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  1. Mozilla is running a study to test users' responses to changing the default Firefox search engine to Microsoft Bing. Like all browsers, Mozilla Firefox automatically configures a browser to a default search engine for performing searches via the address bar. For example, Google is the default search engine for Chrome, Brave, and Firefox, while not surprisingly, Bing is the default search engine for Microsoft Edge. While it's no surprise that Chrome uses Google search, it is not as apparent why Mozilla would as well. This is because Google and Mozilla reportedly signed a deal where Google pays between $400-$450 million per year until 2023 for Firefox to use Google Search as the default search engine. With this deal being the largest revenue generator for Mozilla, it comes as a surprise to see that they have now started experimenting with Bing as the default search engine for a small subset of users. Testing Bing as the default search engine As first reported by Ghacks, a new SUMO search experiment launched on September 6th, 2021, will configure Bing as the default search engine for 1% of all Firefox Desktop users. "From September 6th, 2021 1% of the Desktop user base will be experimenting with Bing as the default search engine. The study will last into early 2022, likely wrapping up by the end of January," reads the SUMO study description. To check if you are enlisted in this or other studies, you can type about:studies in the Firefox address bar and press enter. The browser will display a screen with all studies that your browser is enrolled in. Firefox about:studies screen Firefox users whose default search engine is changed can use the following steps to switch to a different one. It is not clear why Mozilla is performing this test, considering Google comprises most of their revenue stream. With the current Google contract expiring in fifteen months, Mozilla may be thinking about striking a deal with Microsoft instead. BleepingComputer has contacted Mozilla with questions about the study but has not heard back at this time. Mozilla tests Microsoft Bing as the default Firefox search engine
  2. Mozilla enabled an automated tab unloading feature to Firefox Nightly on Windows this week, which is designed to improve low memory situations when the browser is used. Tab unloading work began more than 10 years ago in Firefox, but the feature was never turned on by Mozilla in release versions of the web browser. A new bug was created two years ago and work continued to get the feature ready for release. Tab unloading is now part of Firefox Nightly on Windows. Firefox Nightly is at version 93 currently, and it seems as if the feature will launch in Firefox 93 for Windows when it is released later this year. Mozilla plans to introduce support for Firefox on Mac OS X and Linux at a later point. Tab unloading's main purpose is to reduce the number of crashes in Firefox caused by low memory. Out-of-memory crashes happen frequently when memory is low, and the unloading of tabs reduces the number of crashes by freeing memory. Firefox selects tabs for the unload process based on a number of factors, including "last access time, memory usage, and other attributes" according to Mozilla. Firefox's tab picking algorithm tries to exclude pinned tabs, tabs that play media, and tabs that use WebRTC from being unloaded. Firefox users may open the new internal page about:unloads to check the order in which tabs will get unloaded if memory reaches certain thresholds. The page features an "unload" button to unload the ta with the highest priority immediately. Tabs that get unloaded remain visible in the Firefox address bar. Selection of an unloaded tab reloads the content of the tab again. The Firefox preference browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory determines whether the feature is enabled (TRUE) or disabled (FALSE). Firefox users may modify the feature on about:config. Systems with 8 Gigabytes of RAM or less should get the most out of the new tab unload feature of the browser according to Mozilla. The purpose of most tab unloading extensions for Firefox, such as Dormancy, Suspend Background Tabs, BarTab, or Unload Tab, is to free up memory. A side-effect of that is that Firefox crashes less often. Firefox's native tab unloading feature frees up memory as well, but its main purpose is to reduce the number of crashes that users experience on low-memory situations. Google introduced tab discarding functionality in 2015 in the company's Chrome web browser and tab freezing in 2019. Firefox will soon unload tabs to cope with low memory and reduce crashes
  3. Firefox Suggest, a new feature of the Firefox web browser that is introducing custom search and sponsored suggestions in the browser's address bar, is included in Firefox 92 Stable, at least for some users . The new version of Firefox was released earlier this week, but Mozilla did not mention Firefox Suggest in the official release notes. The official support page on Mozilla's website suggests that users who see Firefox Suggest in the address bar, but have no option to turn it off in the Settings, are part of a Shield Study; this was not the case on our test system, however. Mozilla ran a Firefox Suggest test in the United States last month to gather some data and resolve issues or bugs before the planned release of the feature. According to a Phabricator page, Firefox Suggest address bar labels were enabled for all en-* locales. Firefox Suggest Firefox users should see a Firefox Suggest group of results displayed in the pulldown menu when they type in the Firefox address bar. The feature is independent of the default search engine; a quick test confirmed that it appeared in Google Search, Bing and DuckDuckGo. With Firefox Suggest enabled, Firefox separates search engine suggestions from the Firefox Suggest group. The first group, search engine suggestions, work as before. Search engines are queried and they return a number of suggestions based on the input. Firefox Suggest merges the classic browser-based suggestions, taken from open tabs, bookmarks, the browsing history, and shortcuts, with sponsored content that may be displayed. Disable Firefox Suggest Firefox users should have an option under Search to disable Firefox Suggest. Our test installation of Firefox, Firefox 92.0 Stable, did not have that option, but you may want to check there first: Load about:preferences in the Firefox address bar. Switch to the Search tab. Scroll down to the Search Suggestions section. Uncheck "Show Firefox Suggest in the address bar (suggested and sponsored results). Note: some sites claim that disabling search suggestions will remove Firefox Suggest; this is not the case. The following is required to hide Firefox Suggest in the browser's address bar: Load about:config in the Firefox address bar. Proceed when the warning page is displayed. Search for browser.urlbar.groupLabels.enabled. Set the preference to FALSE. Setting it to FALSE, disables the Firefox Suggest label in the address bar. Note that it may not impact the browser's ability to show sponsored content in the suggestions that it displays. There may be another preference for that. Mozilla used a different preference previously, browser.urlbar.experimental.firefoxSuggestLabels.enabled, but it is no longer supported. Closing Words Firefox Suggest sounds like a new feature that most Firefox users may not want. Users may have two main issues with Firefox Suggest: That the label may take away space in the suggestions pulldown. That sponsored results may be added to the group. Most are probably indifferent to the bundling of local suggestions and better separation of local and search engine suggestions. It is certainly problematic if a feature gets enabled without options to turn it off. How to disable Firefox Suggest
  4. Firefox 92.0 Stable's release date is September 7, 2021. The new Stable version of the Firefox web browser is a stability and security release for the most part, but it does include new features as well. Last month, Mozilla released Firefox 91.0, a new base for the Extended Support Release channel of the Firefox web browser. Firefox 92.0 is not the only version of Firefox that is released this week. Firefox 91.0 ESR is upgraded to Firefox 91.1 ESR, and Firefox 78.13 ESR to Firefox 78.14 ESR. Firefox's Beta, Developer and Nightly channels are all moved to a new version, in this case to Firefox 93 Beta, Firefox 93 Developer and Firefox 94 Nightly. The Android version will be updated as well soon. Check out the Firefox 91 release overview in case you missed it or want to look it up again. Executive Summary Mozilla fixed the screen reader and accessibility tools issue that could degrade Firefox performance significantly. Firefox supports the AVIF image format by default (update: postponed to Firefox 93) WebRender should be enabled on all systems now. Firefox 92.0 includes security updates. Firefox 92.0 download and update Most Firefox installations are updated automatically. Mozilla introduced support for background updates on Windows, which further streamlines installations of new versions. The new version will be released later on September 7, 2021. To check the installed version, go to Menu > Help > About Firefox. Note that this will also run a manual check for updates and will install new versions that are found during the scan. Manual downloads are also available. The following pages list direct downloads for supported Firefox channels. Firefox Stable download Firefox Beta download Nightly download Firefox ESR download Firefox for Android on Google Play New features and improvements Support for AVIF images enabled by default (postponed to Firefox 93) Mozilla Firefox supports the AVIF image format by default now. It is a new image format developed by the Alliance for Open Media that is royalty-free, and based on the AV1 video codec, which is also royalty-free. Firefox supports non-animated AVIF images in this initial release. Firefox can