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

rtestard
Employee
Employee

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!

104 REPLIES 104

leo_os
Making moves

I believe you forgot to mention that not only you can pin private navigation to the taskbar, but now private navigation happens on a complete separate window. My feedback on the later: having private navigation in a taskbar window apart from Firefox, that has a different, clearly "private navigation" icon on the taskbar, feels like (one could easily go as far as to say that it is) the complete antithesis of private navigation. I highly dislike this change. If you guys absolutely need to keep private navigation in a different window, then I'd say that a good bandaid would be to change the private navigation icon to the default Firefox icon or something that would not make the private window so obvious at a first, quick glance (looking at how the icon currently is, one choice would be to swap the Firefox logo with the private window one and vice-versa, making the Firefox icon the big one, and the private window one the small one).

Thanks for the feedback @leo_os 

Private navigation used to be on a separate window but it's right that now by default on Windows we'll place a taskbar shortcut under which your private windows will be groupped. This is to make it simpler to manage your windows but I realize that in your scenario it may feel like regressing privacy.

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/private-window-changes-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedba... describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/add-option-to-disable-icon-of-private-window-on-taskbar/idi-p/1... - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.

 

It's not "simpler to manage" my windows and it's intrusive. This needs to be an optional install, not forced. GUI changes, installation changes, forced applications or "features" without the option to disable them and/or remove them completely is the exact reason why I refuse to use programs like Chrome as an example. Mozilla used to be better than this, over the past couple of years you have been moving into that same territory.

then please bring back the tab+ tab to the tab bar. I HATE having to go to the task bar and hunt down where the freaking tab+ icon is on the toolbar. so very backward. please fix this asap or give an option to put it back the way it was. this is backward, time consuming, and counter intuitive.

longtimeffuser
Making moves

Do not change the color scheme, please give option to put it like it has been. I has been steady, simple, now new colors. Change for sake of change. Why? Do not like it. Little detaily but annoying and frustrating. Every new version is basically new browser. Why? No need to change it when it works.You are driving user away. I am still sticking with Firefox but my patience is limited and you are pushing at the limits! Come on, am I the only one? Cannot be.

Fix: Go to about:config and change this to false: browser.theme.dark-private-windows

Hi  @longtimeffuser , sorry to hear the default theme change in private windows does not work for you.

You can go to Hamburger menu > Addns and Themes > Themes > Scroll down and select "Light". This will apply the light theme to all winbdows, private an non private

longtimeffuser
Making moves

It was totally different which is regular - saving history, cookies window and which is anonymous. Please change the colors back. This seriously looks like that you are just changing to change something, which is frustrating. Every version new browser. Please do not change so much and let users if they want new color scheme. New font color. Keep it simple and stable. So many different things in every new version is frustrating. Whackamole to change it back, however this one - new colors in anonymous view cannot be changed back. Which is quite sad. Another example of pushing user away from Firefox into the arms of other browser - please think about it!

 

 

 

longtimeffuser
Making moves

Sorry for another reply:

 

How it feel? Different, without option to change it back. So very frustrating, annoying. Making me think to change browser. Which I have been using for long, long time But these constant changes are getting on my nerves. So much is changing, so much stress in the world - can we have one stable think in browser? Not if it Firefox 😞 😞

1MGB
Making moves

@rtestard wrote:
  • 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).

Please change this feature or, at the very least, make it optional. Having a separate and CLEARLY VISIBLE icon appear in the taskbar has actually made using "private browsing" less private. Honestly, the hamburger menu icon has been adopted by so many modern GUIs at this point that someone who you may not consider to be an "advanced user" would know what it does. I'm also willing to bet that the vast majority of people who have taken the extra steps to use Firefox, instead of just defaulting to Chrome or Edge, are advanced enough to find the "private window" option. 

Thanks for the feedback @1MGB 

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/private-window-changes-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedba... describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/add-option-to-disable-icon-of-private-window-on-taskbar/idi-p/1... - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.

I realize that the hamburger menu is a common pattern but as soon as you hide options behind secondary UI you will mechanically regress accessibility and frequency of use. Clearly some users want options to disable the taskbar icon for reasons that are reasonable, being able to pin to taskbar will although be valuable for users to access private windows more conveniently (this is opt in, exposed through onboarding).

NovaFox
Making moves

I hate it.  All of it.  I don't want my theme to change to dark.  I don't want the Windows icon to change to the purple mask.  I don't want this massive "Private browsing" banner in the upper-right.  None of this makes me feel like it will "increase the feeling of privacy" like your release notes advertise because you seemingly didn't do anything under the hood to make Private Browsing more private anyway.  So it all annoys me, and disappoints to see Mozilla doing pitching a feature where they are implying that UI changes somehow make people feel safer online.  How out of touch.  (Also, it makes it look like the Firefox devs are so insecure that they have to copy everything that Chrome does with their Incognito theming.)

Hi @NovaFox

Sorry to hear that the change does not work for you.

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/private-window-changes-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedba... describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need.

You can also force the light theme on all Windows by selecting "Light" as opposed to "auto".

a_
Making moves

The changes to private windows are not good. Please roll back the separate icon in the taskbar. At least make it so I can disable these settings if I want to.

Also, on the PDF editor, using the system color chooser dialog doesn't match the UI theme and looks out of place. Maybe build your own color chooser in a future release?

Hi @a_ Sorry to hear you're unhappy about change. 

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/private-window-changes-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedba... describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/add-option-to-disable-icon-of-private-window-on-taskbar/idi-p/1... - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.

This thread is about the private window changes, you can follow and contribute to https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/pdf-annotations-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedback/td-p... for pdf annotations feedback.

1MGB
Making moves

The addition of a new separate icon to the Windows taskbar when a private window is opened seems very counter intuitive to the idea of "private browsing" to me. Why make it obvious that there are private windows open? It would be great if there were an option keep it hidden in the standard Firebox taskbar icon, like it was before this update.

i dont use win11 but win10 is rightclicking and choosing not an option on windows11 taskbar firefox icon? Doest it really need to become separate thing for someone to open private session without the need to open a normal session first? I can do it effortlessly on win10

Yes, W11 has the same RMB behavior for the pinned Fx task on the Taskbar.

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

We’re excited to connect with you all about Private Windows and work together to make the feature even better! 

A quick reminder…

When participating in this discussion, please remember to:

-Follow the Community Guidelines 

Anything that violates the guidelines will be flagged and removed. 

-Stay on topic

Let’s keep this thread focused and productive. If you have additional product feedback or ideas unrelated to the discussion topic, create a new post.

Thanks so much and looking forward to hearing your feedback 🙌

-The Community Team

Ze
Making moves

Could you then please reply to the people who have asked for the option to at least stop private browsing from showing as a different window/icon in the windows taskbar?

Ultimate guide:

  • Close all private windows

  • Open about:config from the address bar

  • Look up browser.privateWindowSeparation.enabled and set it to false

  • If you also want to hide the icon at the top right corner, set browser.privatebrowsing.enable-new-indicator to false too

If this doesn't work for you, check about:studies.

Not by me, Reference: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/y8iik0/the_fact_that_private_windows_open_like_this_now/

Please support the idea of add option to disable icon of private window on taskbar here:

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/add-option-to-disable-icon-of-private-window-on-taskbar/idc-p/1...

Sorry for the delay in answering here, we're a small team with lots to do especially around updates! I've tried to address questions above.

Better for whom?  Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Firefox users because I can't see it being for the latter.

You need to stop copy pasting this in every thread. You are literally a mod posting spam at this point.

Jon,

I'm guessing you don't really want to hear OUR feedback.

It took about two hours to reinstall v.105,  recover my bookmarks,  recover all the logons so LastPass could handle them.   Like other posters,  I trusted Firefox ... I trusted you enough that I automatically clicked to approve your changes.  I know it's futile, there's no way Firefox can have a non-featured version of its product or let us rollback what Mozilla is so proud of.  This will be at least a footnote in Mozilla's history,  a sudden hiccup that caused it users.  After a brief experience with v106,  I'll never update again.  MS looks closest to Firefox,  I'll probably switch there.  Something else I swore I'd never do. 

ankitha_5594
Making moves

Hate the changes made in private browsing. Making it a different icon was not really a good idea. It's frustrating. Atleast keep an option whether people want firefox private browsing as a different icon or they want it in the same (like it was before). I really loved firefox up until now but i think i would have to change the broswer to a different one as i can't go back to the previous version of firefox now.

I hope you guys would consider undoing the changes please

Hi @ankitha_5594 Sorry to hear you're unhappy about change. 

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/private-window-changes-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedba... describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/add-option-to-disable-icon-of-private-window-on-taskbar/idi-p/1... - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.

sizu19sizu
Making moves

I had a firefox pinned to the taskbar and if i wanted a private window i would right click on it and choose private, everything would stay on the same icon. now if i open private window it creates a separate icon on a taskbar and i absolutely hate that. my taskbar - my rules. i dont want to have TWO firefox icons on a taskbar. I also noticed next to a "open a new tab" plus sign on a toolbar theres a new icon "list all tabs" i want to remove it but i cant. its too close to new tab icon. and that big "private browsing" message on the top right corner.. why is it there? whats the point? just revert it to how it was, everything was perfect why fix it if its not broken?

also i forgot to mention that now we have less space for tabs. i usually have 20+ tabs open and less space for tabs means my work is so much slower.

Thanks for feedback @sizu19sizu 

The "list all tabs" issue is bring tracked under https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1786011 where you'll get full context.

https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/private-window-changes-in-firefox-106-give-us-your-feedba... describes how to use about:config to apply the change you need. I'll keep monitoring feedback on https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/add-option-to-disable-icon-of-private-window-on-taskbar/idi-p/1... - we're always careful about bringing new options to about:preferences but it sounds like this may be a valuable addition.

Ze
Making moves

For everyone like me who wants to reverse the change of private windows opening as a separate window on the windows taskbar: in about:config set browser.privateWindowSeparation.enabled false and if you dislike it saying private browsing in the corner, set browser.privatebrowsing.enable-new-indicator false the new logo can also be disabled with browser.privatebrowsing.enable-new-logo false

just wanted to say thanks, i tried your suggestions and it worked. now my firefox is back to normal and i also found how to remove "list all tabs" icon from toolbar with browser.tabs.tabmanager.enabled  false.  🙂

pe23sk
Making moves

Thanks! It really helped

JM69
Making moves

Hi, This seems to be what I need. For the not so tech savvy, how do you get to these settings? Thanks

 

Type "about:config" in the URL bar and hit enter. Press the continue button.

1MGB
Making moves

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