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Firefox 63.0 Release Information

The Firefox 63.0 release date is October 23, 2018. Our Firefox 63.0 release overview provides you with extensive details on changes, improvements, removed features and known issues of the new browser version.

All Firefox channels are updated on October 23, 2018: Firefox Stable to version 63.0, Firefox Beta to version 64.0, Firefox Nightly to version 65.0 and Firefox ESR to 60.3.

Executive Summary

  • Mozilla removed the option to disable automatic updates in Firefox 63.0.
  • Mozilla plans to disable all legacy add-ons on Mozilla AMO this month.

Firefox 63.0 download and update

firefox 63 stable release

Firefox users can select Menu > Help > Check for Updates to run a manual check for update on October 23, 2018 or later. Firefox should pick up the new version and either install it directly or prompt the user for installation depending on the browser’s update settings.

Downloads are also provided on the Mozilla website. If you prefer to download Firefox manually, use the following links that point to Mozilla to do so.

Firefox 63.0 Changes

Improvements for Windows and Mac OS X users

firefox 63 theme

Firefox 63.0 includes performance and visual improvements on Windows PCs and performance improvements on Mac machines.

Windows users who run Windows 10 will notice that the browser supports the operating system’s Dark and Light mode feature by default.

Users who set the operating system to dark mode will notice that Firefox 63.0 abides by that by painting the browser’s user interface using the dark theme that it includes by default.

All users may change the theme by selecting Menue > Customize, and on the page that opens one of the available themes.

The move to the Clang toolchain should improve the performance of Firefox Windows builds. Mac OS X users should notice improved reactions and faster tab switching, and performance improvements on multi-GPU systems.

Top Sites Search Shortcuts

firefox 62 new search tab

Mozilla added search shortcuts to the list of Top Sites in the United States in Firefox 63. A click on the Google or Amazon search shortcut focuses the address bar of the browser and displays one of the new search keywords that Firefox supports.

Users may use @google or @amazon directly as well to run searches using these providers. The functionality mimics the ancient keyword functionality that Firefox supports for bookmarks and search engines.

Keywords associated to search providers give Firefox users options to run searches directly from the browser’s address bar. If you, for example, map sp to Startpage Search you may search from the address bar using “sp keyword”, e.g. sp ghacks.

Why Google and Amazon? The answer seems to be revenue related. Google is Mozilla Firefox’s default search provider in most regions and an increase in searches will give Mozilla more leverage when the deal is up for renewal.

Amazon on the other hand appears to be an affiliate link that earns Mozilla money whenever users who follow it buy something on the Amazon store.

All default search engines that Firefox includes by default have search keywords associated with them.

Never check for updates removed

firefox update check 63

The option to set Firefox to block automatic update checks has been removed. Firefox users who open about:preferences#general will  notice that the option to never check for updates was removed.

The only two options as of Firefox 63.0 are to “automatically install updates” or “check for updates but let you choose to install them”.

Mozilla made the change because the setting is “easy to enable and forget about”. The organization added a policy to Firefox that administrators may enable to prevent Firefox from updating.

Other changes

  • Out-of-process extensions enabled for Firefox on Linux.
  • Content blocking added to block third-party tracking cookies or block all trackers.
  • Network Monitor highlights known trackers with a new icon.
  • System add-ons are not shown on about:debugging anymore. You can change that by setting devtools.aboutdebugging.showSystemAddons to true on about:config.
  • A site’s favicon honors existing Content Security Policy directives.
  • Firefox throws a warning when a user attempts to quit the browser if multiple windows and tabs are open.
  • Firefox uses the operating system’s accessibility settings to reduce animation if they are set.
  • Mozilla resolved an issue that prevented bookmarks from being suggested by the browser under certain circumstances (when they were not visited or when the visit count was reset).
  • Mozilla removed the Open in Sidebar feature of the Library for individual bookmarks.
  • The Ctrl-Tab shortcut displays previews of tabs when used by default for new Firefox profiles and installations.

Firefox 63.0 known issues

The Quick Heal software program may crash tabs in 32-bit versions of Firefox running on Windows. Quick Heal users may resolve the issue temporarily by disabling the Browser Sandbox feature under Internet & Network until the developer of the program releases an update that fixes the issue.

Developer Changes

  • WebExtensions can use official W3C draft spec APIs for clipboard operations.
  • WebExtensions gain access to new APIs that deal with multi-tab selections.
  • Extensions may “enumerate and access search engines built-into Firefox” to run searches.
  • Themeing API improvements, e.g. sidebar theme support and theming the new tab page.
  • Extensions get new options to work with the context menu in Firefox.
  • Media Capabilities API implemented.
  • SecurityPolicyViolationEvent is supported.
  • Visual Style of Developer Tools updated.
  • Developer Tools Accessibility Inspector enabled by default.

Firefox 63.0 for Android

Only a handful of changes in Firefox 63.0 for Android:

  • Firefox for Android supports Picture-in-Picture mode.
  • Use of notification channels.
  • Added support for English from Canada and Ligurian.
  • Application targets Android O for security and performance improvements and support for new features.

Users may experience duplicate letters in “some” Latin keyboards and duplicated glyphs in Korean words. Mozilla suggests to use the Google keyboard as a workaround for affected users.

Security updates / fixes

Will be added when Mozilla publishes them.

Outlook

Firefox 64.0 and Firefox ESR 60.4 will be released on December 11, 2018 if the schedule is not changed. The versions will be the last major Firefox release of 2018, the next major release will be released on January 29, 2019.

Additional information / sources

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