display still images, with colorspace support for both full and limited range colors, and image transforms for mirroring and rotation. Firefox users and organizations may use the preference image.avif.compliance_strictness to adjust the compliance strictness with the specification. Note: The flag in Firefox that determines whether AVIF is enabled or not, image.avif.enabled , was set to FALSE on the test system. Load about:config and check the preference image.avif.enabled to see if it is enabled (TRUE) or not (FALSE). Automatic updates to HTTPS Mozilla's work on improving HTTP and HTTPS handling continues. After introducing a HTTPS-First policy for Firefox's private browsing mode in Firefox 91 to auto-update HTTP to HTTPS whenever possible, it integrated support for auto-upgrading to HTTPS using HTTPS RR as Alt-Svc headers. The Alt-Svc header "allows a server to indicate that a particular resource should be loaded from a different server" while appearing to the user that it was still loaded from the same server. Other changes Full-color level support for video playback on many systems. Open alerts in tabs don't cause performance issues in other tabs that are using the same process. Redesigned certificate error pages for "better user experience". Mac: the Mac OS Share options are now accessible from the Firefox File menu. Mac: support for images containing ICC v4 profiles enabled. Mac: VoiceOver reports buttons and links marked as "expanded" correctly using aria-expanded attribute. Mac: Bookmark toolbar menus follow Firefox's visual styles now. Developer Changes Audio output device access is protected by the speaker-selection feature policy. Default HTTP accept header for images has been changed to image/avif,image/webp,*/* to support the AVIF format. Enterprise changes None Known Issues None listed. Security updates / fixes Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here after release. Outlook Firefox 93.0 Stable is scheduled to be released on October 5, 2021. Firefox 78.15 ESR will be released on the same day; it is the last version of the 78.x branch, which is the last to support Adobe Flash and Mac Os X versions 10.11 and older. Recently Reviewed Firefox extensions none Recent Firefox news and tips Firefox will block insecure downloads soon by default Firefox Suggest: Mozilla is testing custom search and sponsored suggestions in the United States Mozilla's plan to offer a Privacy Pack Additional information / sources Firefox 92 release notes Firefox 92 for Developers Firefox for Enterprise 92 - release notes Firefox Security Advisories Firefox Release Schedule Firefox 92.0 release: here is what is new and changed Frontpaged: Mozilla Forefox Browser 92
  5. Mozilla plans to enable WebRender in Firefox 92 for all supported operating systems and device types. WebRender is already enabled on Mac OS X (since Firefox 84) and on most Linux distributions (since Firefox 91). Starting with the release of Firefox 92, WebRender will also be enabled in Firefox for Windows and for Android. The main idea behind WebRender is to improve the rendering of web pages by making the experience faster and smoother. Developed in Rust, WebRender has been in development and testing for a long time. I wrote a guide in 2020 that explained how to find out if Firefox uses WebRender to render webpages. You can check it out to see if your copy of Firefox has the feature enabled already; here is just the short summary in case you are in a hurry: Load about:support in the Firefox address bar. Scroll down to the Graphics section. Check if the Compositing value is set to WebRender. Tip: you may also press Ctrl-F while on the page to search for WebRender. WebRender may use hardware acceleration for rendering if supported by the graphics processing unit of the device. Software emulation is used if the GPU is not supported. WebRender can't be disabled anymore in Firefox 93 From Firefox 93 onward, Firefox users can't disable WebRender anymore as options to do so are no longer included in that version of the web browser. The only option that Firefox users have when they encounter rendering issues is to switch WebRender to software. Some configurations may never get hardware WebRender, e.g. if the hardware is too old or if drivers have bugs or issues. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar. Confirm that you will be careful if the warning page is displayed. Search for gfx.webrender.software. Set this value to TRUE to enable software WebRender. Set this value to FALSE to disable software WebRender. Note that you can't force the use of hardware WebRender if the hardware/driver is not compatible. Restart the Firefox web browser. Linux users may want to check whether gfx.x11-egl.force-enabled is enabled, and set it to True of it is not. It should always improve performance, unlike WebRender on its own, which may sometimes cause performance to degrade depending on the graphics unit and driver. Firefox 92 will be released on September 7, 2021 officially. Mozilla plans to enable WebRender in Firefox 92
  6. Mozilla plans to release a minor Firefox update later today. Firefox 91.0.2 is a non-security update that fixes two issues in the web browser, one of which affecting Firefox on Mac OS. The new version of Firefox is not available at the time of writing. Later today, on August 24, 2021, Mozilla will make it available to all users. Select Menu > Help > About Firefox to check the currently installed version of the web browser. Firefox 91.0.2 will be distributed via the browser's automatic updating system and users may download it from the official Mozilla website. Firefox 91.0.2 Firefox 91.0.2 is the second minor update of Firefox 91, which Mozilla released on August 10, 2021. Firefox 91 is the new base for Firefox's Extended Support Release channel. The new version introduced features such as simplified printing and HTTPS-First connections in private browsing mode. Firefox 91.0.1 was released a week later on August 17, 2021. It fixed security issues in Firefox and addressed stability issues. Firefox 91.0.2 fixes two issues that users may have experienced in previous versions of the web browser. The first addresses an issue on Mac OS X devices. Mac OS X users who had "increase contrast" checked in the Mac OS X settings did not have high contrast mode in Firefox enabled by default due to a bug. The new release addresses the issue in Firefox. The second issue may have affected Firefox users who are using the password manager Lockwise. According to the bug report, Firefox Lockwise was prompting users repeatedly to enter the primary password. The initial bug report confirmed the issue on Windows, but other users confirmed it on Linux as well. It is likely that it could happen on all desktop systems that Firefox supports. The issue seems to have appeared in Firefox 90, according to the reports. Mozilla discovered that the issue was linked to the clearing of data in Firefox. The new version of Firefox fixes the issue: Firefox no longer clears authentication data when purging trackers, to avoid repeatedly prompting for a password. Closing Words Firefox users who experienced the password manager issue will have it fixed later today with the release of Firefox 91.0.2. Users of the browser who don't use the password manager and don't rely on high contrast mode in Firefox are in no hurry to upgrade. The final release notes will be published here. Firefox 92, which will include the bug fixes, will be released on September 7, 2021. Firefox 91.0.2 will be released later today Frontpaged: Mozilla Forefox Browser 91.0.2
  7. Mozilla will release Firefox 91.0.1 and Firefox 91.0.1 ESR later today. The two new versions of the organization's Firefox web browser fix security and stability issues of previous versions of the browser. Mozilla released Firefox 91, a new major version of the browser and new Extended Support Release base, last week. The new version of Firefox added a HTTPS-First policy for the browser's private browsing mode, re-added the Simplified Printing option and fixed security issues among other things. Firefox 91 is also the first version that removed options to disable the browser's new Proton interface using advanced preferences. Firefox 91.0.1 will become available later today. It is already available on Mozilla's distribution server, but it is not recommended to install this version as there is no guarantee that it is indeed the final version. Most Firefox installations will be updated automatically via the browser's built-in updating system. Downloads will also become available later today on the official Mozilla website. You can display the current version and run a manual check for updates by going to Menu > Help > About Firefox. Mozilla highlights four changes in Firefox 91.0.1, but not all information is available at this point. Firefox 91.0.1 comes with "various stability fixes" and a security fix. The security information is not yet available; it will be published after Firefox 91.0.1 has been released officially. Additional information about the stability fixes is not available either. The two remaining issues are described in detail: An issue caused buttons on the browser's tab bar to be resized when "certain websites" were loaded. An issue caused tabs from private browsing windows to be visible in non-private windows when viewing "switch-to-tab results in the address bar panel". Both of these bugs have been fixed and should not be experienced anymore by Firefox users once the browser has been updated to the new version. Closing Words The official release notes do not reveal the severity of the security issue. You may want to pay attention to the Mozilla Foundation Security Advisories website, as information will be listed on that page later today. Firefox 91.0.1 fixes stability and security issues Frontpaged: Mozilla Forefox Browser 91.0.1
