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Can't turn off the single tab in 23


There's a single tab and a plus sign next to it in 23. I thought we had the ability to turn that off.

While I'm here, I'll also say that for a while now it's been weird, opening a new window flashes open for a moment and then flips back to my original window. It makes multi window browsing difficult, sometimes.

Before you ask, no, I never use tabs. I detest tabs.

Chosen solution


In Firefox 23, as part of an effort to simplify the firefox options set and protect users from unintentially damaging their Firefox and prepare for a planned redesign of the browser, the option to hide the tab bar was removed.

Fortunately, this can easily be resolved if you desire the keep tabs hidden. You can install "Hide tab bar with one tab", an extension hosted on Mozilla's add-ons site, which will restore the ability to hide the tab bar.

Thank you and I hope this helps!

Read this answer in context 5

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Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.8 r800
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision Streaming plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • VLC media player Web Plugin 2.0.6
  • 5.1.20513.0
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 11.0.03
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version
  • Amazon MP3 Downloader Plugin 1.0.17
  • Windows Activation Technologies Plugin for Mozilla


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:23.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/23.0

More Information

dumbitdown 0 solutions 4 answers

thanks for the info jscher2000. At least it appears there are others who recognize this as a problem. When I first started having it maybe a year ago I sent a couple reports to Moz but never saw anyone else mention this at the time, been suffering ever since. I always try to keep everything up to date, figures Adobe is involved, I wish Adobe Flash would just stop being used for anything.

finitarry 157 solutions 2177 answers
In Firefox 23, as part of an effort to simplify the firefox options set and protect users from unintentially damaging their Firefox, the option to hide the tab bar was removed. 


Would you please explain how hiding the tab bar when there is only one tab is going to damage Firefox? I have been doing that for years, and Firefox has never been damaged by that. That setting was easily reversed as well.

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191 solutions 1967 answers

finitarry, you asked, Would you please explain how hiding the tab bar when there is only one tab is going to damage Firefox?

I was using a forum response that was formulated by one of the Firefox Mozilla Support staff members. The same question was brought up in another thread. I carefully reviewed the related bug report and I'll "retract" that portion of my response.

Modified by AliceWyman

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191 solutions 1967 answers

More info on the reason for removing the option to hide the tab bar when there's only one tab. The following was posted by philipp in another thread:

apparently this option has been removed intentionally in preparation for a redesign of the browser which will land in firefox later this year.
here's a preview on what's coming & it certainly won't be to everyone's taste (personally i think the new ui will become too chrome-like): http://people.mozilla.com/~shorlander/files/australis-design-specs/australis-design-specs-windows7-aero.html
and the look for mac osx http://people.mozilla.com/~shorlander/files/australis-design-specs/australis-design-specs-osx.html
Faziri 0 solutions 4 answers

Alicewyman, that new design indeed sucks. Why do developers keep insisting on doing things like breaking the OS design style by doing things like replacing the OS-provided title bar with a hacked-in menu bar? I want my Windows programs to follow the standard layout and be consistent with each other as they're supposed to be (the window code is provided by the OS, the program is not supposed to modify it) instead of having different layouts, min/max/close buttons, title styles, button appearance, etc on every window.

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191 solutions 1967 answers

Faziri, I can't tell you why developers do what they do. I assume they're trying to improve Firefox.

Here are some recent web pages about the upcoming redesign for a new Firefox "Australis" theme theme and UI (user interface):

Modified by AliceWyman

Kobbe 0 solutions 1 answers

I have had it with FireFox. This used to be my favourite browser. When I switched to Mac years ago, I started using Safari and FireFox. Wonder why the people at FireFox want to piss off their users by forcing them to use tabs.

You're a goner FireFox. I guess you just lost yet one more user to Google Chrome.

finitarry 157 solutions 2177 answers

If I wanted to use Google Chrome, I would be using it. I do not want to use Chrome, nor do I want a lookalike. Firefox used to be its own browser, but now Mozilla seems to want to turn it into a Chrome clone. They are not planning to do that to SeaMonkey, are they? I may end up using that. For now, if FF 24 is not too awful, I'll switch to esr and use that until its support runs out.

SaphirJD 0 solutions 22 answers

Exactly what i am thinking. Using Firefox since it's very very beginnings, and i never used another browser in the meantime.

And i never was thinking that something would drive me away from the Open Source Project what i loved the most.

But after realizing that what we get is a chrome resembling Browser which even is slower as Chromium related Browsers and has more trouble with Recent Webtechnologies - this is not the way i want to go!

Perhaps i will support Mozilla partly again in the Future if it is clear that Palemoon or Cyberfox Forks are able to keep the old look.

