Just after thew New Year, we told you about a major design overhaul that is coming to Firefox. Going by the name of Proton, the refreshed look is due for general release when Firefox 89 makes and appearance in May.
But you don't need to wait another four months to see what Mozilla has in store. The company has revealed something of what is in store for the browser in a series of design mock-ups. And it seems that there really is a lot to look forward to with the Proton deign refresh. Here's what you can expect.
- Check out our complete guide to the best browsers
- Find out how to use Firefox dark mode
- You can also enable Chrome dark mode
Mozilla has big plans, with changes on the cards for the New Tab page, the address bar, toolbar, tabs bar, the main hamburger menu, infobars and more. Harking back to the start of the Web 2.0 design phenomenon, updated tabs now feature rounded corners (see below for how to enable them), and the New Tab customization options are now much more user-friendly.
Firefox's menus have been quietened down to include fewer option by default, but they can be easily expanded to show everything you could possibly need to access. Infobars will make use of "color and whimsy" to make the experience of receiving messages from Firefox "less formal and cold" the mock-ups reveal.
You may well be eager to try out the Proton design for yourself, and this will first be possible through the Beta, Developer and Nightly builds of the browser. If you are using any of these pre-release versions of Firefox, you can increase your chances of getting the new look before most other people.
New year, new look
In the Beta, Developer or Nightly build of Firefox, use the following steps to get access to Proton as soon as possible:
- Launch Firefox and pay a visit to about:config
- Search for browser.proton.enable
- Configure the setting to true
- Restart Firefox
Sadly, you will probably not see any changes immediately. You will have to wait a little while for Mozilla to make the necessary server-side changes. But with this setting enabled, you can be sure that you'll be among the first people to try out the new look. If you're not happy installing a potentially unstable version of the browser, it's not all that long to wait until May for the official release.
It is possible to try out the new hamburger menu and browser tabs by visiting about:config and setting both the browser.proton.tabs.enabled
browser.proton.appmenu.enabled settings to true.
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Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.
Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.
Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.