Mozilla Firefox 97.0: here is what is new

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 8, 2022
Updated • Feb 8, 2022
Firefox
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38

Mozilla released Firefox 97.0 on February 8, 2022. The new stable version of the Firefox web browser includes security fixes and just a few changes and additions.

firefox 97

Firefox ESR, the Extended Support Release, and all development channels received updates as well on the release day. Firefox ESR 91.6, Firefox Beta and Dev 98, and Firefox Nightly 98 have all been updated.

Executive Summary

  • Firefox 97.0 and Firefox 91.6 ESR are security updates.
  • Firefox supports Windows 11 style scrollbars.
  • Mozilla expires current colorway themes, adds new ones.

Firefox 97.0 download and update

Firefox 97.0 can be downloaded from the official Mozilla website. Users may also update using the built-in automatic updating functionality.

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Select Menu > Help > About Firefox to display the version that is installed currently and run a check for updates..

Please note that the browser may not be available yet if you are reading this on February 8, 2022. It will become available later on that day.

Here are the links to the official download repositories.

Firefox 97.0 new features and improvements

Colorway themes are changing

firefox colorways

Mozilla introduced support for colorway themes in Firefox 94. The browser displayed a "pick your palette" overlay on the first start of the browser, allowing users to select a seasonal color palette for the browser if they wanted to.

The themes that were introduced in Firefox 94 are set to expire automatically when Firefox 97 is installed on a device. An active colorway theme remains the active theme in Firefox for as long as the theme is not changed.

firefox 97 colorways

Firefox 97.0 introduces a new set of colorway themes for users to activate. These are found in the Themes section of the about:addons as usually.

Other changes

  • Firefox supports the new scrollbar style on Windows 11 devices.
  • System font loading has been improved on Mac OS devices; this should improve the opening and switching to new tabs faster "in certain situations" according to Mozilla.
  • Linux users can no longer generate PostScript for printing in Linux. The option to use PostScript printers remains available.

Developer Changes

  • cookieStoreId improvements for extension developers, including the ability to register container-specific content scripts.
  • Improved WebDriver:NewSession and WebDriver:NewWindow stability.
  • Marionette:Quit accepts the new parameter safeMode to restart Firefox in Safe Mode.
  • Several SVGPathSeg APIs have been disabled by default and will be removed in future versions.
  • SVG d attribute can now be used as a property in CSS.
  • CSS property color-adjust was renamed to print-color-adjust.

Enterprise changes

Bug Fixes

  • PDFjs that is used in Firefox ESR has been updated to the latest version.
  • When Firefox ESR updates fail, a link to the Firefox ESR download is now provided.
  • Firefox prioritizes authentication headers from most secure to least secure now (not backported to Firefox ESR).
  • Fixed access to about pages that were blocked via policies.
  • Firefox a JSON policy issue on Windows machines that prevented them from being of the type REG_SZ.
  • TLS override UI was removed from certificate error pages.
  • DisabledCiphers policy has been updated with additional ciphers.

Known Issues

None listed.

Security updates / fixes

Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here after release.

Outlook

Firefox 98.0 and Firefox ESR 91.7 will be released on March 8, 2022. The developer editions Firefox Beta 99, Firefox Developer 99, and Firefox Nightly 100 will also be released at the same time.

Recently Reviewed Firefox extensions

Recent Firefox news and tips

Additional information / sources

Summary
Mozilla Firefox 97.0: here is what is new
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Mozilla Firefox 97.0: here is what is new
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Mozilla released Firefox 97.0 on February 8, 2022. The new stable version of the Firefox web browser includes security fixes and just a few changes and additions.
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Comments

  1. Guntis said on February 8, 2022 at 9:28 am
    Reply

    You should add store link to official download repositories.

  2. John G. said on February 8, 2022 at 10:46 am
    Reply

    I think that Mozilla only wants to reach version 100 and beyond, not the quality itself.

    1. aaa said on February 8, 2022 at 2:44 pm
      Reply

      To compete with Chrome.

      Higher the number, the better the app, superficially.

