Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 20, 2016
Updated • Sep 25, 2016

Mozilla Firefox 49.0 was released on September 20, 2016. The release of the browser was postponed by a week due to two bugs in the previous version that required more fixing time.

Firefox 49.0 is the next major stable release of the web browser. Firefox 48.0.2 and earlier versions of Firefox can be updated to the new release.

Mozilla pushed out updates for Firefox Beta, Firefox Developer, Firefox Nightly, and Firefox ESR as well today.

These browsers were updated to versions 50.0, 51.0, 52.0 and 45.4 respectively.

Note: if you are reading this article on September 20, 2016: Mozilla will release Firefox 49.0 today. It is already available on the FTP, but the roll out of the update may not have happened yet.

Executive Summary

  1. Firefox Hello is no longer part of Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8 are no longer supported. They are still supported by Firefox ESR though.
  3. Firefox Reader Mode improved with text to speech option.
  4. Firefox multi-process is pushed to more users on stable.

Firefox 49 download and update

firefox 49

Firefox 49 will be distributed via the web browser's update feature, and via the Mozilla website. Firefox users who have not touched the browser's updating preferences should see an update notification soon in the browser.

You may run a manual check for updates at any point in time to speed up the process. Tap on the Alt-key while Firefox is open, and select Help > About Firefox to do so.

Firefox runs a check for updates, and displays any new version it found to you. Depending on the update settings, it may be downloaded and installed automatically, or you may be prompted to do so.

You may download all editions of Firefox using the links below instead.

Firefox 49 Changes

Firefox Hello removal

firefox 34 hello

Mozilla made the decision to remove Firefox Hello from Firefox. The organization launched Firefox Hello as a new communication tool that worked inside the browser and without plugin or third-party software requirements.

Mozilla was criticized by part of the userbase for integrating Hello in Firefox, and decided one year later to change the focus from communication to tab-sharing. It removed the contacts feature from Hello which made it even less useful in the process.

Hello was turned into a system add-on, the first for Firefox. Mozilla announced the removal of Firefox Hello back in July, and Firefox 49 is the first stable version of the browser without the feature.

Firefox Login manager supports HTTPS logins

firefox http login https password manager

Firefox's login manager used strict origin matching when it looked for a saved login for a website open in the browser. This meant that it would not match a saved HTTP login if the site was opened on a HTTPS connection, and vice versa.

Starting with Firefox 49, Firefox improves the handling by allowing login information saved on the HTTP version of a page to become also available to the HTTPs version of a page.

This is a one-way-street feature, as the other way around is not supported.

You can read more about the HTTP login on HTTPS sites feature here.

Reader Mode improvements

firefox reader mode

Reader Mode is an often overlooked feature in Firefox that turns any web article into an optimized version that trims the fat of the surrounding page.

It is in this regard similar to readability extensions and services. What you end up with is the title, text and images of the article, but no other element of the site it was posted on.

The improved Reader Mode in Firefox 49 ships with several new features. Most notable is the new narrate option which reads the text out loud, and new controls that allow you to adjust the width and line spacing of the text.

End of Support

Firefox 49 does not support Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8 anymore. Additionally, support ended on Windows for SSE processors.

Some "non-essential" Flash content will be blocked

fingerprinting supercookie

As part of Mozilla's plan to deprecate NPAPI plugin support in Firefox, Mozilla plans to block non-essential Flash content on websites by default.

You can check out the maintained blocklists on Github. Basically, Firefox 49 will block small (5x5 pixels or less) elements on sites if they meet certain other criteria such as calling enumerateFonts or ExternalInterface.

Plug-in Free Netflix and Amazon Video on Linux

google widevine

Firefox 49 on Linux will support plug-in free playback on Netflix and Amazon video. This is done through the integration of Google Widevine CDM for Linux.

This means that Linux users don't need Adobe Flash or a Silverlight alternative for that anymore.

Adobe announced the resurrection of Flash for Linux in unrelated news recently.

