton.doorhangers.enabled
    • browser.proton.contextmenus.enabled

Setting these values to false will disable the Proton design and revert the tab design to its previous look.

Please note that this solution may not be a long-term fix, as the browser.proton.*.enabled flags are planned to be removed in version 90 of Firefox.

Using Themes

Alternatively, you can use a theme like “Qiyu Light” to highlight the current tab and improve visibility. You can find this theme on the Firefox add-ons website.

Using userChrome.css

Another long-term solution is to use userChrome.css, which allows you to customize the Firefox interface. You can change tab colors and adjust various elements of the UI.

  1. Set toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets to true in about:config. This will enable the use of userChrome.css for customization.
  2. Open the profile folder by typing “about:support” in the URL bar and clicking on “Open Folder” next to the “Profile Folder” row. This will open the directory where Firefox stores your user profile.
  3. In the profile folder, create a directory called “chrome” if it doesn’t exist. This is where Firefox looks for the userChrome.css file.
  4. Inside the “chrome” directory, create a file named “userChrome.css”. This is the file where you will add your customizations.
  5. Edit the “userChrome.css” file and add the desired customizations. You can find examples and instructions on websites like userchrome.org.
  6. Save the file and restart Firefox for the changes to take effect.

Please note that any changes made to the “userChrome.css” file will only be applied after restarting Firefox.

If you prefer a ready-made solution, you can use the userChrome.css fix provided by the GitHub repository “Firefox-UI-Fix” by black7375. This fix includes various customizations to revert Firefox’s UI to the old design.

Conclusion

While the new Proton design in Firefox 89 is a step forward in terms of modernization, it’s not for everyone. If you prefer the old tab design, the methods outlined in this article should help you revert to it. Remember to exercise caution when modifying Firefox’s configuration or using custom themes, as they may not be officially supported and could potentially cause issues.

Can I revert to the old tab design in Firefox 89 on Ubuntu 21.04?

Yes, you can revert to the old tab design in Firefox 89 on Ubuntu 21.04 by following the methods outlined in this article.

What is the Proton design in Firefox 89?

The Proton design is a new design introduced in Firefox 89 that aims to provide a simplified and modernized look. However, it also significantly changes the tab design, which some users may find less intuitive.

Will reverting to the old tab design affect my browser’s performance?

Reverting to the old tab design should not have any significant impact on your browser’s performance. It primarily changes the visual appearance of the tabs.

Is the about:config method a permanent solution?

The about:config method is not a long-term fix, as the browser.proton.*.enabled flags are planned to be removed in version 90 of Firefox. It is recommended to explore alternative methods such as using themes or userChrome.css for a more sustainable solution.

Can I customize other elements of the Firefox interface using userChrome.css?

Yes, userChrome.css allows you to customize various elements of the Firefox interface. You can change tab colors, adjust the appearance of buttons, and modify other UI elements according to your preferences.

Is it safe to modify Firefox’s configuration or use custom themes?

Modifying Firefox’s configuration and using custom themes is generally safe, but it’s important to exercise caution. These modifications may not be officially supported and could potentially cause issues with your browser. Make sure to backup your profile folder or use reliable sources when applying customizations.

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