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How to make the new Firefox look like the old Firefox

One of the great things about Firefox is how customizable it is. In fact, you can even make it look like the old Firefox if you want. Do you miss the Add-ons bar, small icons or tabs on bottom? No problem. We'll show you how to get them back.

Note: This applies to the latest Firefox Release version which can be downloaded from

Install the Classic Theme Restorer Add-on

Note: This add-on is not maintained by Mozilla.

  1. Open the Classic Theme Restorer Add-on page.
  2. Click the green Add to Firefox button to install it.
  3. Firefox will download the add-on and ask you to confirm that you want to install it.
  4. Click Restart Now to finish the installation. Your tabs will be saved and restored after the restart.

By default, you will get the orange Firefox menu in the upper-left corner and square tabs.

Use the customize screen to drag things around, turn on extra toolbars and use small icons

The Classic Theme Restorer gives you lots of extra options on the customize screen.

  1. Click the menu button new fx menu and choose Customize.Right-click on the tab strip to bring up the menu and choose Customize.
    • A special tab will open which allows you to drag and drop items in or out of the menu and the toolbar.
      CTR Options
      • Buttons: Choose "Small" to get the classic small toolbar buttons.
      • Show/Hide Toolbars: From here you can re-enable the Add-ons bar or add an extra blank toolbar that you can customize.
      • Mode: Here you can choose to show text labels under the toolbar buttons or to have just text button (no icons).
      • Customize mode is more powerful. You can even move or remove the menu button or address bar if you wish.
    If you don't see the menu button or menu bar, right-click on the tab strip to bring up the menu and choose Customize.
  2. When you are done, click the green Exit Customize button.

For more about customizing Firefox, see Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars.

Restore tabs on bottom and other options

Open the Classic Theme Restorer settings panel.

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions panel.
  3. If you don't see the menu button or menu bar, type about:addons in the address bar.
  4. Find the entry for Classic Theme Restorer and click the Options button next to it.
  5. In the Classic Theme Restorer options window, you can choose Tabs not on top in the first (Main) tab.
    Tabs on top option
  6. When you are done, click OK to close the window and save your changes.When you are done, close the window to save your changes.

Need help?

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It seems that when you install CTR for the first time, it does suppress the menu button in Australis, so you have to get to the "Customize" tab in the old way (right click on the tab strip and then click on "Customize").

Can you please try and, it this is true, correct the article as appropriate?


Hi Underpass,

Thanks for the heads up. I checked the Beta version on Linux yesterday and saw the same thing you did: no menu bar or menu button. I updated the article reflect this.

However, I updated to the release version today, and I see the menu bar now. Do you see the menu bar too? I wanted to make sure before I change the article again.

Thanks, Joni


I've reset my Firefox test profile and, the first time I installed CTR, the menu button does appear.

Probably if you customize Firefox after having installed CRT and hide the menu button, you uninstall the extension and then you install it again, the CTR are stored in the profile and you lose the menu button.

Maybe both the ways should be written (using the menu button *and* the right click on the tab strip + "customize" menu entry.



CTR Options

I think this way...

menu button ➔ add-ons ➔ extensions

is not the right way to show/hide menu bars. There is no special tab for that

menu button ➔ Customize ➔ ...

see this GIF animation:

Hi Andy,

Thanks for posting this.

I see that the articles does say menu button > Customize. Maybe it was edited after you posted this discussion. Do you still see the incorrect information?




Does the text "When you are done, click {button OK} to close the window and save your changes." also apply to Mac and Linux?

Hi Joergen,

No, with Mac and Linux, you can simply close the window to save your changes. I see that the article needs to be updated. I'll do that now.

Thanks for pointing this out. Joni


Firefox, I don't understand why everytime you update, you change things and often make them worse than they were. Is it really necessary to take away options that we get used to having? Fox example, in a recent update, you decided tabs should be at the top of the browzer page instead of at the bottom. That was okay because you gave us an easy way to change it back if we really wanted our tabs on the bottom. Now, we have to get the "Classic Theme Restorer" add-on. Doing that means that all sorts of other parts of FF will change. Another example; I have the Colorful Tabs addon. But after adding the Restorer addon, it doesn't work. So now I have to spend more hours trying to figure out why, if it's even fixable, or I have to remove the Restorer addon and just deal with having my tabs on top.

Did you really have to mess with this and cause us (at least me!) more headaches, plus wasted time, and effort??? Can't you stop messing with existing features and just add if you think of some cool function, fix bugs, and update security, etc. -- whatever has to be done, but NOT taking away things we can do and make it so difficult to fix our FF after EVERY update? I'm getting scared to get the new updates, for fear of what's going to go wrong next!!

BTW if you or anyone knows how I can get my colorful tabs back without removing the Restorer addon, I'd appreciate your help.


Thanks for sharing your feedback. It would help if you post this to instead, where the developers and designers can see it. We love feedback, but our support community can't actually make any changes to the product itself.

Also, this space is for article discussions. Did you post your colorful tabs question to the support forum ( There's a better chance of your question being answered there.

Best, Joni


Hi Joni,

I just reposted my message to the url you gave me. Thanks for telling me where I should have put it, and for giving me the web address. I haven't used the forums enough; I wasn't sure where to go to post it. I'll remember now for next time.

I guess I got the part about the Colorful Tabs issue into the right place, cause I got a reply that solved my problem easily.

Thanks again for the help! nancie

This article is one of a small number of "Troubleshooting" and "How to" articles that didn't get migrated correctly to add a ShareArticle short link, when bug 766394 was deployed.

See bug 766394 comment 20 from Joni:

Joni Savage 2014-07-14 20:22:02 PDT

Thanks for all your work on this. Alice noticed that a few articles didn't get a new shortlink after the share template was deleted. Should we add them manually or is there an easy bug fix for this?

Here's the thread:

The articles with missing share links are:

There might be more, but I haven't gone through the whole list yet.

One error in the above comment: The markup for the now non-working (empty) ShareArticle template was NOT removed from the above three articles, like it was for the other migrated articles. Note that the "migration" edits were reverted in bug 1038236 so the template markup was added back to all the articles from which it was removed.

In any case, short links are optional. The Short links are optional section of Write articles for the Knowledge Base needs to be updated, since the template is now empty. If anyone wants to add a short link to this article it will probably have to be added manually.

Thanks, Alice. I hid the short links are optional section for now. I'm a little behind my goal to update the "how to contribute" articles, but I'll catch up with the rest this week or next.

Thanks, Joni.

It looks like this article was written to address the changes made in Firefox 29 "Australis", which was released back in April 2014. Background: Fx 29 (Australis) Resources

I think that this article should be archived ... or at least mention that it's about changes that took place in Firefox 29 and change the title.

The current title "How to make the new Firefox look like the old Firefox" can be confusing.

I edited the summary to add that the article is about changes that took place in Firefox 29 and then archived it.

I did not notice any discussion thread here or in the main KB forum about archiving this article.

John99 said

I did not notice any discussion thread here or in the main KB forum about archiving this article.

See Background for this article ... and need to update, rename or archive