Other Firefox 49 changes

  • Re-enabled the default for Graphite2 font shaping.
  • Fixed an issue on Mac systems that preventing users from updating Firefox if they did not install the browser originally.
  • Appearance of anti-aliased fonts improved on OS X.
  • Set the default HTML5 video volume.
  • Improved performance on Mac OS X systems that support hardware acceleration.
  • Improved video performance on systems that support SSSE3 without hardware acceleration.
  • HTML5 audio can now be looped using the built-in context menu.
  • Context menu allows you to play audio and video at 1,25 times the speed.
  • Firefox supports TLS 1.3 now (not enabled by default).
  • Print Preview with Simplify Page option to save printer ink and paper.

Developer Changes

Network Monitor lists connection cause

network monitor cause

One of the new changes in Firefox 49 for developers is a new cause column of the network monitor.  Cause lets you know, basically, which resource, e.g. a stylesheet caused the listed file to load.

This can be useful in quickly finding out why a file was loaded, and where you might find the instruction in the code.

Users may find the information useful as well, especially if they analyze which files get loaded when they connect to a site.

Other Developer changes

  • JavaScript errors list a "learn mode" link in the console which may be useful for debugging.
  • CSS autocomplete shows more suggestions.
  • Various Developer Tools accessibility improvements, e.g. keyboard focus is more visible.
  • The reload button is only enabled for temporary add-ons on about:debugging.
  • The about:debugging page has a Tabs page added to it that provides you with options to debug any open tab in the browser.
  • IndexDB databases can be deleted directly from the Storage inspector.
  • Disable Cache has been renamed to disable HTTP cache.
  • Several -webkit prefixed properties have been added for compatibility purposes.

Firefox for Android

Other Firefox 49 for Android changes

  • Access previously viewed pages while offline or have an unstable connection.
  • The first run page features Reader View and Sync as two new feature highlights.
  • Tab appearance and behavior changes. Scroll position and zoom level are remembered for open tabs for instance, and Firefox won't play sound from multiple tabs at once anymore.
  • Asynchronous notifications via Push API supported.
  • Web Speech synthesis API supported.

Security updates / fixes

Security updates and fixes are announced after the release of Firefox 48. This guide will be updated when that happens.

MFSA 2016-86 Security vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox ESR 45.4
MFSA 2016-85 Security vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox 49

Firefox 49.0.1

Firefox 49.0.1 was released on September 23, 2016. It addresses the Websense crash issue again, blocking users on older versions of Firefox with Websense installed from getting the update to the new version of Firefox (see Bug 1304783)

Additional information / sources

Now Read: The state of Mozilla Firefox

Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new
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Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new
The guide looks at the new Firefox 49.0 release for the desktop and for Android, and tells you what is new and changed in it.
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  1. yann said on October 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Since i updated to FF49 i’m not able to make a voice call from my facebook page.
    Tis feature was working perfectly with FF48… (my platform: windows seven intel cpu).
    Thanks for helping ~ yann

  2. Tom_b said on September 25, 2016 at 3:38 am

    With FF 49, how do I stop ALL video from playing, forever? NoScript plus setting “media.autoplay.enabled” to “false” seems to be letting some videos through (and, no, I don’t have Flash installed).

  3. Scott said on September 25, 2016 at 1:33 am

    When I print a document/page in simplify page/reader mode, the website URL does not print in the upper-right hand corner. It just says “about:blank”. It shows in print preview, but will not show on the printed page.

    Does anyone if there is a way to display the URL on the printed page in reader mode?

  4. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Testing testing .. Martin I have several posts on firefox articles not coming thru … tick tock

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 22, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Was not home all day, sorry for that ;) If you start to use an email, I can set you up for auto-approval.

      1. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm

        But nooooo … I want to keep you gainfully employed
        (ps I have one .. ****@p***.****.net that u gave me)

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on September 22, 2016 at 8:52 pm

        I love comment moderation, so thanks!

  5. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I told myself “What?!” before reading your second comment, Parker. Scratched!

