Mozilla Firefox is a fast, light and tidy open source web browser. At its public launch in 2004 Mozilla Firefox was the first browser to challenge Microsoft Internet Explorer’s dominance. Since then, Mozilla Firefox has consistently featured in the top 3 most popular browsers globally. The key features that have made Mozilla Firefox so popular are the simple and effective UI, browser speed and strong security capabilities. The browser is particularly popular with developers thanks to its open source development and active community of advanced users.
Mozilla put of a lot of resources into creating a simple but effective UI aimed at making browsing quicker and easier. They created the tab structure that has been adopted by most other browsers. In recent years Mozilla has also focused on maximizing browsing area by simplifying toolbar controls to just a Firefox button (which contains settings and options) and back/forward buttons. The URL box features direct Google searching as well as an auto predict/history feature called Awesome Bar. On the right side of the URL box there are bookmarking, history and refresh buttons. To the right of the URL box is a search box which allows you to customize your search engine options. Outside of that a view button controls what you see below the URL. Next to that you have the download history and home buttons.
Firefox was the first browser to introduce a private browsing feature which allows you to use the internet more anonymously and securely. History, searches, passwords, downloads, cookies and cached content are all removed on shutdown. Minimizing the chances of another user stealing your identity or finding confidential information. Content security, anti-phishing technology and antivirus/antimalware integration ensures your browsing experience is as safe as possible.
Personalisation & Development
One of the best features of the Firefox UI is customization. Simply right click on the navigation toolbar to customize individual components or just drag and drop items you want to move around. The inbuilt Firefox Add-ons Manager allows you to discover and install add-ons within the browser as well as view ratings, recommendations and descriptions. Read more about the top recommended add-ons for Mozilla Firefox. Thousands of customizable themes allow you to customize the look and feel of your browser. Site authors and developers can create advanced content and applications using Mozilla’s open source platform and enhanced API.
Please note: from version 53.0 onward Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported.
Firefox Home (the default New Tab) now allows users to display up to 4 rows of top sites, Pocket stories, and highlights
“Reopen in Container” tab menu option appears for users with Containers that lets them choose to reopen a tab in a different container
In advance of removing all trust for Symantec-issued certificates in Firefox 63, a preference was added that allows users to distrust certificates issued by Symantec. To use this preference, go to about:config in the address bar and set the preference "security.pki.distrust_ca_policy" to 2.
Added FreeBSD support for WebAuthn
Improved graphics rendering for Windows users without accelerated hardware using Parallel-Off-Main-Thread Painting
Support for CSS Shapes, allowing for richer web page layouts. This goes hand in hand with a brand new Shape Path Editor in the CSS inspector.
CSS Variable Fonts (OpenType Font Variations) support, which makes it possible to create beautiful typography with a single font file
Updates for enterprise environments:
AutoConfig is sandboxed to the documented API by default. You
can disable the sandbox by setting the preference
general.config.sandbox_enabled to false. Our long term plan is to
remove the ability to turn off the sandboxing. If you need to
continue to use more complex AutoConfig scripts, you will need to use
Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR).
Added Canadian English (en-CA) locale
Various security fixes
Removed the description field for bookmarks. Users who have stored descriptions using the field may wish to export these descriptions as html or json files, as they will be removed in a future release.
Dark theme is automatically enabled in macOS 10.14 dark mode
Changed the default setting to Enforce (3) for the security.pki.name_matching_mode preference
Adobe Flash applets now run in a more secure mode using process sandboxing on macOS. Learn how this may affect features here.
Users disconnecting from Sync are now offered the option to wipe their Firefox profile data (including bookmarks, passwords, history, cookies, and site data) from their desktop computer
Changed how WebRTC handles screen sharing: When screen-sharing a window, the window will be brought to front