Firefox 29: 5 Changes You'll Love

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Firefox users get a nice surprise today as Mozilla revamped its interface and released new special features such as a customizable interface and improved tabs with version 29 of its desktop browser. While many of these features have already been available through the browser's beta channel, the official launch puts them in the standard version that Firefox users will see once their software automatically updates. Here are the five things you need to know about the new Firefox. 

1. Customization mode

Firefox 29 features a streamlined interface, but we're more excited about the ability to personalize the browser so it looks the way we want it. When you hit the green Customization button at the bottom of the menu, you can start reorganizing your browser's interface to your heart's content.

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You can drag and drop buttons, menu items and add-ons and place them wherever you wish on the menu or toolbar. While you can already place buttons for extensions on the toolbar in Chrome, Firefox 29 gives you greater control and lets you manage more than just add-ons. 

MORE: Best Windows 8.1 Browser: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

2. New Firefox menu


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Instead of a dropdown list that appears when you click the Firefox title on the top left, the browser's menu now shows options neatly organized in a grid of icons. The orange Firefox bar is also missing, presumably to make space for tabs at the top, replaced by a new three-line menu button to the right of the search bar. 

This new menu makes settings easier to find, and you can pin your favorite functions to this grid for easier access. Tools such as Cut, Copy, Paste and Zoom are also conveniently located at the top.

3. Better tabs

Along with a gorgeous new interface, the Firefox team also improved how tabs appear. Pinned tabs keep pages you're always on, such as Facebook, Twitter or Gmail, open and reduces the size of that tab to the size of a thumbnail. This way, you can have more of your tabs visible without having to scroll.

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The site you're on will be more obvious, thanks to what Mozilla calls receding tabs. Inactive pages will have transparent backgrounds behind their page titles, while the page you're on will be opaque.

A new feature called Switch to Tab helps reduce clutter by checking when you start typing in a new tab to see if you already have that site open. If you do, Firefox will bring you to that open tab so you won't duplicate existing pages.

4. Improved Firefox Sync

Firefox Sync shares your browsing history across all your devices such as laptops, Android smartphones or tablets. In previous iterations, Firefox Sync was somewhat cumbersome to set up, requiring the entry of three alphanumerical shortcodes to link devices. In the new Firefox, all you need to do is sign in with your Firefox account to share your search history, saved passwords, open tabs and form data. 

5.  Social Integration

Firefox Share will let you post  content through services such Facebook, Pocket or with the click of a button. This way, you can share the story you're reading to your Facebook feed without having to open or go to another tab.

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Author Bio
Cherlynn Low
Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer
Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.
Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer on
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  • WaywardPilgrim Says:

    I've just read every comment and agree with virtually every one and all their points---except the one wishing death to ff folks. Jerk. Still, I agree that this is either a blatant paid shill piece following BS script, or inexcusable promoting out of ignorance of the subject. Version 29 of FF is EVERYTHING EVERY COMPLAINER SAID---AND IT'S OBVIOUS WHY IT SUCKS!!

    What the hell is this author's game to so blatantly push untruths??

  • joe Says:

    What a joke. The 2 most used buttons on a web browser are the Back button and the Reload button.

    The designers of Firefox 29 decided to the the buttons on OPPOSITE sites of the tool bar with NO way to change them.

    Even Chrome has them right next to each other. Why? Its basic "human factor" engineering 101. And quite frankly, the designers of FF 29 look like rank amateurs who have a lack of the most basic education.

  • Serpentor Says:

    Wow, you lady have ZERO ethics. How much did Google pay your lousy rag to have you write this BS? FF 29 is universally despised! Only 2 types of people like it; one's paid to like it, and idiots. You can take FF29 aka Chrome Explorer, this article, and send them both to the scrap heap.

  • Void Says:

    Love ? All I do is HATE the new version. The UI is again more like chrome forcing you to have tabs on top, the customization is a BIG FAT LIE as now you can't more around a lot of buttons you could before and best of all HUGE memory leaks and crashes all the time. Yes I like having 100 tabs open at the same time. No that was not a problem in older versions. Now it takes 3GB of ram...

  • John Says:

    No disrespect meant, but exactly how often does the author use Firefox to believe the above statements to be true? OR ..Exactly how much is Firefox paying you to say the statements above lol?

    On Firefox 16, many updates back?!..I can (with a little patience) put multiple spaces between the search and address bars, in order that I can see the background picture (which Firefox itself encouraged) more fully. It was annoying to have to fix so many spaces there, where Firefox creators could have simply allowed you to put in ONE adjustable space, but at least the option was there. And I could then enjoy my carefully chosen picture, and feel my browser to be unique looking, and "me". With Firefox 29 there is no space icon, and so we just have two WAY TOO BIG search-type bars GETTING THE HELL IN MY WAY. LOL.

    Thank God, I still have my setup of FF16 saved. Firefox can be a great browser..when it or it's programmers don't screw up.

    I don't know what I'll do if the FF programmers insist on continuing to mess up the look and functionalitiy of Firefox still further. But I know that if they do, I will change browser. Not to Chrome, because I value privacy, and thus don't trust anything built by New Google as far as I could throw my house. But I'll find another browser provider if Firefox chiefs don't wake up their ideas.

  • Dan Says:

    Not a single one of these things is an improvement. First thing I did was go looking for an addon that brought back the easy to use version 28 feel. 29's layout is crap.

  • joe Says:

    I simply can't find a single good thing about this turd of an update. It's not at all customizable. The tabs on top suck. And I couldn't care less about a lot of that garbage. They should be making it easier to customize the way you want it, not taking that ability away. That's why I went to ff years ago. This update is so bad I went back to a previous version and turned off updates. Now I have my browser back.

  • Mr Smooth Says:

    I hate the transparent tabs.

    Transparent tabs make the tab titles unreadable. This is really bad.

    How do I turn off the transparent tabs?

  • Alex Says:

    I totally disagree with you! the new firefox removes all the buttons that I use, without leaving ANY option to have they back, and it is as bad as chrome. I HATE FIREFOX 29. And the majority of users will change to chrome. Thanks for DESTROYING my browser. Firefox developers deserve to die!

  • Anthony Says:

    Well, I have to say that #2 is fine - there seems to be little difference between the two, on comparison. #3 is a 'so what' to me - I rarely have more than five to ten tabs open per window - I just open more windows to group tabs. #4 and #5 are things I never use. And #1 - it seems useful initially, but there are so many buttons I'd like to add that are missing from the customization interface, especially a button to turn on/off the Bookmarks sidebar.

  • dude Says:

    This is the same reason I hate Microsoft, every time they change the appearance of the interface I have to relearn it. It is like coming home to a house that is painted a new color and the furniture is redesigned by IKEA and moved. Then I open the fridge and there is wine instead of beer! Give me back the ability to easily turn off scripts, stop screwing with the appearance, and get a life.

  • Narzul Says:

    Firefox 29: 5 Changes that will make you kill your self.

    1. Customization mode
    Firefox 29 features a streamlined interface which is shit.

    2. New Firefox menu.
    give me a dropdown list, i dont need icon's that is filling the hole screen.
    #"This new menu makes settings easier to find", no it does not. and second why the hell do i need zoom in the fucking menu.

    3. Better tabs
    no it is more shit tabs, easier to fine i think out have taken an overdose of shit.

  • Patrik Says:

    You like the new firefox? How is that even remotely possible? After trying it I must say I truly hate it. Very much so, I am disgusted with it.

  • Joe Says:

    I upgraded today, and was, surprise surprise, quite displeased.
    In order to restore the configuration/appearance that I prefer, I had to install the following add-ons: Classic Theme Restorer, Glass My Fox, and Tabs On Bottom (Austrailis) 0.5.
    Even so, the text on the tabs is a tad blurry for some reason, but I can live with that far easier than with the miniscule controls and Chrome-wannabe appearance (Mozilla, do you recall the historic lesson of New Coke?)
    We choose FF over Chrome because of the differences, not similarities, and if we wanted to use Chrome, we'd download it (to be fair, most of us probably have it as an alternate browser, but prefer using FF).
    If those Add-Ons had not been available, I would have been very angry!