    “Vive la France” sounds, IMO, as French as “Bon voyage!”, it has become more a “Vive” than a country!

    Long live the United Nations :)

  6. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    FF49 PAF = unpacked it creates an empty profile folder (eg \\FirefoxPortable\Data\profile ). The first time you run it, the app itself creates your profile (unless you stick your own one in there, or indeed, install FF PAF over the top of your current portable location). In fact, normally I just update from the Help>About>Check for updates. There is no storage.sqlite, not immediately and not 512kb. Maybe the install version has extra functionality such as actually creating all your profile folder contents (or detecting the current one etc) and updating files.

    I too, now have a storage.sqlite .. I too have looked inside it and its empty, nada, zip , nothing. Mine is 1kb. Its creation date was approx 8 hrs after upgrading (and FF is always open). A 512kb one simply sounds like a pre-allocated size (just like stylish does with its one) for various technical benefits.

    I also have a vanilla FF 49 PAF with no user.js, no extensions. I used it for about 10 minutes to check a few settings. It too has a 1kb storage.sqlite.

    I am intrigued. Maybe it’s a sign! I’ll find out .. watch this space …. are you still watching … keep watching … don’t you dare look away …

    Nothing here:

    Keep watching….

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      I’ve brought pop-corn and soda. But I’ll have to move once in a while :)
      512 bytes, not KB, correct?!

      1. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm

        Sorry. my bad. Been up for too many days. Misread your earlier lofty manifesto as kb.:) Mine is the same as yours them .. 512 bytes …

  7. Anonymous said on September 22, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I have the new storage.sqlite file with 49 also.

    1. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

      I must be special .. never got it :) Either that or PAF strips it out.

      PS: I’m also a bit sickened that everyone assumed Tom was French .. could he not be Belgian, or French Canadian, or from Quebec, or Tahiti … or .. or .. a French (language) school teacher in Wales .. Sacre bleu! (sorry, no time for diacritics Tom)..

      1. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

        @Parker: extremely likely as it sows disinformation

      2. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        (Actually scratch that, I have no proof that storage.sqlite was there before, so Ox 49 it is if you’re all saying so.)

      3. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 3:57 pm

        storage.sqlite has been there for a long while on my end, so not Ox 49 specific :)

        Pants: How likely are you to say “Vive la France!” when you are Belgian or French Canadian ? :D

        I ventured a guess for Tom being American because of his name, his speech pattern and the “Vive la France!”, which I labelled as an English-specific cliche phrase that comes to mind when discovering someone is French or did something French-y.

        Now to guess Pants nationality, Loading…..0%….1%….2%….

      4. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        As long as the story is not empty, that is if holes are ever empty, of meaning (it IS a joke!). Consistency. Why do we avoid the holes of Swiss cheese and leave them on the plate systematically? This attitude contributes to an expanding world of emptiness. I believe we should take care of not forgetting to include those holes in the appropriate garbage (one for the bottles, one for clean stuff, one for dirty stuff and one for the holes, a garbage filled with emptiness), now what a splendid idea is it not?!

        Remains this darn storage.sqlite file, empty (of data) as well but always there!

      5. Pants said on September 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

        Nobody expects the Swiss .. no wait .. I meant the Spanish (Monty Python joke there). Anyway, I checked out your Swiss story and it’s full of holes :)

      6. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 11:17 am

        I never perceived that “everyone assumed Tom was French”! I only read one user (dear Parker Lewis!) assuming I was (or could be) American! — I have no idea what everyone assumes of my very little person, no particular notoriety and frankly, I don’t really care, even if it may be funny to imagine the other one(s), it certainly is natural to build, consciously or not, a profile of people we dialog with on the Web. This said, if I favor privacy I have no predilection for secrecy (as I always say) so I have no filter in mind, active to misinform or passive to suggest, when it comes to sharing my thoughts,here as elsewhere. I believe I have the potential to manipulate, psychologically and technically on the Web, but it’s my choice — as it is that of most of us I believe — to just discuss, smile and laugh… naturally.

