Firefox 2.0: Close Tab Buttons


One of the new & improved features in starting with Firefox 2 is having the ‘Close Tab’ button on each tab. However, there are folks who don’t like change and would rather have the close tab button at the end of the tab bar as it is in Firefox 1.x builds. Sure there are extensions that will do this for you, but why bother downloading an extension when all it does is make a change to a setting in about:config? A simple about:config tweak will change the way the ‘close tab’ button is displayed:

  • Click the about:config button (if about:config extension is installed) or open a new tab and type about:config in the address bar and press enter
  • In the filter field type browser.tabs.closeButtons
  • Double-click on the entry and enter the corresponding number below:
      0 – Display a close button on the active tab only
      – Display a close button on each tab (default)
      – Don’t display any close buttons
      – Display a single close button at the end of the tab bar (Firefox 1.x behavior)
  • Click OK
  • Close the about:config editor or tab

In case y’all are wonder, I have mine set to ‘0’, that way I won’t accidentally close the wrong tab and another quick way to see which tab is the active tab.

Note: If you are using Tab Mix Plus extension, this tweak will not work.

121 Comments on Firefox 2.0: Close Tab Buttons

  1. Thank you so much. Those new buttons were driving me crazy, as it was such a hassle to close a bunch of tabs quickly.

  2. Thank you for posting this. I was one of those folks that did NOT like the new behavior. I wish this setting was in the prefs, but I can handle it being in about:config!
    It felt like a step back to not have my close button. I use a laptop and it’s so much easier to close multiple tabs with a touchpad using the right button. I didn’t realize how much I depended on that silly button…

  3. Excellent! You make my day!

  4. Thanks.
    Tab mix plus extension show each tab close button.
    But I use close button of end of the tab bar.
    and When I want to close each tab, I click mouse middle button.

    I think I use Microsoft Windows, So I am accustomed to click right corner close button.

  5. thank you so much for posting this! i upgraded to ff2 on my work computer, but have waited to upgrade on my home comp soley because of this issue.

  6. it wont work…
    when i choose 3 (3 ~ Display a single close button at the end of the tab bar (Firefox 1.x behavior))i can not see the close button on right side like FF 1.5. it was sooooo nice.
    can i get some help please?

  7. Having “Close Tab” in each Tab was driving me crazy – you saved me from uninstalling FF2.0 and reinstalling older version. Thank you!

  8. Please help…
    option 3 wont work for me 🙂
    when i choose 3 (3 ~ Display a single close button at the end of the tab bar (Firefox 1.x behavior))i can not see the close button on right side like FF 1.5. it was sooooo nice.
    can i get some help please?

    im looking for version 1.5 but i cannot down it 🙁

  9. FireFox really Sucks…
    i tried to reinstall FF 1.5 to get my closetab back to right, but now wont function anymore.
    and I get no help here.
    Think is better go back to IE 7.

  10. Dave in Phoenix | November 4, 2006 at 10:49 PM |


    Is set to 1
    Also installed Tab Browser Preferences

    For the life of me I can’t get any close botton to show on the tab it is just on the right click menu.

  11. @Dave, what other extensions are you using? Further, are you using the default theme or another theme?

  12. Dave in Phoenix | November 5, 2006 at 1:07 AM |

    Using default theme

    Using about 22 extensions all the latest updates. Maybe one of them doesn’t play well with the close tab. Tab related are:

    Colorful Tabs
    Duplicate Tab
    JS view (not tab related)
    Adblock Plus (trying turning off no effect)
    Quick Preference Button
    Tabbed Browsing (set to have close on all tabs but isn’t)
    Undo Closed Tabs button (but doesn’t show anywhere either)

    IF have lots of time can try uninstalling a few and try and find if any conflict… but wonder if anyone else has this problem and how they solved!

  13. Dave in Phoenix | November 5, 2006 at 1:42 AM |

    Well I guess undo close tab does work but only from current session. I miss session saver from old version that doesn’t work with 2.0 that reloaded all tabs from a crashed session.

