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How to Open, Manage, and Close Tool Bars in Firefox

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 9/24/2010

Browser toolbars are available from social sites to shopping sites and almost everything in between, but after you get a few of them loaded, they can get confusing. Discover how to open tool bars in Firefox, close them, and remove them here.

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    Getting Started with Firefox Toolbars

    This tutorial assumes that you have Mozilla Firefox installed on your computer. If you don't, you can download the latest version for free at the Mozilla Web site.

    To follow along here, you will need to have a few toolbars installed. Try the Google toolbar, the Delicious toolbar, and the StumbleUpon toolbar if you don't have any particular toolbars in mind. Yahoo! has one too.

    Now that you have Firefox and a few toolbars installed, you should see that quite a bit of real estate on your screen is taken up with toolbars, similar to the picture below.toolbar01 

    Next, we'll see what can be done about this mess.

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    Closing Tool Bars in Firefox

    Most of the time, toolbars will open automatically with Firefox when they are installed, so closing them is usually the first required operation. We'll discuss how to open tool bars in Firefox later.

    To close a toolbar, click "View" on the main menu and then click "Toolbars." You will then see a context menu that lists all your toolbars. The ones that are currently visible have a check mark next to them.

    toolbar02 To remove a toolbar from the screen, click it in the menu and, Presto! it disappears! As you de-select each toolbar, you will see it leave your screen. When you are done, your menu will look something like the following image.

    toolbar03 Now, look at your screen: it is a lot less cluttered than it was when we started. The option to easily turn off toolbars is powerful because it puts you in control of the visual appeal of your browser. Keep in mind, when you un-checked the various toolbars, you did not delete them: you chose to hide them from view. These toolbars can be re-activated whenever you want to use them again.

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    How to Open Tool Bars in Firefox

    Here's how to open tool bars in Firefox:

    1. Click "View" on the main menu bar. Choose "Toolbars" from the menu and see your toolbar selection list.

    toolbar04 2. Highlight the toolbar that you want to see and click. A check mark will appear to the left of the item and you will see the toolbar appear in your Web browser.

    toolbar05 You now see the Google toolbar active in your browser.

    toolbar06 Now that you know how to open tool bars in Firefox, you can open and close them at will. Now let's see how to manage them.

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    Managing Firefox Toolbars

    Managing toolbars in Firefox is straightforward: installing them is very easy. You can make them visible or hide them as you desire, using a fairly simple process. Uninstalling a toolbar might take a little work, but it's not very hard to do either.

    To uninstall a toolbar:

    1. Click on "Tools" on the main menu bar and then click "Add-Ons." The "Add-ons" window appears. Scroll until you find the tool bar you wish to uninstall.

    toolbar08 2. Here you can choose to either disable the toolbar or uninstall it. In this case, we click the "Uninstall" button to remove the toolbar from the browser (The fact that this step shows the StumbleUpon toolbar being uninstalled does not constitute a recommendation byu the author against that toolbar: this is for educational and illustrative purposes only).

    3. Answer the uninstall dialog boxes. These will look different depending on which toolbar you are uninstalling.

    4. The Firefox "Add-ons" window will request that you restart Firefox to complete the process.

    toolbar09 5. When Firefox restarts, click on "View" on the main menu and then click "Toolbars." The tool bar you just removed should now be absent from the list.

    Some toolbars may not show in the "Add-ons" window in Firefox. If you can't find the toolbar you wish to uninstall, try using the Windows application uninstaller in Control Panel.

    Dishonorable mention: some toolbars are malware and may not be uninstallable via either of these methods. If you have a malicious toolbar, try researching online to find information about its removal. Chances are that you're not the only one who wants to remove it.

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    Closing Remarks

    In this tutorial, you learned how to open, manage, and close tool bars in Firefox. Once you know how to open tool bars in Firefox, you know how to close them. Uninstalling is the most complicated part, but with a little patience, you can handle it.

    Screenshots by author