The Mozilla Firefox 85 web browser is now available for download, ahead of its official unveiling on January 26th, for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.
Firefox 85 has been in development since mid-November 2020 when it entered the Nightly channel and landed in the beta channel on December 15th, when Mozilla released the Firefox 84 web browser as the last release to ship with support for Adobe’s now deprecated Flash Player plugin.
Therefore, Firefox 85 is the first release of the popular open-source and cross-platform web browser to drop support for the Adobe Flash Player plugin. This means that you won’t be able to re-enable Flash support, especially because the Flash plugin has stopped loading Flash content since January 12th, 2021.
Now that Flash is gone, let’s take a look at the new features as Firefox 85 comes with a major privacy feature called “Network partitioning,” which promises to improve your privacy while surfing the Web by partitioning the network resources instead of sharing them to eliminate cross-site tracking.
“You shouldn’t be tracked online,” said Mozilla. “Whether you are checking your bank balance, looking for the best doctor, or shopping for shoes, unscrupulous tracking companies should not be able to track you as you browse the Web. For that reason, we are continuously working to harden Firefox against online tracking of our users.”
Network partitioning is an ‘under the hood’ feature, which means that you won’t see any setting for it in the Preferences. Since website date will now be downloaded for each top-level domain, it will take a little longer to load websites, but Mozilla says the performance impact should be negligible for most users.
Those of you who prefer better connectivity at the expense of losing privacy can disable the “Network partitioning” anti-tracking feature by setting the
privacy.partition.network_state option in about:config to
false. The option was available in Firefox 84, but now it’s turned on by default.
To further protect your privacy, Firefox now isolates so-called supercookies, a type of tracker that will hidden in your web browser and track you while surfing the Internet even if you clear the cookies.
Firefox 85 also makes it easier to keep track of your favorite websites by remembering your preferred location for saved bookmarks. In addition, the web browser now displays the bookmarks toolbar by default on new tabs and introduces a toolbar folder for quick and easy access to all of your bookmarks.
Another new feature in Firefox 85 is the ability to remove all of your saved logins with a single mouse click from the built-in password manager rather than deleting each one individually via a new “Remove All Logins” option in the hamburger menu located on the right side of the about:logins page.
For web developers, this release introduces support for the
Mozilla officially released the Firefox 85 web browser on January 26th, 2021, and it’s available to existing users via the built-in OTA update system (Mac and Windows only). On GNU/Linux you’ll have to install Firefox 85 from the stable repos of your distro or download the binaries from the official website.
Last updated 6 months ago