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Firefox 83 will automatically switch you to secure HTTPS sites

Mariella Moon
·Associate Editor
·1-min read

Mozilla has launched a new security feature with Firefox 83 that can make sure you’re always establishing secure connections to every website that you visit. When the new HTTPS-Only Mode is switched on, the browser will automatically connect to the HTTPS version of a page, even if you manually type HTTP in the address bar or click on a legacy HTTP link from search results. Further, Firefox will ask for your permission to load websites that aren’t encrypted via HTTPS in any way.

The browser will Firefox will display an error message that explains the security risks of connecting to a non-HTTPS website before you can click through to load it. In case a page has certain HTTP elements such as images that refuse to load in HTTPS-Only Mode, though, you can temporarily disable the feature by clicking on the lock icon next to the URL in the address bar. To switch the feature on for the first time, you’ll have to go to “Privacy & Security” in Preferences and choose “Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all windows.”

In addition to the new security feature, Firefox 83 also introduces pinch zooming on Window devices with touchscreens and Mac computers through the touchpad. You can now also fast forward and rewind videos using arrow keys in the browser’s Picture-in-Picture windows. The update comes with improved search features and page load performance, as well. Mozilla says Firefox 83 loads websites up to 15 percent faster and uses up to 8 percent less memory than older versions, thanks to significant updates to its JavaScript engine.