  3. Tom Hawack said on February 8, 2022 at 10:59 am
    Reply

    The article starts with “[…] The new stable version of the Firefox web browser includes security fixes and just a few changes and additions.”

    Why is it that I felt “just a few” as “don’t worry, just a few” and consequently a flow of gratitude for Martin as if he understood what Firefox users my be going through when they discover an updated version’s review.

    Just a few indeed. Nothing broke Tom’s heavy, heavy shake… I mean tweaks. Peace for a month, unless an .01 intermediary update.

    1. Richard Allen said on February 8, 2022 at 5:12 pm
      Reply

      You were scured?!?! LoL

      I feel your pain. ;)

      1. Tom Hawack said on February 8, 2022 at 6:13 pm
        Reply

        @Richard Allen, hi there! … I knew since last night that the update was ready, I felt comforted when reading here that “just a few changes and additions” were in the lot. When security/privacy is concerned, no problem, even if it counters my tweaks, but when hours of fine-tuning are broken because of a gadget, because of a style (remember those drop-down menus i.e. ?), requiring sometimes a considerableamount of work to get things back the way I want them to be, then I first cry, then scream, then recall Zen to finally repair it all (placid, determined, dangerous if bothered). Remember, I’m running SuperFox, an enhanced and personalized Firefox browser that I happen to call ‘Peter Stuyvesant’ because of the international passport to surfing pleasure it offers (you’ll have to know tobacco to understand that!) LOL. Read you later!

  4. Q said on February 8, 2022 at 11:14 am
    Reply

    There’s a new folder in my “ProgramData” called “Mozilla-long-random-string-of-numbers&letters”, any idea what this is? Also there’s a new file in the installed location called “ipcclientcerts.dll”, what’s this? It triggered my HIPs.

    1. Tom Hawack said on February 8, 2022 at 12:59 pm
      Reply

      @said, nice catch!

      In Windows 7’s “ProgramData” folder the new sub-folder named “Mozilla-xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx” (that’s 8-4-4-4-12 alpha-numerical) seems to have replaced the simple “Mozilla” sub-folder, “seems” because deleting the plain “Mozilla” sub-folder doesn’t get it re-created. Both concern Firefox updates. No big deal IMO, even if I always apprehend alpha-numerical strings given I may suspect them of being related to a whatever IDentification.

      As for the new file in the installed location called “ipcclientcerts.dll” : indeed, I have it as well; no idea, likely related to certificates given its name. Anyone informed?

    2. R7 said on February 8, 2022 at 2:28 pm
      Reply

      The ProgramData folder seems to contain incremental updates and other files related to the update process.

      Regarding ipcclientcerts.dll:
      Bug 1712837 – introduce ipcclientcerts to allow client certificates to work with the socket process. This patch introduces ipcclientcerts, a PKCS#11 module that the socket process can load to get access to client certificates and keys managed by the parent process. This enables client certificate authentication to work with the socket process (particularly for keys stored outside of NSS, as with osclientcerts or third-party PKCS#11 modules).

      1. Q said on February 8, 2022 at 8:13 pm
        Reply

        Thanks for taking the time to answer. :)

  5. Alessa said on February 8, 2022 at 11:52 am
    Reply

    All colorway themes just vanished yesterday (feb/07) when I restarted Firefox 96 (I have not updated to Firefox 97 yet.) Even the one I was using vanished.

  6. Paul(us) said on February 8, 2022 at 12:20 pm
    Reply

    Thanks, Martin,
    Great article again thanks for that.
    I noticed one small but quite typing significant error “Firefox 96.0 new features and improvements” could/should this be Firefox 97.0?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 8, 2022 at 12:32 pm
      Reply

      Thank you, corrected this!

  7. ULBoom said on February 8, 2022 at 1:16 pm
    Reply

    Colorways’ etherial nature is odd; introduce something then suddenly remove it. Maybe some users like Colorways?

  8. loxia_01 said on February 8, 2022 at 4:22 pm
    Reply

    Has Mozilla postponed implementation of the new “improved” download behavior?

    I don’t notice any difference even when manually setting browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel to ‘true’.

