How-To Geek

Hide Some or All of the GUI Bars in Firefox

Do you have a netbook and need to make the most of your screen real-estate? Now you can choose how much (or how little) of Firefox’s GUI Bars are visible with the Hide GUI Bars extension.


Here is our test browser with all of the usual toolbars displaying. Depending on your personal needs this could be taking up a lot of screen real-estate. Notice that the background wallpaper in the new tab completely fills the blank area…


Hide GUI Bars in Action

As soon as you have installed the extension and restarted Firefox things are going to look a LOT differently than before. Your “Extensions Management Window” should also be visible too.


Here is what the main window looks like right after the restart. Just for a moment you may be tempted to panic wondering how you will access anything…but relax. All that you need to do is use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + A” to reactivate part of the GUI…

Just for comparison notice how much white space is visible beneath the background wallpaper in the new tab…that is quite a difference.


Once you use the “Ctrl + Shift + A” keyboard shortcut these parts of the GUI will be reactivated. No “Bookmarks Toolbar or Tab Bar” are visible at the moment…

Note: You can quickly make the “Bookmarks Toolbar” visible again in the “View Menu”.


In order for the “Tab Bar” to become visible you will need at least two tabs open…use of the “Ctrl + T” keyboard shortcut or the “File Menu” will do the trick nicely.


Options & Access

Now for the options…there are two “tab areas” for you to look through. In the first one you can deselect any of the GUI Bars that you would like to have visible full-time and change the keyboard shortcut if desired.


The second tab area focuses on just the “Status Bar”. Make any desired changes to best suit your personal needs.


If you happen to prefer menu access for using the extension then you will find an entry in the “Tools Menu” near the bottom.



If you have been needing a higher degree of control for the parts of the GUI that will be visible when using your netbook then this will definitely make a nice addition to your browser.


Download the Hide GUI Bars extension (Mozilla Add-ons)

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 02/19/10

Comments (12)

  1. Agustín

    You can do all that via the View menu.
    You can toggle displays of all menues, and even you can Personalize them, like moving the bars and items around.

    There are posts of what I’m talking about in Similar Articles section. Please How-To-Geek, don’t make similar posts but with different solutions. It’s more of the same.
    Make one posts containing various methods rather than having two or thee or four different posts.

    Add-ons are cool yes, but try to keep your add-on list low, remember that all of them load on your memory and slowdown your performance.

  2. zaxon

    I still prefer “Autohide” (not on the Mozilla extension page) which in the zombie mode can hide everything. :)

  3. Bobbylight

    Why not just press F11

  4. BrianA

    There seems to be no way to add other toolbars e.g. Roboform. Pity as it will be handy on the EeePC netbook. The F11 tip is useful, thanks Bobbylight.

  5. chokchai

    That still doesn’t get rid of the biggest waste of space which is the caption bar. I prefer the “Full Fullscreen” addon which give you more control over what happens when you press F11.

  6. dth

    What is that firefox theme used in the pictures?

  7. Asian Angel

    @dth – This is the theme. ^__^

    Foxtail 0.2.3

  8. James

    For me, F11 hides ALL of the bars and leaves only the web page itself.

  9. JonMCC33

    I agree, using F11 for Full Screen does it all. If you need to navigate just move your mouse to the top and you get the navigation buttons, address bar and tabs. Move the mouse away and it goes full screen again. There isn’t really a need for an add-on for this.

  10. creepydarkdeath

    You can simply do all those things without adding that addon except for the tabs. In Firefox v3.6 you simply go to view>toolbars and uncheck all of the bars. And if you just don’t want anything at all then F11 is enough. :)

  11. HIM Yao Sui, Emperor of China

    I have a very small and outdated computer. Dell Dimension 4100. My HP doesn’t work and I can not afford to buy another, so I am using my backup computer, which has very low memory and RAM. I have Windows 2000 loaded and FireFox 3.6. The problem that I am experiencing is that all of my GUI bars have disappeared. I don’t know how that happened. What can I do?

    And by the way, if any of you out there want to chat with me or learn about China’s Royal family and our plans to retake China, please drop me a line by e-mail. Put HYS in the beginning of the subject line to avoid the Yahoo! spamcatcher.

    I am poor with no money at all. I know that sounds fishy, but that is true. I am a truly good man and having a bit of a problem with both of my computers and browser.

    Any way, is there an answer to restoring my browser back to its original and good condition?

    His Imperial Majesty Yao Sui, Emperor of China and U.S. citizen.
    (I am for real!)

  12. Asian Angel

    @HIM Yao Sui, Emperor of China – If they have disappeared as a result of the extension and the keyboard shortcut is not helping then start Firefox in “Safe Mode”. Once you have Firefox open in “Safe Mode” go into the “Add-ons Manager Window” and either disable or remove the extension. That should get everything back to normal for you. ^__^

    If the GUI bars have disappeared for some other reason you could try a complete reset for Firefox using the method described here:

    Restore the Default Settings in Firefox Without Uninstalling It

    Hope this helps! ^__^

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