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

firefoxpins   20+ Ways to Tweak Firefox with the Userchrome.css FileLast 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.

userchrome1   20+ Ways to Tweak Firefox with the Userchrome.css File

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 :

/* * 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; }

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

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

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

/*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; }

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

/* 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 */
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

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

23 Comments -

0 votes

Christopher

You can also change you menu bar with the TinyMenu extension, and can add your bookmark to the rest of the menu bar with Smart Bookmarks Bar. Menu Editor also works for editing all of your menus.

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

I’m not a fan of installing needless extensions as they slow down the browser. Tweaking the userchrome.css file removes the need to install extensions.

0 votes

imoDOTcom

Excellent!
Tried putting Tabs at Bottom so Tabs and Window-placeholders are all at bottom – it saves a lot of confusion. Thanks!

imoDOTcom

0 votes

Sara

Ohhh, thank you so much!

0 votes

Michal

Is possible to move link bar + search bar + basic icons (back, home ans so on) to the bottom above status bar? And the same for bookmark bar?
Thanks

0 votes

krishna

Hi,
I have made the changes to the file and doesn’t see any change in look.
Is there any code to be added to tweak the firefox.

0 votes

kishore

did you have any active firefox browser window open while doing the changes to userChrome.css, then close all the firefox windows and open new one when you are ready with the changes

0 votes

Tad

To locate the files, I had to go in this route:
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Defaults\Profile\Chrome

In the folder I found “userChrome-example.css” and “userContent-example.css”

I copied+pasted “userChrome-example.css” to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\chrome, opened the file – added the tweaks – and saved it, then renamed it “userChrome.css”

After restarting Firefox, nothing has changed.

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

Do you have more than one Windows user profile? If so, have you put the userchrome file in the correct Firefox profile in the correct Windows profile?

For example, if you have put the userchome file in the “default” Windows folder but you are using Windows under a “Tad” Windows profile then yes, it won’t show.

0 votes

Lil_ndn

Chrome Edit Plus, add-on, will allow you to place an icon on your toolbars to among other things directly open CCS file/folder. Also, there is an article at Mozillazine, “Awesome Bar…” article in Support forum & a script at userstyles.org for changing Fx;s browzer colours…been awhile, but seems both were good reads. FTW, freedom thru wisdom! WinXP SP3.

0 votes

Rohman

Hello Mark O’Neil,

It’s nice info for tweak my firefox. However, except your methods i have easy methods to remove the buttons. This is my steps : Click View –> Toolbar –> Customize –> drop your mouse into the buttons which you want to remove and drag the button into windows of Customize buttons and your buttons will not showing in your bar menu.

Thanks

0 votes

Lil_ndn

Mark O;Neill, Check out these 2 links for the answer you seek,1 or both may prove to be enlightening:

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1039965 http://www.linnhe2.free-online.co.uk/fi … 20toolbars
FTW, freedom thru wisdom…ride safe and free!!!

0 votes

Tad

I found the correct folder and made the changes now, thanks!

(it was a hidden file that I had to use the search feature in order to view, since it’s not viewable if I follow the path you provided)

0 votes

jed

You know,none of this editing is working. Is there something I am doing wrong? I keep getting the drop down bookmarks (sucks!!) and all the other ridiculous features I never needed but was suckered into upgrading to.

0 votes

jed

ok, the star went away, but I still can’t seem to get the auto complete or the drop down bookmarks arrow off the tool bar…please, help!!

0 votes

dj

Regarding the Home button, why not right-click the toolbar and drag the Home button off? I do the same with the side-bar, right-click drag on or drag off. I use the All-In-One Sidebar and the Tiny menu adds-on. To supplement buttons I go to http://codefisher.org/. You can either down load his add-on or selective choose which buttons you want on the fly to install. I found your site looking for userchrome mods to hide those FF items that I can’t delete, like Bookmarks Toolbar. I haven’t found that yet. I think this is a keeper :-)

0 votes

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?

0 votes

MorningStar

/* Rss Feed icon,*/

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

This removes the RSS Button.

0 votes

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.

0 votes

Ali

Hey I made a youtube video for changing firefox using userchrome CSS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiiFDtFM8Z0

0 votes

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
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=1761436#1761436*/

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

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

.console-row[type="message"],
.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;}