How to Fix Faded, Discolored, Jagged, Pixelated, or Fuzzy Fonts in Firefox.

The Problem:

Firefox seems to have more than its share of font problems. A few years back it was pixelated fonts related to ClearType fonts, and the problem often showed up after buying a new monitor. Starting in 2012, a new font problem began occurring where the fonts appear faded, discolored, or “ghost like”. Again it is often triggered by a new monitor, video card, or simply a video card driver update. A fix to this bug has been promised, but unfortunately even after a couple of upgrades the problem persists. Don't panic, you don't need to abandon Firefox or downgrade your equipment! You just need to adjust a few settings to disable some of the new video technology that Firefox can't yet handle. It is easy and safe to do.

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The Solution:

Starting sometime in 2012 this problem began showing up. I didn't see it on my own computer until I performed an upgrade of my video driver. Here's the solution for the newest font problem.

Faded Discolored Fonts in Firefox

  1. Open Firefox. In the top address bar, where you normally see the website's URL, delete what is there and type (or copy and paste) in about:config then press Enter. See #1 in the example image above. Click the “I'll be careful, I promise!” button in the warning dialog that appears.
  2. Type or copy and paste gfx.content.azure.enabled into the box at the top of the screen labeled “Search:”
  3. RIGHT click on the line that appears that starts with “gfx.content.azure.enabled” which will open a dialog box.
  4. Left click on “Toggle” in the dialog box.
  5. It should now say “false”; under the “Value” column at the end of the line. If not, click Toggle again until it says false. Close/exit Firefox and restart Firefox. The font problem should now be resolved. Note: after installing Firefox upgrades to a new version the problem may return and you may need to do this again.

Still Not Fixed?

If your still having problems, especially if you have an older computer, then also try this old-school fix. The original jagged fonts problem was related to ClearType fonts. Most people probably have upgraded equipment now and don't have this problem, but I'll leave the solution here for those who might. Depending on your version of Windows and your current display settings, the method to turn on ClearType varies. Here is the step-by-step procedure for Windows XP. The method for other versions of Windows should be similar.

  1. Left Click on "Start", then left-click on "Control Panel".
  2. The Display Properties dialog will open. Left-click on the tab labeled "Appearance" near the top right of the dialog box.
  3. Left-click on the button labeled "Effects..." near bottom right of dialog box.
  4. A new dialog box will open.
  5. Left-click on the small white box in front of "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:"
  6. A crisp black check mark should appear in the box. If the check mark is gray and the box is shaded, keep clicking on it until a non-faded check marks appears.
  7. Select "ClearType" in the drop down list box on the next line down.
  8. Left-click the "OK" button at the bottom of the dialog box. The dialog box will close.
  9. Left-click the "Apply" button at the bottom of the remaining dialog box.
  10. Left-click the "OK" button at the bottom of the dialog box.
  11. Close the Control Panel window if desired.
  12. The fonts should now look much better!


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