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How to Restore the Status Bar in Firefox

Updated on October 3, 2014

Where Is the Status Bar in Firefox 4?

Firefox 4 introduced a lot of improvements to the user interface, but some of the changes might feel like a step back. For example, Mozilla removed the Status Bar entirely, transferring most of its features elsewhere. A brand new Add-on Bar is now shown at the bottom of the browser window instead, housing the icons of any Firefox extensions you may have.

It looks like Mozilla is trying to maximize the screen space used for the actual website content. While this is good, I think their approach is a bit wrong in this case.

You will notice that the URL tooltips now work like in Google Chrome: they are only displayed while the page is loading or when you move your mouse over a link. One issue with them is that if you have the Add-on Bar enabled, the tooltips will still be displayed above it, taking up extra space. The other problem I've encountered is that the tooltips sometimes appear on the right side of the page instead of the left (for example, when you have the Find toolbar on). You will recall that in the previous version of Firefox, the page status was always shown on the same spot, so getting used to it jumping around might be frustrating.

Thankfully, there's a highly useful plugin which not only gives you a proper status bar in Firefox 4, but also adds a lot of other useful features. If you're wondering how to enable Firefox 4 status bar, you will probably stumble upon it sooner or later. It's called Status 4 Evar. Click the link to download it right away, or read on for more information.

Before:

Firefox 4 Add-on Bar and the URL status tooltip above it.
Firefox 4 Add-on Bar and the URL status tooltip above it.

If you're like me and always keep Add-On Bar enabled, you will notice that Firefox 4 doesn't use the space very effectively. The URL tooltips are actually displayed above the bottom bar, not on it like in Firefox 3. Why not merge them, returning the old status bar behavior?

After:

Firefox 4 Status Bar with Status 4 Evar extension in use.
Firefox 4 Status Bar with Status 4 Evar extension in use.

The "classic" Firefox status bar is back! You can see the mouseover links and network status on the left, and your extension icons on the right.

Status 4 Evar has a lot of features besides simply returning the status bar.
Status 4 Evar has a lot of features besides simply returning the status bar.

Status 4 Evar Add-On

Provides Firefox 4 status bar, progress indicator, and download meter

This great Firefox extension turns your Add-on Bar back into a Status Bar like in Firefox 3 (and even better). Here are some of the things that it can do:

  • Remove the Add-on Bar close button.
  • Put Status Text (link tooltips and network status) in the new Status Bar (or anywhere else), and limit its width.
  • Put download info (time left and number of downloads) in the Status Bar, or any other toolbar.
  • Put a progress meter anywhere in your browser, as well as choose its color.
  • Put a progress meter in your URL (location) bar - I love this one!

When I say you can put an element anywhere you want, I mean that this add-on lets you drag-and-drop them to any available toolbar when in the Customize mode (right click on a toolbar > Customize...). This is even better and more customizable than the classic status bar in Firefox 3.

This extension can be downloaded from the official Mozilla add-on website:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/status-4-evar/

Firefox 4 Status Bar Poll

Do you miss a permanent status bar in Firefox 4?

See results

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    • martingallagher profile image

      martingallagher 3 years ago

      Great tips. I like FF. It's a great browser.

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