Mozilla last week released Firefox 98 for Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux. This article summarizes the most important innovations – as always on this blog, in much more detail than other sites.
Changes to downloads
With Firefox 98, Mozilla has made many changes to the way downloads work. By default, Firefox no longer asks if files should actually be downloaded. The download was preceded by an explicit user action, and the download always started immediately, regardless of the dialog. Firefox now behaves similarly to all other related browsers.
Of course, the behavior can still be configured individually for each file type in the Firefox settings. If the file type does not appear in the settings, it can be added by selecting the new option “Always open similar files” in the context menu of the download panel. The “Ask me every time” action was reset once for all users when updating to Firefox 98.
Also new in this context menu is the option to delete the file. Previously, it was possible to remove only the file from the download history, but not the file itself.
Downloads now always end in the configured download directory or in the group directory if Firefox is configured to ask before downloading. Temporary files directory is no longer used.
The download panel now opens automatically with each download. If you don’t want that, you can set switch browser.download.alwaysOpenPanel to false by double clicking about:config.
Developer Tool Improvements
Panel for web compatibility with other browsers
Web developers can look forward to a new feature that checks a website’s CSS for potential compatibility issues with other browsers. Compatibility data for this is provided by Mozilla’s MDN Web Docs Based on.
Stop event listeners
A useful feature of Firefox’s Inspector is the ability to see the current event listeners of elements, for example to see what code is executed when a button is clicked. With Firefox 98, Mozilla added checkboxes to pause individual event listeners.
Other improvements to the developer tool
If the devtools.popups.debug switch is set to true via about:config , the developer tools are automatically opened in windows opened via window.open() on a page where the developer tools are opened.
The runtime analyzer has been replaced by an improved re-application.
Web platform improvements
As always, an overview of all improvements to the web platform and improvements for WebExtension developers can be found at MDN Web Docs.
Also in Firefox 98 it was again Many security vulnerabilities closed. For security reasons only, it is highly recommended to update Firefox 98 for all users.
Other New Features of Firefox 98
Firefox Settings has a new “Mozilla More” tab, which Mozilla can use to advertise other products. Firefox for smartphones and Mozilla VPN are currently available. If you don’t want to see the tab, you can set the browser.preferences.moreFromMozilla switch to false via about:config.
If the intl.multilingual.liveReload key is set to true via about:config , the Firefox language can be changed in the settings without having to restart Firefox.
Viewing the source code of a website as well as the file list is now also dark when a dark theme is used.
If switch browser.theme.dark-private-windows is set to true via about:config , private windows use the dark color scheme instead of light.
If Firefox was installed via the Microsoft Store, Windows will now find that Firefox is installed even if you enter firefox.exe at the command line.
On Linux, AV1 video playback can now be hardware accelerated. Reduce CPU usage when watching videos in full screen on macOS.
For minimally optimized performance when loading bookmarks, Firefox now starts establishing a connection as soon as you click on a bookmark.
The Picture-in-Picture Videos window on Windows now contains the Firefox logo instead of a generic icon.
When using the “Show in folder” function when searching for bookmarks in the library, Firefox now also goes to the corresponding position in the directory tree.
For some users who have a different search engine set as default, it may have changed after updating to Firefox 98 if Mozilla did not receive official permission to continue using that search engine.
As always, there are more bug fixes and other improvements under the hood.