How do I put tabs back on bottom like they used to be?

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As you may have noticed, in older versions of Firefox, the tabs were located below the browser controls. From Firefox 4, the tabs are now on top of the controls. Don't worry, this article will show you an easy way to change that back if you want. It will also go over why this change is a good thing and why you should keep them on top.

How do I put tabs back on bottom like they used to be?

  1. In the Location bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the Search field box at the top, type browser.tabs.onTop.
  3. Double-click the browser.tabs.onTop preference to set its value to false.

At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox button, go over to the Options... arrow and uncheck Tabs on TopView menu, go down to Toolbars and uncheck Tabs on Top.

Why are Tabs on Top better?

The main reason is that it just makes more sense. With the old way, the tab and the controls were grouped together and the page was separate. With tabs on top they are now all grouped together so that each tab has it's own set of controls.

This change also makes more sense for App Tabs. In the future, this arrangement will allow App Tabs to remove the browser controls or to allow a web app to use its own custom controls. This also goes for the new Add-on manager which is now displayed in a tab instead of a window.

And finally, in Firefox 4, we changed the way website notifications are displayed. Now, instead of a dialog box appearing at the top of the window, they are connected to their tab. This makes it clear which website the notification belongs to and allows you to ignore it and switch tabs if you wish. With tabs on bottom, the notifications will cover your tabs and get in your way.

If you'd like a more detailed explanation, check out this video by Alex Faaborg who works on the User Experience Team.