        I could also be Swiss, Pants!

    2. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Thanks for acknowledging, Anonymous(ly)!

  8. Pants said on September 21, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    @Tom Hawack “Another new element with Firefox 49 is a new file in the user’s profile folder : storage.sqlite”

    I updated today. I use the portable version. I usually just upgrade from the interface. But today I downloaded the 49 PAF and unpacked it. It has an empty profile directory until you run it (or stick your own one in there). I compared the entire FF48 vs the FF49 (minus the profile directory) .. nothing to be alarmed about (removed the 3 .xpis in features). After running FF49 with my profile copied in .. opened it, browsed a bit, closed it. opened it .. no such storage* .sqlite file whatsoever. Maybe there’s a difference between the PAF and installed versions.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 9:43 am

      About this storage.sqlite in my/the user profile : it weighs 512 bytes here on FF49 64-BIT / Windows 7 64-BIT and appeared with FF49, never had it before in my profile.

      For updating FF48.02 to FF49.0 I proceeded as usual : a clean install, that is I uninstall FF (via Windows Uninstaller) and then proceed to the normal install of the new FF. I check then the install folder (where I noticed the new Visual C++ Runtimes) and my profile folder (which of course remained when uninstalling previous version of FF)… and that’s where I noticed this new storage.sqlite file which triggered my curiosity (and still does : impossible to find information about it).

      I have installed Firefox Setup 49.0.exe 64-BIT with MD5 = 23CCFF83A91B27757AD44512D7F89F0E

      I have no idea, Pants, if the portable version of FF deploys differently (hence this file absent from your profile), I assume others must have this storage.sqlite file in their profile : for those who do have it and/or information on this 512bytes file, thanks for acknowledging. I am simply curious, no terror, I sleep eat and live as usual :)

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 10:09 am

        We’re talking about a storage.sqlite file in the user’s profile, indeed, nothing to do with FF’s install folder.
        Thanks for acknowledging.

      2. stechy said on September 22, 2016 at 10:03 am

        just use or sqlite addon for FF and see what’s in it
        I have also this file, but only in profile folder, not in root; is 512 bytes and is empty (no tables no indecies, nothing)

      3. stechy said on September 22, 2016 at 9:59 am

        Just use OR sqlite addon for firefox and see what’s in it.

  9. asd said on September 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    so finally Mozilla removed Firefox Hello bloatware, and added a new bloatware called Narrator! what is wrong you Mozilla?!!!

    1. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 3:48 am

      Hello was extremely small. Most of it was WebRTC which is a web standard, so not bloat. Narrator does something similar in that it’s essentially a use case for the legitimate Web Speech API, so again not bloat.

      Reader is more involved, but I would argue that it’s a core functionality for Firefox on mobile, where it saves battery, data and screen space. So arguably, not bloat.

      PS: Web Speech is not a standard but it’s close:
      Standards are not decided by Mozilla, and are to be implemented by all browsers.

      Personally I’m quite interested in this feature because you can do something else while the device reads stuff, but that’s just me, and an add-on would have been fine if it was not basically a lightweight use case for an actual JavaScript API that belongs in the core browser. Speech synthesis is also good for people with disabilities, and accessibility is a core part of Firefox.

      I would also argue that Firefox is not bloated, not after 7 years of effort cleaning up the codebase, refactoring, removing things, setting up high coding standards and test suites, … There’s still more to go but where for instance Chrome has maybe been taking in fat, Firefox is on the opposite slope.

  10. Robert G. said on September 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks Martin for this news and thanks also for another interesting newsletter.

  11. BlueMoon said on September 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    One thing is dynamic link libraries – that belong to the OS – into Windows Folder, while another thing is the same libraries into a Program Files/MOZILLA-CORP. Folder.

    Just wait for inconsistencies between FIREFAUX and AV Products, plus new unsecurity problems.

