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Jim-NJ
New member
Status: New idea

The way FireFox changed the order of open windows in the Window dropdown menu in version 108 to be alphabetical is horrible. Since every open window has several tabs, by changing the tab, the location of that window will jump around in the menu. That makes it very hard to find the window you are looking for in the menus. The older versions have the order in chronological order which was very helpful as I used to arrange tabs in windows in a way I can easily find them in that order. Frankly, one of the main reasons I was using Firefox over other browsers was that chronological order of windows. One idea is to the order, chronological or alphabetical be set in the preferences. For now, I will try to downgrade to an older version.

18 Comments
Status changed to: New idea
Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for submitting an idea to the Mozilla Connect community! Your idea is now open to votes (aka kudos) and comments.

tetra_b
New member

You are absolutely right, the alphabetical order is super annoying. I always have lots of windows open and it takes me forever to find a page, because the titles of the pages often don't exactly correspond with the content, the website, the thematic etc. It would be a great advantage, if the user could choose between alphabetical and chronological order in the preferences.

aberMonkey
New member

Yes, please! I made a Mozilla account just to vote on this. I had many windows and tabs open at any given time and it's very very difficult to keep track of them now.

davidh0608
New member

Totally agree! Logged into this site to see if anyone else has this issue.  I've already created a post on the firefox community page. Really hoping they can give us an option in settings for all the reasons in your post 🙏🤞

jscher2000
Leader

In Firefox 108, the developers turned control over the order of the menu to Mac OS in order to add support for the "Tile Window to Left/Right of Screen" and "Move to [SCREEN]" features. They do not see an obvious way to have both. Maybe those features are not important to most users and should be optional?

(As a Windows person who doesn't even get a Window menu on our hidden menu bar, I don't have an opinion on that.)

As a short-term workaround, I created an add-on that numbers your windows, and this number remains the same as the tab title changes, which should make the menu stable. If you try the add-on, you can let me know about bugs on the Discussions thread noted below, or through the usual contact methods for add-ons (listed in the left column of the page):

 

EricD
Making moves

The items in the Windows menu are now essentially in a random mutating order.  This is *really* bad UX. 

Alphabetical ordering might be okay for a simple document-based app where the window names are static and known to the user.  But browser window titles change quite frequently based on lots of variables, and it's difficult to know what any particular window you're looking for might currently be named. 

*Please* give users the ability to revert to the previous behavior via a preference or setting.

hzm1016
Making moves

I also created a discussion item on this topic (https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/how-can-i-disable-the-new-v108-quot-feature-quot-that/m-p...) that has additional comments, much like the ones above. There is an add-on recommended in that discussion that is a workaround, inconvenient in comparison to the pre-1.08 behavior because the user has to click a button in each window and type in a title for the window, otherwise the new behavior applies and each untitled window moves unpredictably.

I suspect that whoever suggested this "improvement", and whoever approved it, rarely, if ever, have more than a very few windows. Even in that case the 1.08 behavior would drive me nuts. I have several dozen windows open, some with one or a few tabs, others with hundreds of tabs, and for years I have relied on the fixed order of the windows to keep them organized. As noted in other comments in this thread, the new behavior makes the windows in the list randomly jump all over with every tab change, or worse, at the whim of any web page that picks some random string to assign as it title.

Many of the comments in the thread I referred to at the beginning of this comment provide usage examples that make this new behavior unacceptable.

Apparently, this change was in aid of supporting some windowing feature of Mac OS. I use Mac OS and I have never heard of, nor felt any need for, that windowing feature. Instead, my usage model for Firefox has now been mutilated, in exchange for no detectable improvement.

Does anyone know of any user that supports this change? I realize that the people who have expressed opinions are self-selecting for those who have found their user experience impacted unfavorably, but I am curious if there was an clamoring for this change, and even if there was, why it was deemed to be appropriate to impose it on EVERYONE.

At the very least the old behavior should be made available via a value in Settings that would let the user choose which behavior to use.

A possibly simpler alternative could be to have a Setting that specifies that the windows are to be given fixed titles (for example by default "Window #NNN", NNN being incremented sequentially as each window is created) and with the user having the option to change the title. Again, the titles should remain fixed except as changed by the user. At least then the new (v1.08) behavior would keep the windows in the order of creation, or in order under the control of the user.

hzm1016
Making moves

By the way, the first thing I did was try to downgrade back to v1.07, but when I started it I was warned that "It is possible that the saved state is incompatible with this version of Firefox" and I was given only two choices: (A) quit, or (B) create a new empty profile.

There should have been "(C) I'm feeling lucky, just proceed with the saved profile state."

I have Firefox restore my windows and tabs on startup (that is part of the reason I have so many windows) and creating a new profile was not going to do anything useful for me at all.

gregearl1
New member

I often have a half dozen windows open, many with several tabs. The newest version of Firefox moves these around, and it's a real pain. I count on the top three windows to be 1) my Gmail account and associated tabs, 2) the second to be my MSN account and associated tabs, and 3) the third to be my Facebook account and related tabs. Other windows are random, but they have titles I can see. I can't remember the names of all of the associated tabs for my three main windows, so I'm wasting a lot of time trying to figure out where items are that I used to not have to keep track of.

Every other application I use keeps the windows I open in the same order--why in the world did you change this?

Electech
New member

Thank you for raising this, like others here, I signed up to give kudos to this issue, its driving me nuts, and I am for the first time since switching from netscape to firefox considering switching to another main browser as this has a huge impact on my day to day work..
One example of where this is a pain in a**, I work in support, often I have the same system on multiple customers open at the same time, and of cause those windows will be named the same, as its the same functions on the same system I am looking at..

Previously it was easy to see which was linked to which client because they were opened at the same time, but now all windows name "editor" is in one pile, and I have to open the window and check the url to make sure I have the right one..

Please please for the sake of my sanity, either switch this back to way it has been working for the past 18 years, or at least make it configurable..