  14. I just downloaded FF2 and noticed that I haven’t got that button anymore, looked in the Options but there was nothin to change that, was getting really annoyed. Who on earth was so ‘smart’ to change this?! To only have a close button on each tab is ANNOYING! Makes life harder… honestly, this one little button means SO much!

    Thanks for the help glad I got it back where it SHOULD be!

  15. @Dave…Colorful Tabs (even the new one) will cause you not see your close buttons. As for the Session Saver behavior see: Firefox 2.0: Session Restore Tweak

  16. @Dave…Updated to Colorful Tabs 1.6 and you should get your close button(s) back.

  17. Dave in Phoenix | November 6, 2006 at 1:05 AM |

    Ah my close tabs are back !

    Looks like the 1.6 update for Colorful Tabs was just posted and solves it. I do like the colorful tabs just needed my close buttons back!

    Will check out Session Restore Tweak link.


  18. Dave in Phoenix | November 6, 2006 at 1:10 AM |

    On session saver, geesh I looked I thought at all the option setting but missed it – thanks:

    To have Firefox to restart where you were when you last closed it:
    1. From Firefox Tools Menu select Options

    2. From Main in the Startup section, When Firefox starts: select from the drop-down menu Show my windows and tabs from last time
    3. Click OK

  19. Chris in Scotland | November 6, 2006 at 8:42 AM |

    You rock.
    It was driving me nuts!

    Id use Dreamweaver with close at end for tabs, Visual Studio with x at end for tabs etc etc

    Id then try to do the same in Firefox and close my last opened tab!

    Thanks again

  20. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    I was on the verge of uninstalling and going back to 1.5.

  21. everyone, i can’t be bothered to find the development blogs so can anyone please inform the idiots to at least place back an option in the preferences to enable the users to choose which type of close button they preferred. the original single close button is the way to go!!!

  22. Thank you!!! As a usability expert I can’t understand how they have made this “improvement”. When changeing tabs with the mouse it’s all too easy to click the close-button by mistake. One can only wonder why 0 isn’t the default.

  23. Thanks for the tip.

  24. Thanks, I also didn’t like the change. It’s kind of surprising, my friend is using Opera and claims that one single “close tab” button is the main Firefox feature that he lacks in his browser.

    It’s a pity though, that you cannot combine options 0 & 3 (have the close button on the right and on the active tab at the same time).

  25. Does anyone know of a way to combine options 0 and 3? I would like to have close buttons on all the tabs and also one in the tab bar like FF 1.5 has. I would like the close button in the tab bar to appear before the button with drop down tab menu. I’m ready to dive into config files and tweak css or whatever needed to get this to work.

  26. Thanks a lot. I was shocked when my button was gone in the 2.0.

  27. Thanks!
    This “every-tab-has-a-button” seemed like invention of some MSIE programmer working undercover in FF team with FUD mission 🙂
    value “3” rulez 🙂

  28. Thanks a lot!

    Like most of u guys, i wonder and wonder but can’t seem to find the argument that made Mozilla choose this attitude as the default. And what’s worse: NOT including the option for changing it in the options box, which will be where most of the users will look. Unbelievable – especially since IE7 is here now.

    As Janne, i’m working with usability and i must say, i’m chocked about the default value! Perhaps the Mozilla developers think this behavior is easier for the novice? It’s just such a shame, that it kills the efficiency for the rest of us.

    How to close taps is by far the single feature i use the most. It takes forever to close 20+ tabs (using only the mouse) when there’s no close button in the right side…

  29. THANKS! I figured there must’ve been a nice option thingie jawnie somewhere. I postiviely _HATE_ the close button on each tab – that was my chief complaint about Safari!

    Still, nice to have the choice I suppose. Now, forgive whilst I fix these 2.0 installations and upgrade the 1.5.x’s…

  30. many thanks
    the “new behavior” made me uninstall Firefox 2 und install 1.5 again
    now I will give the new version a chance again 😉

  31. John Holmstadt | November 14, 2006 at 7:44 AM |

    Thanks. I found it very annoying when they changed this behavior. It always seemed much easier to just move to the same corner of the window to close the active tab. If I wanted to close other tabs without bringing them to the foreground, right clicking on them would do just fine. With this option I can just keep my mouse in place as I review my tabs and close them.

    I guess this just illustrates the versatility and customizability of Firefox through about:config.

  32. Thanks for this post. This solved the x on each tab problem alright, but I have one more thing that’s bugging me with 2.0.
    I’m using bigger fonts by default to compensate for my stylishly tiny Sony laptop screen. The larger fonts for the tab titles are breaking the tab graphics. The corner pictures are shorter than the height of the tabs now, and it wasn’t that way in 1.5.
    Any suggestions?

  33. any way I can get the close tab button on the active tab AND at the far right so that I can choose which one to use depending on what’s closest? Right now it seems that it’s either one or the other. I had Tab Mix Plus, but with that, even though you couldn’t see the close tab buttons on the tabs, they were secretly still there and I ended up closing a lot of tabs accidentally.


  34. imstillatwork | November 19, 2006 at 12:27 AM |

    Thanks! The one things that’s been buggin me…

  35. I tried this, both options 0 and 2, the close buttons are shown on tabs anymore and the about:config preference saved as it is still there when I restart. However,it doesn’t work in the sense that if I click where the closetab button used to be the tab still closes. If I move the mouse there I even get the mouseover message “close tab”.

    I am using Mac OsX 10.3.9 and firefox 2.0 (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0)

    any hint? Thanks

  36. I prefer the new behavior. Often I want to close one of the tabs that isn’t being displayed. This saves me the step of bringing it to the front.

  37. Thanks so much! I accidentally closed all kinds of things before I came upon this page.

  38. Thanks!

    Just downloaded 2.0 and immediately hated the close tab buttons.

    Good that they made it configurable.

  39. omg, thank you thank you thank you !!

  40. Thanks for this. But…

    Is there any way to put close tab button to Menu Bar? I use bottom-placed Tab Bar (like Windows Programs bar) And I wold like to close a tab in the upper right corner (like a separate window). Is it possible?

  41. Thanks! Those new close tab buttons were driving me nuts.

  42. Thanks a bunch I just installed 2.0 and my first impression ” Oh no IE 7 tabbing!’.

  43. Very well coded option. Thanks for creating a post about this.

  44. For some reason this won’t work for me. I’ve played around with different values but there is no difference. Any thoughts as to why that is?

  45. @Martin J. could be a theme issue or are you running any other ‘tab’ extensions such as Tab Mix plus or Tabbrowser Preferences?

  46. Actually yes, I do use Tab Mix plus. I’d like to keep it too, so is there a way to have both? Thanks

  47. @Martin J., cain’t tell you for sure, I don’t use the said extension. Anyone else know if you can have the tweak and Tab Mix+ as well?

  48. Nevermind, it was right in front of me in the extension settings. There are just so many settings there and this one wasn’t among most tab related options. Any way, thanks for the fast replies!

  49. In my case, a theme (Metal Lion) was preventing the close buttons from showing in the tabs, even though browser.tabs in about:config was set to 1. Changing that setting did nothing. Once I switched back to the Fx default theme, I got my close buttons back. Using Fx 2.0

    I think any issues with loss of the close tab buttons are due to other extensions or themes, not Fx 2.0 itself. I have Fx 2.0 on my other computer, using a different theme, and my close tab buttons are alive and well with no interaction from me.

