Firefox 119 will launch with an important address bar change

By admin

Mozilla
ORG

plans to change the information that its open source Firefox web browser displays in the address bar. Once the change lands,

Firefox
ORG

won’t display https:// in the browser’s address bar anymore, but the http:// protocol. This switcheroo changes the display of the protocol in the browser as current versions of

Firefox
ORG

display https:// but not http://.

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When the adoption of

https
PERSON

started to speed up, thanks in large part to

Google
ORG

pushing webmasters into making the switch, many browser developers decided to highlight sites that use the secure protocol in the browser. Only a fraction of sites supported the protocol back then and it made sense to indicate secure sites to the user.

Today
DATE

, the majority of sites support HTTPS.


Mozilla
ORG

discussed removing

HTTPS
ORG

and

WWW
ORG

from site URLs in

Firefox
ORG

‘s address bar back in

2020
DATE

, but did not pursue the plans. Criticism focused on the removal of vital information from URLs. Removing www. from the URL would, in some cases, display a false address to the user.

The planned change in

Firefox 119
LAW

is not as drastic as

Mozilla
ORG

planned it to be in

2020
DATE

. While

Firefox
ORG

will hide HTTPS:// from the address bar, it won’t hide subdomains such as

www
ORG

. When users copy the address, the full URL is always copied regardless of protocol.

The main reason for the change is that the majority of sites use HTTPS and that the user’s focus should now be on the sites that don’t use it. These sites will display HTTP:// again and also a Not Secure identifier next to the address. Firefox does not display the HTTP protocol in current versions, but it shows a lock icon that is crossed-out.

The following screenshot shows how Firefox displays a HTTP site currently.

As you can see, http:// is not display in

Firefox
ORG

at the moment.

Most web browsers do not display the full URL all the time.

Google Chrome
ORG

, for instance, displays neither HTTPS nor HTTP. It does display a "not secure" warning for HTTP sites though.


Mozilla
ORG

plans to launch the change in

Firefox 119
LAW

. A number of about:config preferences define the browser’s behavior:

browser.urlbar.trimHttps — defines if Firefox displays (FALSE) or hides (TRUE) the https:// protocol.

— defines if Firefox displays (FALSE) or hides (TRUE) the https:// protocol. security.insecure_connection_text.enabled — defines if Firefox displays the "not secure" text next to http:// in the address bar.

— defines if Firefox displays the "not secure" text next to http:// in the address bar. security.insecure_connection_text.pbmode.enabled — same as above, but for private browsing mode.


Mozilla
ORG

will remove

two
CARDINAL

preferences:

security.insecure_connection_icon.enabled — defines if the crossed-out lock icon is displayed when http sites are opened.

— defines if the crossed-out lock icon is displayed when http sites are opened. security.insecure_connection_icon.pbmode.enabled — same as above, but for private browsing mode.

Closing Words

There will certainly be some confusion when the change lands. Users may want to know why

Firefox
ORG

is no longer displaying https:// in the address bar. It remains to be seen if

Mozilla
ORG

plans to push a short note to users to inform them about the change once Firefox

119
CARDINAL

lands.

Now You: what is your preferred way of displaying URLs in the address bar? (via

Sören Hentzschel
PERSON

)

Summary Article Name Firefox

119
CARDINAL

will launch with an important address bar change

Description Mozilla
ORG

plans to change the information that its open source Firefox web browser displays in the address bar. Author

Martin Brinkmann
PERSON

Publisher Ghacks Technology News Logo

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