Mozilla is releasing Firefox 29 this week, and the first thing most people will notice about the web browser is that it looks quite different from Firefox 28. In fact, it looks more like Google Chrome than it looks like earlier versions of Mozilla’s web browser.

The team has been testing the browser’s new user interface (code-named Australis) for a while, and it’s been available to folks running Firefox 29 beta since March. If you really don’t like the new look, you can pretty much revert to a more classic feel by installing a third-party plugin.

But the new user interface is just one of the things that changes in Firefox 29.

Firefox 29

Mozilla has also launched Firefox Accounts, which provide a new way to synchronize your data between multiple devices running the Firefox web browser. Data that’s shared over the internet is encrypted.

There’s also a new Gamepad API and anew customization mode. You can now drag and drop icons for functions including sync, download, or add-ons to your toolbar to change the layout of the browser.

Overall the biggest change is clearly the user interface, with the menu icon moved to the right side of the toolbar, the browser tabs given rounded edges, and the entire UI generally designed to take up less space so that more of your screen is devoted to the websites you’re viewing.

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115 replies on “Firefox turns 29, gets a new look”

  1. I was horrified when I saw it.
    I desperately went to oldapps and re DL’d the previous version.

    I haven’t updated FF since then.
    Luckily all my add-ons are still compatible so far.

    Thanks for the 3rd party plugin suggestion, maybe I’ll try that.

  2. I want to thank everyone who recommended Pale Moon..after (umpteen?) years with Firefox..I give up..I did NOT want a Chrome lookalike…brutal…thanks again..Pales Moons profile migration tool worked wonderfully moving me from FF28 (which I had rolled BACK to)…Kudos

  3. Pale Moon is the way to go for disgruntled ChromeFox 29 victims like me and the 80%+ of you who hate the Firefox developers for what they pulled on us. Pale Moon is a fork of Firefox, but they promise never to adopt the FF29/GoogleChrome interface. Pale Moon even have a Firefox profile migration utility download that was amazingly simple and works perfectly. A few clicks and back to you’re old browser.

  4. This is the WORST update since I’ve been using Firefox. The main reason for using this browser largely went away in one moment.

  5. I like the new functionality, even though I’m usually against UI changes.
    The only really pointless thing was to copy Google’s slanted tab borders, which are a waste of space.

  6. fucking ugly and i hate it, if i wanted chrome i woulda downloaded it

  7. I wish I had never updated. It broke everything I had set up to have it how I wanted it. They are seriously pushing me away into finding another regular browser to use daily.

  8. The problem is that Mozilla doesn’t seem to realize that improvements for touchscreen tablets/smartphones are not the same as improvements for desktop. I think it is wrong to try to unify different platforms under the same UI, which is what FF29 tries to do.

    So, they replaced the Firefox button with a Chrome-like hambutton which spawns a finger-friendly menu. Screw that waste of space, my mouse pointer is way too accurate for that, and I’ll never use my fingers because my LCD ain’t a touchscreen, duh!

    And the inactive tabs that blend in were a horrible, horrible idea. They look bad even on Windows XP, and even worse on Windows 7. Less distraction, yeah? How about the distraction of not being able to easily read the damn tab labels?

    I’ve gone back to version 28. I like the square (more importantly, usable) tabs and the status bar. Eventually when 28 becomes obsolete I’ll have to change browsers, which is a shame because I’ve been loyal to Firefox since version 2.0.

  9. I have become really reluctant to update FF, because the last several versions had horrendously annoying changes to the whole interface and everything.
    Every ~4 versions I have to install another addon just to make the damn think actually work the way it should.
    Right now, there are EIGHT addons running in FF29 that are just to change the behaviour and look of FF.

    Australis is the biggest step in the wrong the direction they’ve had in a very long time and it’s horrible that there are people out there that think this nonsensical garbage is anything but shit. Go screw yourself back to your facebook and twitter crap on your worthless tablet, where you belong.

  10. I sure wish they would stop screwing with the UI and focus on fixing bugs. For as long as I’ve used Firefox, it leaks memory like a sieve and recent versions are even worse. The UI was really good years ago, and a few of the recent changes were nice, but version 29 is awful and I went back to 28.