  50. Thanks! great to have it where its suppose to be!

  51. Hi,

    This is not so great as it appears!! I changed the value to 3 in about:config but th Firefox 2.0 is not as Firefox 1.5. Having a close button always on right side of bar is great but I do not have any close buttons on tabs anymore!!
    This is not as it was in Firefox 1.5!!!
    Does anyone know how to change exactly as it was in version 1.5!!
    Thx a lot!!


  52. Thats a lot buddy, I was almost going to uninstall it and head back to v1.6!

  53. @fingon, may be I am missing something with your comment….Firefox 1.5 (by default) did not have ‘Close’ buttons on the tab, unless you installed the Tab X extension. There was the close tab button at the end of the tab bar only.

    Now if you are saying making the said change, gives you no tab close button at all, it could be a conflict with another tab extension or the theme you are using.

  54. Thanks a lot for this handy piece of information! I almost always have many tabs open at one time, and I use the 1.x close button a lot to quickly close many tabs. In Firefox 2, I have had to click on each individual tab to close it, which is very frustrating. Thanks to you, now I don’t have to!

  55. It works really well. Thanks a lot.

    Now only if there was a way to remove that List all tabs button and firefox will become perfect!

  56. I still don’t see a useful correction for this.. yet. I’ve since uninstalled FF2, and reverted to 1.x. TabMixPlus! gave me everything I needed out of FF1.x, but the default behaviour of not having a far-right close ‘X’, is downright ridiculous. And judging from the length of this post, an important and much-loved feature that has now wedged itself as habit with most dedicated FF users.

    If you have tab behaviour shifted right, it makes surfing and closing pages a snap, in one step I can close a window and move to the next without needing pinpoint accuracy on my laptop touchpad.

    Please please please! Find a way to AND together the behaviours for this setting. 0&&3 would do the trick nicely, giving a close button on the current tab, and on the far right for those who prefer to surf with a single finger on the mouse button.

    The only advantage the current default behaviour gives, is to close an unfocused window, and unless I install an extension that makes it blatantly obvious which tab I’m on (destroying a nice, minimalist colour scheme), I usually close tabs that I didn’t intend to. With the correct “and’ed” behaviour, that unfocused tab I wish to close, would have been closed the moment I deemed the page as read or uninsteresting, and left.

    Many thanks,


  57. I’m yet another user that struggles to understand the default of ‘1’ in FF 2.x.
    Especially considering that a middle-click on a tab will close it anyway.

    For the record I’ve changed back to ‘3’, though W’s suggestion of ‘0&&3’ would be a useful option.

  58. The about:config works, but when I close FF, and reopen, it doesn’t work anymore.

  59. Thank you SO much for this fix. This was one of those annoyances I found when upgrading.

  60. Thanks so much, I was so annoyed by this new behaviour! It is so much better to be able to close tabs without looking for the always changing location of the close tab button.

  61. I wanted it the old firefox 2 style, but now I see that 0 is also pretty cool.

    For those like me, who’ve never heard about – about:config. This is what you do…

    You type “about:config” into the address bar (the one which is not labeled, but next to the little house).

    Then you’ll get an “internal webpage” and then filter on “browser.tabs.closeButtons” which you can then just double click and set to 0 (or whatever you wish).

  62. Sorries… I just read skimmed it… and missed the “alternate” way of getting to about:config.

  63. When I open a link and then open another link within that one like in hotmail………………it automatically close both links and I hate that what can I do?

  64. Thanks for this. I installed Firefox 2 this morning and have spent all day closing tabs that I didn’t mean to cos I kept hitting the close buttons by mistake!

    Now all I have to do is work out how to stop my tabs scrolling off the right, and get them bunching up like they used to….


  65. It doesn’t work for me. Now I do have Tab Mix Plus installed. Is there anyway to keep it while changing the close tab button to #3? Thanks.

  66. @awdrifter

    Nope, Tab Mix Plus overrides the settings in about:config but I thought it gave you the option on how you wanted the close tab buttons presented?

  67. Thanks for the quick reply. But none of the options let me place a single close tab button on the far right. These are all the options it has.

