Sunday, November 06, 2011

Remove icons from the Firefox bookmarks toolbar UPDATE Firefox 29.0.1

This should work more generally, but (because it's the set-up I have) I refer particularly here to Firefox 7.0.1 running on Mac OS X 10.7.2. If someone has equivalent instructions for other platforms then please add them in comments.

[UPDATE for Firefox 29.0.1:

The original solution does not work for Firefox 29.0.1. The alternative solution is to quit Firefox, edit your userChrome.css file, then restart Firefox. Here's how to do it.

The userChrome.css file is found by going to the same Profile location as outlined in step (1), below. Once you're inside the Profiles folder and inside the folder with your default user ID string, look for a folder called chrome.

In other words, you're looking for: ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/[your unique user ID string]/chrome/

Inside the chrome folder you'll find a file called userChrome-example.css. Make a copy of this file and rename it userChrome.css. Save it in the chrome folder. Use a text editor such as TextEdit or TextWrangler to edit this file.

Add this to the end of the file:

 scrollbox#PlacesToolbarItems > toolbarbutton.bookmark-item > .toolbarbutton-icon {
  display: none;

Save this edited file in the chrome folder, close your text editing application, then restart Firefox. The icons should be gone from your bookmarks toolbar.

As with the earlier solution, if you run into problems, quit Firefox, remove the edited version of the userChrome.css file and restart Firefox to get back to where you started.]

I wanted to get rid of the icons in the bookmarks toolbar. I find some of them ugly and they take up too much space. I tried the Bookmarks Deiconizer add-on, but found that I had to reset it by disabling and re-enabling it every time I relaunched Firefox. Here's what I did instead.

(1) Find the file called localstore.rdf in

~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/[your unique user ID string]/

Your Library folder should be inside your Home folder. To see the Home folder in Finder click Go at the top of the screen and then select Home from the dropdown list. Lion hides the Library folder by default so if you can't see it in the Home folder then you need to go directly to it. To do that, click Go again but this time select Go to folder… from the dropdown list. This asks you to enter the folder you want. Enter


then click the Go button. That should bring you to your Library folder and let you follow the path above to find your localstore.rdf file.

(2) Make a copy of the localstore.rdf file as a backup.

(3) Make sure Firefox is not running.

(4) Open localstore.rdf in a text editor such as TextEdit or TextWrangler.

(5) Find the section that begins:

RDF:Description RDF:about="chrome://browser/content/browser.xul#PersonalToolbar"

at the end of this section an entry reads:


change this to


(6) Save the edited version of localstore.rdf to the folder in your Library.

(7) Restart Firefox. Your bookmarks toolbar should be icon-free. If you have any problems then quit Firefox and dump the edited localstore.rdf and replace it with the original version that you backed up.


Anonymous said...

Excellent!! Worked like a charm :-) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

effing excellent - thanks a million - I've been using Firefox 3.6 for eons now because I loathe those icons so much (who needs another pile of colourful mess on their desktop). Works treat on Firefox 11 so am finally upgrading.

Anonymous said...

Awesome and easy as cake! I've been avoiding upgrading from FIrefox 3 for this very reason (the visual clutter/waste of space was unbearable!) Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Works for the menubar and on Windows XP too (Firefox 14.0.1).

Unfortunately for me, I have my bookmarks items in the menu bar, and applying this trick removes *all* icons and replaces them with text, including those of the reload, back and forward buttons.

Anonymous said...

PS: you can also change the icons/text mode without editing the localstore.rdf and restarting:

Right-click a free space on the toolbar and click Customize...

Set the value of the combo box "Show:" to "Text" and click Done.

The Skanger said...


The menu bar issue doesn't arise on the Mac so may be specific to XP.

The Customise setting, on the Mac at least, doesn't do what you say it does on XP. There are two different toolbars at issue here - the navigation toolbar and the bookmarks toolbar. What I want is for the navigation toolbar (reload, back, home, etc.) to be icon-only but the bookmarks toolbar to be text-only. On the Mac (XP may, of course, differ), none of the settings available for the Customise option you mention can achieve that.

If I follow your instruction as in the PS, I get both toolbars in text-only. If I then reset "Show:" to "Icons" I get icons in the bookmarks toolbar, i.e., the very situation I was trying to avoid. To fix it, I have to edit localstore.rdf again.