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Make Firefox’s Tabs Smaller



Or, getting my hands on every pixel possible

Quick Steps

  1. In Firefox’s address bar, type about:config and press enter.
  2. Note the warning, and “Continue” if you are comfortable
  3. In the search bar, search for uidensity
  4. Change the 0 value of browser.uidensity to 1
  5. The effect is immediate
Three screenshots, one of top of the other, of the tab and toolbars. On the left, Firefox with UIDensity 0, the default. In the middle, Firefox with UIDensity 1, "compact" mode. On the right, Brave.

The difference is Firefox's compact mode is 13 pixels smaller than the default mode, and 3 pixels smaller than Brave.
13 whole pixels! Just think of all the possibilities!

After Firefox 89’s interface update in 2021 there was a not-so-subtle change made to the way tabs were displayed. They floated now! A neutral change, in my opinion, but something else happened, too. They grew, and were now taking up additional space! How much? I’m not quite sure, but they’re definitely bigger by a few pixels.

This didn’t bother me enough to go searching for a fix immediately. No, this was a “I’m bored, I wonder if there’s a fix for this” type situation.

So there I was, poking around in about:config scrolling through options, changing things, reverting them, and then I came across another that looked intriguing. browser.uidensity . It sounded like what I wanted!

browser.uidensity is set to 0 by default, but if you double click it or press the Pencil/Edit button on the left and change the 0 value to 1. The change takes immediate effect! That’s it!

Enjoy your additional 13 pixels!

And of course, if you wish to revert the change, run through the process again and press the Reset button next to the Edit button, or simply change the 1 back to a 0.

An additional Firefox menu named "Density" to the right of the "Title Bar" option and "Toolbars" menu. It has the "Normal" and "Compact (not supported) options listed. Compact is highlighted.
Not supported? Hopefully this option doesn’t disappear for good…

You can also revert in the GUI. Changing the default value of uidensity enables an option in the “Customize Toolbar…” page. Selecting “Normal” here will get you back to defaults.

6 responses to “Make Firefox’s Tabs Smaller”

  1. Come on Leo, love the tips and posts, but don’t like the long intervals between them. Come on man! Give us more stuff!

    1. You’d better believe I’m trying! Hoping to spend a bit more time here and at Terminal Tricks over the podcast break coming up mid-April.

  2. oh my actual god i love this how could mozilla not tell us?

    1. I have a feeling it’ll go away one day, but until then, I’m gonna keep using it!

  3. Wait, what??? I just made my user experience much better on my teeny-tiny screen! Thank you!
    Is there similar soulation for Chrome?

    1. Unfortunately, not that I know of for most. Vivaldi is unique within the Chromiums in that it has a built-in interface slider where you can shrink it to whatever size you like! Maybe using Vivaldi is the trick for you?

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