  68. yup this is awesome, i was always accidentally closing tabs when i’d click on the next tab and seeing a crap load of x’s is annoying

  69. Bless you sir!

    I wish a small display would appear (say on hover) to inform us what the various options mean (0, 1, 2…). But in the meantime sites like this work nicely. Thanks!

  70. Thanks for this!

  71. You wonderful person! I thought I was going to have to roll back to FF v1 and stop upgrading ever again – I SO hated the multiple tab close buttons. Now I’m a very happy person!

  72. Dark_S0rrow | March 13, 2007 at 6:12 PM |

    Thankz a lot man,

    I am running FF 1.5 just because of that close button;D time to upgrade to FF 2 is coming;DDD

  73. winnie the pooh | March 19, 2007 at 6:50 AM |

    WOW!! I like it!

  74. As much as it is getting redundant now – I really wish to thank you for this. I actually went back to FF1.5 until I found this site today. I hated that new feature in FF2, now I don’t have to worry, makes my browsing so much faster. Thanks again.

  75. Yes! I start breathing again.

  76. Thank you so much – I had to install this Firefox 2.0 at work because of supposed security problems with the old one, and after a day of accidentally closing tags, I did a google search and found this site. Things are much better now!

    Though I second Colin – I wish I could get my tags to bunch up again and not float off to the right.

  77. Thank you. I was getting ready to pull my hair out. The audacity of the developers to make this a default behavior. How had would it be to put in a button in the preferences.
    You made my day!
    (it makes no sense to go through HOW MANY VERSIONS) the same, and then change something so major. Why hunt for every button to close a window. If you have 20 open, there is 20 places you have to look to close a window…instead of one. Right clicking on the tab gives easy access to close individual tabs…. what a waste of time for the developers. How bout working on something that makes a real difference? Speed… security…

  78. The only thing stopping me permanently moving to Firefox as my default browser it the fact that when I exit it closes all my open tabs!! Opera allows you to continue from where you left off?

    Am I missing some stting?


  79. I don’t how to say this… THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  80. Glad to be of service

  81. thank bloody christ for that!!

  82. Thanks, saved me from reinstalling to an old version

  83. browser.tabs.closeButtons = 0 saved my fresh FF2 from an ugly unistallation! 😉

  84. … THANKS! 😀

  85. Found this via google.. thanks for the helpful description

  86. i did this tweak before and could see all the closebuttons even when tabs weren’t in focus. but they suddenly disappeared today . I checked about:config and the value is set to 1 by default. Is it possible to get these buttons to show without rollover action? mail me please

  87. Is there a way to have both options 1 & 3? I want a close box on each tab as well as one at end of tab bar.

    Chris –> about starting session from where you left off, go to FF’s settings and on the main tab, look at the setup, where FF starts.

  88. THKS A LOT… this is exactly what i needed ..

  89. Thank you. You are a Saviour!

  90. Thanks a lot! I don’t feel like getting used the new place of the button, keep clicking the white sheet thingy.

  91. Julie Xane | July 5, 2007 at 6:53 PM |

    Oh god, thank you! I was so irritated with the movement of that button. :[ I’m so glad this was posted. But now I wonder what else I can mess with in the configurations .. >:3

  92. Lifesaver.

  93. This was the reason I wasn’t going to 2.0 from 1.5, now all is as it should be, thanks

  94. Thanks. FF 2.0 had been driving me crazy b/c of this. I like to open a bunch of tabs. I hated having to locate each tab close. “about:config”….ahhh.

  95. Yo tha Man!!!

    I’ve been avoiding to upgrade to 2.0.X from 1.5.X for months now because of the close button…. thanks to you I can now enjoy 2.0.6!!!

    Very useful thanks again!