    @ TESSA Nice contribution. Try hareder next time.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      BlueMoon, I believe TESSA was irritated by ‘Firefux must die”s comment, a rather inconsistent, hysterical comment.
      Otherwise the debate, if debate there is, may remain rational and disagreeing on the way things are said, on the way bizarre extrapolations are exploited doesn’t necessarily mean disagreeing on a problematic.

      Concerning these 40 Visual C++ Runtimes included in Firefox 49 I’ll take the lack of concern of several users here I consider to be talented and honest as the signal of a non-event : not worth consequently being stirred. I’ll emphasize on this moreover because it was I who pointed these libraries to start with, even if I was curious only and not dominated by a furious anger !

      Vive la France !

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        This is interesting, Parker Lewis. I certainly agree on the reciprocal influence of languages and ideas, cultures combining both. This is why otherness is so valuable, for a better understanding of the world when better understanding its components, for a better understanding of ourselves when our ideas get confronted to others. Traveling is essential, IMO. All those I’ve met who had discovered an elsewhere seemed to me as having a common point, that of a wider scope of interest, tolerance as a state of mind and not as a politically correct fashion.

        Following ideas and searching for their origin must be a voyage by itself. Or creating them to better follow them after. I remember having read something about an intelligence agency which performed new ideas and correctly integrated them via adequate media supports to observe how they would unfold and develop. Far from trying to understand what deployed naturally …

        Those who have the knowledge and talent to understand cultures and how they move and change are found I believe in several domains of study. Languages themselves, sociology, anthropology, psychology, politics etc etc … and as always a fair capacity in several of those domains is maybe more profitable for a better understanding of global processes then excellency reserved to many less areas, as it allows an interdisciplinary and even a trans-disciplinary approach of nothing less than the human civilization …

        Ghacks’ population? As with all blogs many more read then they write. Among those who write, comment here on Ghacks, those who are “regulars” call the attention and could indeed be the population on which we’d elaborate a sociological study. I’m not sure we’d find a European majority, but I have no valuable data to explain the feeling.

        I wish we could identify the origin of ideas and on a closer distance I’ve often wished to discover the physical appearance of relationships made of ideas expressed by words only and never with a tongue. Many years ago I was an aficionado of chats (“tchat” in French because “chat” means “cat”!) and I happened more than once to nourish the idea (even the hope!) of an assembly of us all taking place in an old castle with the opening of our discoveries of each other at a masked-dress ball where we’d all start the game of revealing ourselves in the way we would try to reveal who is who … :) — A dream, a nightmare, anyway an idea which remained in the closet!

        And the beat goes on …

      2. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm

        Drat, I failed my mentalism roll!

        You can always call me when you want gratuitous cliches and prejudice. Always a pleasure.

        I wonder what the Ghacks population looks like. I’ve seen Germans, now French, I feel there’s someone from a northern European country, Martin himself may not be US, and now I’m starting to wonder if it’s not mainly a European website.

        I wish we could identify the origin of ideas on the web. Considering that cultures and languages constrain thought processes so deeply, knowing the origin of a text is gaining better insight into the world which in turn widens one’s thoughts. On the contrary, assuming an idea as contextless may actually constrain our thoughts further. (Or at least, this issue is worth pondering a bit.)

        But I just missed my philosophy roll so I can’t continue off topic any further. Hey! I heard that sigh of relief!

        PS: If you can guess my main language in the future, I’ll buy you a cool beret.

      3. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2016 at 10:05 am

        Parker, I sometimes react to comments where appear what I assume as French language remnants or wording. In the case of BlueMoon’s comment above I translated a smile caused by “Firefaux” when “faux” in French means “wrong” with a “Vive la France”, shorter than a “BlueMoon, are you French per a chance?”…

        There are several French writers here, at least two with myself included. I say at least because my feeling is that there may be a joker coming in with different pseudonyms … as it could also be a non French having fun playing low-level disinformation as others drink a beer at the closest bar … but when I have no evidence my policy is always to consider level-1 as the reference, level-1 being raw facts. From there on a story deploys or deploys not, it’s sometimes as we all know a funny game :)

        “Baguettes and berets” … what a cliché! — I appreciate your vote, feeling flattered to call such a decision! I remember you had mentioned that English was not your mother-tongue, Parker. You definitely are more fluent than I in our common language here and should I vote for your citizenship as being that of an English speaking country I’d have more arguments then yours to do so, IMHO of course!