    If I wanted Chrome, I know where to find it. I hate Chrome though and chose Firefox for specific reasons. Reasons that get less compelling the more of a Chrome-clone it becomes.

    1. Good point! I’d completely forgotten about the memory usage of Firefox – NOT because I wasn’t getting it anymore, but simply because it’s been there for so long that I’ve naturally started to work around the associated issues!! I’m sure there must be a name for some syndrome like that.

      It is horrendous and it really is something Mozilla should be focusing on. Maybe in their attempts to ‘simplify’ code surrounding plugins or addons (I’ve never figured out the difference really!) this is part of their plan? I don’t know, but it’s possible I suppose.

  11. “the entire UI generally designed to take up less space so that more of your screen is devoted to the websites you’re viewing.”

    As a computer user, I am generally receptive to new software changes (I loved Win8 even before the 8.1 update and I have a linux box which often ends up with an operating system change or two a year) but I contend that Australis takes up far more room on your screen. The tabs are wider and the address bar is taller, and I think it takes up at least two times more screen space.

  12. Firefox 29, Thanks but NO thanks, i will go back to 28 or changing browser.
    And the coming ADS in Firefox are making people escape from Firefox.
    Thanks Firefox, for making my decision so easy.

  13. Wecome to the corporate turdiverse. Firefox 29 quite simply Sucks with a capital “S”.

  14. Why do they always have to fix something that isn’t broken. This new UI is really bad. Just make a simple and secure browser without the need for addons and what not.

  15. If you are a Firefox (and PC) user who has been sickened by the oozing,
    rotting abortion that is Firefox 29, with its completely reconfigured
    “Australis” interface, I encourage you to consider the 32-bit Pale Moon
    24.5, downloadable at

    Pale Moon offers a very similar experience to “the old” Firefox,
    but–by Vox Day’s estimation–“about 10-15 percent faster than Firefox,
    which has become increasingly crufty over the last few years and was
    offering new beta updates literally every week.”

    See also

  16. I dont know what the big deal is with the new interface. From what I can see, you can customize this much better in certain aspects than previous versions (although you cant move the tabs or the menu button, which to me isn’t much of a big deal), it runs much better on my 10 year old computer without freezing, and is doesn’t take up much space! Although it is similar to chrome, I don’t mind it that much because it puts a different spin on the chrome UI.

  17. This is garbage, if i wanted to use Chrome I would use it!
    I can no longer use firefox because it’s useless, I can’t move the tabs back below the address bar…

    Firefox 29 = FAIL!!!

  18. Oh Hey, first Mozilla forces out the CEO for his free speech, now they make FF look just like Chrome. Gee does it spy on you just like Chrome does too?

  19. I hate it. I tried for two days now and I’m going to uninstall it. This really sucks. I have been using the same layout for decades and now they are trying to force me into changing what has worked perfectly. PUT THE SHIT BACK THE WAY IT WAS! I dont mind the new look but I don’t like having to spend hours relearning what I knew how to do. One of the things I always admired about Fire fox was it’s ability to revert back to a simple and easy to use layout. now I’m constantly confused! I get the new layout. I even understand what they were trying to do. It however is not working for me. & I’m sick of being confused about where the back forward and refresh buttons are. I’m never going to like this & I will take whatever measures necessary to not have to put up with it.

    1. I dont get what you are trying to say about getting confused as to where the back, forward, and refresh buttons are. They are in the EXACT same place!

      1. are you blind? they’re now immovable unless you stoop to having to use classic theme restorer, which wouldn’t be necessary if google, i mean, mozilla hadn’t foisted this UI blunder on us.

  20. I like the bookmarks.
    The options I can get used to.
    But all my ‘elegant’ tabs fading into the backgroup? Ick. I’ve installed some add-on so I can see them again! Not the colours I’d have chosen, but visible at least.

  21. new interface sucks. migrating to chrome. Firefox is now a bad copy of chrome and has removed most of the reason that we continued to us Firefox. Idiotic.

    New interface from idiocracy.