  8. Mozilla's Firefox web browser will block the download of insecure files soon in mixed content environments. Mixed content refers to sites using secure connections and insecure connections. Imagine the following scenario: you visit a secure site that is using HTTPS and start a download by clicking on a link. The linked resource is not on a HTTPS resource, but on a HTTP resource; this is what mixed content in the context of downloads refer to. Files that are transferred via insecure connections may be tampered with, for instance by other actors on a network. Firefox will block insecure downloads that originated from HTTPS sites soon, likely in Firefox 92, which will be released on September 7, 2021. Firefox won't download the file in this case automatically; the browser displays a warning in the download panel -- File not downloaded. Potential security risk -- with a red exclamation mark icon. A click or tap on the download in the panel opens additional information and options. Firefox users may allow the download using the prompt that opens or remove the file. The blocking happens only because of the insecure connection, not because the file has a virus or other unwanted content. It may still be a good idea to run the file through a virus scanner or service such as Virustotal to make sure it is clean and likely without danger. Firefox 92 comes with a preference switch that controls the behavior. It can be turned off to restore the previous downloading behavior: Load about:config in the Firefox address bar. Confirm that you accept the risk. Search for dom.block_download_insecure. Use the toggle icon to set the value to TRUE: to keep the security feature enabled. FALSE: to disable the security feature. Mozilla notes that about 98.5% of all downloads in Firefox Nightly use HTTPS. In other words: 15 in 1000 downloads will be blocked once the change lands in Firefox Stable, provided that the percentage value is about the same. Google introduced the blocking of downloads in an insecure context earlier this year in Chrome 86. Most Chromium-based browsers block downloads from HTTP sources if the originating page uses HTTPS. Chrome displays a notification in the download panel if a file cannot be downloaded because it originates from a HTTP server. Chrome users may discard or keep the download, similarly to how Firefox handles these downloads. Closing Words HTTP downloads that originate on HTTPS pages will be blocked by default; users do have the option to override the blocking and to disable the security feature entirely. Firefox will block insecure downloads soon by default
  9. Firefox Suggest is a new custom search and sponsored suggestions feature of Mozilla's Firefox web browser. The feature is being tested on a limited number of Firefox installations in the United States currently. Firefox Suggest displays suggestions when users type in the Firefox address bar. The feature may look like search suggestions on first glance, a feature that Firefox supported for a long while. Search suggestions use data retrieved from the search engine that is used to suggest queries to users. If you type wiki, suggestions may include wikipedia and wikileaks among others. Suggestions from Firefox Suggest are not offered by the search engine that is used, but by Mozilla's Firefox browser. These suggestions are divided into non-commercial and sponsored suggestions. Mozilla's support page does not provide much insight on the feature: [..] find information easily and get to where you want to go quicker It is not clear, for instance, how suggestions are picked. It is possible that Mozilla's Pocket service is used as the data pool for suggestions, but Pocket is not mentioned once on the support page. Mozilla reveals additional information about the sponsored suggestions of Firefox Suggest. These come from adMarketplace according to the support page. When users click on results, data is send through a proxy before it is shared with the partner. Only technical data is send. When you see or click on a Firefox suggestion, Firefox sends technical data to our partner through a Mozilla-owned proxy service. This data does not include any personally identifying information and is only shared when you see or click on a Firefox suggestion. Firefox sends us data such as the position, size and placement of content we suggest, as well as basic data about your interactions with Firefox’s suggested content. This includes the number of times suggested content is displayed or clicked. How to disable Firefox Suggest You will spot Firefox Suggest results in the address bar immediately, as they are labeled as such. Firefox includes an option to turn the feature off (or on), but only if it is available. Since it is experimental, there is a chance that the feature won't find its way into stable versions of Firefox for all users, regardless of region. To disable Firefox Suggest, do the following: Load about:preferences#search in the Firefox address bar; this opens the Search preferences. Scroll down to the section Search Suggestions. Check (to enable) or uncheck (to disable) Show Firefox Suggest in the address bar (suggested and sponsored results). If you uncheck the box, Firefox Suggest suggestions won't be displayed anymore in the address bar. Closing Words It is too early to judge the quality of suggestions displayed by Firefox Suggest. Some Firefox users may like that the suggestions come from a difference source, but ultimately, it depends on the quality of suggestions. Others may dislike the feature because it includes sponsored results. Firefox Suggest can be disabled in the settings to turn it off. Mozilla continues to test new revenue sources, both inside Firefox and outside, to reduce the reliance on search engine deals. Firefox may display sponsored top tiles on the new tab page. Plans to launch the commercial offering Mozilla Privacy Pack leaked this week as well. Firefox Suggest: Mozilla is testing custom search and sponsored suggestions in the United States
  10. Firefox 91 is the latest stable version of the web browser. Released on August 10, 2021, it is replacing Firefox 90 and previous versions of the stable branch of the browser. All other Firefox release channels have been updated as well. Firefox Beta and Developer are moved to version 92, Firefox Nightly to version 93, and Firefox for Android will be moved to version 91 as well (a bit later, usually. Firefox ESR is moving to a new base. Firefox 91 ESR is the new base which will replace Firefox 78 ESR in October (both run parallel for two releases). Check out the Firefox 90 release overview to read up on the changes in Firefox 90. Executive Summary Firefox 91 is the new base for Extended Support Releases. It is supported for about a year with the released feature set. Support for Windows single sign-on added. HTTPS-First Policy in Private Browsing mode. Firefox ESR 78.x is the last Firefox version that supports Flash officially. Support for it ends on October 10, 2021. Firefox ESR 78.x is the last that supports Mac OS 10.12 or older. Firefox 91.0 download and update Firefox 91.0 is rolled out to all desktop systems starting August 10, 2021. Most Firefox installations are configured to download and install browser updates automatically. You may select Menu > Help About Firefox to run a manual check. Manual downloads are also available. The following pages list direct downloads for supported Firefox channels. Firefox Stable download Firefox Beta download Nightly download Firefox ESR download Firefox for Android on Google Play New features and improvements HTTPS-First Policy Firefox will try to connect using HTTPS first when in private browsing mode. The browser falls back to HTTP only if a HTTPS connection is not available. Firefox supports a HTTPS-Only Mode which users may configure to prioritize HTTPS always. The browser displays a warning page if HTTPS is not supported by a server. Options to use HTTP are then provided. Firefox users who enable HTTPS-Only Mode in private browsing mode, or in all modes, get the same functionality. Simplify Printing restored Mozilla introduced a new printing interface in Firefox 81. Simplified Printing, an option to turn the content into a bare-bones version optimized for printing, was removed in that update. Simplified printing displays a version of the page based on the browser's Reader View feature. The focus is on the article and related content such as images; menus, advertisement, other blocks on the site are not displayed in the mode. Firefox 91 restores the option, and you may once again select it in the print dialog. You can check out our full overview of simplified printing in Firefox 91 here. Other changes Firefox supports signing-in to Microsoft work and school accounts using Windows single sign-on (on Windows, obviously). Total Cookie Protection improvements that update the cookie clearing logic and reveal to users which websites are storing information locally. New locale Scots (sco) added. Firefox enables High Contrast Mode on Mac OS automatically if "Increase Contrast" is checked. 10%-20% increase in most user interactions thanks to "catch-up paints". New file downloading behavior. All downloads are saved to the default directory or selected directory, even if "open" is selected. Switch to Tab results in Firefox's address bar in Private Browsing windows (previously only in regular browsing windows). Developer Changes The Gamepad API requires a secure context starting in Firefox 91. Visual Viewport API is supported by desktop versions of Firefox. Intl.DateTimeFormat.prototype.formatRange() and Intl.DateTimeFormat.prototype.formatRangeToParts() are now supported in release builds The Error() constructor can now take the error cause as value in the option parameter. Window.clientInformation has been added as an alias for Window.navigator. Enterprise changes Support for Enterprise policies for Linux Snap users. WindowsSSO policy added to enable or disable the Single Sign-On feature on Windows. SearchEngines policy update supports setting the query charset. It defaults to UTF-8 instead of windows-1252 now. Known Issues None listed. Security updates / fixes Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here after release. Outlook Firefox 92 will be released on September 7, 2021. Two Firefox 78.x ESR versions will be released in the coming months: Firefox 78.14 ESR in September, and the last 78.x release, Firefox 78.15 ESR in October. Firefox 91 release overview: new ESR base, Simplified Printing, new HTTPS-First Policy
