20+ Ways to Tweak Firefox with the Userchrome.css File

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userchrome.css firefoxLast month, I showed you how to remove the “open in new window” option from your Firefox right-click menu by making a simple tweak to your Firefox userchrome.css file. This got me interested in what other tweaks you could make to the Firefox browser via the userchrome.css file so I went hunting.

Just to recap for those of you who don’t know what the userchrome.css file is. It is the file in your Firefox profile which you can use to make tweaks and customisations to the browser. It can be found by going to :

    [WindowsXP] C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\ Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\Chrome

    [Windows Vista] – C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<some_profile>\chrome

Inside there, you will either find the userchrome.css file or a file called userchrome-example.css.

userchrome.css location

If it is the latter, just rename it to userchrome.css. Then open it using a text editor such as Notepad.

Now when you open it, you may see the following already there. Do NOT delete it :

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/* * Do not remove the @namespace line — it’s required for correct functioning */ /* set default namespace to XUL */ @namespace url(“http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul”);

If you want to tweak your browser using the userchrome.css file, anything you add goes AFTER what you see above.

All you have to do is copy / paste the one you want into the userchrome.css file, save the file, close and re-start your Firefox browser and that’s it. Easy-peasy. As you will see, some of them can also be easily adapted to do other things too. If you can think of other ways to adapt any of them, let us know in the comments.

Please note that everything is reversible. So if you screw up, just delete what you copy/ pasted into your userchrome.css file. Then re-start your Firefox browser.

Userchrome.css tweaks

/* Remove Edit menu (if you already use all the keyboard shortcuts) */
#helpMenu, #edit-menu { display: none !important; }

NOTE! This one can be adapted to remove other menus such as the File menu, the Help menu and so on. Just remove “edit” and insert the appropriate words. Using this, I removed everything except the Bookmarks menu and the Tools menu.

/* Remove Back button when there’s nothing to go Back to */
#back-button[disabled=”true”] { display: none; }

NOTE!This one can be adapted to also remove the Forward button.   Again, just remove “Back” and insert the appropriate words.

/* Remove Stop button when there’s nothing to Stop */
#stop-button[disabled=”true”] { display: none; }

/* Remove Home button (never use it) */
#home-button { display: none; }

userchrome.css - remove home button

/* Remove Go button from address bar */
#go-button-stack, .search-go-button-stack { display: none !important; }

/*Remove magnifying glass button from search box*/
.search-go-button-stack { display: none !important; }

/* Remove the Bookmark Star */
#star-button { display: none !important; }

/* Place the sidebar on the right edge of the window */
window > hbox {
direction:rtl; } window > hbox > * {
direction:ltr; }

/* Display the Tab bar at the bottom */
#content > tabbox { -moz-box-direction: reverse; }

/* Eliminate the throbber and its annoying movement: */
#throbber-box { display: none !important; }

/* Show keyword input box when adding a bookmark */
#keywordRow { display: -moz-grid-line !important; }

/* Make the active tab wider */
tab[selected=”true”] { min-width: 200px !important; }

/* Make inactive tabs partially transparent */
#content tab:not([selected=”true”]) { -moz-opacity: 0.5 !important; }

/* Show tab favicon only on selected tab */
tab:not([selected=”true”]) .tab-icon { display: none !important; }

/* Change the progress bar color */
.progress-bar {
-moz-appearance: none !important;
background-color: #660000 !important; }

/* Multi-Row Bookmarks Toolbar */
#bookmarks-ptf {display:block} #bookmarks-ptf toolbarseparator {display:inline}

/* Hide AutoComplete in Address Bar */
#PopupAutoComplete, .autocomplete-tree { visibility: hidden !important; display: none !important; }

/* Use a Background Image for the Toolbars */
menubar, toolbox, toolbar, .tabbrowser-tabs {
background-image: url(“background.gif”) !important; background-color: none !important; }

/* Change Color of Active tab */
-moz-appearance: none !important; }

tab[selected=”true”] {
background-color: rgb(222,218,210) !important;
color: black !important; }

/* Change Color of Normal Tabs */
tab:not([selected=”true”]) {
background-color: rgb(200,196,188) !important;
color: gray !important; }

/* Remove the Close Button from the Tab Bar */
.tabs-closebutton-box {
display: none !important;

/* Change Cursor for Links that Open in New Window */
:link[target=”_blank”], :visited[target=”_blank”],
:link[target=”_new”],   :visited[target=”_new”] {
cursor:  crosshair; }

/* Remove Web Search from Tools Menu */
menuitem[label=”Web Search”] { display: none; }
menuitem[label=”Web Search”] + menuseparator { display: none; }

This last one is particularly good because now you can clean up your Firefox menus and get rid of things that you don’t need in your menus. The Tools menu is especially guilty of this. For example, I have never needed the Error Console or Page Info, so using userchrome.css, I can now hide them from view. You also tend to get a lot of unwanted menu add-ons when you install new extensions or install new software.  You can now get rid of them by making a small addition to the userchrome file.