  22. This new Firefox sucks. I want customization and the ability to make Firefox look how I want, without having to install some idiot add-on to get it that way. Fuck Firefox, I’m going to check out Palemoon and the other browsers commenters here have recommended.

  23. It is utter dogshit.

    Is there a broswer that doesn’t treat its users like idiots(IE, FF, Chrome), doesn’t spy on them(Chrome) and renders html properly + a good JS engine?

  24. Australis was made so that mobile Firefox and desktop Firefox are more alike it seems. For instance it’s now easier to click the menu and other stuff on a touch screen.
    However, as for any change, there should always be the possibility to opt out. This can be achieved somewhat easily with the awesome classic theme restorer add-on but it’s obviously limited.
    At any rate I do not welcome Australis simply because it’s not just a more touchable interface it’s also unnecessarily dumbed down compared to the previous one and allows for less choice. And if I say the dumbing down is not necessary it’s simply because 90% of noobs have switched to Chrome by now anyway. So I don’t see the point in simplifying anything.

  25. I downloaded it to see how shiny the browser became. Superficially, it seems like a poor man’s imitation of Chrome’s UI. It also nuked my previous layout. Thankfully, I don’t give a shit since I already switched to Pale Moon a few months ago.

    1. Too bad Palemoon on Linux is unusable. It crashes every 10 seconds or so.

  26. Hey Mozilla go fuck yourselves. I’m quittin you after many years. You people are STOOOOPIDDDD!!!

  27. I hate these retard script-kiddies. They probably suffer from some kind of ADHD that makes them dependent on UI changes and “improvements”. I stopped using Opera 10 years ago, because after each upgrade I had to spend three hours to re-customize my skins, toolbar layouts and scripts. This is becoming the case with Firefox, after each upgrade I have to spend hours to restore config entries, disable retard “features”, restore my skin, make add-ons compatible, and so on. In the near future the only solution to get rid of the bullshit will be a custom trimmed build.

  28. Where is the Firefox button with application such as Print? Indeed – DO NOT WANT. Do not want to waste time to learn to use this new look!!!!!

  29. It will take some time to get used to but it looks pretty good. Right now I
    use both Chrome and Firefox (keeping my bookmarks on both organized
    using ) but if Firefox’ improvements are vital
    enough, I might switch permanently.

  30. Absolute EPIC FAIL!!, total GARBAGE!.

    Hopefully the stupid moronic d ckheads responsible for ruining Firefox will be sent packing back to Opera.

    Goodbye Firefox after 11 years.

    Hello Pale Moon.

  31. FF 29 is awful. I couldn’t remove the “menu” button (three stupid horizontal vertical lines HARDLY says “menu” to me or most anyone else). Tabs seem to be forced to be on top. Awful.

  32. I don’t care as long as my plug ins survive. Unfortunately seems like the plug ins I use to modify the appearance, are not going to survive like Stratiform. I like to have the firefox button in top left and Stratiform allows me to change it’s appearance and size. Now, what will happen?

  33. I prefer 29! The simple thing that so many people miss is this: each new
    version of Firefox improves things under the hood. And the hood itself, the user interface, continues to be easily and radically
    customizable through add-ons and userstyles. Firefox is very much a
    community product. If a user dislikes this or that visual change in the main release then
    he/she can react constructively by trying out add-ons or userstyles that modify things and help other users do the same. I think Mozilla is partly responsible for not
    making that more clear to users but a lot of advanced users should also
    know better by now.

  34. Why exactly would someone hate chrome ?!
    Is the fastest and most secured browser, and the most complete for developers …
    Your choice …

    And about the new firefox design … it does look like chrome … but i like it … (I’m not using firefox at the moment)
    the download for firefox 29 have been changed back to the firefox 28 on the mozilla site (;))) … on softpedia still is the v29 for download

    You can also use the browsers from comodo: IceDragon (firefox), Dragon (chrome)

    1. No, it’s not the fastest or the most secure. Time to stop dick riding Chrome.

      1. You are right. Speed of Firefox 29 and Chrome is nearly identical. Memory use with Chrome has actually increased while Firefox 29 memory has decreased. The old complains that Firefox was bloated are inaccurate now.

