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Improvements to the Firefox sidebar are on the way…

Community Manager
Community Manager

In the latest Nightly Blog post, our product team has announced some exciting work aimed at improving the sidebar experience in Firefox.

To quickly summarize…

We have been exploring (including listening to all your feedback and ideas here on Connect) how to best enhance the existing sidebar and strengthen productivity use cases. You may have even discovered these early concept builds in Nightly behind preferences—good catch 👀!

This is very much at an experimental prototype stage, but we are encouraged by the early positive feedback. And we look forward to engaging with you here for additional feedback once sidebar features are ready for testing. 

Stay tuned and feel free to drop any questions or comments below. 




Hi folks,

A few quick updates from the sidebar team:

- you might have already seen a thread on thread from the Firefox team on a variety of exciting updates we have in the works, but dropping the link here just in case,

- on the sidebar side of things, we are making progress on the vertical tabs and improvements to the history and synced tabs views that already exist in the sidebar. We're going to start sharing demos and invite the community to join testing the new feature set once it's a little less rough around the edges.

i would love to test the vertical sidebar out as and when you release into the nightly builds! Very excited to hear this movement after such a long time!



ikpjr wrote:

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Take a look at
Clarification : To avoid displaying my actual geolocation, i use a vpn

Making moves

I would like to see the Bookmarks Sidebar work the same way as Manage Bookmarks. For example, Manage Bookmarks allows selecting multiple bookmarks (e.g., Shft-select or Ctrl-select), but the Bookmarks Sidebar only allows selecting one bookmark or folder at a time. I often have Manage Bookmarks and Bookmarks Sidebar open at the same time to facilitate moving bookmarks (singular or in groups) from one folder to another without having to scroll or cut & paste. This is only one example of the differences.


Making moves

It would be awesome to be able to detach the sidebar in order to have it on any screen. This way we could have one dedicated screen for tabs management, or it would allow people using a tiling window manager like i3 to have the sidebar exactly where they want it to be on their screen.

Why would I want to put it on another screen? Because I could have a vertical screen to see all my tabs in the vertical sidebar, and my other horizontal screens to work. I tried that with Sidebery just to see how it would look, and it's actually amazing because:

  • you see way more tabs;
  • it separates tabs management from actual browsing, it's better for your mental organization;
  • you enjoy your full horizontal screen(s) for browsing.

Is this something that is already considered, and if it's not, is this something that could be considered in the future?

EDIT: it would be even better to be able to have several sidebars, so I could have one sidebar per profile, or per tab container, each on a dedicated screen. This would be so great for tab management.

Making moves

Really GREAT news!!!

I have a question, however: What about the rest of Library?

Would be great to have the entire Library available on the sidebar (see: )

Will we have that as well?

( At least let us get about:downloads on the sidebar...)

Making moves

Consider me a bit biased, but Sidebery along with this userchrome is a really great trade-off between having an unobtrusive tab interface along with behavior a user would predict of their tabs. Other vertical tab implementations (Edge, Floorp, Vivaldi) with expanding sidebars tend to be cumbersome to use due to animation speeds and whatnot

Particularly of note here is:

- the separation of the tabs column and the pinned tabs (other sidebar apps could potentially be accessed beneath the pinned tabs)

- the (animated & fast) hovering expansion of the sidebar and its contents.

- Easily accessible tab utilities along the bottom (new tab, history, settings, bookmarks)


Thank you for considering these ux tidbits 🙂

Making moves

I really hope that you will add web panels (aka pinned tabs) to the sidebar and make it possible to open them without closing Tree Style Tab / Sideberry. For me now, this feature in Floorp is a killer feature. To be honest, I don't really know how to do this without a second sidebar, but it seems convenient to me to have tree-style vertical tabs on the left, and bookmarks, history, downloads and web panels on the right. I see two options:

  1. Implement native tree-style vertical tabs that will be located on the left and the sidebar on the right, then I will be just happy.
  2. Make it possible to pin Tree Style Tab to the sidebar, and display the rest as an overlay.


Hi folks,

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful feedback and ideas.

Many of the things you are asking for are on our backlog or "wish list" (we would like to work on it, but it's not a part of the roadmap yet).

We are currently working on the foundational pieces that will pave the way for more complex functionality in the sidebar. For instance, we want to provide options for the sidebar to be displayed or expanded on hover. However, doing this without compromising performance will take some time, so we're pushing this work past the first version.

In any case, we want to share what we're working on with you and we put together a brief video showing the basics of the interaction model over here. We know that no model will perfectly fit everyone's workflow, but this current version is based on extensive user testing, quantitative data, and the feedback from the community here, SUMO, and Bugzilla we had at the time we started. We will tweak it along the way, taking your feedback into account and guided by how most folks will use it in release. We want to provide a reasonable number of customization options, but keep in mind we're a small group working on this fairly large chunk of functionality.

Couple of notes:

  • the video has closed captions enabled, and they are handy, as we were having some troubles during the recording,
  • I made a verbal "typo" at 4:25, calling the horizontal tab strip a horizontal sidebar. 🙂 I meant disabling the horizontal tab strip, of course, and the video shows the correct control in the Customize sidebar panel.
  • what I'm showing is not the final visual design. The final design will be polished along the way.

    We'll be in touch once Nightly is in shape and ready for peeking and testing, but we're reading your feedback and doing our best to deliver a solid first version. However, it's to be expected we will not be able to fit the perfect sidebar of our dreams into the first release, and we'll be improving and enhancing it for a good bit after the first version is available. Hopeful for your support, patience, and willingness to work with us as we make it more useful and helpful for you.

Hello! I just wanted to say that the Figma model for the sidebar looks amazing and has everything I would want from a baseline vertical tabs functionality. One thing I would hope to see is the ability to have the vertical tabs on one side, and the sidebar panel itself on the other. In the case where the vertical tabs pane is expanded and the sidebar panel (history for example) is open at the same time, it seems better that the web content be sandwiched between the two rather than both panels pushing the content all the way to one side.

Here's an example from my custom configuration:


Thanks for all your work!

the feature looks awesome so far, i don't really have any feedback for the vertical tabs that haven't already been mentioned, but for the sidebar itself, id like to see is the possibility to put any button on the sidebar (the way you currently can with the tab bar) and/or the option to open any website in the sidebar view (the one that certain extensions and the history can use).

Ill probably come back and give feedback once the feature lands in nightly.