Firefox 90 won't handle FTP sites anymore

Mozilla announced today that Mozilla’s Firefox web browser won’t support the FTP protocol from Firefox 90 onward. It was clear that FTP support would be removed from the browser, but it was not clear until today when that would happen.

Rumors about the removal of FTP support in Firefox and Chrome emerged back in 2015, but it took Mozilla until 2018 to introduce a preference in the browser that would disable FTP support.

Confirmation that FTP support would be removed from Firefox came in 2020. Mozilla planned to remove support in Firefox 77 at the time, but postponed the removal. Meanwhile, Google did remove FTP support from its Chrome browser already.

Mozilla published a deprecation timeline on the organization’s Addons blog. According to the information published there, FTP support will be turned off by default in Firefox 88.

firefox ftp support missing

Firefox displays a prompt when a user attempts to load an FTP address. Installed FTP programs are displayed in the list, but if there are none, the list will be empty. Firefox users who need to access FTP resources may want to check out WinSCP, and make it the default FTP handler in the browser.

Firefox 88 is scheduled for a release on April 19, 2021.

Restore FTP in Firefox 88 and 89

firefox enable ftp

FTP code is not removed in Firefox 88, and users may flip a preference to restore FTP support in Firefox 88 and 89. Mozilla will remove FTP entirely when Firefox 90 is released later this year.

  1. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Search for network.ftp.enabled.
  4. Set the value to TRUE by double-clicking on the line, or with a left-click on the toggle icon.

Firefox will open FTP resources again when the value is set to TRUE. This works until Firefox 90, as FTP code will be disabled completely in that release.

Closing words

FTP support was not all that great in all browsers, as lots of functionality was missing. Browsers only supported the standard FTP protocol but not secure protocols such as SFTP. FTP programs were always the better choice, but it was still handy to browse FTP resources in the browser of choice.

With FTP support being removed, or already removed, browsers can not be used for that anymore.

Now You: do you access FTP resources regularly?

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