    2. Other then the fact the Google owns all content of yours when you use Chrome. And the most Secured!?!?! Are you kidding? I guess you have not been keeping up on current events and just how bad Google spies and tracks you on Chrome.

  35. You know, Firefox, I like how you’re trying to make a new, streamlined (?) interface, but I’m really not a fan of your new Groovy Tabs.

  36. the only reason i still used Firefox was because it had tabs on the bottom … so long firefox

    1. THIS.
      The main reason why I am still using Safari. (that and I’m using a MBA so the power consumption is less)

  37. Menu button looks EXACTLY like the one on Chrome. It’s in the same position too! You might as well use chrome then!

    1. The menu button has evolved to be a standard menu on web apps. All the major sites use it now if they support tablets, etc.

      1. so because everyone else does it, it’s the right thing to do? the hamburger menu is lazy UI design and more and more web developers are turning against it.

        1. Trying to fight the menu icon is like saying you hate the trash or recycling icon. It has already been accepted as a standard for web applications. So people are already used to seeing it that way. The great thing about design is you are free to do what you want but what will you do when your boss says, “yah, can you add the hamburger icon for the menu list the customer wants it” Keep up the fighting spirit though and don’t trust anyone over 30. 😉

      2. I have to slightly disagree with this. Many major ‘sites’ use it now, but a/ Firefox ISN’T a ‘site’ and b/ many major sites only use it on their mobile versions i.e. a la Bootstrap

    2. I can live with the new icon, but for f’s sake let me put it on the left side where it should be…

  38. As a Firefox user, I’m mostly fine with the interface (been running it for a while) except for a couple things.

    1) The back/forward/location bar are all the same element and cannot be moved independently.
    2) The menubar is permanently on the right, even though I read left-to-right and do not want it there. Thunderbird allows me to move this menu to the left, where menus traditionally are, Firefox does not.

    If anything, this just makes it easier to leave Firefox for Chrome, since you’re getting roughly the same interface either way.

    1. Except when you start using chrome google owns all your data and privacy what little we have left completely disappears. I like to think by using firefox at least we prevent a monoculture of corporate control from taking over where there is no browser alternative but WebKit.i would suggest giving it a chance and if you don’t like new Ui add the legacy Ui extension that is out there. That is an example of the power of firefox’s extension system where you can basically rewrite the Ui if you don’t like it. Google doesn’t allow this and so extensions are more limited with chrome.

      1. I don’t actually plan on running Chrome, but if the interface for Firefox is the same, what advantage (in the eyes of most users) does it have? If you’re losing the interface you’re used to, you may as well switch to Chrome like everyone else.
        As for giving it a chance (new Firefox interface), I’ve been running it for months. I still dislike the interface.

        1. You have a good point about asking what does it really offer anymore. Things that stick out to me are customizeable UI and better extensions. Extensions in Firefox can rewrite the UI but in Chrome they are limited by design by Google. I do admit though for web development I mostly use Chrome now since our customers want iPad/Android support and -webkit CSS is not available on Firefox. At the end of the day I need to get paid so I have to develop using what allows me to get the job done asap. But for personal use the privacy of Firefox is better so I use it to surf the web.

        2. ditto… i’ve been running the australis build via the aurora channel for months, i hate it and stopped using the windows machine in the house… i still have FF28 on my mac, it’s staying there.

      2. I wondered about the ‘security’ aspects of running Chrome instead of FF and did a simple test to see if even my most basic data was kept secure by Mozilla. I simply created a new email address on my server and signed up with Mozilla with it. I then never used it to interact with any websites or used it to send email.

        Within 3 weeks I started receiving spam emails to that address!! THE ONLY PEOPLE WITH ACCESS TO THAT EMAIL ADDRESS WERE MOZILLA AND MYSELF!

        So, either somebody is HACKING Mozilla’s servers and grabbing email addresses [INSECURE SYSTEM]
        or somebody at Mozilla is GIVING my email address to somebody

        Neither of the postulates are very satisfying to me as a user of Mozilla software, especially with regards to who ‘owns all your data and privacy’.