  11. New features build on Total Cookie Protection, simplifying privacy management. Mozilla's Firefox 91, released this morning, includes a new privacy management feature called Enhanced Cookie Clearing. The feature allows users to manage all cookies and locally stored data generated by a website—regardless of whether they're cookies tagged to that site's domain or cookies placed from that site but belonging to a third-party domain, e.g., Facebook or Google. Building on Total Cookie Protection Enlarge / Mozilla isn't being delicate about which tech giant is first in its crosshairs. Mozilla The new feature builds and depends upon Total Cookie Protection, introduced in February with Firefox 86. Total Cookie Protection partitions cookies by the site that placed them rather than the domain that owns them—which means that if a hypothetical third party we'll call "Forkbook" places tracking (or authentication) cookies on both momscookies.com and grandmascookies.com, it can't reliably tie the two together. Without cookie partitioning, a single Forkbook cookie would contain the site data for both momscookies.com and grandmascookies.com. With cookie partitioning, Forkbook must set two separate cookies—one for each site—and can't necessarily relate one to the other. Even if the cookies are used for a third-party Forkbook login, tying the two together would need to be done on the back end—since both are presumably for the same Forkbook account—rather than Forkbook being able to simply, cheaply, and easily read all tracking data from a single cookie. If the sites don't use Forkbook for authentication, the two probably can't be tied together at all—because even if the user is logged in to Forkbook in a different tab, that cookie is split apart from the ones used on mom's and grandma's cookie sites. Clearing data site-wide Enlarge / The updated Cookies and Site Data management dialog displays all locally stored resources set at a particular site, whether owned by that site or by a third party. Mozilla Once you understand that websites routinely place cookies that belong to third-party domains, it becomes obvious why it might be difficult to clear all traces of data stored by that site—returning to our "Forkbook" example above, clearing all data belonging directly to momscookies.com wouldn't clear the Forkbook cookie, and clearing a universal Forkbook cookie would necessarily log the user out of all websites using Forkbook authentication. However, when each site has its own individual cookie jar—meaning Forkbook needs to place separate cookies, separate copies of embedded javascript libraries, separate copies of images, and so forth between momscookies.com and grandmascookies.com and forkbook.com itself—it becomes possible to easily manage all data stored locally by that individual site. When using Total Cookie Protection, you can empty the entire bucket for momscookies.com, including its own cookies, Forkbook's cookies, and anything else. This breaks Forkbook's record of your browsing activities on momscookies.com—because although it will set a new cookie the next time you visit, it won't have a reliable way to tie that cookie to the previous cookie you deleted or to other Forkbook cookies set by other sites. Fuhgeddaboudit Enlarge / The new "Forget about this site" option in History allows you to clear all site data, as well as your history of visiting it in the first place. Mozilla In addition to organizing locally stored data by the website that placed it rather than the domain that owns it, Firefox 91 gives users the ability to quickly and easily remove all local traces of visiting a site. When browsing your own History timeline in Firefox 91, you can right-click a site's entry and select Forget About This Site. Doing so removes both the entry in History and all cookies, images, cached scripts, and so forth set during visits to that site. Get strict In order to use the new privacy management features, you'll first have to make sure that Strict Tracking Protection is enabled. Without Strict Tracking Protection, cookies aren't separated by the site that sets them in the first place. To enable Strict Tracking Protection, click the shield to the left of the address bar and select Protection Settings. This opens Privacy and Security in a new tab—from there, just make sure the radio-button option for Enhanced Tracking Protection is set to Strict, not Standard. Although Firefox's Privacy and Security dialog warns you—accurately—that Strict protection may cause some sites or content to break, those breakages have so far been few and minor in our own testing. The majority of the web—including the bits using third-party authentication and tracking—should continue to work just fine. Today’s Firefox 91 release adds new site-wide cookie-clearing action
  12. Mozilla says that starting with Firefox 91, users will be able to fully erase the browser history for all visited websites, thus preventing privacy violations due to "sneaky third-party cookies sticking around." This change builds on the inclusion of default blocks for cross-site tracking in private browsing, first introduced after Total Cookie Protection was released with Firefox 86 in February. The new feature, dubbed Enhanced Cookie Clearing, helps you delete all cookies and supercookies stored on your computer by websites or web trackers. Enhanced Cookie Clearing is triggered automatically whenever you're clearing cookies and other site data after enabling Strict Tracking Protection. "When you decide to tell Firefox to forget about a website, Firefox will automatically throw away all cookies, supercookies and other data stored in that website's cookie jar," Mozilla said. "This 'Enhanced Cookie Clearing' makes it easy to delete all traces of a website in your browser without the possibility of sneaky third-party cookies sticking around." HTTPS enabled by default in private browsing Mozilla also announced today that, starting with Firefox 91, private browsing windows will automatically switch to secure HTTPS connections by default. By upgrading all connections to HTTPS, Mozilla aims to protect users from man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks trying to snoop on or alter data exchanged with web servers over the unencrypted HTTP protocol. "Whenever you enter an insecure (HTTP) URL in Firefox's address bar, or you click on an insecure link on a web page, Firefox will now first try to establish a secure, encrypted HTTPS connection to the website," Mozilla explained. "In the cases where the website does not support HTTPS, Firefox will automatically fall back and establish a connection using the legacy HTTP protocol instead." Mozilla has added an HTTPS-Only Mode starting with Firefox 83 to secure web browsing by rewriting URLs to use HTTPS (even though this feature is disabled by default, it can be easily enabled from the browser's settings). Microsoft Edge can also be configured to switch secure HTTPS connections when connecting over HTTP by enabling an experimental Automatic HTTPS option available in the Canary and Developer preview channels. In April, Google updated Chrome to default to HTTPS for all URLs typed in the address bar if the user doesn't specify a protocol. HTTPS by default in private browsing (Mozilla) According to Mozilla, while browsing the web in private mode, Firefox defends your privacy using several privacy protection technologies, all enabled by default: Total Cookie Protection isolates cookies to the site where they were created Supercookie protections stop supercookies from following you from site to site Cookies and caches are cleared at the end of every Private Browsing session and aren't shared with standard windows Trackers are blocked, including cookies, scripts, tracking pixels, and other resources from domains on Disconnect's list of known trackers Many fingerprinting scripts are blocked, according to Disconnect's list of invasive fingerprinting domains SmartBlock intelligently fixes up web pages that were previously broken when tracking scripts were blocked To go into private browsing mode, you have to open the Application Menu by clicking the button (☰) on the top right and choosing "New Private Window." You can also use keyboard shortcuts to enable private browsing mode using Ctrl + Shift + P (or Cmd + Shift + P on macOS) Firefox adds enhanced cookie clearing, HTTPS by default in private browsing
