Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 66 Tuesday, March 19, and it is bringing several enhancements to the browser which help reduce online browsing irritations. As previously teased in February, the latest version of the popular web browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Although Firefox 66 is currently rolling out, the ability to block autoplaying content by default will not become available until later next week. Once available, you will have full control over which websites can autoplay videos, and which can not. To enable autoplay videos on a specific website like YouTube or Netflix, you can add them to a permissions list by visiting the website and heading into the control center via the “i” next to the address bar. After that, you can check under Permissions and select allow from a drop-down menu to have the website play media with sound. There are, however, some websites which will still play videos regardless of settings, but Firefox will mute the sound for convenience.
In addition to controls for autoplay videos, Firefox 66 introduced a scroll anchoring ability which reduces annoying page jumps created by advertisements on websites. According to Mozilla, websites will now remember the position you were last scrolling at, so slow loading images and ads won’t interrupt a usual browsing flow.
Another improvement coming in Firefox 66 is an improved search experience. It now is faster and easier, allowing you to search through multiple tabs from the dropdown overflow menu that appears whenever a large number of websites are open. This ties in with enhancements to the InPrivate Browsing mode, which now has a search bar with your default search engine for a more seamless experience.
Easier to understand security warnings, web authentication support for Windows Hello, and an improved extension experience that now stores settings in a Firefox database wrap up the features in Firefox 66. A full list of changes in this Firefox 66 release is available on Mozilla’s website, and you can download the latest version now by heading here. If you’re already using Firefox, you can update by clicking on the menu button, selecting help and then About Firefox. The browser will then automatically check for updates and you will need to restart to update.