        Though I am NOT a fan of Google, at least they tell you that they’re going to share your data with whomever they’ll share it with. (There is, as of me writing this comment, no actual evidence that Google pass on ‘all’ information to ‘security’ agencies as has been alleged – and in fact Google and Microsoft have taken the US Govt. through legal proceedings so that they may divulge exactly what information they do ‘share’, claiming that if people knew the truth, they wouldn’t have grounds for ‘most’ of the conspirational theories perpetuated by sensationalist non-tech savvy media AND by some of the reader-seeking tech-savvy media).

        Regards the FF changes, I personally don’t like them at all. They jarred with me at the beginning and my latest update (to FF 30) is what spurred me to come seeking solace from others whom feel as let down by Mozilla as I do. I persevered with FF29 for a couple of months to see if it managed to win me over. It never did completely, but it kept me long enough to be around for the ‘upgrade’ to FF30. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to give the same period of grace to this version though – I’m already swapping my constant multitude of starting tabs over to other browsers in readiness for my FF2FF (Final Farewell to FireFox). These are all ‘secondary’ browsers, ones I generally only use to test pages or web applications I have developed, but weirdly enough I find myself thinking I’d rather use Internet Explorer (11 on my machine presently) as my primary browser. That really sums up how I feel about Firefox in a way that many web developers will understand – IE having been the curse of developers for many of its iterations).

        p.s. sorry, some of this was meant specifally for mbokil and some of it was just general opinion – I probably should have split them!

        1. If you feel there is a security flaw you should file a bug with Mozilla. It is easy to do and something serious like that would be triaged quickly. I file bugs on occasion and the developers have always responded to me when it is a serious problem. I would be suspicious of any plugins or extensions you have installed and also look for spyware since your problem with security is not typical. When trying to solve a problem you have to go on facts and not emotion or it can bias you against seeing things clearly.

      3. After a bit of thought, I realise that I consider Mozilla (and Firefox) to actually just be another of those seeking a monoculture that they corporately control. I don’t see much difference – oh except that FF developers probably don’t get paid what they should.
        Anyway, I’ve just deleted FF and added all the Mozilla sites to my Windows hosts file (as it seemed even after uninstalling, there was still traffic between my pc and Mozilla’s servers… but we trust Mozilla don’t we, so they can’t be up to no good, even though they shouldn’t actually still even have a presence on MY machine. It seems evidence won’t convince even the one whom believes their minds are open already.)
        p.s. I have spoken to Mozilla developers (and in fact used to develop for early versions of Firefox) and yes they did seem to get onto issues, but that was a few years ago when programmers were writing FF, not the script-kiddies whom seem to have the most input these day. But to be honest, when there’s that many chef’s, I wouldn’t eat the broth even if it is free.
        My time with Mozilla has now come to an end. It was fun for a while, frustrating for a while and then downright painful. If, to get a decent browser, it means that I must spend all of my time writing plugins/extensions to make it work as I want it, then wouldn’t I be better just going and getting a browser that I like.
        Your suggestion is like buying a brand-new car from Ford, but deciding that as I prefer Holden (GM) I’m going to rebuild my brand-new Ford to look like a Holden. Why??? Would anybody do such a thing. It says to me that you should have just bought a Holden to begin with (if that’s what you wanted).
        Just sounds like an excuse for a shit browser to me. “You can make it good, but only if you add this and change that!”

  39. horrible but for those who want a more classic firefox experience use this addon: classic theme restorer

    1. The new tab look is definitely not for me. I think it makes Firefox heavy looking and too much like Chrome. I made a theme (user style) that flattens Firefox 29 and gives it a white minimalist look similar to Safari on iOS. It is a little radical and completely removes the tab shape.

      1. very interesting im trying something but do you know how to reduce the size of the tab bar so we can have something smaller

        1. Download the stylish extension. Then look at the CSS code on the user styles link I posted for my theme. Try variations on the tab height using stylish to see the effect. It allows you to edit the CSS and see the change to firefox Ui.

      2. nice, but still has the inflexibility of australis, ie; immovable refresh and back/forward buttons… nice effort though.