  13. Mozilla plans to release new versions of its Firefox web browser on Tuesday 10, 2021. The organization does so every 4-weeks on average, but tomorrow's release is special, as it is the base for a new ESR, Extended Support Release, version of the web browser. Firefox ESR versions are maintained for a longer period compared to stable releases. One core difference is that they are released with a specific feature set that is not changed during the lifetime. Security updates and bug fixes are released, but features are not added usually until the next ESR version is released. The last Firefox ESR version, Firefox 78 ESR, was released in June 2020, and it replaced Firefox 68 ESR in September 2020. Two Firefox ESR branches are released side-by-side for a period of two or three releases usually, before the older one is not updated anymore; this gives organizations and home users enough testing and migration time. Firefox 91 ESR won't replace Firefox 78 ESR right away. The latter will see two additional releases, Firefox 78.14 ESR and Firefox 78.15 ESR before it will be discontinued; this will happen in October 2021. Firefox 91 ESR marks the beginning of a new base for extended support releases. The version will be supported for about a year. Organizations and home users who are running the current ESR version may update their installations to the new version. The upgrade is a major one, considering that Firefox 91 includes all the functionality that Mozilla introduced since the release of Firefox 78 ESR. Major changes include the new interface design that Mozilla rolled out recently, improved privacy protections, removed Adobe Flash support, support for new operating system versions, e.g. Mac OS Big Sur, and a lot more. Here is a short list of changes that will be introduced in Firefox 91 ESR: Firefox 90 does not support the FTP protocol anymore. Mozilla introduced a new interface in Firefox 89. Windows background updates are supported. Firefox 87 introduces support for SmartBlock feature. Firefox 86 introduces a new privacy feature called Total Cookie Protection. Flash support was removed. A new printing interface was introduced in Firefox 81. Improved network partitioning support in Firefox 85. JavaScript is supported in PDF documents. Firefox ESR is also the base of the Tor Browser. The developers of the Tor browser will update the browser to the new ESR version as well, eventually. Firefox ESR users may want to test the new version before they upgrade existing installations and profiles. You could download and run the portable version of Firefox ESR from Portable Apps for testing; it does not interfere with the active installation, as it is portable, and you could import the Firefox profile from the installed version to the portable version to test it. Firefox ESR versions are not upgraded automatically to a new base version, this begins with the second release after the release of the new base version. Closing Words The new Firefox 91 base for ESR releases introduces significant changes to various features of the browser. Some features are removed, e.g. Flash support is gone for good and the interface redesign has removed some options, but there are also new features, such as improved privacy protections. Organizations who rely on these features lose another option, and need to look elsewhere, e.g. Pale Moon, for support. Firefox ESR 91: new ESR version will be released tomorrow
  14. Mozilla has launched an experiment where they change the Firefox browser user agent to a three-digit "Firefox/100.0" version to see if it will break websites. A user agent is a string used by a web browser that includes information about the software, including its name, version, and technologies that it uses. When a new version of a browser is released, the developers also increment the version number in the user agent string. For example, the current user agent for Mozilla Firefox version 90 is listed below. Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:90.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/90.0 Note, if you have the Firefox 'privacy.resistFingerprinting' setting set to 'True,' your user agent will be locked to 'Firefox/78.0.' For Google Chrome 92, the current user agent is: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/92.0.4515.131 Safari/537.36 When visiting a website, the user agent strings are sent to a website so that the site knows the software capabilities of the visitor. This information allows the website to modify its response to account for different features of browsers. Testing whether Firefox 100 user agent breaks websites As Firefox version numbers are currently two digits, Mozilla developers are investigating if anything breaks when they release Firefox Nightly version 100 in March 2022. "We would like to run an experiment to test whether a UA string with a three-digit Firefox version number will break many sites," Mozilla Staff Engineering Program Manager Chris Peterson said in a bug post first spotted by Techdows. "This new temporary general.useragent.experiment.firefoxVersion pref can override the UA string's Firefox version." When conducting the test, a enrolled Firefox user will have their user agent changed to the following string with the hopes that if anything breaks, they will report it to Mozilla. Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:100.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/100.0 Peterson said he has been testing using the browser with a "Firefox/100.0" user agent string for about four months and has only encountered an issue when using Slack. "I discovered Slack's message popup menu's buttons (such as "Add reaction" or "Reply in thread") stop working for Firefox versions >= 100 and = 520," explained Peterson. In this case, the issue appears to be a bug with Slack comparing the version numbers are strings rather than numbers (integers). While Slack quickly fixed this issue, it illustrates how simple coding errors can produce unexpected results when the user agent changes to version 100. If continued tests show that many sites are broken by the new user agent, Firefox is may freeze the user agent to a two-digit number like "Firefox/99.0." For those who wish to test the upcoming user agent change on their own sites or sites they frequently visit, you can manually change your user agent string using these steps: Open Firefox, enter about:config in the address bar, and press enter. Search for general.useragent.override. When it appears, select 'String' and then click on the plus (+) sign, as shown in the image below. Adding the general.useragent.override setting After clicking on the + icon, a field should open where you should enter the text: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:100.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/100.0 as shown below. Configured Firefox 100 user agent Then click on the checkmark button to save the setting. You can close the about:config tab. While this setting is in place, the browser will send the new user agent string to websites. If you run into any issues with the websites you visit, you should create a new bug report for Mozilla. To change your user agent back to its original string, simply go back into about:config and search for general.useragent.override setting again. When it appears, click on the trash can icon to delete the configured setting. Mozilla tests if 'Firefox/100.0' user agent breaks websites
  15. Mozilla plans to change the file download opening behavior in Firefox 91. Up until now, Firefox users may choose to save or open files that they want to download. Saving puts the files into the default download folder, and there are options to change the save folder. Opening on the other hand saved the file into the temporary folder of the system; this does not affect the initial opening of the file, say a torrent file in qBittorrent, a video in the default media player, or an image in an image viewer. Files are deleted automatically when the session ends and that led to problems for users who wanted to open the downloaded file again. Starting in Firefox 91, Firefox uses a different logic when it comes to the opening of file downloads. We reviewed part of the ne behavior in June, namely that Firefox will save all files to the downloads folder regardless of whether users select the save option or the open option. One consequence of the new behavior is that downloads that are opened are not deleted anymore automatically. It is necessary now to clear these downloads manually. That is not the only change though. Firefox 91 will introduce functionality to open files from the download panel. The download panel displays all downloads, active, failed or completed, of the session. If you run Firefox 90 or earlier, you may have noticed that you cannot click on a download that is in progress to get the file opened as soon as the download completes. Firefox 91 introduces that option: just click on the download and Firefox will display the remaining time before the file is opened on the system. Enable or disable Firefox's new downloading behavior Many features can be customized in Firefox. If you dislike the new downloading behavior, e.g. when you want files that get opened to be deleted automatically once the session closes, then you may configure Firefox to do so. Here is how that is done: Load about:config in the Firefox address bar. Confirm that you will be careful on the warning page. Search for browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel. Set the value to TRUE to enable the new download behavior. Set the value to FALSE to disable the new download behavior. It is possible that the preference may be removed at one point in time. For now, it is available and you may use it to configure the behavior in the web browser. Closing Words The change brings Firefox's downloading behavior in line with that of the Chromium browsers. Firefox users who prefer the classic option may restore it once the change lands in the browser. A close look at Firefox 91's new file download opening behavior
