Firefox 89 with new Proton interface lands, here's how to turn it off

If you don't like the new interface in Firefox, you don't have to use it.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Mozilla

The latest edition of Firefox is rolling out, and with version 89 comes a UI redesign that Mozilla claims is "cleaner, more inviting, and easier to use".

Compared to the previous version, the new Proton interface uses a bit more vertical space for tabs, swaps out any sort of tab divider for more background colour, and introduces a bunch of whitespace for the main menu as well as reorganising it and stripping out most of the icons.

"Floating tabs neatly contain information and surface cues when you need them, like visual indicators for audio controls. The rounded design of the active tab supports focus and signals the ability to easily move the tab as needed," Mozilla said in its release notes on the new tab design.

However, for users that dislike the changes, look, or just new things in general, it is possible to go some way to reversing proton by changing the browser.proton.enabled preference in the browser configuration.

Firefox 89 also arrives with updated infobars, panels, and modals, and context menus are now native on MacOS and support dark mode. Mozilla said it has also introduced a non-native web form controls, which can improve the design and performance of pages.

"Watch for layout bugs in web pages that make assumptions about the dimensions or styling of form controls," it warns.

The browser also now has Total Cookie Protection by default in its private browsing windows.

"That means: when you open a private browsing window, each website you visit is given a separate cookie jar that keeps cookies confined to that site. Cookies can no longer be used to follow you from site to site and gather your browsing history," Mozilla said in a blog post.

Since February when Firefox 86 landed, Total Cookie Protection was enabled when users had Enhanced Tracking Protection in strict mode.

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