But a Firefox who tries to be someone else, both in function and look, without hitting the "Strength" of the "Original Browser" aka Chrome... this is just useless!

If you take away all Customizations Mozilla, then do it at least Opera Style, add Webkit/Bink Engine. But taking away Customizations and giving nothing at all for it... this is no good deal.

Modified by SaphirJD

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191 solutions 1967 answers

finitarry, you asked They are not planning to do that to SeaMonkey, are they?

I'm using SeaMonkey 2.20 which is based on Firefox 23 code. It hasn't removed the ability to hide the tab bar when only one tab is open (in Edit -> Preferences -> Browser -> Tabbed Browsing). About whether or not such changes are being planned, I found this in a SeaMonkey newsgroup:

Philip Chee 	
Jun 14

On 14/06/2013 00:04, Roland Haslinger wrote:
> Hello! Since it seems that Mozilla wants to destroy Firefox with the
> Simplification UI Plan "Australis" - Will Seamonkey also follow into that
> horrible step to dumb down everything?
> Hopefully you avoid using this codebase, was hoping perhaps i also could
> use Seamonkey in the near Future if that one would stay Australis free!

We have no plans to implement Australis.

Modified by AliceWyman

glynes 0 solutions 2 answers

The Firefox developers finally did something Microsoft couldn't do. Turn me into a regular Internet Explorer user. Just to get rid of the tabs.

SaphirJD 0 solutions 22 answers

Use Palemoon :) Its a Firefox Fork, but without the plans to try to be Google Chrome as Mozilla is doing in a bit.

You have there everything you will lose in Firefox :)

sorpigal 0 solutions 1 answers

This is a continuation of a terrible trend for Mozilla. Once again a sweeping *negative* change, negative defined as the removal of something that once existed rather than the addition of something, has been made with *no discussion or justification* provided.

The only attempt at justification, given after strenuous objections were raised, was that a new theme that was in development would be easier to make without this feature. Is that seriously what Mozilla has come to? Theme authors so lazy that they would rather gut the browser of features than find a way to fix their themes? Are we seriously *dropping features users want* merely because a *cosmetic visual update* is harder if they are left in?! I am amazed.

This change does not effect me because I use tabs at all times, but I object on behalf of *USERS* everywhere. Similar regressions in recent (post 3.6) versions have impacted me. Do not make changes without justification. Do not refuse to reconsider changes when you find users don't like them. Do not remove features without justification.

This is a lot like the About dialog debacle: Idiot at Mozilla decides users don't want to see the version number in Help->About, makes a bug, "fixes" the problem. Users complain and are met with "But we really think this is better!" despite the fact that the only basis is some vague "Oh, users really want to know whether they're up to date and not the version" hand-waving... in the face of users saying the opposite. The same "future direction" and "grand vision" arguments are being trotted out in support of the change.

Firefox is nothing without its users. Its users expect features and will not stand idly by while developers break their toys for no justifiable reason.

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191 solutions 1967 answers

sorpigal, Besides a new theme, Australis also involves changes to the Firefox UI (user interface) and how Firefox can be customized (see this article which I linked earlier).

You can look through the following for more technical details (please follow Bugzilla Etiquette and don't post unhelpful comments in bug reports)

  • Bug 860814 - [meta] Australis Customization - Milestone 3 - User Migration
  • Bug 870032 - (australis) [meta] Australis Project

P.S. There's a long Australis Discussion thread on MozillaZine, if you or anyone else is interested:

Modified by AliceWyman

Question owner

I have to thank the two above for mentioning Palemoon. I've switched and am pleased, on my Windows machine.

I'm still investigating what to use on our Mint boxes.

It is nauseating, though, that design teams think they have to justify their existence with change for change's sake. There can be no other reason for the future failure of Firefox.

Faziri 0 solutions 4 answers

It's fascinating how much the Mozilla team keeps telling itself it's doing the right thing while always getting so much negative feedback on their decisions. Oh wait, I remember: we're all a "minor use-case", no matter how substantial.

Switched back to Palemoon, I've used it before and now I'm using it again. I went back to Firefox for a while since I don't trust the reliability, lifespan, quality, etc of forked projects, but with things the way they are now, the forked project is much better than the original. Goodbye Firefox and good riddance.

Business suicide 101

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3197 solutions 24401 answers

The support aspect of this thread ended long ago - question was asked and answered. Since there is nothing that "we" support volunteers can do to change what Mozilla has already released, this thread is being locked.

Please let Mozilla know how you feel about changes in Firefox at https://input.mozilla.org/en-US/feedback