Mozilla decided to keep Compact Density in Firefox, but hide it by default

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The team behind the Firefox browser has changed their plans on Compact Density removal from customization options. The browser will continue to include Compact Mode, but it will be hidden by default, and tagged as "not supported" when you enable the option.

For Firefox 89, the Compact density option will be hidden by default in Menu > Customize Firefox.

However, there will be a new about:config option to revive the missing option. In order to bring it back, you need to set the value to true. Right after that, if you open the Menu > Customize Firefox tool, you will find the Compact mode available. However, it is tagged as not supported.

Mozilla is not enthusiastic about this mode. According to the company, not that many users use it and find it hard to discover. For this reason, the company decided to remove it from the browser. However, the company eventually changed its mind, and made the Compact option hidden instead. This had happened probably due to negative feedback the company received after announcing the change.

Now, for existing Compact Density users, the option will remain visible. Users who never used the Compact density option won't find it visible, but will be able to activate it.

The Compact UI option allows you to reduce the UI size in favor of web content. Currently, Firefox and Vivaldi are the only browsers that offers customizable UI size. Other popular browsers, such as Chrome or Edge, use fixed UI size that changes depending on the system DPI scale.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

7 thoughts on “Mozilla decided to keep Compact Density in Firefox, but hide it by default”

  1. I appreciate that Mozilla respects the feedback, and I take back what I said about the cancelled removal. However, we have to wonder how a supposedly privacy-supporting foundation knows so well how people run its browser (including mere UI settings).

    Calling an existing feature “not supported” also leads to some questions. Will there be changes that will eventually break it? In addition, “not supported” may confuse people and lead them to believe that their Firefox install is buggy. Anyway, it seems to be a petty thing to do.

  2. I liked Firefox for its flexibility and customization options (i.e. about:config) that allowed me to tinker with the browser and make it look the way I wanted and needed.
    For some time though, Mozilla appears to tighten the customization options, against any feedback from the user community. The most clear example is pushing that stupidly looking megabar and gradually making it harder to disable it (for those who don’t want 25% of the screen covered by huge controls).
    It seems as if they intend to alienate long-time users at all costs, by forcing bad UX decisions.
    It’s a shame.

  3. Absolutely absurd that they removed this. Completely nonsensical. Yet another example of “We don’t have much to do or impress with, so let’s just start doing willy-nilly “touch-ups” and trimming things at random”. Or there’s some sort of financial motivation behind it — perhaps it has something to do with favicons and wanting them displayed largely and prominently above one’s browsing, constantly.

  4. While I am definitely annoyed that they hid it, I’m thankful I can at least still enable it, so thanks for the help!

    My precious little laptop is a 2009 Lenovo S10-2 (complete with the typical 1024×600 screen), so literally every little thing that frees up screen space is appreciated! It’s hard enough getting any 32-Bit apps as it is, just want what I can still use to not take up the whole screen lol

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