The new Mozilla Firefox Quantum is quite cool. It’s fast, secure, and it has great support for all the latest “bells and whistles” in HTML/CSS/JS.

Firefox Quantum

One thing is missing though — OK, maybe not one, but one that highly annoys me: the status bar.

Firefox Quantum: searching for the (missing) status bar
And I am not the only one — Google “predictive results” suggests that probably thousands of people search for the status bar in the latest Firefox release.

To be fair, in Firefox 56 and earlier, the status bar was in a way missing too. But there was this excellent little extension that could bring it back in just a click: install Status-4-Evar, and bingo, the status bar is back! :-)

But what’s a status bar, you may ask? Usually it’s a little ribbon near the bottom of the browser’s window which can display a variety of information whenever needed. For example, while a web page is loading, the status bar may display brief glimpses about its loading progress. Or, when you mouse over a link on a page, the status bar will display the URL even before you click on the link. Handy!

When a web page is loading, the status bar may display brief glimpses about its loading progress
When a web page is loading (1), the status (2) bar may display brief glimpses about its loading progress.

In one word: the status bar is something very, very useful!

Here’s the catch though — you can display the status bar in a few different ways:
a) it can be either permanently on display at the bottom of the browser window (which was the default for all browsers only a few years back);
b) or, you can display and hide it based on context — which is the new default for most browsers, including Firefox.

In my opinion, displaying and hiding the status bar based on context, is not ideal UX (user experience). Page is loading and the status bar “pop-up” shows at the bottom of the browser window; page has loaded — status bar disappears; you mouseover one or a few links on the page you’re reading — and the status bar shows then hides then shows again… On/off, on/off, on/off… hundreds of times! It’s visually distracting.

A bit of history: Google Chrome was the first browser to introduce this annoying “show/hide status bar” behavior and then many other browser vendors started adopting it as well. Firefox was not exception.

But then, the Status-4-Evar extension fixed exactly that: it restored the status bar to the location where it belonged, and allowed Firefox users to browse happily with the status bar displayed at all times! No more status bar “flickering” on/off! :-)

Unfortunately, Firefox Quantum brought not only some cool stuff but some bad stuff as well, and namely, it broke all the existing (pre-Firefox-57) extensions! And so Status-4-Evar was gone as well.

I am using Mozilla Firefox (and before that, Mozilla Suite) for ages. I love the browser. I like that it’s developed by the Mozilla Foundation (and not Microsoft or Google or Apple — three giants that I don’t like particularly). I like that I can customize every little bit of my browsing experience in Firefox… or rather, could. Because, as I just mentioned, most of the old extensions will not work in Firefox Quantum (versions 57, 58 and later).

So I jumped on a quest to find the missing status bar!

A quick google search showed quite a few results but some of them were misleading and others turned out to be just some posts where people complained about the missing functionality.

I then dug deeper and found out that even if now Firefox extensions cannot customize the user interface of Firefox anymore, there is still a manual (and not so well documented) way of modifying bits of the interface by using a special CSS file that you can create locally on your computer: userChrome.css.

The userChrome.css file must be created inside the chrome folder in your Firefox profile (this is well documented in the following Firefox help page).

As an example, in Windows 10, the file is located here:
C:\Users\«your-Windows-profile»\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\«your-Firefox-profile»\chrome\userChrome.css

After you create this file, add the following code to it:


/*
    Display the status bar in Firefox Quantum (Firefox 57+)
    permanently at the bottom of the browser window.
    Code below works best for the Light Firefox theme and is based on:
    https://github.com/MatMoul/firefox-gui-chrome-css/blob/master/chrome/userChrome.css
*/

#browser-bottombox {
    height: 20px;
    border-top: solid 1px #CCC;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel {
    left: 4px !important;
    bottom: 0;
    transition-duration: 0s !important;
    transition-delay: 0s !important;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel>.statuspanel-inner>.statuspanel-label {
    margin-left: 0 !important;
    border: none !important;
    padding: 0 !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] #browser-bottombox {
    display:none !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] .browserContainer>statuspanel[type="overLink"] .statuspanel-label {
    display:none !important;
}

Save the file and restart Firefox. You should now see the status bar permanently displayed at the bottom of the window! :-)

I took the idea from the following page: firefox-gui-chrome-css and made some slight modifications to it. It works best with the Light theme for Firefox Quantum.

If you are using the Dark Theme in Firefox then better if you use the next block of code as it was adapted specifically for the dark Firefox look:


/*
    Display the status bar in Firefox Quantum (Firefox 57+)
    permanently at the bottom of the browser window.
    Code below works best for the Dark Firefox theme and is based on:
    https://github.com/MatMoul/firefox-gui-chrome-css/blob/master/chrome/userChrome.css
*/

#browser-bottombox {
    height: 20px;
    border-top: solid 1px #505050;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel {
    left: 4px !important;
    bottom: 0;
    transition-duration: 0s !important;
    transition-delay: 0s !important;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel>.statuspanel-inner>.statuspanel-label {
    margin-left: 0 !important;
    border: none !important;
    padding: 0 !important;
	color: #EEE !important;
    background: #333 !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] #browser-bottombox {
   display:none !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] .browserContainer>statuspanel[type="overLink"] .statuspanel-label {
    display:none !important;
}

Note: If you are using more than one Firefox profile, you’ll need to add the modification to the userChrome.css file separately to every chrome folder in every profile.

