Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Mozilla mentions

Elm is the experimental repository where most of our Metro development work has been happening.

Now, I grabbed the latest nightly from the Elm repo, installed it & then despite starting it from the start screen, I was still provided the desktop version.

Is there a way I can get the Metro Modern UI of Firefox in Windows 8? Do I need to add some extra command line arguments or something?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Ok, firstly, there seems to be a quirk in Windows 8: only the default browser can be launched with Modern UI. I have tested with IE, FF and Chrome on the Enterprise Evaluation and they will all launch the Desktop version unless set as default. Additionally, as soon as a browser is set as the default handler for HTTP/HTTPS, any other running Modern UI is instantly closed. More information is available at this question.

So, I have it running fine. There were a few things I did, any of which may be responsible:

  • Installed an older Firefox build (FF 18), specifically the installer executable

  • Set as default for all via Control Panel => Programs => Default Programs => Set Default Programs => Nightly

    Click for full size

  • When the Modern UI version launched, but hung with a blank screen, I closed it via Task Manager, set IE back to default, and set Nightly to default again. At this point, the Modern UI version of FF worked.

  • Installed the latest elm build (FF 19, 24-Oct-2012 06:06), again from the installer executable. Restarted.

So, now I have Nightly running with Modern UI:

Screenshot of FF Modern UI
Click for full size

Screenshot of FF Modern UI, snapped
Click for full size

share|improve this answer
yeah, I had to set it as default to get it running. Stupid move, if you ask me :\ – Sathya Oct 26 '12 at 4:06

It doesn't quite work right yet. Using a shortcut to the executable (Might be in Program Files (x86))

"C:\Program Files\Nightly\firefox.exe" -metrodesktop

with that new parameter opens up the Metro version of Firefox Elm on the regular desktop.

Chances are this will be fixed in future builds

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I'm really wondering if they're completely programming the wrong way (not starting as a Metro app and thus not being able to go into the Metro environment) or there's some trick to use Metro applications in the desktop, because this is definitely weird... – Tom Wijsman Oct 22 '12 at 12:38
It's supposed to be based on fennec for windows phone so its definately an odd one – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '12 at 12:46
I'm going to have to unmark this as accepted answer - this didn't work - had to set a browser as default for it to start in Metro Mode – Sathya Oct 26 '12 at 4:05
The defaultness was something I did set and have no luck with. Chrome lets you swap between modes if its default so i guess its a hard and fast rule for some reason. Bloody strange if you ask me. – Journeyman Geek Oct 26 '12 at 4:53

I'm not exactly sure what the problem is here, I just installed the nightly build myself without issues.

It didn't seem to activate the metro version (when launched from the start screen) until after a reboot, but from then on it worked just fine.

Keep in mind though it is still in NIGHTLY status, and many bugs should be expected.

PS: same thing happened with metro chrome. On first install it was desktop only, but once reboot, metro worked.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.