Tweak Firefox 3 full screen mode

Firefox 3 introduces real full screen mode where unlike Firefox 2 where the location bar and tab bar remained visible at all times, now they both automatically hide below the top edge of the screen.

If for some reason you prefer to see the location and tab bars, you can customize Firefox:

  • Enter about:config in the location bar to access the advanced preferences.
  • Look for browser.fullscreen.autohide and double click it to set it to false.

Or you can just turn off the toolbars slide up animation:

  • Look for browser.fullscreen.animateUp, right-click, select Modify and enter 0.

As with all advanced preferences you can reset them to their default values right-clicking and selecting Reset from the context menu.

Just in case, you enter full screen mode pressing F11 or selecting Full Screen in Firefox’s View menu.


  1. The Guru June 20, 2008 2:35 pm 

    Great tips, thanks. I’ll add them to my tips guide.

  2. Nicolas June 20, 2008 2:52 pm 

    “Look for browser.fullscreen.autohide and double click it to set it to false.”

    Or right-click on the toolbar and uncheck “Hide toolbars”.

  3. Sociz 日志 » Blog Archive » 调整 Firefox3 全屏浏览模式 June 20, 2008 3:51 pm 

    [...] 不过有些怀旧的同学想要在全屏浏览模式下保留工具栏和标签栏,或者为了优化浏览器的性能,将上面提到的动态滚动效果关掉,这里 mozilla links 为我们提供了调整 Firefox3 全屏模式的方法。 [...]

  4. David June 20, 2008 4:08 pm 

    It’s much easier to turn the autohide off – simply right-click on the location bar and uncheck “Hide Toolbars”.

    • Brijesh Chauhan July 1, 2008 10:10 pm 

      Where is the “Hide Toolbar” option on the location bar? I don’t see it.

      If I change “browser.fullscreen.autohide”, it only shows the tab bar. My location bar is still hidden in the full screen mode. Is there any way of showing the location bar in full screen mode?

      • Brijesh Chauhan July 1, 2008 10:16 pm 

        Never mind, I got it.

        I generally move all my location bar and forward/back button at the Menu bar, so my navigation bar is always hidden (even if its not a full screen mode.)

        So my new question is, is there any way to display ONLY “Menu bar” and “Tab bar” when in full screen mode?

  5. Jens June 20, 2008 5:57 pm 

    I like all these tweaking tips.
    Is there any way to even hide that last bit of the bars that keeps staying at the top of the screen?
    So you get real fullscreen?
    Could be useful for example when viewing flash videos that are set to a

    • Jens June 20, 2008 6:09 pm 

      Sorry, hit the submit button by mistake.
      Was about to say:
      Could be useful for example when viewing flash videos that are set to the screens aspect ratio.
      With that bit of the bars still up there, the flash videos kinda get cut of on each side to keep the aspect ratio and instead, in some cases, display some odd things on the sides that normally should not be there.

    • pawelkl June 25, 2008 11:24 am 

      first you need stylish extension then add this (Really small fulscreen toggle [Fx3])
      made by myself :)
      it leaves the 1px line, so you can hover it to show normal bars

  6. steveballmer June 21, 2008 12:19 am 

    Nobody wants this! That’s why we at MS left it out, we listen to the public!

  7. steveballmer June 21, 2008 3:28 am 

    Just Say NO to FirePox!
    The Mothzilla people have brought FirePox 3 out of it’s beta cocoon after oh so long! Millions download it in the first few hours! What’s the very first thing that happens to it? It’s hacked! Well so much for SBS “Standards Based Software”!


    In a nice fantasy world where every one loves each other, where pixies fly, where we all just share and get along, SBS rules. BUT, we don’t live there! The Open-sourcers, SBS crowd, moonies, lunnies, iTards, Alien-Mothershipers and Linux people will just have to face the truth one day!

    THE TRUTH: Hackers love “open” standards! Everyone can have this stuff, it’s free, free to have and free to manipulate, free to corrupt!

    What the world really needs is proprietary systems and software and standards! The kind of stuff that a hacker will have to take years trying to figure out the source to! Then when they do get close we change it all up on them, frustrate them, force everybody to upgrade or be left behind! Every company will have their own way of doing things as they see fit! Isn’t that really what true freedom is all about? Doing things your way! Not being told by others that you have to “share”, to play well with others, to make the intellectual property which you have slaved over “open and accessible” to anybody who comes along!

    C’mon people! If you want to see MY pictures, shouldn’t you have to user MY viewer? Isn’t that truly basic fairness, equity and just plain decency? What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours! It’s only “ours” if you pay for it!

    All of these freeloaders are really getting on my nerves! I prefer to pay my way! I like buying or renting, not living in some God-forsaken “free and open” hell hole with no doors or windows!

    Sorry, but I get passionate about this stuff!
    I am not evil

    • umar June 24, 2008 8:44 am 

      Just wondering….. Which browser is not free and open?

      IE —- ?
      Safari —- ?
      Opera —- ?
      Maxthon —- ?

      After all you made a big fuzz about FireFox being free and the people who use are free loaders….. May be you can suggest us a purchasable browsers in which WE CANNOT see you PICTURES.

      I guess, Not paying for a free browser makes me EVIL!

    • Anon June 24, 2008 12:08 pm 

      You talk about freedom, but condemn the free actions of those who want to have free and open software. Why can’t you have your proprietary software, and let me have my open source? I don’t think you should be forced to share your source code, and you shouldn’t tell me I can’t share mine.

      Also, if you want to be able to compete in a free and open market, don’t make me pay for your picture viewer. Because then I don’t want to see your pictures. It’s just not worth it. But if you do make your browser more secure than free browsers, I might buy it.

      In the end, If you want freedom, you have to give freedom.

  8. umar June 22, 2008 5:51 am 

    hey, does anyone know how to set firefox so that it opens in fullscreen mode. What i mean is, i usually open firefox and then press F11 to make it fullscreen. Is there a way to open the browser directly in fullscreen mode. Any help will be much appreciated.

    Peace be on all.

      • umar June 24, 2008 8:18 am 

        That addon is for FireFox 2 and i am not sure if that is the solution. Thanks though….

        I was hoping if any one knew how to play around with the about:config to fix it??? Or may be create a script???

        I am not sure if my ideas are of any help…. but still. So all the FireFox gurus out there…… help! because this is very useful for a lot of people.

        • Scrutator June 24, 2008 2:20 pm 

          Autohide works fine for me in Firefox 3. I went back to it for two reasons: it remembers to start up in full screen and it pops up the task bar when I drop the cursor to the bottom of the screen (settable in Autohide’s options).

          • umar June 25, 2008 10:22 pm 

            I will give it a second try….. Thanks

  9. Stephen June 23, 2008 5:10 pm 

    Opera has done this for a while, tweak free.

  10. Ben Osler June 23, 2008 6:17 pm 

    Hmm. RE: Post 6
    I’m sysadmin with 2x 2003 servers and a good few workstations to look after. I’m constantly frustrated by the fact that I have to go down the pop-path in my work environment. Firefox is great. I use it myself. You appear not to know what you are talking about. Many of these “Open Source” people put hours of their time into free and often much better software than that that is found on the commercial route. If I could change the habits of the people I work for and turn them on to FF I would. I just wish I had less family commitments and more free time on my hands so that I could afford to join them. (By the way the “hack” to which you are probably referring is a vulnerability that was probably known about with FF2 but which through greed or a will for recognition in the “PC World” was not made public until the day of the release of FF3. Coincidence? I think not. Indicative of self-believing post-Thatcherite-type selfish thinking. These are the people we will see at the side of the road when the next depression comes with signs reading “Will type for food”.

  11. Ben Osler June 23, 2008 6:29 pm 

    Hmm. Sorry but #6 just got me so “steamed” I have to make another comment. IE is THE most vulnerable browser.If 50% of the users download a patch every second Tuesday of the month they MIGHT be OK (and 90% don’t bother – that’s 40% who leave themselves vulnerable to some Korean ****head playing around with code fulltime not to mention all the other scrip-kiddy copy-cats out there). Pathetic! FF Rocks! Keep the faith FF users.

  12. napier June 23, 2008 6:57 pm 

    I’d like to have fullscreen with the tab bar and location bar available. Pretty much I just want to get rid of the titlebar. I was able to do it using the no-longer-being-updated Menu X add on. Anyone know if I can do that by messing about in about:config?

  13. Ikpiss June 23, 2008 7:47 pm 

    Yeah opening in fullscreen would be great, especially if you could set the bookmarks toolbar and the statusbar to autohide aswell – anybody know if this is possible?

  14. Blah8 June 23, 2008 9:00 pm 

    How does this handle full-screen flash pages? I had an issue with the Fullerscreen extension in Firefox 2 where I couldn’t access the browser interface because the whole page was flash while in full screen mode. An updated version of that extension added a button that would pop up in the bottom right of the screen when one moved the mouse just because of that issue. Does this feature, which due to the fact that Fullerscreen isn’t compatible with FF3 will be what I use from now on, have a solution to this problem as well?

  15. Junk Neo June 23, 2008 11:17 pm 

    Opera has this option since the last two version numbers (last two years i.e.).
    Opera has most of the features the firefox will have with 10 extensions, in the browser itself.

    Stop wining and follow the standards.

    Use Opera, where special features are a common place.