I have tested this “hack” on two different Windows 10 computers with the latest Firefox 58 and it works brilliantly, at least for now.

If you’re the lazy type, feel free to download directly my modified userChrome.css files:
http://www.optimiced.com/wp-uploads/2018/02/userChromeLight.css
http://www.optimiced.com/wp-uploads/2018/02/userChromeDark.css
— only remember (after the download) to rename the file back from userChromeLight.css or userChromeDark.css to userChrome.css. I added “Light” and “Dark” in the file name only to differentiate between the two versions.
(Attention! The above Light theme and Dark theme examples will work for Firefox 57-60 only. Firefox 61+ requires updated CSS files, check the UPDATE at the end of the blog post! I made the update thanks to a recent helpful comment.)

Finally, if you’re a Firefox power user and already have a userChrome.css file with some customizations in it — in that case just add the bit of code and save it. (Do not replace your original file with the downloaded one as it’ll remove your current customizations.)

Hope everything is clear but if you have a question, feel free to post a comment below or to ping me on Twitter. :-)

UPDATE! (28/06/2018): After the release of Firefox 61, the CSS code needs to be tweaked, or otherwise it will not work. If you (for some reason) are still using Firefox 57, 58, 59 or 60, everything will be fine, use the older code. If you are using Firefox 61 or newer, get one of the next two CSS files which were updated and tested to work with the newer 61+.

The updated userChrome.css files — for Firefox 61 and newer:
http://www.optimiced.com/wp-uploads/2018/06/userChromeLight61.css
http://www.optimiced.com/wp-uploads/2018/06/userChromeDark61.css
(And again, remember (after the download) to rename the file back from userChromeLight61.css or userChromeDark61.css to userChrome.css. I added “Light” and “Dark” and “61” in the file name only to differentiate between the two dark/light versions, and so that you know these are the versions for FF 61+.)

32 thoughts on “Where is my status bar in Firefox Quantum? Here’s a way to restore it!

  1. Thanks, it works on Firefox 59 on Windows 7.

    The question now is how to recover the progress bar to the right in the status bar, as I used to have it (and like it) with status-4-evar. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. @Olivia:

    Sorry, no ideas about the progress bar to the right in the status bar… :-(

    Unfortunately, latest Firefox Quantum is much more restricted in how it could be customized as user interface. I am even happy that (with a bit of CSS) I could bring the status bar back… and I even fear, in one of the next releases, maybe even this functionality will be removed. (Hope not!)

  3. This works great for adding the status bar back, but how do you add things to it, such as addon buttons? Is that even possible in FF Quantum?

  4. @Kev: “…how do you add things to it, such as addon buttons? Is that even possible in FF Quantum?”

    I am afraid I do not know the answer to your question. And I don’t know if this is possible… But my guess is — no. Firefox Quantum is much more limited in terms of how you could customize it.

  5. First, thanks for this nifty little css hack!

    Unfortunately, Firefox 61 broke functionality. :( The status bar itself is displayed permanently, but when hovering over a link the URL gets displayed in a box on top of the status bar.

    Does this have to do anything with Mozillas work on Firefox’s themes, especially the dark theme?
    Any help on restoring the old behaviour is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  6. “Does this have to do anything with Mozillas work on Firefox’s themes, especially the dark theme?”

    — probably this is the reason, but unfortunately, we have no control over the decisions of the Mozilla design team and it’s likely the status bar behavior will be broken again by this update.

    (I am still on Firefox 60.x but probably will see the same as you in a couple of days, when my Firefox updates.)

    Maybe some clever CSS code could fix the problem for Firefox 61.x+?.. For now, I have no idea — I haven’t written any CSS myself for ages. :)

  7. @Michel Thanks to David W. on reddit, I was able to adapt your code to the changes made in Firefox 61, as it wasn’t working anymore. statuspanel and .statuspanel have to be replaced by #statuspanel. The again working results look like this:


    #browser-bottombox {
    height: 20px;
    border-top: solid 1px #CCC;
    }

    .browserContainer>#statuspanel {
    left: 4px !important;
    bottom: 0;
    transition-duration: 0s !important;
    transition-delay: 0s !important;
    }

    .browserContainer>#statuspanel>#statuspanel-inner>#statuspanel-label {
    margin-left: 0 !important;
    border: none !important;
    padding: 0 !important;
    }

    window[inFullscreen="true"] #browser-bottombox {
    display:none !important;
    }

    window[inFullscreen="true"] .browserContainer>#statuspanel[type="overLink"] #statuspanel-label {
    display:none !important;
    }

    Thank you for providing the original code, though. Standing on the shoulders of giants, as Newton would’ve said. ;)

  8. Hello,

    I will test your update! One of my Firefox-s just updated to version 61. :)

    I was thinking that probably some class or ID in the CSS changed — and you discovered, which one exactly! (How did you do it? Did you read some documentation on how Firefox 61 CSS code is constructed? And what are the changes if you compared versions 57-60 and 61?)

