Mozilla Firefox 85 is now available to download. In this post we look at what’s been added, changed, and improved in the update.
We started with the biggest new feature in Firefox 85, which improves the browser’s privacy credentials. Firefox now has support for network partitioning — don’t worry; despite the name this (thankfully) isn’t anything to do with your OS partitions or local drives.
Network partitioning is an anti-tracking feature that curtails the ability for cross-site tracking through shared cache resources using what’s known as ‘super cookies’.
As per ZDnet’s writeup, network partitioning in Firefox 85 sees the browser store all of the temporary images, web fonts, and other cruft collected as you browse separately, on a per-website, instead of in a grouped “pool” that all website can use.
For instance, web fonts can’t be cached on one site and then reused on another; Firefox has to download the web font separately for each site. This may make some web pages a little slower to load than before.
Network resources partitioned in Firefox 85 include:
- HTTP cache
- Image cache
- Favicon cache
- Connection pooling
- StyleSheet cache
- HTTP authentication
- Speculative connections
- Font cache
- Intermediate CA cache
- TLS client certificates
- TLS session identifiers
- CORS-preflight cache
Other interesting changes are present in Firefox 85.
If you’re an avid bookmarks fan — if you are I hope this site is stashed in your faves somewhere ;) — there are a couple of changes that Mozilla says will it “easier than ever to save and access your bookmarks” in its browser.
How? Well, Firefox now remember your preferred location for saved bookmarks. It defaults to the bookmarks toolbar when no bookmarks have been saved previously or the ‘last used’ folder when one is specified.
Secondly, the browser now has an option to show the bookmarks toolbar on every New Tab page, but have it auto-hide when you navigate away to a webpage.
Firefox’s password manager adds an option to remove all saved logins. This one-click operation saves you the hassle of needing to delete each individual login separately, by hand.
Talking of logins: Firefox 85 can import KeePass and Bitwarden passwords too.
Well, technically speaking, it can import the CSV file these password managers let you export — but that’s the same thing. CSV password import isn’t (yet) enabled by default and comes with absolutely no warranty. If you want to try it out change
Last, and absolutely least, Firefox 85 no longer supports Adobe Flash — like, at all.
Support for this ‘plugin’ has been winding down for what feels like forever but this release makes things final: there’s no setting to re-enable Flash support in Firefox. Nope, not even if you dive in to tickle the fox’s belly (or
about:config, as some prefer to call it).
Download Firefox 85
Firefox 85 is free, open source software available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. You can download the latest version direct from the official Firefox website.
If you run Ubuntu (and since you’re reading an Ubuntu-focused blog I’m gonna assume you are) you don’t need to download anything, not manually. You can upgrade to Firefox 85 using the Software Updater or your preferred update mechanism.