Here is what is new and changed in Firefox 86.0 - gHacks Tech News

Here is what is new and changed in Firefox 86.0

Mozilla released Firefox 86.0 Stable and Firefox 78.8 ESR to the public on February 23, 2021. The new versions of the browser are already available as direct downloads from the Mozilla website and as in-browser updates.

All development versions of Firefox are updated as well around the same time. Firefox Beta and Firefox Developer are moved to version 87, Firefox Nightly to version 88, and Firefox Android to 86.0 as it follows the stable channel's versioning.

You can check out the Firefox 85.0 release overview in case you want to take a look at it.

Executive Summary

  • Firefox 86.0 introduces a new privacy feature called Total Cookie Protection.
  • Firefox 85 and Firefox 78.7 fix security issues. The highest severity rating is high (second-highest after critical).

Firefox 86.0 download and update

firefox 86.0 stable

Firefox 86.0 is available by the time this article is published. Firefox users may select Menu > Help > About Firefox to check the installed version and run a manual check for updates. Unless deactivated, updates will be pushed automatically to Firefox installations.

Manual downloads are also available. The following pages list direct downloads for supported Firefox channels.

New features and improvements

Multiple picture-in-picture windows

firefox multiple picture-in-picture videos

Firefox users may open multiple picture-in-picture windows in the new release instead of just one. Each stream needs to be opened in its own tab in the browser, and the actual picture-in-picture windows may be moved around to view them all at once.

While it is not a mass-market appeal feature, it is useful for certain scenarios, such as following multiple matches on match day, or watching an event unfold through different camera perspectives.

You can check out our full review of Firefox's multi picture-in-picture feature here.

Total Cookie Protection

firefox total cookie protection

Total Cookie Protection is a new privacy feature designed to separate cookie data by website. Each site gets its own cookie storage and that means that access is restricted and not shared across all Internet sites.

Mozilla notes that it decided to make exceptions for non-tracking cookies that are cross-site that are needed, e.g. for sign-in purposes on sites. The organization notes:

Only when Total Cookie Protection detects that you intend to use a provider, will it give that provider permission to use a cross-site cookie specifically for the site you’re currently visiting

The new feature is enabled automatically when you enable the strict mode of Firefox's Enhanced Tracking Protection feature. Firefox users who want to try the new option may point their browser to about:preferences#privacy to set the Enhanced Tracking Protection preference to Strict on the page.

Mozilla introduced network partioning in Firefox 85, another privacy feature.

Other changes

  • Print functionality offers better integration with the operating system's printer settings and a "cleaner design.
  • Canadian Firefox users may now use credit card management and auto-fill automatically, as it is enabled by default. Users who don't want that can turn it off under Menu > Options > Privacy & Security > Autofill credit cards.
  • Performance and stability improvements by using the GPU process for canvas drawing and WebGL drawing.
  • Reader Mode works on local HTML pages.
  • Various Screen Reader improvements and improved link color contrast in Reader View.
  • Improved security by consolidating all video decoding in the new RDD process.
  • Linux and Android users are protected against stack clash attacks thanks to implemented mitigations.

Firefox for Android

Coming later.

Developer Changes

  • DTLS 1.0 is no longer supported for for establishing WebRTC's PeerConnections. The new minimum version is DTLS 1.2.
  • Improvements to the Tabs permission for extension developers (tab URL, title and favicon no longer require the tabs permission for host permissions for tabs.
  • New experimental base content security policy landed behind a flag that disallows remove code execution in extensions.
  • extensions.webextensions.tabhide.enabled has been removed because the tabs hiding API is enabled by default.
  • is reset to an empty string if a tab loads a page from a different domain to prevent the new tab from accessing information that previous tabs might have stored.
  • Basic AVIF support is enabled. Some features, animated images and colorspace support, are still in development.
  • Developer Tools Toolbox shows the number of errors on a page.

Known Issues

  • The release notes list no known issues.

Security updates / fixes

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


Firefox 87.0 will be released on March 23, 2021 according to the Firefox release schedule.