  9. Thanks for fixing the text above, a closing bracket was missing.

    Admittedly, I didn’t discover it, just copied some dude’s corrected code in the linked reddit thread. The funny thing is, I asked him the same question concerning documentation, but he also said he just copied his correction from another guy. :)

  10. I also didn’t create the code, I just updated some existing code and then again… ;-)

    But thanks for pointing it out! I was totally in the dark why the CSS stopped working in 61.

    Now my blog post contains also links for the Light and Dark theme for Firefox 61+. I tweaked slightly and tested both and seems now everything is perfect on Firefox 61. (And I kept the CSS for 57-60 just in case.)

  11. I noticed the label has a slightly lighter background colour than the bar itself on Firefox 62 with the light theme. Easily fixed by adding background-color: transparent !important; to .browserContainer>#statuspanel>#statuspanel-inner>#statuspanel-label.

  12. Good job. Is there any way to be able to get the download status bar in there or at least the doanload button on it in the right corner?

  13. This is awesome, thanks. However, the text alignment in the status bar needs to be centered. At the moment, the text alignment is at the bottom. This makes it look unnatural. Can someone help with the code?

  14. Thanks, it worked.

    Boggles the mind why this can’t simply be an extension add-on rather than needing this chrome css file. Or better yet, it boggles the mind why Mozilla can’t just give us an option for a status bar.

    The main reason I like a status bar is firstly it provides a buffer between the web page and my Windows task bar. Secondly, I don’t like links appearing over the content of the page when hovering over links. I find that distracting, and I hate it in Google Chrome too. Why the hell Mozilla copies Chrome is beyond me.

  15. To have a sort of vertically centered text, use this code:
    .browserContainer>#statuspanel {
    left: 4px !important;
    bottom: 3px;
    transition-duration: 0s !important;
    transition-delay: 0s !important;
    }

    In practice, change from 0 to 3px the distance of the text from the bottom of the window.
    Hope this helps

  16. Any idea on how to get the URL to appear in the status bar without a delay? That’s what pisses me off the most about the hidden status bar: When I’m visually checking a bunch of URLs, I have to wait for a slow fade-in “beautification,” which was put in place just because the decisions to put these kinds of feature in place are being made by fewer and fewer actual programmers and more and more art-degree-graduates-turned-programmers who spit in the eyes of functionality, usability, and productivity then kick them down the stairs in favor of long, drawn-out animations because “it looks great!”

  17. What would be great if I could display it for say 5 seconds and then hide it again.I would love a simple button to display or hide it on demand but that doesn’t seem possible (yet)

  18. I love Olof’s reply but after installing this userChrome and restarting Firefox 65 dot 01 I saw no change whatsoever, seems like Mozilla broke important features yet again.

    The google spyware alternative is worse, but Mozilla seem utterly obnoxious about forcing their preferred interfaces onto users without any attempts at consultation whatsoever.

  19. I am with Firefox 65.0.1 and the CSS mentioned still works perfectly, I have a status bar in my Firefox, and it works! :-)

    I think you need to double-check if everything is set up correctly.

  20. Thank You.

    I’m using your CSS because the status bar in Chrome covers up the last email in so many email webmail programs including Outlook for Office 365. You’ve made an annoyance go away. Thank you, thank you.

  21. One other thing, the chrome folder wasn’t in my user directory (FF 65.0.2). I created it and inserted the file. All is well. Thanks again!

  22. Sigh, Firefox seemed to be the last bastion of decent customisable browsers, now it seems even this is getting forcibly dumbed down.

    Removing a status bar, so that you now have to add a CSS hack for it to display a “Status Bar”, that then doesn’t even show any status information. It’s just, “a bar.” (No progress bar, zoom amount, all the other stuff browsers used to show).

    I don’t mind dumbing down, but I hate forced dumbing down, just leave the option to show all stuff for those people that have the intelligence to tweak things.

  23. I added it to FF 67 and do not get a status bar at the bottom. Is there some new code needed? This is on Windows 10.

  24. I downloaded and tried the latest linked code and Firefox 68.0 (64-bit) I get a black bar but nothing in it… bummed :-P

  25. Just for those who aren’t getting it to load at all. If you don’t have a chrome folder you need to create one and then put the userChrome.css file into it. It also must have this exact file name.

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