      4. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 2:50 am

        Are you French ? I think it’s the second time I saw you write something French out of nowhere, but Tom Hawack is about as French a name as Pants. Mysterious.

        I vote that you’re American and learning French or having a French wife or something.

        Now to send you ads about baguettes and berets…

  12. Firefux must die. said on September 20, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Windows OS components into the Mozilla-CORP/Firefux Folder?

    Like nothing will ever go bad there… Let’s wait a few weeks.

    Some broken addon, some trick on old plugins and TADA!

    You get straight to “stubs” that lead to kernel32.dll

    Firefux must die. A bloated, spying hog, once a browser.

    1. Parker Lewis said on September 21, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Aren’t you tired of being negative out of principle ? Just pick another browser if Firefox bores you. Don’t wish for something that would ultimately hurt you as a side effect of crippling the browser market by making it a duopoly of two spying giants.

      Not to mention, just because reading your no-argument, all-belief rant was a bother doesn’t mean I’ll start shouting all over the place that you must die, rather, I’ll just pass my way.

      Even antivirus products use C++ runtimes.

      1. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 2:22 am

        I’m not trying to discuss Microsoft’s implementation details of this new refactored C++ runtime and how safer or not safer it is when ran on pre-Windows 10 versions. (Windows 10 is apparently rumoured to be a tough nut to crack in the security world)

        What I’m saying is that even security-critical products rely on it. So, I guess, it’s perhaps overblown concern and perhaps the browser is exposed to much more direct attack vectors than this.

        Add to this the fact that no Mozilla engineer mentioned security concerns in the C++ runtime update bug. Then add to this that the refactoring of sensitive codebases generally introduces better security in terms of architecture, with the caveat that there will be bugs and security issues that will need some further updating to be ironed out. (But this new runtime is more than a year old now)

        So that’s IMHO needless worry, and in this guy’s case I suspect a case of confirmation bias coupled with a footgun reasoning. No, if I really had to have a concern about security in Firefox 49, it would be the fact that they reenabled Graphite 2. Unless I’m mistaking it with another font library used by Firefox, this lib has a bad track record because, like GPU drivers of old, it was not built on the assumption that it would be facing untrusted input like anything from the web. As a result its security was a concern to people like Giorgio Maone, and the reason he implemented font blocking in NoScript.

        It was a long time ago and the library must have improved a lot, just like GPU drivers did, but the fact that Mozilla ended up disabling it some versions ago is proof that a lot of work and perhaps an audit was still required in 2016. I’m going to assume that if they reenable it now, it means it’s at least as “safe” as say WebGL. (That’s still not safe enough for me to allow it on my personal every day profile, but for guests, sure. Although I would like to know more precisely what kind of work happened during the time Mozilla had Graphite 2 disabled.)

      2. Parker Lewis said on September 22, 2016 at 2:21 am

        Blank screen ?? Did someone else post with such a great name as mine to talk about fascinating screen issues, or is it some obscure reference I will be totally offended to have missed ? :)

      3. Pants said on September 21, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        Parker … nothing should ever talk to the kernel… nothing /s PS: how is your blank screen going today?

    2. Tessa said on September 21, 2016 at 7:02 am

      No one is forcing you to use it, and I bet no one here gives a shit about your opinion. So why not go find something more productive to do and stop wasting your shit life here trolling? :)

  13. Myname said on September 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Hey look, now the bookmarks menu shows your recently bookmarked entries. And it’s not that folder you gotta remove from the bookmarks menu. No no no no. Mozilla knows what is best.

