[How to] Disable Facebook Photo Theater Effect

by: - Last updated on: December 17th, 2016

Facebook has rolled out the annoying Theater mode for Photos for most of its users, which includes an ad at the right. The new album layout, when rolled out completely, will be ON by default and according to Facebook, it cannot be turned off or toggled on/off as desired. As always, Facebook is forcing upon a design change on the users and expects them to adopt or get used to it very soon.


In case you really want to get rid of FB theater mode for photos, you can do so by following the simple trick given below. But note that, it is not a permanent solution, and just a work-around.

How to disable Facebook Photo Theater mode?

Solution 1: When you click on a photo/album, it will open the photo in the theater mode, now in the address bar, look for “&theater” and delete it. Then, it will open the photo in the old format and you can start browsing the album as you used to do before.

Solution 2: A faster alternative for Option 1, is to refresh the browser. When reloaded, the photo will open in the old format and you can continue browsing as before.

As I mentioned before, neither of these solutions are permanent. When you go back to your feed and open a different photo/album, it will again open in the theater mode, and you would have to repeat either of the solutions. Hope Facebook gives a setting to toggle the theater mode or some developer comes out with a browser extension to handle this.

Update: It didn’t take long for someone to come out with a userscript! Install for Firefox here and Chrome here to permanently disable Facebook photo theater view! Thanks Binoy!

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  1. I’m not a regular IE user but i was using it recently and noticed if i clicked on compatibility mode it also switched back to regular. thought hat might have just been the reload

  2. Deleting the “&theater” and refreshing the browser no longer works. Neither does opening in new tab as my husband found out. They did another update and when deleting the &theater, the picture will STILL open up and auto refresh, thus adding the &theater back. They really messed it up. Toggling javascript will disable the whole site too. These ego driven web developers seem to think everyone is in LOVE with javascript. News F’LASH…. Everyone HATES that shit.