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Firefox Undergoes Major Redesign, Takes on Modern Look
Firefox Undergoes Major Redesign, Takes on Modern Look

By Seth Fitzgerald
April 29, 2014 10:20AM

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Tabs in the Firefox redesign are rounded and will fade into the background when not in use. One of the most significant changes, however, is within Firefox's menu. "The menu includes a 'Customize' tool that transforms Firefox into a powerful customization mode where you can add or move any feature, service or add-on," Mozilla said on its blog.

Mozilla has released one of the most significant Firefox updates in the browser's history by modernizing its design and adding in new customization options. Some of the browser's features have also been improved, allowing Firefox to better compete against browsers like Chrome, which has a larger market share.

The browser update, Firefox 29, was made available across a variety of platforms on Tuesday. Mac and PC users should already be able to download the update while the Android version is slowly being rolled out on Google Play.

Since Firefox has continued to push the bar in terms of privacy protection, many users regard it as a great alternative to browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer. Until now, cumbersome inter-connectivity features had limited Firefox's growth potential, but Firefox 29 changes that.

A Whole New Look

Modernizing the browsing experience seems to be Mozilla's goal with its latest Firefox update. In many ways, it is now more comparable to Chrome than it is to previous versions of Firefox. A streamlined interface makes it easier to use and customization options are abundant within the browser.

Tabs are now rounded and will fade into the background when not in use, making it easier to focus on the content that is open. One of the most significant changes, however, is found within Firefox's menu.

Mozilla explains on its blog that the menu has been moved around and adjusted so that users can access add-ons, features, and services with fewer clicks.

"The menu includes a 'Customize' tool that transforms Firefox into a powerful customization mode where you can add or move any feature, service or add-on. This level of Firefox customization puts you in control of your Web experience and is unmatched by any other browser," Mozilla said.

Firefox Sync

Not all of the improvements found with Firefox 29 are based around the browser's design. Certain features, particularly Firefox Sync, have been improved in a way that will allow people to use the browser on different devices in much the same way as Chrome.

It had previously been possible to use Sync to share browsing history and bookmarks across devices, but the setup was not simple. Users had to enter three different codes on each of their devices in order to sync them together. Now users can log in with a Firefox Account and have access to the same cross-platform data.

Just like with Google Chrome, one account is all that is necessary for users to gain access to their history and saved pages. Open tabs are also saved across devices, so that work can begin on one computer or tablet and end on another.

All of the feature and design changes are based around making Firefox easier to set up and use. Given the direction that Chrome has taken, and the success that it has seen as a result, it is no surprise that Firefox is making some of the same adjustments.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2014-05-27 @ 1:16am PT
firefox has turned into a pos. ALA Adobe software


Posted: 2014-05-12 @ 1:49am PT
The add-on "Classic Theme Restorer" does not solve all the problems. The fact that they didn't keep the old UI as an alternative, shows how much they care about the freedom of choice for their users! this release had a huge negative feedback which u didn't mention at all:
Btw, the new design is super ugly. Now Firefox is a clone of google Chrome.


Posted: 2014-05-11 @ 6:07pm PT
The add-on "Classic Theme Restorer" allowed me to fix all my problems with the latest Firefox. It is now quite usable and looks/functions much like my earlier Firefox.

Sam K:

Posted: 2014-05-11 @ 2:14pm PT
Yeah, not happy about this change at all. Where's the revert to 'gooder firefox' button at? I didn't like chrome, but now what's the difference?
Bad enough they just do a surprise update and throw it on us, I now have all my older relatives calling me asking if I can fix their firefox, or they think they got hacked.
Thanks a lot Mozilla!!! Think next time.


Posted: 2014-05-10 @ 6:34pm PT
Dreadful. And it will not revert. So depressed. Despondent even. Way to go...I used to respect them, and refer FireFox to everyone... This is a very sad day. I guess this is where the mourners have gathered.


Posted: 2014-05-10 @ 10:58am PT
FF WAS fine until this cramp came out.
I HAD my FF browser set up perfect until they ruined it. FF is just a fumbling hog now.
If I had wanted chrome I would have loaded it. Emo browser is what be. Bite me mozilla.


Posted: 2014-05-10 @ 8:10am PT
They turned Firefox into an inferior Chrome knockoff and destroyed everything it had going for it. Bravo Mozilla


Posted: 2014-05-10 @ 5:32am PT
The whole "toytown" look and feel simply doesn't work on a desktop PC. Significant areas of customisation have been removed (there's no way to configure a proper menu bar, for example) and the add-ons that are supposed to restore the previous UI don't work.

However, the good news is that Mozilla Seamonkey (which has quietly sat in the background for years), supports similar add-ons to Firefox and "just works". It's much faster than Firefox too.


Posted: 2014-05-10 @ 5:14am PT
I was so lucky that one of my friends got the update and sent a screenshot with it before I installed it, so I had a chance to disable the auto-updater and then locate and delete the update install file in app data. If i want a chrome looking browser, I will use chrome (as i have both installed).


Posted: 2014-05-09 @ 11:23pm PT
This update is terrible. It seems like they are trying to hide everything from me. Everything that was on the left is now on the right, buttons are gone, what was on the top is now on the bottom........FML i might as well just go download chrome if I have to relearn the whole browser.


Posted: 2014-05-07 @ 3:02pm PT
Personally I liked that Firefox didn't look exactly like Chrome

Mr. Not Happy:

Posted: 2014-05-04 @ 5:40am PT
Chrome sucks, and now firefox sucks. Great job idiots.

Rex Saffer:

Posted: 2014-05-04 @ 5:36am PT
Mozilla just could not leave a good thing alone. I tried Chrome and hated it. Firefox had a host of good addons and syncing my bookmarks was a snap with Xmarks. Upgrading to version 29 obliterated my bookmarks and options settings. I could not access the menu from the button at top right, clicking on it did nothing. Why oh why????

Ex FFuser:

Posted: 2014-05-04 @ 2:54am PT
Modern maybe, slower and bad looking for sure.

Sarah Louise:

Posted: 2014-05-03 @ 12:47am PT
Since the upgrade my laptop seems to run more slowly (when online) than before. Worse, I can no longer access some of my favourite free online games. I can get to the site, but the game won't open - all I get is a blank screen.
I've tried closing my laptop down and reopening it. No difference. It's very annoying. Any advice welcomed. Thank you.

Jon Thomas:

Posted: 2014-04-29 @ 5:16pm PT
I like it, actually. I've been using Chrome but I do prefer some of Firefox' functionality. I use as my start page to keep the bookmarks and such organized. But I might be making a permanent switch to Firefox now.

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