    Yet again, another setting in About:Config that needs to be changed. If anyone doesn’t want this behavior, then set browser.bookmarks.showRecentlyBookmarked to false.

    I’ve already lost count of how many settings I have to configure simply to remove Mozilla’s nonsense. Previous version introduced that awful awesome bar modification that displays page titles instead of URLs. Before that the obnoxious, huge and distracting fullscreen video notifications. And then there was that thing that CTR introduced a fix for. And before that the other setting. And that other one. And…

    1. b said on September 26, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      got me irritated too. changed the setting right away. thanks for the tip

    2. ANON said on September 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Or just right-click on any of those bookmarks and select the option to hide recent bookmarks.
      Geez you guys moan about the tiniest things.

    3. stechy said on September 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      I feel your pain, BUT as consolation prize, it’s still Firefox and you have (for most of these little annoyances) a deep setting to change it back; if it were Chrome you would have to swallow it and move forward.

  14. Giova said on September 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    “support ended on Windows for SSE processors”
    I have an AMD Athlon 64 x2. It reaches a maximum SSE3. This means I can not start Firefox 49 and future versions?

    1. K said on September 21, 2016 at 5:58 am

      I have an AMD Athlon 2800+ – When I tried to update Firefox 48.0.2 through the in-built updater it said that my hardware was no longer supported and no upgrade button showed up either.

      Since there were quite severe security fixes I went to downloaded the ESR installer and installed it over-the-top as I read online that it should work fine, and it did indeed work fine, my addons and bookmarks also took no damage during the “upgrade”, but I had made backups of them beforehand incase the upgrade would go bad, but fortunately it went just fine. I can stay with the ESR till March 2017 if I read it all correctly.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on September 20, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      They only mean SSE processors, but not SSE2 or SSE3.

  15. wolfsjunge said on September 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    ‘Hello’ finally gets burried.. great news!
    Now onto ‘Pocket’ please ;)

    1. Bob said on September 21, 2016 at 2:35 am


  16. Yuliya said on September 20, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    latest Nightly, v52, has broken ClearType in menus :( I updated Nightly yesterday to 51 when I noticed and today to v52.
    imgur com/a/hQiC5
    I hope they don’t ‘port’ this to stable version as well, it already made its way to developer from what I can tell. On my monitor, at least, it looks terrible.

  17. Tom Hawack said on September 20, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Cumulative thanks for your regular descriptions of Firefox versions, Martin.

    Firefox 49 introduces 40 api-ms-win-* dll files in its install folder. Does anyone have information on these new libraries?

    1. Maou said on September 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      I had killed the forty thieves but then Firefox stopped working :-(
      I bet they do not exist inside my Linux machine :-)

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 20, 2016 at 10:43 pm

        Alibaba stroke again. Ah those Chinese :=)

    2. Pants said on September 20, 2016 at 12:46 pm
      1. Tom Hawack said on September 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

        You’re in shape today, Pants!
        I managed to get the information you provide, took longer though. Easier to quest a blog and get a quick answer, when available!

        Weren’t you surprised when you opened your FF49 install folder (if you’ve installed it) to discover those 40 intruders?!

        I cannot change from Tom now, too late. I’d lose fame and credibility tied to the name, I’d have to start it all over, some users would recognize me of course, then some others would say I’m writing like Tom to mess the game etc. etc. … too late, mate…. or I could choose “Trousers” :)

      2. Pants said on September 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm

        “Also, to be frank” … you’d have to change your name from Tom

        FTFY :)

      3. Pants said on September 20, 2016 at 6:25 pm

        heh .. I knew that would get you going …

        AFAIK: you have always had them, just in a different version and format.
        MS released uCRTs (universal c runtimes) a little while ago, I dunno when exactly .. maybe a year. If not for 2014, definitely for VS2015 (PS: I am not an expert on this)

        FF48 (VS2013): msvcr120.dll is 949kb (941kb in 64bit) and msvcp120.dll is 445kb (645kb in 64bit)
        FF49 (drops VS2013 and moves to VS2015): vcruntime140.dll (80kb?) and msvcp140.dll (400kb?).. and lots of little stubs

        Mozilla got around to updating the VS components, and rather than work out which of the api* stubs to include, they bundled them all. VS has always been part of the core FF files.

