Firefox 68.0 is a new major version of the Firefox web browser. The release date of the new stable version of Firefox is July 9, 2019.
All Firefox channels are updated on that day. Firefox Beta is moved to 69.0, Firefox Dev to 70.0, and Firefox Nightly to 71.0.
Firefox ESR, the Extended Support Release, is moved to a new base with this release; this marks a major change for Firefox ESR users as they are upgraded from Firefox 60.x ESR to 68.0 ESR.
Tip: Check out our Firefox ESR 68.0 guide to find out about major changes and differences to Firefox 68.0.
If you missed the Firefox 67.0 release, check it out to find out what changed in that release.
Firefox 68.0 download and update
The Firefox 68.0 distribution starts on July 9, 2019. Most Firefox installations are configured to run automatic checks for updates to install new browser versions once they are picked up.
Firefox users may run manual update checks by selecting Menu > Help > About Firefox to install the updates sooner.
Direct downloads are also provided by Mozilla. Note that the downloads are made available at one point on July 9, 2019 and that they may not be available right after this release guide has been published.
Update: downloads are now available.
- Firefox Stable download
- Firefox Beta download
- Nightly download
- Firefox ESR download
- Firefox unbranded builds information
Firefox 68.0 Changes
Firefox 68.0 ships with a redesigned add-ons manager. We reviewed the new manager last month and you may want to check out the review for additional details.
A new design is used for about:addons. Extensions are separated into enabled and disabled groups on the “Manage Your Extensions” page but there are some core differences to the old add-ons manager.
The buttons to enable or disable add-ons have been moved to a menu (the three dots) which means that it takes another click to change the state of an extension or remove it.
The extension profile pages use tabs now, and permissions are listed on one of the tabs. You may also find update information listed there provided that the author of the extension adds the information when a new version is uploaded.
There is also a new report option to report extensions to Mozilla.
Last but not least, you may see extension recommendations on about:addons. These are powered by Mozilla’s recently introduced Recommended Extensions program.
Tip: You may disable recommendations if you don’t want them:
- Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
- Search for extensions.htmlaboutaddons.discover.enabled
- Set the flag to False.
- Search for extensions.htmlaboutaddons.recommendations.enabled
- Set the flag to False.
Dark Mode support in Reader View mode
Reader View is a special reading mode of the Firefox web browser that displays articles on a page that is optimized for reading. The mode hides most page elements that are not linked to the article, e.g. menus, sidebar, or advertisement.
You can change fonts and may now also change the default light theme to a dark theme. Just select the font icon in Reader View (you launch Reader View from the address bar of the Firefox browser by clicking on the “page” icon there), and there the Dark option.
Firefox remembers the selected theme automatically.
Changes to custom preferences syncing
Desktop versions of the Firefox web browser may sync a set of default preferences if Firefox Sync is enabled. Firefox users may turn the feature on or off by setting services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.some_preference to True or False on about:config.
Firefox won’t sync preferences if the preference is not already available in the Firefox installation that it is pushed to as of Firefox 68.0. Mozilla notes that Firefox users may want to control the preferences that they want synced (if they don’t exist by default).
The developers have added a new preference to Firefox, services.sync.prefs.dangerously_allow_arbitrary, that overrides the default behavior so that all preferences are synced. Set the preference to True to sync everything, or False to block preferences from syncing if they don’t exist on the target device.
Versions of Firefox prior to 68.0 handled syncing as if the setting was set to True.
- Strict content blocking protections include cryptomining and fingerprinting protections in Firefox 68.
- WebRender starts to roll out to devices with AMD graphics cards on Windows 10.
- Firefox supports BITS on Windows (Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service) to download updates in the background even if Firefox is closed.
- Firefox account settings are now accessible right from the main menu.
- Firefox shortcut added to the Windows 10 taskbar when the browser is installed.
- Unmaintained languages Assamese, South African English, Maithili, Malayalam, and Odia have been removed. Users are migrated to British English automatically.
- Firefox features a new option that may detect when antivirus software interferes with connections in the browser and fix the issue automatically.
- Sites and apps that request camera or microphone permissions need to use HTTPS connections.
- Local files can no longer access other files in the same directory.
- New policies: new tab page configuration and disabling, local file links, download behavior, search suggestions, managed storage for using policies in Webextensions, extension whitelisting and blacklisting by ID and website, subset of common Firefox preferences.
Firefox 68.0 known issues
- Firefox features a new full page color contrast audit option to identify elements on a page that fail color contrast checks. To use it, tap on F12, switch to Accessibility in the Developer Toolbar, and select Contrast there.
- Web Console shows additional CSS warning information, e.g. a node list of DOM elements that used a particular rule.
- Web Console filtering supports regular expressions.
- Network Monitor request list supports the blocking of specific URLs.
- Firefox developers may delete local or session storage entries in the Storage Inspector by using the backspace key.
- The preference to display internal add-ons on the about:debugging page changed to devtools.aboutdebugging.showHiddenAddons.
Firefox 68.0 for Android
Just a few changes for Firefox for Android. Mozilla released a first preview of the new Firefox for Android browser recently and plans to release a final version later this year.
- Android Q compatibility fixes.
- Web painting performance improvements by avoiding redundant calculations during paint.
- Support for W3C Web Authentication API for passwordless-logins.
Security updates / fixes
Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here later today.
Additional information / sources
- Firefox 68 release notes
- Firefox 68 Android release notes
- Add-on compatibility for Firefox 68
- Firefox 68 for Developers
- Site compatibility for Firefox 68
- Firefox Security Advisories
- Firefox Release Schedule
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