Firefox 94.0 release: here is what is new and changed

silversurfer

Level 83
Thread author
Verified
Helper
Top poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Aug 17, 2014
7,280
Firefox 94.0's release date is November 2, 2021. The new stable version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser introduces new features, bug fixes, and security fixes.

The new Firefox release marks the end of the Firefox 78 ESR branch, as it won't receive updates anymore. Firefox 91 ESR is the new and only branch that is supported by Mozilla.

Executive Summary​

  • Firefox 78 ESR is no longer support.
  • Firefox displays a Colorways prompt on first run, which allows users to pick a different color scheme.
  • Site Isolation is now enabled.
  • Firefox 94.0 includes security updates.

Firefox 94.0 features and improvements​


Seasonal Colorways

firefox colorways


Firefox displays a "pick your palette" overlay on first start after the upgrade to Firefox 94.0 or the new installation of the browser.

Called Colorways, Firefox users may select one of six seasonal color palettes for the browser or skip the customization by selecting "keep previous theme".

These new palettes can also be selected on the themes customization page of the browser.
  1. Load about:addons
  2. Switch to Themes.
  3. Scroll down to the Colorways section.
There you find all available palettes, more than six, and the option to enable one of the available options in Firefox.

Note that the selection of a colorway will disable the active theme. You can switch back at any time by enabling the theme again.

Windows Background Updates​

firefox windows background update


On Windows, updates are now handled automatically in the background using a background agent. Mozilla mentioned the feature in the Firefox 90 release notes, and it is unclear why it is mentioned again in the Firefox 94 release notes.

The agent runs through a task in the Windows Task Scheduler, called Firefox Background Update. You may delete or disable the task, but it may be better to disable the option in the Firefox preferences.
  1. Load about: preferences in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Scroll down to "Allow Firefox to" on the page.
  3. Uncheck "Use a background service to install updates".

Site Isolation in Firefox Stable​

Mozilla started to test Firefox's Site Isolation feature in Firefox 70, and rolled it out in Firefox Nightly in September 2020. Called Project Fission internally, site isolation aims to improve privacy and security significantly by isolation webpages and third-party iframes.

You can check out Mozilla's post here for additional details.
Site Isolation builds upon a new security architecture that extends current protection mechanisms by separating (web) content and loading each site in its own operating system process.
This new security architecture allows Firefox to completely separate code originating from different sites and, in turn, defend against malicious sites trying to access sensitive information from other sites you are visiting.

Other changes

firefox unload tabs


  • Firefox macOS now uses Apple's low power mode for fullscreen video on YouTube and Twitch; this is done to extend battery life.
  • The page about:unloads is now available. It can be used to unload tabs manually to free up system resources.
  • Firefox no longer warns users that multiple tabs are open when the browser is closed (with one exception).
  • Firefox supports Windows 11 Snap Layouts.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 92963

Tab unloading such an essential feature for today's laptops and PC's. On my 11 year old 12GB X5675 PC I have only 10 gb free, and even on my 8 year old 2GB Z3740 tablet I have only 1 GB free, Firefox saved the day, this is nearly as big an innovation as sliced bread.

Really :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

silversurfer

Level 83
Thread author
Verified
Helper
Top poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Aug 17, 2014
7,280
Tab unloading such an essential feature for today's laptops and PC's. On my 11 year old 12GB X5675 have only 10 gb free, and even on my 8 year old 2GB Z3740 I have only 1 GB free, Firefox saved the day, this is nearly as big an innovation as sliced bread.

Really :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

You should better mention that even Chrome and Edge, both either working on basically the same feature or already implemented a few months ago in case of Edge.

My two cents: Your comment looks like just trolling style from a Chromium Fanboy ;)
 
F

ForgottenSeer 92963

@oldschool, Yes you are right. :)

@silversurfer I am using Firefox on my phone, which qualifies my as an FF-fan also.