Recently Reviewed Firefox extensions

Recent Firefox news and tips

Additional information / sources

Here is what is new and changed in Firefox 86.0
Article Name
Here is what is new and changed in Firefox 86.0
Mozilla released Firefox 86.0 Stable and Firefox 78.8 ESR to the public on February 23, 2021. The new versions of the browser are already available as direct downloads from the Mozilla website and as in-browser updates.
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  1. Emmet_Brickowski said on February 23, 2021 at 3:50 pm


    Loving my Firefox. Major rust components, warp, webrender, superior all-encompassing network partitioning, stylo, and more. It just keeps getting better and better. Fission is almost ready too. So excited.

    And now TOTAL COOKIE PROTECTION (dFPI) in strict mode

    Absolutely the best browser ever. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME :)

    1. ali said on February 23, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      yeah but don’t watch 1080 60fps with your awesome, flawless, amazing browser…

      1. gabriel said on February 23, 2021 at 5:04 pm

        no problems here doing that….

      2. Betrayer said on February 23, 2021 at 6:26 pm

        I don’t. I watch 1440p and 2160p @ 60fps and problem solved. :P

      3. Altean said on February 23, 2021 at 6:27 pm

        I watch 4k 60 fps in Firefox OK. It is as heavy on GPU as Edge, Opera and Vivaldi

    2. Iron Heart said on February 23, 2021 at 7:13 pm

      If I ever wrote such a blatant cheerleader comment here, all hell would break loose. Just saying.

      1. m3city said on February 23, 2021 at 8:39 pm

        @Iron Heart
        But you see, this one is a gem, clearly for laughs, spiced with irony. Your comments are ussually “heavy” – like iron. Hard, on point. Just work on your style, man! ;) Have a nice day

      2. justanEd said on February 23, 2021 at 9:03 pm

        Fear not, Iron Heart. No one here expects you to ever be a cheerleader for Firefox. :-)

      3. Iron Heart said on February 23, 2021 at 11:17 pm


        Yeah, but considering them already being nigh irrelevant and their CEO driving users away with certain, *cough* blog posts *cough*, they would clearly be in need of some cheerleaders.

        Glad to see that the gHacks comment section contributes to any and all revival efforts, this is what the world has been waiting for. Go, Firefox! Yeehaw! See, I am contributing my part. :-)

  2. m3city said on February 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Total cookie protection sounds nice. But that is something behind the scene, unnoticable for user. I had a strict setting turned on and never spotted any problems (banking, streaming websites etc). I like that multiple videos thing. Can’t see any difference in screen reader… is there any? It works just perfect now.

  3. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Since the upgrade to 86, it is taking me a refresh to get sites to load about 30-50% of the time. They aren’t loading properly on first try.

  4. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Any way to change default PiP window size?

  5. Allwynd said on February 23, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    I don’t know, whatever they do, the browser doesn’t seem any more viable to me. The compatibility with many websites is still bad, this cookie feature is probably a good security measure, although it means very little to me. And this thing about multiple Picture-in-Picture IMO is just bloat. These thing should be left to optional extensions. If Mozilla want it so bad, they should make it as their own extension and advertise it, but not build it into the browser and expect people to use it.

  6. Lemegeton said on February 23, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    I wonder how long it will take to update LibreWolf?
    I see the perspectives of the project just like Ungoogled Chromium, but with Mozilla Firefox.

    1. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      Wonderful, it looks like LibreWolf has experimental builds for Windows finally ! A real non-profit browser, from a team that does not make the user the product, unlike those prostitutes at Mozilla !

      1. Lemegeton said on February 23, 2021 at 9:37 pm

        Exactly. For the last 2 weeks – 2 builds. So far, it is very efficient, albeit experimental. So I wonder how long it will take for the current version to be released.

  7. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    “Total cookie protection”, cleverly misleading name when this is only about third-party tracking while first-party tracking is not even considered as tracking by Mozilla, obediently following Google and Apple policies. They could do something more than just what their masters want here and attack this problem. They won’t, and worse, they will do their best to make it look like there is no longer a problem left at all here.

