Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Private window changes in Firefox 106 - Give us your feedback!


Hi community!

I'm Romain from the product team. We just launched Firefox 106 that includes significant changes to your private windows:

  • Private Windows have always been hidden behind the hamburger menu, making them an advanced user feature. With Firefox 106 they now became more accessible by letting you pin them to your Windows taskbar so it's easier to browse in a private context (applies to Windows only).
  • Private windows had a light theme on by default, just like normal windows, which made it hard to understand which window type you were in. With Firefox 106 a dark theme is now applied by default with clearer badges so it's more obvious to users which window type you are using.

It would be great to hear your feedback about this change so we can keep improving our private windows - how does it feel?

Thanks for your participation!

123 REPLIES 123

Making moves

I would like to add my thank you to this list! 👍

This no longer works for removing the "private browsing" text from the upper right.

now not working after last update. Mozilla don't like community.

Making moves

I like the fact that the color scheme changes - this is like what mobile does.  I wanted the private windows to be more obvious.

However, I do not like the fact that the window is separate from the regular Fx window.  Now I have different Fx tasks randomly strung across my taskbar, making it harder to find the window I want.

@JustinhGlad the default theme change works for you, this is the exact reason that drove this change.

Regarding the window separation - can you please say more about why it is now harder?

Private windows are groupped under the private taskbar shortcut while normal windows are groupped under the normal Firefox taskbar shortcut.

Well, it looks like I was wrong - you get only the one new group of tasks.  Either way, I'd like all the Fx tasks together, and I don't want to pin 'private' to my taskbar to predict its location like I do the regular Fx.

I do see the advantage of denoting private windows, if only because it can remind me which tabs are in which windows w/o having to peek or poke.  My workflows are different on different computers, so a toggle for this behavior would be nice.  (I'd rather not have to dig in about:config, though.)

I can RMB on the task and select a private window, which is not much more work compared to a pinned not-private task.  (Of course this doesn't the desktop shortcut scenario.)

How about make a compromise and show private windows as such and grouped in the Taskbar, then give an option to show as private or not?

I can't speak for @Justinh, but in my case I've noticed it's more mental work every time I look for a specific tab in the taskbar preview thumbnails. Now I first have to try to remember which type of window the tab happened to be open in so I can hover over the correct icon to look for it. At first it wasn't particularly irritating but I've now realized I do that a lot more frequently than I would've thought. I guess I'd summarize by saying this change adds just enough friction to make a simple and quick action that I never thought about into a bit of work that I apparently do enough that it's becoming a recurring annoyance.

Not applicable

I definitely do not like the full dark mode for private browsing. If you hover over something like a video you cannot read what is displayed due to the text color and background color having very little contrast.  Give me the option of setting the colors myself or the option of going back to a previous version.  Bring back the previous version please.  This is not an improvement

Hi, if you want to retain the light theme always, you can go to Hamburger manu > Addons and Themes > Themes > Scroll down and select "Light". This will apply the light theme to all windows, private and non private

I posted about that same bug but my post was deleted by a moderator - I guess they don't like posts which aren't glowing explosions of glee. Brutal, really - ask for feedback and then delete posts they don't like - typical overreaction from mods who get drunk on power. I have to wonder, though, what's the point of asking for feedback if you're not willing to accept all of it? I then received a private message from a mod saying I'm supposed to post bugs in bugzilla, but, I didn't see any option in the browser options or settings informing me of that - perhaps this bugzilla thing can be included in future FF releases so users who don't spend 18 hours / day programming, etc. can know how to report problems instead of having to deal with mods who needlessly delete posts.

My original post:


On the default private window in Linux, with no theme changes, the tool tips have white text on a yellow background, making them nigh impossible to read, useless, and very annoying.

FF: 106.0.3 (64-bit)

Making moves

As I mentioned in another thread, this entire thing feels like Mozilla is forcing a solution to a problem that nobody had. I seriously cannot think of a single reason why Mozilla felt the need to completely change the behavior of the private window without even giving users the option.

Making moves

Personally, I like the change. I don't have to worry about closing all Firefox windows without realizing there was an private window open that I would lose permanently anymore. I also know that if I see it in my taskbar, I have potentially private information open on my computer and should close it if necessary.

Thanks @753 , glad to hear that it's valuable to you!

Making moves

Every time I receive an Update Available message my heart sinks each and every time.  The last time MF had an update I kept putting it off but after reading about it I decided to download it because it said it wouldn't remove bookmarks.  LIARS.  It removed all of my bookmarks and I had a lot.  It also changed some screens from white to black which my eyes don't like and there isn't a feature to reverse this.  It's funny how MF don't give any information on what is in the new update - they just expect people to download and install it because what exactly?  MF literally do keep their users in the dark.  After reading this feedback page and the negative reviews of the new update I am staying away from it, which might now encourage me to look for another browser option.  I have been with MF for years and have been faithful from that time.  It's a shame MF haven't been faithful to their user base.  Shame on you MF for not listening to us but for constantly doing what you think, feel and believe is right for you.

My brother has offered me his old laptop (W7 I think he said it is) which I have accepted.  I will install OPERA and see how that works.  If I am happy with it I will install it on my laptop and delete MF, never to return.

I don't like MF's 'passwordless' access onto this forum.  You're nothing special MF so why use this method?  Unlike a lot of people my email account is not open all of the time, which means I have to go into it and log in using my email address (which I did for this) and then my password.  Talk about time consuming.

Hi @Cee_Jay . Sorry to hear you're having issues with this update.

Regarding your bookmarks - we have not seen bugs reported around bookmarks removal - can you please go to Hamburger menu > Bookmarks > Manage bookmarks and let me know if you can find your bookmarks in there?

Regarding the use of dark theme on private windows, you can go to Hamburger manu > Addns and Themes > Themes > Scroll down and select "Light". This will apply the light theme to all winbdows, private an non private


Thank you for your reply.

It was when I downloaded MF's last update version 103.0.2 that I lost my bookmarks.  I haven't download the latest version 106.0.2 and I have no intentions too, no matter how many times the pop up message pops up.  It isn't going to happen at all let alone any time soon.  I like to use an extension picture theme on my laptop as it 'brightens' it up, but each one I was choosing made some screens dark, especially the 'Hamburger Menu'.  That used to be white - now it's dark and I can't revert back, and with V95 it was white.  People don't have time to go through menus and look for themes &c. to try and change it back to how it was when it shouldn't have been changed in the first place.  Have you not heard the saying: If it isn't broken don't fix it?  Clearly not.  You are making your users jump through hoops of fire and that isn't fair.  You clearly are not listening to them and I doubt you are working on an update to change the mess you have created or revert back.

I downloaded Opera the other day because for some strange reason I couldn't access a finance website on MF because the website requires access to cookies and MF had blocked them (no problems with other finance websites, just this particular one), and no matter what I did on MF settings I couldn't allow the access.  So I downloaded Opera out of curiosity and it worked fine.  I have to look into O a lot more (I used to use O before MF) and take it from there.  At the moment MF is asking me to accept them as their main browser (something got deactivated there - don't know what that was) but I've not accepted that.  After approximately 18 years (since 2004) I think MF and I are going to have to go our separate ways.


I don't usually post 'AMEN!!",  this says exactly what I was trying to convey (except Opera, I got v.105 back).  Almost a week later I'm still discovering settings, etc., that v.106 simply wiped out.  I've been with MF since it's early-early days, spend hours a day with it.  I've  never used 'private screens',  I'm told they were so tremendously important the major features had to be wiped clean to make room for them. And, sarcastically, so many people prefer dark-colored screens,  let's make that universal (we'll tell those who really scream that they can always change their registry,  as relatively few have a clue how to do that ...)  That these screeds are actually being read, and may prompt some changes, is a start.  Admitting you moved the product way ahead of what your customers were comfortable with,  rolling back a bit to make it acceptable,  is a textbook way of keeping them forever.  Ever heard of New Coke?

Please stop using Opera, the company behind it has many shady behaviors. I think vivaldi is better than Opera if you want to use an advanced Chromium based browser.

Making moves

Unnecessary change.

Please revert or add option to configure.

Hi @sI240HG2fFHDMe3 describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.



Making moves

I hate this new change, why should it be detached from normal windows? , you can just put it outside the hamburger menu as default if you want people to use it, and let people customized it.

Hi @nice_kid26 

Separating windows in private and non private contexts bring these benefits:

- Simpler accessibility and management of the window type you need

- Increased awareness that when you close Firefox it will close private windows (that will then be gone forever)

I realize from this thread that some users won't like this change. describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.

'WON'T like this change'.  More like 'DON'T' like this change.

Valuable option for MF.

Since private navigation is finally receiving some deserved attention, I must point out a long-term problem related exactly with it's closing behavior. Although there is an option to warn when closing a window with many tabs, private windows have a non-sense "hidden condition" that, if there is more then one window open, the warning option is ignored and it closes anyway. There is a bunch of open requests in bugzilla for years, all plainly overlooked because this behavior is "by design" (although a really bad design, in my humble opinion).

This is specially anoying because many times the window is closed by accident when a popup shows and then triggers a window resize right when you click the X button, so you end up closing the main window instead -- without a warning and no means of recovery, because now you had 2 windows open. If the option is pretty clear in it's intention, why can't it just be honored?

Making moves

I use the Firefox Alpenglow theme. Since the update, private windows use some (new?) dark version of it. Could you please add a way to disable that? A different look for private windows is some kind of a good idea, however I'm not a dark mode user. It looks like you can select the light theme in the menu. However, it is not possible to select the light version of the Alpenglow theme.

@FF-11 That's correct, you can force light on all windows if you dislike dark although we'll currently apply the dark version of Alpenglow on private windows. We'll look into what it would take to make this possible, thanks for bringing it up.

Making moves

It would be nice if there's an easy toggle to revert to the previous private browsing behaviour.  I don't like promoting that I have private windows open.

Making moves

The whole reason I open a private window is to do things in private, you know the whole reason it is named a private window. Please make this toggleable or something.

Making moves

There is really no need to have "Private browsing" text on top right of the window. Do it like Edge did, really no need to visually bloat stuff.

What do you mean?  Doesn't Edge have the same bloat?  (Well, it bloats the address bar instead of the tab bar, which is probably preferred.)



Making moves

In the previous version of Private Browsing, when one opens a private window, the icon in the system tray added a "shadow" tab to the Firefox icon. This new version (106.0.1) 10/21/2022 creates a new purple icon that stands alone in the system tray. It's color scheme isn't even presented in subdued colors to make it less noticeable.
The old way is MUCH less noticeable. If they are unwilling to go back to this better version, they should make the icon much less noticeable in the tray.



Making moves

1st of all, i already know i'm in 'Private browsing' mode and don't need any 'reminder'

solution(s) ?

Why not put it in the 'tools' bar or the 'customize toolbar' Menu where it won't EAT-UP TABS space

the new 106 firefox might address 6-new security issues but:  it's a step backwards to eat up

any valuable TABS bar real estate - some of us have small laptopsfirefox october 18th 2022 106 version.jpg

Making moves

Visual/Icon changes that do not benefit functionality in any way - in fact, now I have to re-familiarize myself with yet another icon change. An addition in the top right of the tab bar that takes away screen real estate - now I can see less tabs at once. A giant neon sign that advertises to the whole universe that I have a private window open - isn't private browsing supposed to be discreet and, you know, private? A separate shortcut (that installs by default that I have to now delete) to scream to the universe "Oi bruv, you want to open a private session?"

So sick and tired of rolling back MF with every major update until I find the time to go into :config and tinker with things (or download addons to disable icon bloat). We're done, you and I.

Yeeted and deleted with prejudice. Hello Opera, my new primary browser.

Please stop using Opera, the company behind it has many shady behaviors. I think vivaldi is better than Opera if you want to use an advanced Chromium based browser.

Shady behaviors, such as?  I'm honestly very curious.  Firefox used to be synonymous with privacy, but now appears to be doing the opposite by making private browsing public (or at least very visible on your computer).  From a comparative point of view, that is pretty shady, too. 

For example their "free" VPN is not safe and it is owned by a Chinese company with poor reputation of privacy.

You can read more here:

Making moves

I think firefox and private browsing icon in windows bar should be switch , it will look better. Which is big firefox icon and small private browsing icon.

It would certainly make it less obvious that you're using a private browsing session.

Making moves

why you separate the private browsing icon in taskbar
in the earlier version they were gathered together and any one look at my desktop cannot see that i am using private browsing
he can only see that I'm using Firefox
now any one look at my taskbar can see that I'm using both
there is no privacy any more