  16. Change Firefox 3 Full Screen Mode June 24, 2008 2:22 am 

    [...] are probably some users who prefer the old ways and Mozilla Links posted a nice quick about:config fix that is bringing back the full screen mode of Firefox [...]

  17. 如何让Firefox 3进入全屏模式 » Ghacks CN June 24, 2008 5:26 am 

    [...] 也许有些用户怀念旧版本中的全屏模式,在Mozilla的链接中发布了一个快速进入全屏的方法,输入about:config来解决这个问题。 [...]

  18. modernape June 24, 2008 7:12 am 

    Well for some reason FF2 always used to do proper fullscreen for me anyway (maybe because I’d put my nav bar items up into the menubar), and now I’ve got FF3 it actually leaves me with an annoying blank bar at the top, which flickers on and off in a very buggy way when I mouse over it, no Rclick option to hide it – what’s that about?

    • drek July 26, 2008 5:10 pm 

      I came here (and other places) looking for a solution to the exact same problem. I managed to fix it. It has something to do with the hiding of toolbars. That ‘blank bar’ at the top was (at least for me) the ‘empty’ nav bar that I had moved contents otherwhere. I normally have it hidden in ‘normal’ view but for some reason it was showing in full screen mode. Toggling it on and off a few times etc seems to have fixed it and now it doesn’t show in full screen. It may some left over from FF2 configuration that causes this…?

  19. pedro June 24, 2008 6:03 pm 

    @ Ben Osler and Umar

    You people have got to be kidding me…

    The #6 post is obviously a joke! Come on!!!

  20. Cheekyal June 24, 2008 6:59 pm 

    I think comment number 6 was joking… At least, he appears to be having the proverbial larf…

  21. umar June 26, 2008 1:00 am 

    does any one know a time display add-on? When i am browsing on full screen, I have to minimize the browser and then check the time on the taskbar (annoying!!!).

    And yes, the add-on work perfectly for full screen! Thanks Scrutator and rob.

  22. faaabulous » Mode plein écran sous Firefox 3 July 2, 2008 8:30 am 

    [...] 2 à ce niveau là, il est tout à fait possible de tuner votre navigateur, comme indiqué sur MozillaLinks, pour qu’il se comporte comme la version 2: If for some reason you prefer to see the location [...]

  23. Ultimate Simplicity For Firefox 3 Full Screen | BPWrap July 3, 2008 12:59 am 

    [...] these bars permanently visible along the top, then Percy Cabello has some advice for you on how to Tweak Firefox 3 full screen mode. That will make the tabs and navigation toolbar a permanent visible item in your Firefox 3 Full [...]

  24. Technosquid August 24, 2008 4:14 am 

    Thanks! I’ve been wondering how to turn off auto-hide! It’s really annoying when you’re dealing with a lot of tabs, since it seems to set your current tab to the last tab visible on the tab bar before the scroll arrow, no matter what position it was in when it collapsed.

  25. marc September 29, 2008 1:11 pm 

    I run Firefox on one of our computers, recently installed it on another. I can open IE without interruptions, however, when I try to open Firefox I receive the following message: Firefox can’t establish a connection to the server at I have tried to open since last night so I know the server isn’t down, the settings here are the same on my other computer. I have uninstalled, installed FF 3 three different times and am still unsuccessful at opening and using the browser. Please advise!

    • marc September 29, 2008 1:16 pm 

      Correction, the message states that I can not establish a connection at, most imortantly I can not even establish one with Firefox or Mozilla.

      • JanR October 16, 2008 12:51 am 

        It may be a firewall problem. Make sure your firewall allows Firefox 3 to connect.

  26. mio February 14, 2009 6:35 pm 

    thnaks wery much, I relly enjoy full screen mode but that whas missing for my full happiness :)
    tnx a lot

  27. isaac April 6, 2009 4:17 pm 

    I really like fullscreen except the menu bar is missing. How can I have full screen and the menu bar?

    What I really want are my bookmarks but not on the side with Ctrl-B

    either option would be awesome. Thanks for your help

  28. TBolt June 12, 2009 8:28 pm 

    I’d love to have my bookmarks toolbar remain visible (not in side view) when using full screen mode, as well. I hope that future versions of FF will allow this somehow. :)

  29. RUBn? November 16, 2009 1:19 pm 

    I hope once I can decide ANY toolbar to autohide or not. Untill that isn’t met, fullscreen is useless for me (except for some 5% usages).
    I also find it should be possible not to see a remaining, what 5 pixel?, bar at the top.
    Go, FF, go!

    • CJ March 8, 2010 7:33 am 

      Here! Here! Lose those final 5 pixels!!!

  30. helen.s.vishnaic July 18, 2010 2:43 pm 


    • TBolt July 19, 2010 11:04 pm 

      F11 key should remove you from full screen mode.

Comments are closed.