  • Jesse Says:

    Customize firefox (click) ...stare for a minute...hmmm I must be missing something. 30 minutes later, nope I have six buttons I can add and I am unable to change ANYTHING.

    How in the hell is this more customizable?

  • Drake Jones Says:

    Shill. This is the first and ONLY article I've seen that has anything positive to say about Firefox 29. What a bunch of self-indulgent developers!

  • reader Says:

    where is the Firefox Share button?

  • Ben Says:

    I disagree with every one of these points.

    1. Firefox 29 is far less configurable then 28
    - put the tab bar on the bottom? doesn't work in 29.
    - arrange buttons as [back] [forward] [reload/stop] [locattion]? not in 29
    - add ons bar? gone from 29.
    - buttons take up more horizontal space now. Fewer bars, larger buttons. my location box is too small to see anything now.
    - the forward button disappears when there is no forward page. This makes the UI jump around and things are in different places from one second to the next. this is a usability nightmare.

    2. The new firefox menu is more clicks to get to the same thing, and you can't get to everything any more. Options from the old tools menu are not available.

    3. the new tabs are too curvy and this causes them to take up MORE space..

    4.Improved firefox sync is just more security issues. Syncing browsing history, form data, useranmes, and passwords is madness. The only hting I have ever wanted synced is bookmarks.

    5. Social integration belogs in Add On's not in core funtionality! I do not use half of the services supported and don't want the ones I do use integrated in the browser. This is playing favorites with service providers. Is g+ supported? myspace? how about the new startup that has been around for 3 months?

    Firefox 29 is so bad


    This new FF29 does not save pinned tabs at all. I've lost important links I had saved for a work. Pfff... I checked if it was a problem of settings and they are allright. Their Firefox search (appears on the launch of a new window) doesn't work neither...


  • Bleh Says:

    Bleh, if I wanted Chrome, I'd put Chromium on my Linux Mint Debian install.

  • AndreasP Says:

    Funny, it's 5 changes I hate. Plus all the other changes from Firefox 28 to 29. I think it's finally time to change to Chrome, seeing how Firefox people are apparently hating their long-term users.

  • Cool Vader Says:

    If you have a very dark wallpaper, then it becomes very difficult to read the inactive tabs. You need to strain the eyes for an extra second or two to figure out which tab was which. I hate doing this !!

  • Drabant Says:

    The new menu is absolutely awful. Why would I want these wasteful and messy tiles? Where are all the options? Is there some way to get the old menu back?

  • juhan Says:

    How can you turds say we’ll love it ffs?? all tabs are with unreadeble headerss...

  • Diekirch Says:

    Didn't find any change I love, but many changes I hate.

  • JI Says:

    Zacuto, the refresh and stop icons are inside the URL bar on the right-hand side.

  • JI Says:

    Richard, you don't need the bookmarks toolbar, as the bookmarks dropdown is now right next to the star that adds bookmarks!

  • Stu Says:

    Truly awful. If I need Chrome I'll install it. My solution, Uninstall FF29 keeping data add ons etc. Install Firefox ESR. Hello my old friend.

  • stan Says:

    It absolutely SUCKS!

  • Richard L Walker Says:

    Actually I don't love the missing orange Firefox as I used it all the time to get to the bookmarks on an as needed basis. It appears I now require either a bookmarks toolbar or not (all or nothing). Yup - not lovin' it.

  • rolf Says:

    i want my tabd under the toolbar and i want to 'X' icon so i can press and stop a site loading crap. where are these features??? and this dont look like firfox anymore...

  • madman yogi Says:

    Sounds good can't wait to try it

  • Zacuto Says:

    What a crock of shit! The refresh and stop icons have vanished so how can you turds say we'll love it ffs??

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