  16. Vertigo Tabs is a simple vertical tabs extension for Firefox Having a lot of tabs open in Firefox and struggling to manage them is something that many users are all too familiar with. Other browsers, like Vivaldi with Tab Stacking, and Microsoft Edge with vertical tabs offer a much better experience or at least different options for organizing and switching between tabs. With Firefox however, you will need to rely on extensions to help you. Vertigo Tabs is a user-friendly sidebar add-on that you may want to try. Click the Show Sidebars button on the Firefox toolbar, to view the extension's interface. The add-on lists all tabs that are open in the current window. Left-click on a tab to switch the focus to it. You may drag and drop tabs to rearrange their location in the list. Unfortunately, Vertigo Tabs does not support drag and drop to open links quickly. The goal of the extension is to offer a simple experience, without any modifications to the settings. Translation, it has absolutely no buttons whatsoever. The biggest hurdle is probably to open and close tabs. You'll need to rely on keyboard shortcuts for these commands, or use the tab bar, which sort of negates the add-on's purpose. To close a tab in Vertigo Tabs, hover over one in the list and click the middle-mouse button. I recommend using it with an add-on like Undo Closed Tabs Button, it has a list of all the recently closed tabs, which can be useful in case you closed the wrong tab by mistake. Vertigo Tabs does not hide the tab bar, as a matter of fact no plugin can, due to limitations in the WebExtensions API. If you want to hide the tab bar, you must do so by editing/creating the userChrome.css file. Paste the following line in the document, and you are good to go. #TabsToolbar {visibility: collapse;} I'm sure advanced users will find ways to make it even better, perhaps by hiding the title bar for a more immersive experience. Speaking of which, Vertigo Tabs is a really cool way to access your tabs in full screen mode. The extension has no right-click menu, which means you cannot use it to manage your tabs, open new tabs, etc. It doesn't indicate whether a tab is related to a Firefox Container either, which may make it difficult for more tech-savvy users. Vertigo Tabs is an open source extension. I feel the add-on is a bit too simple, but that seems to be the plugin's goal. Still, I would have liked to have a search bar at the very least, that doesn't mess with any settings, and can help manage tabs more efficiently. The reason I found the add-on to be useful is because it lists the title of each tab, which makes it faster to switch between tabs without messing with the tab bar. If the extension doesn't tickle your fancy, Visual Tabs and Sidebar+ are a couple of alternatives add-ons that you be interested in. Personally, I think Simple Tab Groups is better, not only does it have a sidebar, it also has its own right-click menu and allows you to group tabs. If you just want to manage tabs without a sidebar, take a look at Tab Manager Plus. Landing page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/vertigo-tabs/ Vertigo Tabs is a simple vertical tabs extension for Firefox
  17. Mozilla is resurrecting Simplified Printing in Firefox 91 Mozilla is resurrecting the Simplified Printing feature in Firefox 91. The feature converts the webpage to a simpler version that focuses on the main article and content. Most site elements that are not related to the article, e.g. a menu or sidebar, are not displayed when the mode is selected; this improves the printing experience and saves costs, as less content needs to be printed. Mozilla removed Simplified Printing in Firefox 81 when it introduced a new printing interface for Firefox. Released in September 2020, Mozilla noted at the time that the new interface was a work in progress. The organization did improve the print dialog and printing functionality of the Firefox web browser in the meantime. In Firefox 85, support for printing non-contiguous page ranges was added, and in January 2021, it was revealed that Firefox would get support for printing multiple pages per sheet. Simplified Printing in Firefox The new feature is called Simplified in Firefox 91. All you need to do is open the print dialog, e.g. by using the shortcut Ctrl-P or Menu > Print, to open the print dialog for the visible webpage. Firefox displays the original format by default; some content may be removed in that format. Simplified is not displayed on the sidebar by default. You need to activate the "more settings" link in the sidebar to display more content. Besides simplified, which you find under Format, you also find pages per sheet there, a scaling option, and options to hide headers and footers. Switch from Original to Simplified to activate the new printing mode. Firefox loads the Reader View mode of the webpage and this is what gets printed when you select the print button. Note that the Simplified printing option may not be available on all pages that you want to print. As a rule of thumb, if reader mode is supported, simplified is available as an option. Firefox 91 Stable will be released on August 10, 2021 according to the Firefox release schedule. Closing Words Simplified printing was a useful feature of the Firefox web browser. Mozilla was criticized by some for removing the option from Firefox's new print dialog. Now with its return in Firefox, users may once again start using it to save printer ink and paper when printing using Firefox (on most sites). Mozilla is resurrecting Simplified Printing in Firefox 91
  18. Load tabs in batches with the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome When you start Firefox, the browser loads the last page that you accessed. The rest of the tabs from your previous session are available, but they aren't loaded until you click on them. You may edit a preference in about:config to make the browser open all the tabs, but this becomes a problem since Firefox will load everything at the same time. It would be better to have a few tabs to load, as it reduces the impact on your system. The Load Background Tabs Lazily extension helps you with this. The plugin was inspired by a legacy add-on called Load Tabs Progressively. Just like the original, the new extension can be configured to load a specific number of tabs automatically. You will need to enable the preference I mentioned for the add-on to work. Change the value of the following setting from true to false, browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand There are a few more options that might interest you, which you can find on the official AMO page, along with an explanation for the permissions required by the add-on. Chrome users have it easy, just install the extension and it works out of the box. By default, Load Background Tabs Lazily only loads one page at a time. Click the add-on's button on the toolbar, and then on the "Open Options page". Set the value of the first option on the page, Maximum number of tabs to load concurrently, to a number from 1 to 5. Let's say we choose 3, and you have 12 tabs open when you exit the browser. When you re-open the browser, the extension will load three tabs, after which the rest are loaded in batches of 3. Switching to a non-loaded tab will force it to load, even if the previous one has not been loaded completely. Load Background Tabs Lazily also works with new tabs that you open, it is in fact the primary feature of the add-on. This can be very useful for people with a weaker computer. The extension's description is a bit tricky, it throws terms like Line, Discarded Tabs, Blocked Tabs, etc., without explaining what they are. The list of tabs that the extension handles at a time (3, in our example) is called a Line, it's kind of like queued tabs. Click the add-on's button to view its pop-up interface. The first option in the menu, can be used to pause or resume the tab loading queue. Tabs that have been paused are Blocked tabs. The 2nd option in the menu jumps between tabs that haven't been loaded or are stuck. Clear the Line discards the tabs that haven't been loaded, i.e. it stops the process instead of pausing it, but you can resume the Line by clicking Add Blocked Tabs. Session proof tabs (enabled from the add-on's settings) are those that will not be saved when you close the browser, nor can you use the undo close tab option. Discarded tabs are self-explanatory, I recommend toggling the option under the Discarded tabs setting, which enables a shortcut to the browser's context menu. Right-click on any page, and you'll be able to add it as a discarded tab to the Line. You can exclude websites from the lazy loading process, by entering the hostnames (URLs) in the box at the extension's Options page. While you are at it, you can customize the font type and colors used by the add-on. Load Background Tabs Lazily doesn't display a tab bar context menu by default, but you can enable it from the settings. This allows you to remove tabs from the line, reload the tabs or discard them, without using the add-on's interface. There is a way to limit the number of tabs that the add-on opens, you can turn it on in the Advanced Options page. Download the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome. The latter is in beta, and has fewer options. The description also mentions that the Chrome version may stop working when Google enforces the Manifest v3 API. The Firefox add-on isn't compatible with Temporary Containers, and a few other plugins that prevent lazy tab loading. The extension only works if the tab's URL begins with HTTP or HTTPS. The jargons in Load Background Tabs Lazily can be confusing, and the lack of a help file/tutorial makes the learning experience a bit complicated. I found the add-on handy while using it the Open Multiple URLs extension, that I reviewed recently. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/load-background-tabs-lazily/ Load tabs in batches with the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome
  19. Firefox 90 launches with SmartBlock 2.0 and Windows improvements Mozilla has announced the launch of Firefox 90 today, bringing with it improvements to Firefox on Windows, software WebRender, and SmartBlock’s handling of Facebook trackers. Those on Windows also receive a new Firefox menu that helps identify compatibility issues being caused by third-party applications which could help boost Firefox’s reliability on your system. Perhaps the feature which will affect most users is the introduction of SmartBlock 2.0 which enhances private browsing. In this update, Facebook scripts are blocked to stop tracking you around the web but if you decide to log in with Facebook on any website the scripts are loaded in a just-in-time fashion to make your browsing experience smoother. People on Windows will also gain some nice features in this update. From now on, Firefox doesn’t need to be running to download new browser updates, instead, they can be applied in the background while Firefox is closed. Firefox for Windows also includes about:third-party (accessible from the URL bar) which helps identify any compatibility issues caused by third-party programs which could be causing issues in Firefox. Since Firefox 67, Mozilla has been rolling out WebRender to more and more Firefox installs. With Firefox 90, users without hardware-accelerated WebRender will now be switched to software WebRender which has seen improved performance in this update. With software WebRender, even browsing with Firefox on a less powerful computer should be better. Firefox should automatically update on Windows and macOS systems but you can force the update by going to Menu > About Firefox > Help. Those on Linux will have to wait for their package manager to update before being allowed to download the update. If you do not have Firefox, you can download it from the Firefox website. Firefox 90 launches with SmartBlock 2.0 and Windows improvements Frontpaged: Mozilla Firefox Browser 90.0