      1. Pale moon is nice but it doesn’t have the latest changes to the Firefox code base so it is missing some new CSS and the javascript engine is slower. On my latest test the js engine on Firefox 29 and chrome were identical around 183 ms to run sun spider js test. Also the latest changes to the dev tools in Firefox 29 are great for web developers like me.

        1. As you said it doesn’t have the latest changes to the firefox code, but ms of speed improvements doesn’t interest me, a functional browser customised how i like it is my priority. The thing that angers me is instead of concentrating on improvements like you say with dev tools and speed enhancements they continue to change things that don’t need changing and remove customisation options in the process, let users choose were they want toolbar icons to be, whether they want an add-on bar, whether they want tabs on top or bottom stop forcing things on users.

          1. This. I will take speed hits any day rather than have some dipshits screw up my UI. I’m tired of having to install add-ons to DISABLE THIS CRAP! I’m done with Firefox and have uninstalled it from all computers, tablets and phones in my household and workplace. Fuck ’em. Palemoon is now my workhorse.

      1. The “Classic Theme Restorer” add-on is the only reason I’m still using FF after this turd of an update.

        1. good shout it was horrible because they got rid of Firefox in the top left corner had to have the full menu thing and it was a mess the add on you said fixed this so thanks, anyone having trouble with


    1. I made the same switch a few months back, Mozilla can stick their Chrome clone

      1. Firefox is a Chrome clone only if one wishes to be. For those not liking the Australis theme, there are quite a few ways you
        can customize Firefox. It is Firefox after all, not like chrome where
        you can’t really change a theme only color.

        1. Yes, some of the changes can be undone by installing add-ons, add-ons being the thing that Mozilla blame for memory leaks in their browser. Why is there the need to remove customisation options, that is what Firefox was built upon, yet every version brings more and more changes which result in customisation options being removed, before i moved to Palemoon, i had 20 active add-ons, 8 of them solely to replace functions that have been removed, this new version removes the add-on bar, it removes my own customised toolbar i use, it locks certain icons into positions were i don’t want them, what kind of improvement is that? Its such a joke that the ego of Mozilla developers is why these changes are happening, Mozilla had thousands of complaints when they first discussed the australis re-design but ignored the complaints and pushed on anyway.

          1. Same boat here, adding endless extensions to restore firefox to what it used to be. I’m changing browser.

          2. This is what techies do to justify their existence. Take a perfectly good product and continue to tweak it until it becomes a pile of crap. Sad to finally see it happen to Firefox.

          3. They’re pulling a Microsoft.

            My guess is that Mozilla has reached that point of corporate maturity where internal politics have set in and redesigns like this are the result of big egos and senior positions trying to justify their existence by “contributing” big changes.

    2. How exactly is Firefox a Chrome clone? It uses a different rendering engine (Gecko) after all. The only similarities I can see is the shape of the tabs and the hamburger menu icon (and even those options have been implemented differently). Furthermore, if you’re yearning for the other look, like the saying goes for iOS, there’s an app (add-on) for that: Classic Theme Restorer.
      What happened to ‘it’s the inside that counts’?

      1. The insides suck as well.

        Please, feel free to keep stroking the FF moronic dev team off.

    1. Quick warning, in this new version they put the Bookmark this page/favorite Star Icon and the Bookmarks Folders Icons right next to each other and you can’t separate them!

      So, you’ll have to be careful which you click… and anyone with a touch screen is probably going to really hate it…

      While it looks like the shortened Menu button is now on the right side and you can’t move it but it switches to a more icon based menu instead of regular menu list…

      The rest of it looks good though and it’s suppose to be faster and more secure, we’ll see…

      1. Do they not realize that the customizable aspect is the reason most of us use(d) Firefox in the first place? What’s with this recent habit of taking away options?

    2. Yeah, seems to be the trend lately with browsers. Opera literally became Chrome a while back. (In that they didn’t just reskin Opera to look like Chrome, they took Chrome and put an Opera theme on it)

      1. Not just browsers…everything…they are all following Apple’s form over function angle to appeal to the masses. Too bad the masses are stupid.

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