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Where's the refresh icon and tabs difficult to distinguish

  • 33 replies
  • 42 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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I use the refresh icon fairly often and now it's gone. Not in the Customize Menu or anywhere else.

The tabs at the top are difficult to read, they all blend together in one long line, is there a way to better differentiate them one from another?

I looked at the Classic Theme Restorer, will that allow me to put FF back to the way it was yesterday? What does beta mean?

Chosen solution

Your Reload button is sitting right where it was in Firefox 28, in the far right edge of the URL / Location bar.

Read this answer in context 👍 4

All Replies (20)

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Could you give us a screen of the problem?

You cant see the refresh icon at right of the address bar? Check if this happen in safe mode?

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I didn't even realize FF was being updated until the new screen came up. I learn and know my computer by where things are on the screen, now things aren't where I'm used to and it's going to be difficult.

I don't see a Refresh icon anywhere. It was there yesterday and even this morning, but it gave me a new version and a mess to go along with it. I've tried to get things back where they were but to no avail.

Also the different tabs are difficult to see, I'm a senior and some things aren't as easy to see as they were. It's not the size but it all seems to run together.

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Chosen Solution

Your Reload button is sitting right where it was in Firefox 28, in the far right edge of the URL / Location bar.

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Oh, but that's not where it was before, it was on the left as an icon like the little house for the home page.

And the tabs?

Why is it that every time a program is made "better" it's better the way the makers want it to be better, not necessarily the was it's best for users. It would be good to have choices where things are and how they look. Seems like every time there's fewer choices.

Thanks, Bernadine

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Do you know that you can customize your toolbar easily on new Firefox:

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"... but that's not where it was before ..."

Sorry, but you must have moved that button in the past. The right-side of the Location Bar (as in my screenshot) has been the default spot for the Reload button since Firefox 4.0 was released 3 years ago.

"And the tabs? "
That was covered in the support articles that cor-el linked in his answer.

As far as the tabs not having an "outline" where they seem to "all run together", you could install the Classic Theme Restorer extension to have a "retro" appearance.

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I don't know where the was on any computer but my own and I'm sure I did move it around to suit me. I can't show you now because it's gone.

When I went to the link for US/ff it went to the Australian version. I'm going to guess then it's the same. ?

Thanks, Bernadine

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"When I went to the link for US/ff it went to the Australian version."
Exactly which page is that?

Not the same as the US-English version. has 3 English versions.
English (British)
English (South African)
English (US)

The English (US) version comes with a spell check dictionary, but other "localizations" may not have a spell check dictionary and each user may need to install the correct one.

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Oh no, I'm sorry, I've been trying to figure another program out for hours now, and I'm tired. I meant when I went to the US/ff/add on as in the link

"As far as the tabs not having an "outline" where they seem to "all run together", you could install the Classic Theme Restorer extension to have a "retro" appearance."

it took me to the page: Classic Theme Restorer (Customize Australis) Is that what I need for US English FF? Sorry if I seem difficult, I have enough troubles understanding computers without trying to use things that are not compatible. Thanks,

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Hi Bernadine,

I'm one of the developers of the new Firefox UI and I hope I'll be able to answer your question.

You can indeed use the Classic Theme Restorer add-on to bring back many things to way they were.

However, I strongly suggest to try working with this version and layout for a while, even though this change might not be comfortable for you at first. We came up with this new look after thorough testing, user interviews and usability studies for over four years. I understand this might feel for you to drop out of the sky on you all of a sudden, but please understand that all of the new/ updated UI elements are carefully considered.

I hope you understand,


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Hi Mike,

I understand you wanting me to try the new theme to see if I can get used to it. I am wondering though about the tabs, did users you interviewed include people who have different difficulties seeing or distinguishing things on a screen, namely the tabs that run all together. If there was a line between the tabs, something that would distinguish one from another it would help.

Thanks, Bernadine

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Hi Bernadine,

We made it so that the tabs do have a line between them!

If that's not the case, could you please post a screenshot for me? I'm pretty sure I can help...

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O wait, you already posted a screenshot... one sec!

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Bernadine, I highlighted the tab separators in the screenshot you posted earlier.

It looks even more clear when you're not in Customization Mode anymore.

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Hi mikedeboer,

I guess it is the deliberate design decision to have a merge into background feature that is deliberately making them less clear and so a problem for those with any form of eyesight issues.

I may have hoped a primary Firefox UI design objective may be to help those with accessibility issues.

Each tab may normally have a favicon and that will at least help delineate one edge of the tab. I guess the problem there is that the clarity and contrast of the favicon is not guaranteed or chosen by Firefox, and we can not expect a site to choose a favicon on the basis of contrast with a standard Firefox tab background. Surely we could have designed to mitigate that problem, or built in an accessibility option

Even worse I have the tabs down arrow and the Firefox rss icons and the obligatory tab scroll arrow head on my toolbar they are near enough invisible. Now these should have been designed to be seen in Australis, and that was foreseeable, and so IMHO appears to be a design flaw.

(Also IIRC I saw a post where the Windows minimise maximise icons were an issue, but no idea whether a theme may have affected that)

Any comments on this then from a design perspective, and Firefox’s accessibility friendliness with Australis.


This does not answer my question but I thought I would quote it as it shows some attempt was made to make text visible. Maybe the arrowheads and icons were just overlooked by developers, and maybe they need a bug filing ?

Mike said in "Firefox 29.0 default has tabs same colour as bar above it (not distinction), how do I get back to the what was in 28.0 where they were different colours?"

 We use the same text color for inactive tabs, because the text needs to stay legible with different themes applied and with the various custom system background colors. 

The previous (pre-29) inactive tabs had their own background and outline/ border, so we were able to saturate the text color a bit. Now, in version 29 the inactive tabs blend into the background, which is a very strong visual indicator and minimizes distraction.

Modified by John99

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Hi Mike,

If I look closely I do see a faint line but I don't think I should have to work so hard and strain my eyes to see something that, it seems to me, could be made darker to show the different tabs. I have large floaters that cover my eyes sometimes almost completely, trying to see little faint lines is difficult. The words are darker, and even they could be a little darker. I'm not in a custom mode.

Thank you John for understanding but I'm afraid I didn't understand most of the rest of what you said. But that doesn't matter because I'm not developing the program. I just don't think it would be a big deal to make the lines and even the print darker.

Thanks, Bernadine

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Hi Bernadine, I also wished for tabs to be more distinct, so I created a custom style rule I apply using the Stylish extension. You can see how the result looks here: It's intentionally subtle.

Two new ones if the background is too dark:

Modified by jscher2000

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Additional info about hard to see icons and Tabs in Australis.

I attach a screenshot. (Nightly on Ubuntu)

  • Dim Scroll arrowhead.
    The scroll arrowhead was the last scroll direction and so is bright. The other direction (not shown) arrowhead is dim.
  • Dim Icons
    • The list all tabs arrowhead is permanently dim, as is the rss [subscribe to this page ]. Note the icons are not discernible in the thumbnail.
      (It will highlight on mouse hover if a page has a feed.) Maybe it is a development decision not to make that easily visible so as to discourage feed use.
    • But why is the tabs listing permanently dim ?
      Default dropdown arrow with tooltip List all tabs
  • Edges hard to make out in background tabs.
    The screenshot also includes a New Tab an example of a tab that has no favicon. I say that because I mentioned upthread some tabs do not have a high contrast favicon, and so tab edges do not stand out unless the tab has focus or is active.
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Hi John99, I would hope the RSS icon "lights up" in some manner on a page that advertises an RSS feed such as this one. Otherwise, it may go completely unnoticed.

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