How to restore the green lock icon in Firefox's address bar

Mozilla’s Firefox web browser used to display a green padlock icon in the browser’s address bar when secure sites were opened in the browser. Additionally, the browser would display extended information for sites with EV (Extended Validation) certificates.

Mozilla launched a change recently in Firefox that changed the green padlock icon to a gray icon and removed the EV certificate information from the browser’s address bar entirely.

The organization revealed plans in August 2019 to change the information that Firefox displays in the address bar in regards to sites using HTTPS and implemented the change in Firefox 70.0 released recently.

Firefox users who open a secure site in the browser see a gray padlock icon in the address bar in Firefox 70 and newer versions of the browser. Sites with EV certificates are not highlighted in any way anymore as well.

firefox green gray icon

The main idea behind the changes — Mozilla is not the only browser developer that made it — is that the majority of Internet sites are using HTTPS on today’s Internet and that the number will increase even more in the coming years. HTTPS is the new default and the reasoning is that sites that don’t support it should be highlighted instead of sites that support it.

One of the issues with the approach is that generations of Internet users have been trained to look for these locks in the address bar to verify that the connection is secure. While that is still possible as the gray padlock icon indicates a secure connection, some may prefer to get the green icon restored instead as it provides a better visual indicator.

Making Firefox`s padlock icon green again

firefox green padlock

Firefox comes with built-in configuration options to restore the green padlock icon. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if a warning screen is displayed.
  3. Use the search at the top to find security.secure_connection_icon_color_gray.
  4. Toggle the preference so that its value is FALSE.

The change is applied immediately, a browser restart is not required. You should notice that all sites that use secure connections are displayed with a green padlock icon again in the Firefox address bar. To restore the gray icon, set the value of the preference to TRUE instead.

Restoring Extended Validation Certificate information in Firefox

ev certificate firefox show

Firefox users may enable the display of EV certificate information in Firefox’s address bar as well; this is also done using the method described above:

  1. Visit the about:config page again.
  2. Search for security.identityblock.show_extended_validation this time.
  3. Set the preference to TRUE to enable the display of extended validation information in the browser’s address bar.

The change is applied immediately. If you don’t see it right away try to refresh the site in question. You may set the value of the preference to FALSE to restore the default.

Display not secure for sites that don’t use HTTPS

firefox not secure

Firefox displays a crossed-out padlock icon in the address bar by default when a site that does not use HTTPS (or uses it incorrectly) is visited. You may add the “not secure” text to the address bar to further highlight the status of the connection.

  1. Visit about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Search for security.insecure_connection_text.enabled.
  3. Set the value of the preference to TRUE to enable “not secure” or FALSE to disable it.
  4. Bonus: If you want to apply the change to private browsing connections as well, search for security.insecure_connection_text.pbmode.enabled and set the value accordingly.

Now You: do you check the status of the connection in your browser of choice? (via Ask VG)

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