    1. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      And how do you expect the web to work without first partyness?

  8. Karl said on February 23, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Interesting new cookie protection feature. At least not one of those that’s added just for the sake of adding something new, and probably something that most can keep enabled majority of the time without problems.

    Speaking about browser features. I have a question: Are there any browser available that has in-built support/feature (or via addon) that allows for specific time interval capturing from a video, e.g 3 minutes from a 30min long video and from any source/website? Similar to what twitter users can do when you make a clip from a longer video from any source/website. (I do not use twitter and don’t plan on starting). Have tried to find what I am looking over several years, but so far come up empty handed so I gave up searching. I have tried FFMPEG, youtube-dl and similar, I’ve made it work a few times but only for whole file downloads. But have never been able to figure out how to only get a certain part of a video downloaded and not the whole thing, working via the command line and such is also not my cup of tea. And all of the IDM:s I have looked at does not have the ability that I am searching for. I think I am looking for something similar to the following: But it is only for Linux, not Windows or MacOS, I currently use MacOS.

    It would be nice if browers had this capture ability built-it, but so far I have not found any that do. There are some websites that allows to capture via time stamps, but they only work for some websites, not all. I would like to find a browser/browser addon/website or software to install that has this ability and that works for all websites no matter the source of the video. Any tips or tricks are welcome. Thanks.

  9. Tom Hawack said on February 23, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Firefox 86 is installed.

    – Multiple picture-in-picture windows : I don’t use pIp at all.

    – Performance and stability improvements by using the GPU process for canvas drawing and WebGL drawing : I notice the improvement, especially on a modest computer (a 100$ increase is more noticeable on low salaries). Google Maps & its Street View are definitely swifter, for instance.

    – Reader Mode on local html pages : I have several, pleasant to have them easier on the eyes.

    – Total Cookie Protection : basically a good thing. For those of us using ‘First Party Isolation (privacy.firstparty.isolate = true) they’ll notice in Firefox’s option a notice stating ‘You are using First Party Isolation (FPI), which overrides some of Firefox’s cookie settings.’ which was predictable but nice that Firefox acknowledges it.

    Plus the security. All running fine. Firefox getting better practically version after version.

  10. Steve said on February 23, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    Firefox is now beating Edge in speedometer testing.

    Firefox 106 – Edge 84.1

    I’ve not seen FF win before, let alone by that margin. Wonder if offloading to the GPU has helped a lot?

    (Clean profiles, same results after 2 separate runs).

  11. Hunter said on February 23, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    On Firefox Nightly, Total Cookie Protection is enabled on Standard mode as well.

    You can test this by logging into Dropbox and then accessing with uBlock Origin disabled. On user account tests nothing should show up. Disabling the setting will cause dropbox to show up.

    This is a feature that to the best of my knowledge, no Chromium based browser has, so good on Mozilla for doing this.

  12. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Do Firefox containers still offer any value now that newer versions of Firefox offer network partitioning and cookie protection?

    I don’t understand the distinctions and hope someone can clarify.

    1. Hunter said on February 23, 2021 at 11:12 pm

      Containers do allow you to have multiple user accounts on the same site, so there’s that.

  13. just saying said on February 23, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Boo effen hoo.

  14. NotVeryEnabled said on February 23, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Better Spelling Checker is really needed in Firefox with context sensitive spelling enabled for Folks with Dyslexia and Aphasia! My Attempts at spelling can oftentimes totally stump FF’s builtin spell checker and even Google’s AI. And Google’s AI has me blacklisted as some sort of suspicious bot, so numerous are my tries at spelling until I can get the correct spelling for the correct word to show up in a Google search.

    So just about every time I have to use Google’s Search I have to solve a recaptcha to attempt a spelling/definition search! Folks with Dyslexia and Aphasia have it really bad on Firefox’s current spelling solution that’s also not really good for US English Spelling that’s for sure!

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