  20. View your browsing history in a nicer interface with the Better History extension for Firefox Firefox's history viewer is useful for viewing your browsing activity, I use it to find webpages that I visited previously, but cannot recall. Sometimes, I just type something relevant to the page in the address bar and hope to find a match. Better History is an extension for Firefox that offers a nicer interface to access your browsing history. The add-on is inspired by Vivaldi browser's history feature, which displays your internet activity on a calendar. Firefox's history manager allows you to filter the activity by the week, month, too, but the extension does a better job in presenting the content. Click the add-on's button and a new tab will open, this is Better History's GUI. The extension list the current date in the top left corner, and a list of all websites that you opened today. Each page has its title, favicon, and a timestamp next to it that tells you when you visited the particular page. The plugin also places a clickable link at the end of each line for your convenience, which you can use to open the corresponding site. The page will be loaded in a new tab. The drawback here is that you have to right-click precisely on the text that says "Link" or the icon next to it, to access the browser's link context-menu, i.e. open in new window, container tabs, etc. I feel that it would have been easier if the title had been clickable too. You may use the search bar at the top of the tab to find a specific page that you're looking for, it allows you to search pages by the title or the URL of the website. The add-on's default style is set to use the Day view, but Better History supports two more view modes; Week and Month. Click the buttons in the top right corner to switch to a different view. Unlike the Day view, Better History's Week and Monthly view modes do not display the timestamp besides each item that's listed. You can use the mouse wheel to scroll the list of pages that are listed in the Week and Month modes, or use the scroll bar that's displayed next to each week/month column. To view a specific date's activity, click on the header (date). The arrow buttons located near the top, are useful if you want to jump to the next or previous day, week or month. The button next to it toggles repeated visits, which is useful if you would like to include multiple visits to the same page in the history view. You cannot delete your browsing activity (web pages and sites) using the add-on, so you will need to rely on Firefox's history manager for that. Better History supports Dark Mode, but to use it, you will need to enable Windows 10's Dark Theme. The add-on does not have any options that you can customize. Download Better History for Firefox, it is an open source extension. The plugin does not support hotkeys, but I won't hold that against it, since the add-on is user-friendly. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firefox-better-history/ View your browsing history in a nicer interface with the Better History extension for Firefox
  21. Auto Cookie Optout responds to cookie prompts automatically in Firefox Auto Cookie Optout is a new open source extension for Mozilla's Firefox web browser to respond to cookie prompts on sites automatically. Most sites display so-called cookie prompts, permissions to store cookies on your computer, when you load them in your browser. The prompts are annoying, especially if you visit a lot of sites regularly. Automation may reduce this particular annoyance, especially if you select "no" or the option with the lowest impact on your privacy all the time. Most web browsers support disabling third-party cookies, but the majority does not come with options to deal with cookie prompts automatically. Vivaldi is a notable exception to that. Auto Cookie Optout adds similar functionality to the Firefox web browser. It works similarly to Never Consent, which I reviewed last year. It responds to cookie prompts automatically, provided that it supports the script that the site uses. The GitHub page reveals that it works with cookie consent plugins such as TrustArc, Didomi and CookieBot that are widely used, on Google and Yahoo properties. Consent to save cookies on the device is denied if the script is known. Prompts are displayed just like before if a site uses an unsupported script to display the prompt. Good content blockers such as uBlock Origin may get rid of cookie popups as well. The developer notes that using content blockers may introduces issues, such as sites staying in a partially loaded state or remnants of the cookie popup remaining visible on the screen. The extension communications to the sites that you want to opt-out, and that may result in a better experience. The overall experience may be better, as everything is automated once you have installed the extension. Just visit the Auto Cookie Optout page on Mozilla Addons and click on the install button to install the extension in Firefox. Only an older version of the extension is available on the project's GitHub page. The source appears up to date, but the releases page lists an older version only. The extension needs permission to run on all sites, but that is clear since it will deal with the supported scripts on all sites that run them. Users with uBlock Origins need to install this filter list, which deals with a conflict. The extension has no preferences or options at this point in time. You may check the console of Firefox's Developer Tools, as automatic cookie opt-outs are echoed there. Closing Words If you are particularly annoyed by cookie consent prompts and popups, and you have not found a solution yet, you may find Auto Cookie Optout useful. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/auto-cookie-optout/ Auto Cookie Optout responds to cookie prompts automatically in Firefox
  22. Open Multiple URLs is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that can load several URLs in a couple of clicks When I want to open a lot of links at once, I don't like copying and pasting each one of them in a new tab. Why? Because this is something that an add-on can simplify: the one I've been using is called Open Multiple URLs. The name should tell you what it does, but I'll explain how it works. Click the add-on's button on the toolbar and a large pop-up panel will appear. Paste a list of URLs in the box, and hit the Open URLs button. The extension will open each link in a new tab, all it takes is two clicks and a paste hotkey. That saves you a bit of time. Remember, the add-on can only recognize one URL per line from the pasted content, so if your links are pasted like they're one paragraph, it won't work. Sometimes, when you try to copy a link from a webpage, your browser may include the text from the page as well. Open Multiple URLs will purge the text from the copied content, and presents you the URLs. To do this, paste the text in the add-on's interface, and click the Extract URLs from Text button at the bottom. This is very useful if you are saving the links for reference. Opening a bunch of tabs at the same time can be resource intensive, to avoid this, check the first option in the bottom left corner. This makes the extension create idle tabs, which will only load when you click on them. Open Multiple URLs works with Firefox containers, so any links leading to sites that you have assigned a container for will open in the container as usual. But there is no option to open all URLs in a specific container. Speaking of containers, Open Multiple URLs has a bug when you use it with the "load tabs when clicked" option enabled. e.g. If you have a Google container, and one of the pasted URLs contains a link to Google's website, the idle tab will appear on the tab bar like the rest of your tabs. But when you click the container tab, your browser will load the page in a different tab. That's how it's supposed to work. The problem is that the original tab (the inactive one) does not disappear after the link is loaded in the container tab, it gets stuck. So, if you close the 2nd tab, the add-on will create another tab automatically to open the link from the idle tab, and this will continue to happen until you close the original tab manually. This issue does not affect normal tabs (non-containers). The 2nd option in Open Multiple URLs' is a little odd, it loads the tabs in random order, kind of like the shuffle button in music players. Personally, I didn't find this useful, but maybe you will. Download Open Multiple URLs for Firefox and Chrome. The plugin is open source. I've been using this add-on regularly for a few weeks, and it has been a real life-saver to open several links from mails and chats. The extension does not support hotkeys, nor does it have a context-menu shortcut, both of which could make it easier and faster to open links. An option to load URLs in a specific container would be welcome too. Landing Page: https://github.com/htrinter/Open-Multiple-URLs/ Open Multiple URLs is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that can load several URLs in a couple of clicks