I am only questioning in which features to invest scarce programming capacity (when you are behind on safety with Chromium browsers). FF has improved privacy features also, only downside is I am not using FF VPN, so most improvements are useless for me.
 

SecureKongo

Level 28
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Feb 25, 2017
1,724
It's a great idea but I can't be bothered with Mozilla VPN and the Multi-Account Containers extension is so buggy. I just use the containers by themselves and they work better because Firefox's MAC extension introduces conflicts.
Since this feature is pretty new i‘m sure that it will be improved in the future. Let's see what time brings. 👍
 

silversurfer

Level 83
Thread author
Verified
Helper
Top poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Aug 17, 2014
7,280
Version 94.0.1, first offered to Release channel users on November 4, 2021
  • Fixed browser hangs when viewing fullscreen videos on macOS 10.12 (bug 1737998)

Note that Firefox 94.0.1 will be released for all supported desktop operating systems, even though it fixes an issue that affects only Mac OS X 10.12.
 
Last edited:

shmu26

Level 85
Verified
Helper
Top poster
Content Creator
Well-known
Jul 3, 2015
8,136
I tried Firefox 94.0 on Ubuntu 20.04.
It used way more RAM than Google Chrome did, and furthermore, it can't even open my favorite news site. I really want to like Firefox, but it's just not behaving likeably.
 

rain2reign

Level 6
Verified
Well-known
Jun 21, 2020
294
[...] and furthermore, it can't even open my favorite news site. I really want to like Firefox, but it's just not behaving likeably.
This is an increasing problem with lots of sites. It's not Firefox necessarily, and yet it can be, but companies adopting Chromium web standards and refusing to support web-standards. The difference being the former is build by Google for Google and the latter consists of web standards. The perception has already been made that Google's web-chromium-standards are the same as web standards, but that not being the case the other way around.
 

oldschool

Level 66
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Mar 29, 2018
5,585
Strict Tracking Protection, and the benefits that come with it, is now enabled by default. Some other settings are now available in this release as well.
MR in previous of the new release.
specifically:
  • bring back the ability to use a master password for the browser
  • update ublock origin
  • enable TP in strict mode by default, more details on the involved prefs in the changelog (fully documented)
extra: hide undesired UI elements and expose the hidden letterboxing pref, for ease of use.
address #93, #94 and #95 (!22) · Merge requests · LibreWolf / Settings
 

rain2reign

Level 6
Verified
Well-known
Jun 21, 2020
294
Add-ons usually don't take that much RAM space. I have 5 add-ons installed and in each window's task manager, within Firefox, they use less than 90KB of ram per add-on per window. I am not that concerned about them, unless an add-on has a memory leak. However, browsers do use a ton of RAM regardless of browser choice. I have had Chrome and Brave respectively use just as much ram or more for the same add-ons and amount of tabs open.

It's a bit of a ping pong game if you ask me. :p
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 59
Verified
Helper
Top poster
Content Creator
Well-known
Apr 24, 2016
4,842
Firefox 94.0.2: first Microsoft Store-specific update, released for all platforms
Mozilla Firefox 94.0.2 will be released today. The new version of Firefox addresses a single issue in the Microsoft Store version of Firefox. While that is the case, it is released on all platforms, including Linux, Mac and Windows.

The release notes list a single issue that is fixed in the new Firefox update.

Improved hangs experienced by users of assistive technology such as NVDA when installing Firefox through the Microsoft Store

The linked bug report on Bugzilla@Mozilla provides additional details on the issue. It was opened a month ago:

E10s a11y depends on a COM component (AccessibleHandler.dll) which has to be registered in the registry. Without this component, a11y will work, but it will be unusably slow, possibly unreliable and OOP iframes won't work with the JAWS screen reader.

The issue is caused by a missing component, which causes responsiveness to be very poor in the beginning when using assistive technologies such as NVDA screen reader in the Firefox version for Microsoft Store.

The issue will be fixed later on with the release of Firefox 94.0.2. Mozilla is reworking the entire system to remove dependencies, but it is not ready yet for release.