    1. loxia_01 said on February 8, 2022 at 4:29 pm
      Reply

      Edit: You had to restart the browser for it to take effect.
      But anyway, ‘false’ is still the default for the setting in FF97.

    2. adi said on February 8, 2022 at 5:14 pm
      Reply

      the new download behavior will release in firefox 98

    3. Peterc said on February 8, 2022 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      I was curious about that, too, even though I’ve only kept Firefox on board as an emergency fallback browser since it began aping Google Chrome, starting all the way back with Firefox’s adoption of Australis. In my copy of Firefox 97, browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel is set to false by default (it’s unbolded).

    4. Anonymous said on February 8, 2022 at 5:43 pm
      Reply

      @ https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1753096

      “Due to some late-breaking bugs which can’t be resolved in time for the Fx97 release, we need to flip the browser.download.improvements_to_download_panel pref for the RC2 build.”

  9. SP(d)Y said on February 8, 2022 at 5:55 pm
    Reply

    Firefox snap package for Ubuntu crashed my browser session again when the forceful update came in, we love it. :)

    Just wonder why 00gles SPDY is still enabled, 00gling around it seems to be deprecated since long ago.
    network.http.spdy.*

    and of all the services.sync.*…
    services.sync.engine.creditcards
    is flipped back again to true.

  10. about:config values said on February 8, 2022 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    Does anyone remember the web site address which compares and highlights new or removed about:config names/values between two Firefox versions, have been searching for a while but I can’t find it.

    1. pqxticm8j said on February 8, 2022 at 9:28 pm
      Reply

      This is cat-in-136.github.io

      1. Google fail said on February 8, 2022 at 11:15 pm
        Reply

        That’s it, thanks!

  11. loxia_01 said on February 8, 2022 at 10:29 pm
    Reply

    Anyone knows what the new setting in FF97 “network.proxy.allow_bypass” does? It is set to ‘true’ by default. Sounds dangerous if you for example is using a VPN proxy connection.

    1. network.proxy.allow_bypass false said on February 8, 2022 at 11:31 pm
      Reply

      “It is also mentioned that the “network.proxy.allow_bypass” setting was disabled, which controls the activity of protection against misuse of Proxy API plugins and that for the obfs4 transport, the new gateway “deusexmachina” is enabled by default.”
      https://www.linuxadictos.com/en/tor-11-0-2-has-already-been-released-and-arrives-with-some-fixes.html

      Bug tor-browser#40682: Disable network.proxy.allow_bypass
      https://forum.torproject.net/t/new-alpha-release-tor-browser-11-5a3-android/1927

      https://gitlab.torproject.org/tpo/applications/tor-browser/-/issues/40682
      https://gitlab.torproject.org/tpo/applications/tor-browser/-/merge_requests/224

    2. Tom Hawack said on February 9, 2022 at 1:34 am
      Reply

      @loxia_01

      According to arkenfox user.js (https://raw.githubusercontent.com/arkenfox/user.js/master/user.js) :

      /* 0706: disable proxy bypass for system request failures [FF95+]
      * RemoteSettings, UpdateService, Telemetry [1]
      * [WARNING] If false, this will break the fallback for some security features
      * [SETUP-CHROME] If you use a proxy and you understand the security impact
      * [1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?bug_id=1732792,1733994,1733481 ***/
      // user_pref(“network.proxy.allow_bypass”, false); // [HIDDEN PREF]

      In case you don’t know, [HIDDEN PREF] means the pref won’t appear in about:config unless you create it, in this case (right-click / New / Boolean)

  12. Anonymous said on February 8, 2022 at 10:36 pm
    Reply

    Let’s add these useless color themes and keep those ugly tabs. They really need to add option for regular tabs.

  13. naseer Ahmad Kanroo said on February 9, 2022 at 11:13 am
    Reply

    i m agreed terms and conditiond

  14. TelV said on February 9, 2022 at 4:38 pm
    Reply

    I use my VPN (Mullvad) public DoH DNS server for the times when I’m forced to use my ISP default IP. More details at https://mullvad.net/en/help/dns-over-https-and-dns-over-tls/

    You don’t need an a/c with Mullvad to use it and a check can be run at https://mullvad.net/check to make sure it’s working properly.