  23. Sage-Like is a customizable RSS feed reader extension for Firefox How do you stay up-to-date with your favorite websites? I prefer RSS feeds, it's easier to manage and provides a convenient reading experience. QuiteRSS has been my go-to choice for a long time. I use browser extensions occasionally, to see if they offer something better. Sage-Like is an RSS feed reader extension for Firefox. What it lacks in offline reading capabilities, it makes up for in user-friendliness, organization and customization. The add-on requires several permissions to function, but its description explains what each permission is required for. The extension's interface opens in the browser's sidebar. Click the plugin's button to collapse or view the GUI. Sage-Like comes with a few categories and feeds out of the box. You may delete these and start from scratch. Let's add a feed. The extension has its own right-click menu, use it and select New Feed. Paste the URL of the RSS feed in the location box, optionally give it a name or let the add-on detect it automatically. Click the save button to finish the process. T here's a simpler way to add feeds, visit a website that has an RSS feed, the add-on will detect it and place a button in the address bar, click it and then on the Add to Sage-Like button, and your new feed is ready. If the add feed button doesn't appear in the address bar, open Sage-Like and hit the Discover feeds option, it's the one with the magnifying glass icon. This tool is sort of like a refresh button to detect the RSS feed subscription on the website. Back on the sidebar, hit the first key on the toolbar to refresh the feeds, this forces the extension to fetch the latest articles from the site. Select a feed and the posts in it will be listed on the bottom half of the side panel. Mouse over a heading in the pane, to preview a portion of the post. The posts from the selected feed are displayed on the right-pane of the tab, this is the feed preview. You may access a feed in a new tab instead, sans the sidebar. Sage-Like renders the content as the RSS feed allows it, some sites allow the full article, while others only display a summary. Click the menu button in the top left corner of the fee preview, this brings the feed's jump list. The pop-up lists all articles in the feed, click on it to jump to the relevant post. The preview pane uses the browser's right-click menu, so you can use it to open links and perform other actions. Left-clicking an article's title will load it in the same tab. You can change the behavior from the add-on's options, to make it open in a new tab. Let's get back to Sage-Like's sidebar, right-click anywhere, and select New Folder to create a new directory. This is helpful in organizing the sites that you've subscribed to. Drag and drop a feed over another to move it, this also works for moving feeds from one folder to another. Search through the feeds using the filter option at the top of the bar. Sage-Like has a separate context menu for feeds and folders, using which you can mark an entire tree as read or unread, open a selected feed in a different tab or window. I particularly like the option that opens all unread articles in new tabs with a single-click. You can customize the colors and font used by Sage-Like, from the add-on's options. Define how often the extension should refresh the feeds in the background, it does so every hour by default. The feeds are synchronized across devices using Firefox sync. The add-on's options page has an import and export tool, that is handy for backing up or loading an OPML file, in case you're moving from a different RSS Feed program. Sage-Like is not an open source extension, its support page is hosted at the Mozilla forums. The extension does not require registration, or has ads or other annoyances. It is a fork of an old plugin called Sage. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sage-like/ Sage-Like is a customizable RSS feed reader extension for Firefox
  24. Distract Me Not is a website blocker extension for Firefox Do you want to reduce your browsing time? Everyone has a favorite website or two where we spend a lot of time on, even when we are supposed to be studying or working. Just 5 more minutes, right? There are many ways to handle this and get back to being productive. Some may take a sabbatical from the sites. Instead of cutting off your relaxation time completely, you may want to restrict it to after work hours or something like that. It's easier to manage, like portion control as opposed to a diet. Distract Me Not is a website blocker that can help you get through your day while avoiding the time-wasting sites. Here's how the Firefox extension works. Click the add-on's button to view its interface. Toggle the button at the top to enable the extension. Distract Me Not starts in Blacklist mode, which basically means that it blocks some sites. The plugin is set to block three websites by default; YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. If you don't want to block these, go to the Blacklist settings and delete them from the blocker. We'll get to this in a bit. First, let's block a website. Visit the domain that you want to block. Open the add-on's UI, and hit the + button to add the current website to the blacklist. Try loading the page again, and you'll see a message that reads "Where are you going...". It's a nice reminder to stay productive. There are two more modes in Distract Me Not's. The Whitelist mode only allows you to access the websites that you have added to the list. It's sort of like a parental control mode, because you can't go to other sites. So, how do you add a website to the whitelist? It's the same process, hit the plus button when in the whitelist mode. The third blocking method that the add-on offers is Combined mode, you guessed it. When this mode is active, the add-on will not only block the sites from the blacklist, but also limit you to the whitelisted domains. Personally, I think it's overkill, but it may be useful for you. Go to Distract Me Not's settings page and click the Blacklist tab, to view all sites that you have prevented access to. You can remove or add domains from this screen, and it supports wildcard matching for subdomains. The Whitelist has a similar settings screen. The first tab in the settings, called Blocking, has a couple of options that you can define. Choose how you want the add-on to block sites, whether to just prevent access to the site, or to redirect you to a different page, or to close the tab. You can set a custom message to be displayed when the add-on blocks a site, or for a minimal experience, check the option below the text box to display a blank page. If you want to access the blocked sites for some reason, you can toggle unblocking option. It also has a timeout setting, and a password requirement which can help dissuade you from revoking the restriction. The built-in scheduler, when configured, will block sites during a specified number of hours of your choice. This can be useful if you're working on regular hours, and don't want to be distracted, but want to visit the blocked sites at the end of the day. Set a password to prevent unauthorized changes to the add-on's settings. Once you set a password, you will be prompted to enter it every time you click the add-on's button. And you'll need to enter it twice if you want to access the settings page, which is kind of annoying. The clock icon in the add-on's modal displays a log of the sites that were blocked by the add-on. You can sort the list by name, date, and clear the log's history. This isn't foolproof, the password protection can be bypassed entirely by disabling the add-on from Firefox's extensions management. But you aren't going to do that, are you? My point is, it's not an effective parental control solution. Distract Me Not is an open source extension. A context-menu to block and unblock sites would help manage the extension faster. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/distract-me-not/ Distract Me Not is a website blocker extension for Firefox
  25. Firefox 89.0.1 security update is now available The web browser Firefox 89.0.1 is now available. The new version of Mozilla's web browser fixes a security issue and several non-security related issues. Most Firefox installations should receive the update automatically. You can check Menu > Help > About Firefox to run a manual check for the update so that it is installed right now and not at a later point. Firefox includes automatic updates functionality that checks for updates frequently to install them once they are discovered (Mozilla is working on background updates in Firefox for Windows) The help page that opens lists the installed version of the browser as well. Firefox 89.0.1 addresses one security issue. The security advisory reveals that the issue has the severity rating of moderate and affects Firefox on Windows devices. When drawing text onto a canvas with WebRender disabled, an out of bounds read could occur. This bug only affects Firefox on Windows. Other operating systems are unaffected. Besides the security fix, Firefox 89.0.1 addresses several issues, some of which are operating system specific. The update addresses the broken scrollbars issue on some GTK themes on Linux, and performance and stability regressions with WebRender on systems running Linux. On Mac OS X, screen flickering was fixed that happened when pages were scrolled on external monitors. On Windows, a screen reader issue was resolved that prevented certain screen readers from interacting with Firefox. Firefox 89.0.1 fixes font related regressions next to that, and the Enterprise policy DisableDeveloperTools, which did not have any effect anymore. Last but not least, the new release includes updated translations and full support for Spanish (Mexico) localization. You can check out the entire Firefox 89.0.1 release notes on the official Mozilla website. There you find links to Bugzilla, Mozllla's bug tracking website, in case you want to take a closer look at a bug. The next major update for Firefox is Firefox 90. It is scheduled to be released on July 13, 2021. Firefox 89.0.1 security update is now available Fronpaged: Mozilla Firefox Browser 89.0.1
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