  96. Thanks so much! I finally upgraded after putting it off for ages due to the tabs issue; great to have a fix!

  97. Thank you SO much for the tip

    until now i use firefox becuase of
    the new style of tabs ion firefox 2.x

    thanks again

  98. vince de benedeto | October 18, 2007 at 10:19 PM |


    1. How come when I updated to v2 (Windows XP), the browser did not start with a close button on every tab, but just one close button at the end of the tab row, like before?

    Then, when I did about:config, changing the value to #1:

    “1 – Display a close button on each tab (default)”

    …it did not work. The browser retained just one tab, on the active tab.

    Can anyone explain this behavior?



  99. vince de benedeto | October 18, 2007 at 10:24 PM |


    BTW, I’m using just one extension–it adds a “New Tab” button directly to the left of the leftmost tab.



  100. @vince Not sure but what you are describing with the close tab button at the end of the tab bar would be option ‘3’. Have you tried disabling the extension to see what happens.

    However, I am curious by HOW you upgraded to version 2. Did you go thru the Major Update (1.5 prompted you to upgrade to 2.0.); or download a fresh copy pf Firefox 2? If you did download a fresh copy are you still using the same profile from 1.5 or did you start with a new profile?

  101. vince de benedeto | October 23, 2007 at 10:39 PM |

    I upgraded from a previous version; was not a fresh install.

    When you say insert that line at the end of userChrome, the end where? Should I skip a line?

  102. At the bottom of the document on a blank line. Make sure there is not a ‘*’ or ‘/’ at the beginning of the line.

  103. thanks man, that worked great!

  104. I saw the same problem as mine but i couldn’t find the answer.

    When I exit Mozilla it closes all my open tabs!! Opera allows you to continue from where you left off?
    Can that be fixed and how?

  105. so happy now! | December 26, 2007 at 2:31 PM |

    Thank you so much!!! I was inadvertently closing tabs on pages I hadn’t read yet. Was sooooo inconvenient since I tend to open 10 pages at a time then read and close one by one by just clicking ONE close button.

    Thanks very much for this help.

  106. Thank you so much!!!!

  107. Thank You and Thank God – Its was like an itch in my soul. Thank You Thank Your Thank You.

  108. Freakin Perfect!!!

  109. thank you so much! i was about to go back to 1.5!

  110. Thanks a bundle for this. Default tab behavior sucks! A close button on every tab!!! HOW STUPID! I was consistently closing tab buttons accidentally until I switched it to only have the close button on the active tab. BTW….the easiest way to close tabs is to use the keyboard… CTRL-W.

  111. I used to love the old firefox, when i had multiple websites open and shut down my comp without closing them and then booted the next morning, all i had to do is open the all previous days tabs. Why can’t i do this with the new fox? or can i?


  112. Thanks a lot. I liked the close tab button to stay on the right side like it was in Firefox 1.5 and in Opera, but lost it when I just upgraded. That would have been annoying to hunt for the box each time. I don’t know why people would like that.

  113. An easier way to do this is installing Tab Close Control extension. (see

  114. Over two years after you posted it, and I needed the information due to a brand new computer. Thank you, changing the “1” to a “3” works just like I want it to.

  115. Wil C. Fry | June 20, 2009 at 9:12 PM |

    Thanks so much for this!
    For some reason, my “close tab” buttons were only displaying on the active tab, but now I’ve got all of them back.
    Great hack.

  116. Hesam & co., it works; screenshots:

    & as far as the session thingy goes, set browser.sessionstore.max_resumed_crashes to “0”

    & Firefox will ask you what to do, after each crash. 🙂

  117. Option 3’s for me 🙂

    Though an option 3|1 would be nice, but that’s never going to work. 4 anyone? 😀

  118. Thanks for this tip. Much appreciated.

  119. Hi,

    I am having issue when i try to close the Browser Button directly. I want to Update database when user directly close the broswer cross button.In FF 3.0 to 12 version i am able to Update DB when anyone close browser from Cross button. but in FF 19 to 21 version or so on . I am not able to capture event of Browser cross button.
    Please Help guys….

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