    But an annoying aspect with FF (any version) and now 97 as well it that the browser switches “network.trr.mode” from 3 back to default (2) when exiting the browser even though the custom DNS remains enabled. I was using it earlier this afternoon and just checked it again and sure enough it’s back to the default “2” setting again.

    Other than that Moz respects my option to use the Firefox-UI-fix to disable Proton. Also, my user designed theme remains in place.

    Swings and roundabouts I guess….

  15. TBostwick said on February 9, 2022 at 8:08 pm
    Reply

    Great work – each release (for the most part) even if tiny steps, are improvements.
    Quit using Chrome for all it’s CPU chgging and so many issues with add’-ons and such – FF continues to shine

    1. ShintoPlasm said on February 10, 2022 at 9:15 am
      Reply

      I’m encountering more and more sites with FF compatibility issues, some trivial and some quite significant. You can’t avoid the fact that the web is now primarily written for Blink browsers.

  16. Yuliya said on February 13, 2022 at 3:21 pm
    Reply

    How, in the name of everything that’s unholy, did you manage to break ESR mid-cycle?
    91.5 https://i.imgur.com/YyN0v5x.png
    91.6 https://i.imgur.com/nUSCs3N.png
    about:preferences#general no longer loads.

  17. dlarryB said on February 13, 2022 at 8:18 pm
    Reply

    Firefox is no longer working on my desktop Lenovo PC with Win10. It simply does not execute.
    I have uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox several times over several days. It is not correcting.

  18. KarenL said on February 14, 2022 at 9:21 pm
    Reply

    The classic UI for print preview has changed again and setting “print.tab_modal.enabled” to “false” in about:config doesn’t appear to change the new and improved print preview UI anymore. I have hated the new UI every time FF updated but there was always a work-around.

    Any help to get back to the classic UI would be very much appreciated.

  19. hmyheart said on February 15, 2022 at 4:41 am
    Reply

    I’m having the very same issue! I’ve cleared/cleaned up cookies, cache, history, bookmarks, etc. I’ve uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled it. Most of the time it won’t even open on my Asus laptop running Windows 10, and if it does open I can only get websites to come up in a private window. It has been non-functional for at least 3 days now. I had to start using Edge and import my bookmarks from Firefox just to be able to function on this device. FF is still working fine on my Android cell phone, so not sure what the issue is.

  20. SW1 said on February 18, 2022 at 4:59 pm
    Reply

    Firefox 97 and Print Preview has gone away. I remember a fix in a previous release and that is not available. Anyone have a fix?

  21. jsrtheta said on February 19, 2022 at 10:55 pm
    Reply

    Firefox 97 has made me question whether I need a totally different browser. (Not Chrome, I hate Chrome.)

    Every “upgrade” leaves more problems than it solves. Functions cease to work, and even scrolling is impossible with 97 unless I refresh the page. There are hidden places that, should my cursor dare approach them, cause the page to disappear. Already open windows come and go like indifferent guests.

    And don’t get me started on the Favorites menu, which accommodates maybe ten sites in the listing before forcing me onto ANOTHER Favorites list, which will not alphabetize. It’s easier to just Google the site I want and link from there, because god knows where Firefox put it now.

    Dial-up was easier and quicker.

  22. Howie said on February 23, 2022 at 4:51 pm
    Reply

    I’m just about done with Firefox and the constant removal of features I like and use. Now I’m forced to use their “improved” (hint – it’s not) print preview function. I want the system print box *every time* and not have to waste time on a separate click to get it. I want a *true* print preview like I used to have – where I can easily modify settings until I get what’s needed.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of complaints I have about the way the devs have forced GUI changes on those “power users” of us who *try* to use Firefox but are thwarted with every new update and forced into a game of “Whack-A-Mole” to “fix” what should never have been broken.

    Here’s a clue for you clueless Firefox devs. If I *wanted* my browser to look and act like Chrome or one of its many clones I’d just use Chrome. I do *not* want that look or lack of customization with Firefox and customization of the GUI is 75% of why I continue to use Firefox. Once that’s gone, so is Firefox.

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