Common questions after upgrading from Firefox 3.6

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Just updated to the latest version Firefox and wondering about all the things that have changed? This article covers the most common questions people have after upgrading and has tons of links to other great articles that you might want to explore later.

New to Firefox? — see Get started with Firefox - An overview of the main features which covers major features.
Having problems with the update? — see Latest Firefox issues for solutions.

Note: This article doesn't apply to your version of Firefox. It requires the latest Firefox version which can be downloaded from mozilla.org/firefox.

Why weren't my tabs and windows restored?

If you had tabs and windows open when you closed Firefox, the new default Firefox home page will have a Restore Previous Session button on it. To get your tabs and windows back, just click it.

Restore Previous Session - Win1 Restore Previous Session - Mac1

Session Restore - Home - Win Session Restore - Home - Mac Session Restore - Home - Lin

If you don't use the default Firefox home page, you can restore your tabs and windows from the History menu:

  • At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to History (History menu in Windows XP) and select Restore Previous Session.On the menu bar, click the History menu and select Restore Previous Session.At the top of the Firefox window, click the History menu and select Restore Previous Session. Restore Previous Session - Win2 Restore Previous Session - Mac2

For more info about how session restore works, see Restore previous session - Configure when Firefox shows your most recent tabs and windows and How do I restore my tabs from last time?.

Why are the menus (File, Edit, View, etc.) missing?

If you're using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you now have an orange Firefox button that takes the most common functions and puts them in one menu.

  • To temporarily show the old style menus, just press the Alt key.
  • To have them shown all the time, right-click on an empty section of the Tab Strip and check Menu Bar in the pop-up menu.
    Menu Bar - Win

How do I get the orange Firefox button?

If you're using Windows XP or you've customized your toolbars, you can switch to using the orange Firefox button by:

  • Right-clicking on an empty section of the Tab Strip and unchecking Menu Bar in the pop-up menu.

See What happened to the File, Edit, and View menus? for problems with the Menu bar and check out Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars for more about arranging Firefox to fit your needs.

How do I get the Firefox button?

Firefox now has the option of replacing the menu bar with the Firefox button which takes the most common functions and puts them in one menu. You can switch to using the Firefox button by:

  • Right-clicking on an empty section of the Tab Strip and unchecking Menu Bar in the pop-up menu.

See What happened to the File, Edit, and View menus? for problems with the Menu bar and check out Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars for more about arranging Firefox to fit your needs.

What happened to the back, refresh and home buttons?

To streamline the navigation section and group buttons by task, a few things have changed:

  • The back button drop-down menu can be accessed by clicking and holding on the back button.
  • The stop and refresh buttons are combined into one button on the right end of the location bar.
  • The home button is to the right of the location bar.

Nav Buttons - Win Nav Buttons - Mac

What happened to the back, forward, refresh and home buttons?

To streamline the navigation section and group buttons by task, a few things have changed:

  • The back button drop-down menu can be accessed by clicking and holding on the back button.
  • The forward button is only shown when necessary
  • The stop and refresh buttons are combined into one button on the right end of the location bar.
  • The home button is to the right of the location bar.

Nav Buttons 10 - Win
Nav Buttons 10 - Mac

Not crazy about this arrangement? No problem. It's your browser, make Firefox work the way you do. See Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars for more about customizing buttons and toolbars.

  1. Right-clickControl-click on an empty section of the Tab Strip, select Customize... and the Customize Toolbar window will open.
  2. Drag, drop and rearrange items.
    • To add an item to a toolbar, drag it from the Customize Toolbar window onto the toolbar where you want it to appear.
    • To remove an item from a toolbar, drag it to the Customize Toolbar window.
    • To move an item in a toolbar, drag it where you want it to appear.
  3. When you are finished making changes, click Done to close the Customize Toolbar window.

Custom Buttons - Win Custom Buttons - Mac Toolbars - lin2

What happened to the Status Bar?

The Status Bar at the bottom of the Firefox window has changed. The new Status Bar only shows page loading activity and link previews. When neither of those are needed it simply disappears. Please see What happened to the Status Bar? for more.
Status Bar link - win Status Bar link - mac Status Bar link - lin
Status Bar load - win Status Bar load - mac Status Bar load - lin

Why do my fonts look blurry?

If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, text in Firefox may appear blurry. This is usually due to Windows ClearType not being turned on.

  1. In Windows, click Small Vista Logo and type cleartype in the search box.
  2. Click Adjust ClearType text to open the ClearType control panel.
  3. Check Turn on ClearType and then Next to fine tune your settings.
  4. After you fine tune the ClearType settings, click Finish to accept them.

For more details see, Fonts look blurry. It's also possible that you are also experiencing issues related to outdated graphics card drivers. See Upgrade your graphics drivers to use hardware acceleration and WebGL for more information, including how to disable hardware acceleration in Firefox as a possible workaround.

Some of my add-ons were disabled. What can I do?

After upgrading, Firefox checks for new versions of your add-ons and disables those that are no longer compatible. By default it will continue to check for new versions periodically. For more info about re-enabling add-ons, see Re-enable add-ons that were disabled when updating Firefox.
Incompatible - Win

When Firefox updates, it turns off add-ons that are not compatible with the new version. In addition, add-ons that may have been automatically installed by other programs without your knowledge (third party add-ons) have been disabled. For more info about re-enabling add-ons, see Re-enable add-ons that were disabled when updating Firefox.
3rd Party add-ons disabled on update - Win

My Google Toolbar is gone. What can I do?

Google Toolbar is no longer compatible with Firefox, however, many of its features are already built into Firefox. See Google Toolbar is no longer compatible with Firefox - Here are some alternatives for information about accessing your Google bookmarks and add-ons that you might find helpful.

Where are my bookmarks?

Relax. If you were using the Bookmarks Toolbar to hold your favorite sites you may just have to turn it back on:

  • Right-clickControl-click on an empty section of the Tab Strip and check Bookmarks Toolbar in the pop-up menu.
    Bookmarks Toolbar - Win Bookmarks Toolbar - Mac

You can also view and organize your bookmarks in the Library window.

  • Click the Bookmarks button Bookmarks button win 2 on the right side of the navigation toolbarOn the menu bar, click BookmarksAt the top of the Firefox window, click the Bookmarks menu and select Show All Bookmarks to open the Library window.

    Click the Bookmarks button Bookmarks-29 and select Show All Bookmarks to open the Library window.


    Bookmarks Button win

For more about using bookmarks, including tagging and organizing, see How to use bookmarks to save and organize your favorite websites

Why are tabs on top of the location bar now?

The main reason is that it just makes more sense — especially with features like App Tabs and the Add-ons Manager. For details on this change, see How do I put tabs back on bottom like they used to be?

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

  • Right-clickControl-click on an empty section of the Tab Strip and uncheck Tabs on Top in the pop-up menu.
    Tabs on top - Win Tabs on top - Mac

Why does my home page say I need to update Firefox when I have the latest version?

Older versions of Firefox used www.google.com/firefox as the home page. If you are still using this page, you will see the message, "You're not on the latest version of Firefox. Upgrade today to get the best of the Web!" at the bottom of the page. You can fix this by restoring the default home page. See How to set the home page for instructions.



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