How to Bring Back “http://” in Firefox 7

Firefox 7 is out now, bringing with it much-welcome memory usage reductions and speed improvements. It has one annoying UI change, though: URLs in the address bar no longer have the “http://” protocol prefix. While that may be okay for casual users, it will annoy a lot of power users.

To fix it, just follow these steps:

  1. Open a new tab and type about:config into the address bar.
  2. Search for browser.urlbar.trimURLs
  3. Double click on the browser.urlbar.trimURLs key to change its boolean value from true to false.
  4. Close the tab and enjoy your unhidden URL protocols.

This is the second time in two versions Mozilla has made an unhelpful UI tweak. In Firefox 6 they added “domain highlighting,” which greys-out the URL text, while leaving the domain in darker lettering. Fortunately, it was just as easy to fix.

  • Bob

    Thanks for the fix, works great! I’m thinking about switching to chrome if firefox keeps changing the UI like this :(

    • Charlie

      Thanks for the fix II. I always look for https: the padlock is a pain. I agree Keep the Full URL.

      • Matt

        It doesn’t help that they keep changing the display of SSL-protected sites. In Firefox 2 the address bar turned yellow, in FF3 it put a shiny blue box near the favicon, and in FF4 they made it less noticeable…

        While some people are trying to educate newbies about secure sites, the Firefox devs keep changing how the browser indicates SSL is active. It’s easier to just tell people to look for the HTTPS, but now they go and take the protocol off…

        • Sean

          They don’t hide it if it’s HTTPS. Be honest, you haven’t even used Firefox 7 have you? :P

          • Matt

            I didn’t keep the “trimURLs” feature on long enough to visit an HTTPS site. I looked for a way to turn it off as soon as I noticed it.

            It’s good that they keep it for non-HTTP protocols, at least.

        • will

          So if it’s not there, you know it’s HTTP. This means it is actually MORE obvious that something is HTTPS because it takes up 8 extra characters instead of 1…

    • Sean

      Um, yeah. Chrome has been doing this for several major versions now (hiding http:// but showing https://).

      Firefox has been copying lots of UI stuff from Chrome – which is fine in my opinion, as Chrome has a lot of neat stuff going on. But I’d say if you’re unhappy with the tweaks Firefox is making, then you’ll *hate* Chrome, because that’s where Firefox is taking a lot of inspiration from.

      For the record, I love Firefox, it’s been my main browser since version 0.1. There’s a lot of things I like about Chrome and I’m glad Firefox is copying them, but there’s sitll just something not quite “right” about Chrome when I use it. I can’t explain it though.

      • Matt

        I have the same feeling about Chrome. Also, I there are some keyboard shortcut issues—and Firebug, too, of course—that keep me on Firefox.

  • cnwintech

    hi, great to hear for firefox 7 have out yesterday, i only say thanks for this post, but i like if no http:// prefix like this new firefox version.

  • Rochelle

    Thank you for this fix. Very helpful :-)

  • Evert


    But I want to defend domain highlighting. One of the issues with phishing in the past that attackers would sometimes use a url such as Highlighting the domain makes it slightly more clear which site you’re really talking to.

    • Matt

      I’m aware of the reasoning for domain highlighting. But I’m confident in my ability to recognize subdomains and misspelled domains. It makes sense for some people, but it just bothers me.

      The greyed-out parts of the URL just make it harder to see the parts that I tend to be more interested in. When you’re doing any sort of web development, you spend a lot more time looking at the file path and query string than the domain.

  • Kristy

    Thanks! I can’t imagine any web developer who would prefer to have urls shortened..

  • Jaylen

    Aprpeciaiton for this information is over 9000-thank you!

  • Zoffix Znet

    Thanks a lot for the fix. This “feature” was annoying as hell.

    Firefox devs must be really boring, adding all the useless crap.

  • Bill

    Thanks for the tip. I also recommend to anyone who prefers a normal status bar, the add-on called “status-4-eva” which brings back the old status bar, which I much prefer to having the Chrome-like URL pop-over at the bottom.