Firefox has a lot going for it, but its interface feels a little dated next to sleek browsers like Chrome. Here’s how to make Firefox look and feel more like Google Chrome without giving up your favourite aspects of Firefox.
We covered a few of these tips when Firefox 4 came out, but with some new discoveries inspired by the DarkDuck Linux Blog, you can actually go farther and make Firefox look almost exactly like Chrome. Here are the tools you’ll need.
Note: Most of these instructions are for Windows and Linux machines only. Unfortunately, many of the required add-ons are incompatible with OS X. We’ll note in the post which add-ons are incompatible with Macs.
Tweak the Navigation Bar
The first thing you’ll want to do is get rid of Firefox’s toolbar clutter. Go to View > Toolbars > customise (or Firefox > Options > customise, if you’re using the orange Firefox button) to add, remove and change positions of toolbar buttons. To make Firefox more like Chrome, you’ll want to get rid of the Google Search bar, and move the reload and stop buttons to the left side of the address bar. You’ll also want to add any extension buttons to the right side of the toolbar, if you want quick access to things like LastPass, Flashblock and other extensions.
You might also want to head to View > Toolbars and uncheck the Menu Bar, if you have it there. This will replace the menu bar with the orange Firefox button (or, if you’re using Aurora, the blue Aurora button) which we’re going to move later.
Move Downloads to the Status Bar
If you don’t like Firefox’s separate Downloads window, Download Statusbar
will put them at the bottom of the window, like Chrome does. Just install it and you’re done. It’ll hide itself when not in use, just like Chrome’s, so you don’t have to worry about wasting valuable screen real estate either.
Move the Firefox Button to the Navigation Toolbar
I personally like the orange Firefox button where it is, but if you’d rather put it on the right side of the window like Chrome does, you can use the previously mentioned Movable Firefox Button
add-on to put it wherever you want. Just install it, then head back to View > Toolbars > customise and drag it to the right side of the toolbar. From now on, all of your settings will be accessible from that button. Note that this extension is incompatible with OS X (since there is no Firefox button on OS X; you have the menu bar as normal).
Install a Chrome-Inspired Firefox Theme
Lastly, we’re going to change the overall “look” to be more Chrome-like. For this, we’re going to use an extension called FXChrome
, which gives you the white, rounded tabs, prettier buttons, and sleek interface of Chrome. Just install it, and you’re done.
Note, however, that if you’re using the Movable Firefox Button add-on mentioned above, the latest version of FXChrome won’t look very good, since it changes the button’s appearance. Instead, you’ll want to download version 2.3.7, which is still compatible with the latest versions of Firefox but doesn’t take the overhaul to quite as extreme a level. Hopefully future versions of the extension will give you a little more choice, but for now, version 2.3.7 is working great for me. Sadly, this extension is not compatible with OS X.
That’s all there is to it; it’s actually quite simple. With just a few tiny tweaks, your browser is now almost indistinguishable from Chrome, but you still get all the customisability that you know and love from Firefox. Got any of your own Chromifying tips for Firefox? Let us know in the comments.