They are still there if you ever want to bring them back in the future. They are just now hidden so you don’t see them anymore. The menus are now nice and tidy, showing only the things you actually need right now.

However, saying that, there ARE some things in the menus that the userchrome.css file didn’t seem to be able to hide. There are a couple of things in the bookmarks menu that I wanted hidden and the userchrome.css file failed. There’s also an “Add To Evernote” option in Tools that I wanted hidden and that defeated userchrome.css too. So userchrome.css doesn’t seem to be 100% guaranteed to work.

Plus remember that the userchrome.css file can be copied and backed up to a portable USB drive. So if you use more than one computer, you can copy your userchrome preferences to another Firefox profile. Also, if you decide to re-install your Firefox browser one day, you can overwrite the new userchrome.css file with your old one containing your preferences and tweaks. It’s only a text file, nothing more.

One thing I haven’t been able to work out yet and maybe the readers can help out – how to change the colour of my Firefox browser by tweaking the userchrome.css file. I haven’t been able to find out how to do that. Does anyone know? If so, please put me out of my suffering by revealing all in the comments!

Picture Credit : Flod

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Comments (22)
  • Roger

    FF 36, how to change color of foward/back buttons with userChrome?

  • John L. Galt

    Just thought you might like a couple more that I use in every profile I make for all the different versions of Fx that I use / test.

    ***For those using Console^2, the better Error Console, here are tweaks for custom overlays to make it look better:

    /*Custom js overlays for Error Console 2 by MR Tech

    .console-row[type=”error”] .console-row-icon,
    .console-row[type=”exception”] .console-row-icon {
    background-color: #FFECEC !important;

    .console-row[type=”warning”] .console-row-icon {
    background-color: #FFFFE0 !important;

    .console-row[type=”message”] .console-row-icon {
    background-color: #F5F5F5 !important;

    .console-row {
    border-bottom: 1px solid ThreedShadow !important;

    ***Instead of just removing the Stop button, how about showing the Stop button and / or Reload button, as a single button set, based upon if the page is loading or already loaded?

    /* Show Stop and Reload buttons smartly*/
    #stop-button[disabled] {
    display: none !important;
    #stop-button:not([disabled]) + #reload-button {
    display: none !important;

    ***Invisible Menubar – rather than using an extension, use this set of tweaks to make it ‘slide’ off-screen, and appear when you hover over the area (If you then move all of the icons / buttons and the address bar and search bar to the top level Menu Bar, you in effect get everything on a single menu bar, and can then hide the Address bar {via right click on menu bar area –> Customize} and get more real estate):

    /*::::::::::::::Invisible Menubar::::::::::::

    How to use it: Move all your Navigation Toolbar items
    (back/forward buttons, address bar, search bar etc.
    from the navigation toolbar to the Menu Bar, either
    on the right side or left side of the Menu Items.
    Now past this code in userChrome.css and restart your
    browser. You will no longer see the menu items. Now
    hover at the right/left edge of the menu bar (whichever
    side the menu items were on) and the menu items will
    appear. You can now hide the navigation bar and save
    vertical space


    #menubar-items {
    padding-left: 5px !important;

    #menubar-items > #main-menubar {
    margin-left: -9000px !important;

    #menubar-items:hover > #main-menubar {
    margin-left: 0 !important;

    #menubar-items:hover {
    background-image: none !important; padding-left:0 !important;

    ***Use Spellbound to check your spelling in a dialog box? remvoe the native Spell check contet menu item so you can right click any text area –> Press “S” to easily initiate spell check:

    /* Never show Spell check in Context menu
    /*Useful for users of SpellBound II */

    menuitem[label=”Check Spelling”] {
    display: none !important;

    ***Hide the Personal toolbar, and show it only on hovering over the menu area (again, more real estate):

    /*Hide the Personal Toolbar, show on hover*/

    #PersonalToolbar {display: none;}
    #navigator-toolbox:hover > #PersonalToolbar {display: -moz-box;}

  • Ali

    Hey I made a youtube video for changing firefox using userchrome CSS:

  • Lee

    Great resource. I’ve used this to customize the hell out of FF3.5.2 and I love the new look/function. It’s also made me get into CSS more.

  • Jerry

    I want to remove the ‘subscribe to this page’ icon that is in the search bar like the ‘bookmarks star’ was. I added this line but to no avail:
    /* Remove the subscribe to this page */
    #subscibe to this page-button { display: none !important; }

    I also can’t get rid of the Yahoo menu or button on the menu bar.

    Any suggestions?

    • MorningStar

      /* Rss Feed icon,*/

      #feed-button { display: none !important; }

      This removes the RSS Button.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
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