Firefox just got a radical redesign — and it makes Chrome look boring

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Mozilla has rolled out a new version of Firefox complete with an overhauled design that makes it look fresher — and simpler — than ever.

One of the biggest changes in Firefox 89 concerns tabs; these are now visibly bigger, with the one you’re focusing on floating above the toolbar at the top of the browser. It’s a neat little design quirk and one that sets it apart from Chrome, where individual tabs are attached to the toolbar and can be difficult to make out if you have lots open. 

The changes were revealed in a blog post yesterday, with Mozilla’s MJ Kelly explaining that “Firefox sports a fresh new design that gets you where you’re going online, fast and distraction-free."

Firefox 89 floating tabs

(Image credit: Firefox)

Other design changes include new icons and typography, while menus have been decluttered and consolidated to make it easier to find the settings users are looking for.

Firefox 89 — streamlined menus

(Image credit: Firefox)

That simplification is evident with notifications, too: alerts are now less intrusive thanks to a size reduction and Firefox 89 also removes non-essential alerts and messages altogether. Best of all, the new version of Firefox has some clever tweaks to avoid annoying autoplay videos: media autoplay is now turned off by default and you can easily mute a noisy tab by clicking on it. 

Users will be pleased to know that the improvements extend beyond just Firefox's fresh new looks; it's also delivered a bunch of improved privacy protections which help it keep pace with Chrome 91's recent round of security fixes.

Firefox 89 — improved security

(Image credit: Firefox)

Chief among them is the Total Cookie Protection feature, which has been switched from an optional strict setting to always-on in private browsing. As Kelly explains, “Any time a site deposits a cookie, Firefox locks it up in its own cookie jar so that it can’t be shared with any other website.”

The new Firefox is being rolled out now for desktop and mobile browsers, although we couldn't yet access it on Android. Expect to see it arrive on your device very soon. 

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Luke Wilson

Luke is a Trainee News Writer at T3 and contributor to Tom's Guide, having graduated from the DMU/Channel 4 Journalism School with an MA in Investigative Journalism. Before switching careers, he worked for Mindshare WW. When not indoors messing around with gadgets, he's a disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors.