Is there any convincing reason behind the decision to make to last open tab un-closable in Firefox? This change has been introduced several versions ago, and I still can not understand why I'm not able to close that last tab as before.

I think a best choice would be to be able to have a Firefox without any tabs, or at least an empty tab (clearing the content of that last tab instead of closing it)

So I guess there were some brainstormings behind this decision to change the UI, I really appreciate some explanation, hoping that this will make me accept this weird App behavior.

  • 1
    Not being able to close the last tab is much less destructive and surprising than seeing Chrome close as a result of dismissing the last tab... Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 9:41
  • It does feel a little odd. But as Marjan pointed out Chrome closes the whole browser. I think your suggestion of having an empty tab works better.
    – Sheff
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


What purpose would a tabless instance of Firefox serve? All the browser's controls bar ones relating to opening files/tabs are modal with reference to the currently selected tab, so the only action possible at that point would be to open a tab in order to do something else.

Given that, the decision to remove the option to close the last tab is probably one which protects the user from ending up in a situation where they can't take an action they think is intuitive.

Note that if you don't like the behaviour of displaying the tab bar with only a single tab in it, you can uncheck "Always show the tab bar" in the Tools > Options > Tabs menu.

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    It can open an empty tab or that speed dial thing (mine opens an empty tab, but I had to install Tabmixplus to get this behavior). Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 12:25

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