Toolbar customization

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This article was written for Firefox but it also applies, in general, to SeaMonkey 2. For Thunderbird, see Toolbar customization - Thunderbird.

This article explains how to customize the Firefox toolbars. If your toolbar customizations are lost when you restart Firefox, see this article.

It is very easy to customize the layout of the toolbars in Firefox. You can add or remove buttons, and change their placement. The Firefox windows are individually customizable and have different sets of icons that you can add to or remove from each.

Customizing toolbars and buttons

To open the Customize Toolbar dialog, use one of these methods:

  • (Mac, Linux) If the Firefox button is shown, click the "Firefox" button and select "Options -> Toolbar Layout".
  • If the Firefox menu bar is shown, go to the "View" menu and select "Toolbars -> Customize" (on Windows, you can press the "Alt" key to temporarily display a hidden menu bar).
  • Context-click (right-click) on a blank spot in the toolbar and select "Customize".

The Customize Toolbar dialog will then pop up. To remove a button or other item, simply drag it from the toolbar down into the Customize Toolbar dialog. To add a button, drag it up from the Customize Toolbar dialog and place it on the toolbar. If you want, you can even move buttons or the "Bookmarks Toolbar Items" up onto the menu toolbar. Moving the Search Bar up to the menu toolbar will provide more room both for searching and for Location Bar usages.

Warning: Do not remove "Bookmarks Toolbar Items" from the toolbars. Just hide the Bookmarks Toolbar if you don't need it.

Confusing icons: There are three icons in Customize all shown as "Bookmarks". The bookmarks toolbar items* is for "Bookmarks Toolbar Items" as seen as text in the Bookmarks Toolbar during Customize. The bookmarks sidebar button (no drop-down) brings up the Bookmarks Sidebar ("Ctrl+B"). The bookmarks menu button(drop-down) brings up the Bookmarks Menu as the Menu Bar was hidden in Firefox 4.

Adding buttons provided by extensions

Some Firefox extensions provide extra toolbar buttons as part of their functionality. Installing an extension, however, does not automatically put its button on the toolbar. To add these buttons, do as described above for adding buttons to the toolbar.

Rearranging toolbar and Status Bar buttons

Toolbar buttons can be rearranged while in Customize. Status Bar buttons are normally assigned to the right side of the Status Bar as extensions are installed -- to rearrange buttons on the Status Bar in Firefox you can use the "Organize Status Bar" extension.

In Firefox 4.0 the Add-on Bar replaces the Status Bar, so is treated more like a normal toolbar. Customizations to remake the new Add-on Bar more like the old Status bar by incorporating link urls (on hover) and status messages right on the Add-on Bar can be accomplished with the "Status-4-Evar" extension (pictures & customizations). The Add-on bar was assigned its own Keyboard shortcut ("Ctrl+/") to toggle it on/off the same as through the View menu.

Adding or removing toolbars

To show or hide the "Navigation Toolbar" or "Bookmarks Toolbar" included with Firefox (both are shown by default) or to show or hide other toolbars added to Firefox, go to the "View" menu, select "Toolbars" and click on a listed toolbar to select or deselect the toolbar. If you want to uninstall a toolbar added to Firefox by an extension or other application, see Uninstalling toolbars. If you have an empty "Bookmarks Toolbar" then make sure that the "Bookmarks Toolbar items" icon is still placed on the "Bookmarks Toolbar".

To add your own toolbar, use the "Add Toolbar" button on the "Customize Toolbar" dialog, then move buttons to it. The toolbar will be saved upon exit from customize as long as it has content. To remove your own added toolbar, simply remove all the buttons and space and separator items from it and the toolbar will be gone upon exit from customize.

Restoring missing menu or other toolbars

Note: Starting in Firefox 3.6, on Windows, the "View -> Toolbars" menu includes the Menu Bar, which contains the File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools, and Help menu items. If you deselect the Menu Bar, these menu items will be hidden. Firefox 4.0 hides the Menu Bar by default. You can temporarily show a hidden Menu Bar by pressing the "Alt" key. [1]

To restore missing toolbars, press "Alt+V" to get to the "View" menu, then press "T" ("Toolbars" menu) and select your wanted toolbars.

Note that the underlined letters on the menu indicate that "Alt+<letter>" is a shortcut; once inside a menu, just the underscored letter is the shortcut. (The underscored letters in menus are suppressed by default in Windows 7. Step 9 in this article explains how to restore the underscored letters in Windows 7 menus.)

"F11" Full Screen (toggle) will get you into or out of Full Screen mode. You can use the "Alt" key or move cursor up through the top of screen to temporarily see toolbars when in Full Screen mode. In Full Screen mode: "Ctrl+L" for Location Bar will still work, and "Ctrl+K" for Search Bar will still work.

Reducing the padding around the toolbars - Advanced

To make the toolbars use less space you can reduce the padding around the buttons. Add the following code to your userChrome.css file (but note that this may also affect toolbars supplied by extensions).

   /* Remove extra padding from the Navigation Bar and other toolbars*/
   .toolbarbutton-1, .toolbarbutton-menubutton-button {
      padding: 2px 3px !important;
   .toolbarbutton-1[checked="true"], .toolbarbutton-1[open="true"],
   .toolbarbutton-menubutton-button[open="true"] {
      padding: 4px 1px 1px 4px !important;
   /* Remove extra padding from the Status Bar,
      introduced by the Toolbar enhancements extension */
   #tbx-bottom-toolbox {
      border-top-width: 0 !important;

External links

  • How to customize the toolbar (Firefox Support)
  • Extensions for customizing toolbars: Firefox extensions can provide additional toolbar customizations such as adding more buttons for standard Firefox features or adding multiple Search or Bookmark toolbars: