PrefBar users:

Important: Please read the current plan about migrating PrefBar into separate Addons (one per button) to make the most important features survive Firefox 57!

About PrefBar

PrefBar started as a simple toolbar to get easy access to common preferences like Javascript, Flash, the proxy used for web access, ... Over the time, PrefBar got further developed to be a container for nearly everything, that can be placed on a button, checkbox or menulist.

All items may be placed and grouped freely on PrefBar's bar. The bar itself may be moved using the browser built-in "toolbar customize" feature to anywhere you like (even in foreign toolbars, next to the menubar, ...).

Install PrefBar!

What's New

Replacement for the Language menulist available

After some time, I decided to create another "PrefBar functionality replacement Addon".

To test multilingual websites it may be required to switch the browser language, sent to the webserver, to test the automatic language switch on the webserver. This is what my new Addon "Language Switch" is meant for. You may create a list of language identifiers, in the way you need it for your testing, just like it was possible with PrefBar.

You may find the new Addon here: Language Switch

2018-06-23 - Manuel Reimer

Standalone replacement for "Referrer checkbox" available

I've created a simple "Referrer toggle" Addon for everyone who wants to disable this "feature" by default. It is already reviewed by Mozilla and can be installed from here: Toggle Referrer

2017-10-21 - Manuel Reimer

Standalone replacement for "Page2Image" button available

If you need a "Firefox 57 proof" replacement for the "Page2Image" button, please have a look at this one: Save Screenshot.

2017-07-03 - Manuel Reimer

Standalone addon available which replaces "Colors" checkbox. Migration planning list online. Please tell me which buttons you need!

My second standalone "PrefBar button" is online: Toggle Website Colors.

This replaces one of the most requested features: The colors checkbox. This makes it possible to read pages with a bad color choice more easily by disabling all the colors, so you can read the text "black on white".
The addon adds this feature to the browser context menu, so you don't need to waste space on your toolbar. This way you can have the addon enabled all the time and if you need to disable colors once in a while, it is directly availble.

I've also published a page with my current migration planning. Please tell me if you still use some of the buttons, either via mail or on the mozillazine forum thread! Please also tell me if you did own buttons and want me to port them to WebExtensions. Otherwise it would be your job to do this until Firefox 57 is out!

2017-06-05 - Manuel Reimer

First standalone addon available which replaces "Restore Tab" button on PrefBar

I've created a first standalone Addon to replace the "Restore Tab" button, which was provided by PrefBar, so far.

You can download "Undo Close Tab" button from here: Undo Close Tab

I strongly recommend everyone to remove "Restore Tab" from PrefBar and get the new Addon as replacement.

I'm still working on some more buttons, but some of them need API which is only available with Firefox 54. So stay tuned for further updates on more Addons.

Just as a reminder: My plan is to port all buttons, that I need into standalone Addons. PrefBar itself will no longer work with Firefox 57 and higher! If there are PrefBar buttons, you don't want to loose, then please tell me so we can find a possible solution.

2017-05-06 - Manuel Reimer

Text URL or "TXTURL" button replaced by Firefox builtin feature

I've got some reports, that the "TXTURL" button no longer works. Yes, this is true as the new Firefox backend (electrolysis) would basically require a rewrite of this button. But as Firefox itself has a feature like this, I'm not going to do this.

To open a "not linked" URL, just do the following:

I consider this as the official replacement of the mentioned button. The TXTURL button has been removed from the button database.

2017-02-12 - Manuel Reimer

Update about successor of PrefBar

I already got some feedback from PrefBar users about how they use PrefBar. Please keep discussing in the forum thread or send me mails.

In my first post about the possible future situation, I may have underestimated the API situation (status of the future WebExtensions API) a bit. As Mozilla is already asking developers to use the new API for new Addons, I thought it would be more feature-complete, but in fact I think they are doing this to get feedback about which features are missing by developers. To be honest, I don't have time for that. I'll start with the new API as soon as it is at least 80% feature-complete. So far it seems like it may take pretty much time until I even can do first trys with it.

I did a first try to replace a few PrefBar buttons with individual (existing) Addons on my system and started with a simple thing: "Restore Tab". I found two Addons that would fit for that but both seem to be unmaintained and both had at least minor bugs. They also both depend on XUL and XPCOM, just as PrefBar does, so if these technologies are no longer available, they stop working, too.

The next problem is, that there is no API function in the WebExtensions API to restore a tab. Even Google Chrome doesn't have this. The Google Chrome Addons, which do this, seem to handle their own tab history.

Then I found the following website which shows that Mozilla doesn't even have 40% compatibility with the feature set of Google Chrome (first browser which based Addons on "WebExtensions" API) which is known to have a somewhat limited API. Mozilla's plan was to add more features, later, to make stuff possible which is impossible with the Chrome API. Maybe this will even cover a simple "tab.restore" API call.

To make a long story short: I think it is far too early to a) worry about PrefBar and b) think about developing a replacement tool. But I also think it is good to communicate early so people can give feedback, allowing me to come up with a good replacement as soon as possible.

2016-09-04 - Manuel Reimer

A few words about the future of PrefBar

The most important first: Unlike other Addon developers, who decided to stop developing their Addon with the announcement of the deprecation of XPCOM and XUL, I won't do so. At least not now and not in the foreseeable future.

PrefBar started in a time where customizable toolbars were not possible at all in Mozilla. The only way to do this in the Mozilla browser was PrefBar.
Addon development was a nightmare, too. Many different files had to be written and placed at exactly the right place in different languages (Javascript, XUL, RDF, ...).
Installing new features without browser restart was impossible while PrefBar allowed to load buttons dynamically without restarting the browser.
Even "" didn't exist, so it was difficult to find the right Addon for the right task. As PrefBar integrated many needs in one Addon, this simplified things a lot and with the simple "button import" feature, there was one central place to get more features.

But over the time things have changed.
Firefox got a very nice user interface, allowing you to change nearly any aspect of the interface with just a few clicks. PrefBar somehow got modified by me to integrate at least at a basic level with this UI, but it has some downsides. For example the buttons still are bound to the PrefBar toolbar "container" and have to be moved as group inside the Firefox customize dialog.
Sharing "buttons" (or better full Addons) is now easier, too. Mozilla has launched "" some time ago where you can easily search the addons for your needs.
Even creating Addons got much simpler. Especially with the new WebExtensions API, currently in development by Mozilla. This new API is still far from complete but it will simplify Addon development a lot. Installing Addons without browser restart? No problem if Addon is designed to be loaded dynamically!

One big downside of the "All in one" attempt of PrefBar is, that I only use a fragment of the features myself. I depend on feedback of users if a feature, I don't use myself, gets broken. Unfortunately I only get feedback very rarely, so it may happen that some features keep broken for months. I'm almost 100% sure that at least one of the buttons in the upcoming 7.1 release is still broken. I don't have the time to test them all with every new release!

So in my opinion the whole PrefBar concept somehow got obsolete. I would prefer to get my "buttons" from and to move them to everywhere I want in the Firefox GUI.
My plan is to wait until the whole "WebExtension thing" gets critical. Meaning that the first "Servo based" Firefox is in Beta or Mozilla decides to disable XUL based Addons in the Gecko based Firefox.
At that time I'll see if there are Addons available which fit my needs. If they are missing or are not ported to WebExtension, I'll create the missing Addons, but only in the form "one tool for one need". No more "all in one" attempts!

I don't know when this will happen and so far the WebExtensions API is still very basic and misses many features.
Maybe it still takes several years...
I'll keep updating PrefBar as long as possible and as long as XUL addons are possible in Firefox, but I'll move over to single addons (which will be linked here in some kind of "how to migrate" list) as soon as Mozilla definitively drops XUL from Firefox.

2016-08-28 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 7.1 is on its way

PrefBar version 7.1 is waiting for review. This version should fix some of the latest bugs with current browsers. It also removes some obsolte stuff. Please have a look at the Changelog for detailled information.

2016-08-28 - Manuel Reimer

Two new howtos available.

Yan Li sent two howtos to be published on the PrefBar homepage. Thank you very much for sharing your work!

In the navigation you find the howtos below "Documentation". The new entries are:

2015-06-15 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 7.0 available

As PrefBar 6.6 did not get the review, required to be distributed as update, I had to rewrite a few things. The way, how code is executed, was changed completely. As this is no small change and may cause some buttons to fail (I'll check the buttons in the online database as soon as possible and publish updates where needed) I decided to publish this as "7.0". Please report any problems you find.

This release is prepared for the upcoming "multiprocess support" (electrolysis) in Firefox. I at least tried to keep compatible with older Firefox versions, but I'm only testing with the latest final and with an up-to-date nightly version. If something fails, please report.


2015-06-05 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.6 RC1 available

To fix a few of the current problems (non-working colors checkbox, non-working button import from "More buttons" page, ...) I've prepared a release candidate for PrefBar 6.6. Please report any problems, you still have with this, either via mail or via Bugzilla.

You may download the release candidate from here: PrefBar 6.6 RC1 MD5: 88ae30f40f46dd0746b73026abf0a4bd


2015-05-13 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.5 released

A new release will be available, soon. This release contains the fix, required to clear the cache on Firefox 32 and a few smaller interface changes. For a full list of changes have a look at the changelog.


2014-09-28 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.4 released

A new release is on its way. This release contains a new feature for the "Resize Menulist". Now it is possible to create entries that only set the width or height without modifying the second value. Have a look at the help system to find out how to use this.

The new release also contains many fixes for the new Firefox 29 interface (Australis). I hope that all major bugs are fixed now. If someone still has problems, then please contact me.


2014-05-21 - Manuel Reimer

Checkbox "Full Page Zoom" updated

I've updated the "Full Page Zoom" checkbox to use a Firefox builtin feature to toggle the setting.

With this change, you no longer have to reload the page to see the effect.

2014-01-12 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.3 released

As usual it will take some time until reviews are done, but in a few days, PrefBar 6.3 will ship as official compatibility update with Firefox 26.

This release also contains first fixes to get compatible with the new "Australis" theme, so give it a try if you already use an Australis based Firefox.

I've also replaced all occurrences of "Preferences Toolbar" with just "PrefBar". I don't want to advertise PrefBar to be a "toolbar" (separate bar in your browser) anymore, as this is just wrong with current PrefBar versions. You can use the "PrefBar menu" button or you can move the PrefBar button group to other toolbars. No need to use PrefBar's own toolbar!


2014-01-12 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.2.2 released

This new PrefBar version fixes a problem with the plugin toggle checkboxes on Firefox 23. The plugin toggles now work again and with Firefox 23 and above you may change how the plugin toggles work with the new preference "preferences.plugintoggle.mode".

For more informations on this new preference, and what it does, please have a look at the help system.


2013-08-29 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.2.1 awaiting review

This is primarily a bugfix release to fix some problems with latest browser versions.

This is also the first time, I open a thread on the MozillaZine forums for discussions about the new release, or PrefBar at all. I hope this helps me to get better contact with my users and maybe someone has good ideas or feature requests for the next release ;)

Maybe it's even a good idea to drop the PrefBar mailinglist and move all discussions about PrefBar over to the MozillaZine forum platform.

The forum announce thread is linked as "Comments" at the end of this news item.


2013-07-22 - Manuel Reimer

Some buttons updated in the Button database.

At some point I finally want to get rid of backwards compatibility with the old "RDF based" PrefBar button format. So it's a good idea to port the whole button database to the new "JSON based" format.

While doing so, I fixed and improved some of the buttons:

The Clear Download Manager Button now uses a PrefBar builtin function so most probably no future updates will be needed for this button.

The Clone Tab Button and Reload Proxy Auto Config (PAC) Button now works again with latest Firefox releases.

The eBayNegs Button has been fixed to work with the current eBay website layout.

2013-07-22 - Manuel Reimer

PrefBar 6.1 waiting for review...

PrefBar 6.1 currently is waiting for review on The biggest new feature is the built-in Japanese translation. Thank you to Norah Marinkovic for translating PrefBar to Japanese! There are a few smaller changes, too. For a full list, please have a look at the Changelog.

2012-03-18 - Manuel Reimer

New button "Locale Switch Menulist", updated "Online Checkbox"

On the "More buttons" page, you'll find a new button called "Locale Switch Menulist". This is a very useful tool for addon developers, who want to test their addon in a different language, easily. Also have a look at the button description for more info.

Thanks to Norah for sharing!

The "Online Checkbox" was updated to work in current PrefBar releases. The new version properly updates, if the online status changes, and not longer throws errors on error console.

2012-02-27 - Manuel Reimer

New button set "Addon Developer Buttons"

This set of buttons contains 5 buttons, useful for addon development. It contains checkboxes for a few pref toggles, useful for developers, and a button, which reloads the current browser window, including all overlays, without needing to restart the full browser process!

Thanks to Norah for sharing!

[2012-01-26] Update: Norah sent me a new version of his button set. Now it includes 8 buttons for addon development. Please have a look at the button description for details.

2012-01-26 - Manuel Reimer

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