      4. Tom Hawack said on September 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm

        Well, Pants, there is to understand,
        – why these 40 files appear with Firefox 49;
        – what these files perform : OK, they are Visual C++ Runtimes
        – what is Visual C++ ? -> “an integrated development environment (IDE) product from Microsoft” …

        Now, of course a newbie lacks a lot of computing knowledge and if he wishes to know he’s got to learn.
        Simply put, it’s a surprise to find 40 new files in a browser’s install folder and whoever is in between indifference and knowledge the surprise is flagrant compared to the inner, deeper, hidden works of a machine.

        This is why I was surprised. Less, now. Also, to be frank, and I’m aware there is nonsense in this reaction, discovering Microsoft files in a Mozilla application may be disturbing until you know why.

      5. Pants said on September 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

        Perhaps comment 2 makes more sense then (or even the bug title). These are C++ C Runtimes (CRT), and yes there are 40 of them. What’s not to understand? :) …

      6. Tom Hawack said on September 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        That’s kind of you, Pants, but the information provided at bugzilla doesn’t tell me much besides the fact these files are legitimate, which I guessed already. Far too technical for me, unfortunately.

        Another new element with Firefox 49 is a new file in the user’s profile folder : storage.sqlite — Still searching to know what this n+1 storage thing is …

        Finally, for those who dislike the poor quality and/or concept of Firefox’s Reader Mode Text to Speech ‘Narrate’ feature, the about:config setting is narrate.enabled (default= true)

  18. Anonymous said on September 20, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Download page is still 48.0.2

    1. wolfsjunge said on September 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Try to download from Mozilla’s FTP:

  19. satuim said on September 20, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Awesome, I connected a Linux computer to a TV to watch some Netflix but was disappointed when I had to install Chrome, I’ll be sure to update as soon as it gets distributed to the repos.

    1. Hugh said on September 21, 2016 at 3:20 am

      Firefox 49 on Linux will support plug-in free playback on Netflix and Amazon video. This is done through the integration of Google Widevine CDM for Linux.

      I can confirm that Firefox still asks for the silverlight plugin for Netflix.

      I was able, however, to download the widevine plugin – it downloads on demand! – for Amazon Video but unfortunately I could not try it out as I was geo blocked by Amazon.

      Somewhere I recall reading that even with the arrival of widevine for Firefox in Linux that Netflix would actually have to do something with the delivery of their content for Firefox users.

      I’m pretty sure the last time I used Windows – which had the Firefox/Widevine combo before Linux – that I was unable to see anything on Netflix. A spinning arrow is all I recall – never actually loading the content.

      So it is still Chrome, Vivaldi with tweaks or Chromium with patches for Linux and Netflix.

      Be of good cheer

      1. Chris said on September 23, 2016 at 9:03 pm

        “I was able, however, to download the widevine plugin – it downloads on demand! – for Amazon Video”

        Bullshit, how? I just updated to stable release of Firefox 49 on a PC running 32-bit Linux Mint 17.3 and a PC running 64-bit Linux Mint 18, and NEITHER offered to download the Widevine module when trying to view Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. A review of my plug-in list doesn’t show it on either PC. And a search of plug-ins at Mozilla’s site doesn’t show it. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t included in the update.

        Anyone else having this problem?

      2. Hugh said on September 21, 2016 at 10:53 pm

        Changing the user agent was a tweak for Firefox pre Widevine CDM.
        What is the point of the module if we still have to spoof?

        Thanks anyway.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on September 21, 2016 at 6:25 am

        Mozilla suggests changing Firefox’s user agent to Chrome to make it work, I seem to recall.

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