Mozilla will release Firefox 85.0 Stable and Firefox 78.7 ESR later today to the public (if you are reading this on January 26, 2021). The new Firefox versions are distributed via the web browser’s built-in automatic updating system and as a direct download on Mozilla’s main website.
Stable and ESR releases go hand in hand with development build releases. Firefox Beta and Firefox Developer are upgraded to version 86, and Firefox Nightly to version 87. Firefox Android uses the same versioning scheme as Firefox Stable for the desktop, which means that it will be upgrade to Firefox 85.0.
- Firefox 85.0 is the first major Firefox release of 2021.
- Flash support is removed from Firefox.
- Firefox 85 and Firefox 78.7 fix security issues.
Firefox 85.0 download and update
Most Firefox installations will be updated automatically once the new version is released officially thanks to the browser’s built-in updating functionality. Firefox users may run a manual check for updates to speed up the updating process by selecting Menu > Help > About Firefox.
The current version is displayed on the page that opens, and a check for updates is performed.
Manual downloads are also available. The following pages list direct downloads for supported Firefox channels (will be available later on January 26, 2020)
New features and improvements
Firefox remembers the previous bookmarks folder
Firefox remembers the last folder that was used to store bookmarks in, and suggests it when the user wants to save another bookmark. Previously, the default folder was always the “Other Bookmarks” folder, even if users saved bookmarks regularly to other folders.
Bookmarking has received a number of improvements. The “Other Bookmarks” folder, if it is not empty, is now displayed on the Bookmarks Bar of the browser. Additionally, it is possible to show the bookmarks bar only on the New Tab Page and not elsewhere.
You can check out my full review of the new bookmarking features of Firefox 85 here.
Better Firefox Home and New Tab controls
Firefox 85 introduces improved Home and New Tab page controls. In particular, users get to select the defaults or any extension that could take over the Home or New Tab page of the browser.
Previously, if users installed multiple extensions that did so, the last was picked by the browser with no option to change it (other than re-installing the preferred extension).
Check out my full review of the new Home and New Tab page controls in Firefox.
Firefox for Android
- <link rel=”preload”> is now enabled. Site owners may declare it to specify resources that should be loaded as early as possible by the browser.
- browsingData API is available on Android. It may be used, among other things, to remove certain types of browsing data, e.g. downloads or cookies.
- The release notes list no known issues.
Security updates / fixes
Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here after release.
Recently Reviewed Firefox extensions
Recent Firefox news and tips
Additional information / sources