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

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. And I hope it will work for some time (unless the Mozilla team alters further the browser’s core code, let’s hope not).

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.

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. :-)

8 comments |



Comments to “Where is my status bar in Firefox Quantum? Here’s a way to restore it!”:

  1. Josh Says:
    1

    Hello, your script works on my Win7 system. Just wanted to say thanks!

  2. Michel Says:
    2

    Hello Josh, nice to hear it works for you! :-)

  3. Olivia Says:
    3

    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.

  4. Michel Says:
    4

    @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!)

  5. Kev Says:
    5

    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?

  6. Michel Says:
    6

    @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.

  7. Aleks Says:
    7

    @Kev @Michel Yes you can, but with a little more efforts: https://www.reddit.com/r/FirefoxCSS/comments/8bfxji/been_trying_to_revive_the_addon_bar_statuspanel/

  8. Michel Says:
    8

    @Aleks: Thank you for the link! :)

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