Restore Classic Address Bar in Firefox 77

How to Restore Classic Address Bar in Firefox 77

Firefox 75 introduced a new address bar which features a larger font, and shorter URLs, which do not include https:// and www portions any more. There was a method to restore the classic bar, which has become obsolete in Firefox 77. So I am publishing a new, working method for Firefox 77 for those who are not happy with the address bar changes.

Firefox Quantum Logo Banner

Firefox is a popular web browser with its own rendering engine, which is very rare in the Chromium-based browser world. Since 2017, Firefox has the Quantum engine which comes with a refined user interface, codenamed "Photon". The browser doesn't include support for XUL-based add-ons any more, so all of the classic add-ons are deprecated and incompatible. See Must have add-ons for Firefox Quantum.

Thanks to the changes made to the engine and the UI, the browser is amazingly fast. The user interface of Firefox became more responsive and it also starts up noticeably faster. The engine renders web pages much faster than it ever did in the Gecko era.

Firefox 77

Firefox 77 is a minor release of the browser. It is notable for pocket suggestions enabled for UK users, has a new certificate manager, and tweaks made to the address bar.

New Address Bar

Starting in Firefox 75, the browser includes a new user experience for the address bar. When you click on it, it automatically opens the "top sites" - the sites you visit frequently. When performing a search, Firefox will highlight popular keywords. Other changes include shorter URLs (see below) and larger fonts.

Firefox 75 Address Bar

One of the changes made to the address bar in Firefox 77 makes it impossible to restore the classic appearance using the earlier described method.

If you are not happy with top sites that appear automatically, or you find the size of the address bar enormous, here's how to get the classic address bar back in Firefox 77.

To Restore Classic Address Bar in Firefox 77,

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. In a new tab, type about:config in the address bar.
  3. Click I accept the risk.Firefox About:config Warning
  4. In the search box, type or copy-paste the line browser.urlbar.disableExtendForTests.
  5. Choose Boolean as the value type, and click on the plus button.Firefox 77 Restore Classic Address Bar
  6. Set it to true. This is the key change for Firefox 77.Firefox 77 Restore Classic Address Bar 2
  7. Now, find the value browser.urlbar.openViewOnFocus, and set it to false.Firefox Restore Classic Address Bar 2

Restart Firefox. Now you have the classic address bar without auto opening top sites drop-down, and large fonts.

Firefox Classic Address Bar Restored

You can now restore the https:// and www URL portions for the address bar suggestions if you want.

That's it.

13 thoughts on “Restore Classic Address Bar in Firefox 77

  1. J Doe

    …it doesn’t work on macOS version of Firefox.

    Reply
    1. Todd

      It didn’t work for me either, however I realized if I click on the address bar, and just type the letter “W” for www. the same list basically comes up.

      Reply
    2. Thisfox

      Very disappointed that it didn’t work on mac. Anyone got a working method?

      Reply
  2. Kevin

    Unfortunately that didn’t really work for me like it did with previous tweak (still unable to see frequent site history). I did stumble upon this add-on just now though which works beautifully and does exactly what i was looking for…

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/show-history-top-sites-button/

    Reply
  3. Dennis

    Bad TIP — That pref only exists to allow automated tests to run correctly before the window has been painted and WILL BREAK user facing features of the urlbar.

    Reply
  4. John

    Not working…. the new urlbar remains…

    Reply
  5. Daniel

    Thanks so much! This worked for me. I can’t stand the new search bar, so I’m really pleased to have the plain, boring version back.

    Reply
  6. Fred

    On 77.01 64-bit for WIndows, this brought back the main portion of the classic bar, but not the drop-down for recent/frequent addresses, which is a one of the things that annoys me the most about the new bar. Is there a fix for that?

    Reply
  7. EP

    hi Sergey

    you forgot to mention “browser.urlbar.maxRichResults” which needs a value to 0

    Reply
    1. Thisfox

      Thankyou! That worked!

      Reply
  8. Craig

    Is there any way to get back the highlight in the URL bar? I work with graphics and am constantly copying links to data files. The old behavior was to click in the URL and the whole link would immediately be highlighted. Now it changes color… barely. How can I get the highlight back from the single click in the bar?

    Reply
    1. Craig

      I’m an idiot. Never mind. I was using Firefox Color and apparently it’s something in that theme that killed my highlighting. ::sigh::

      Reply
  9. Adam

    Thank you!!!!!!

    Reply

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