Mozilla will disable FTP in Firefox 88 and remove it in Firefox 90

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FTP links will no longer be handled by Mozilla Firefox. The browser is planning to rip out its FTP implementation and pass on the job to other applications. A year ago, the browser announced that it was going to disable support for FTP.

It also said that the move would be delayed because of the pandemic and how it turned out to be worse than we may have imagined at first.

By February, FTP was disabled on the browser’s nightly channel and Beta channel currently. For general release, FTP will be disabled beginning with Firefox 88 (April 19th).

What can users expect?

Firefox says that after disabling and later ripping out FTP, every time the function is triggered, it will be passed on to an external application.

Caitlin Neiman, Mozilla’s add-ons community manager, said that in most places where an extension may pass ‘FTP like filters for proxy or webRequest, there should be no error. However, she added that the APIs will no longer be handling these requests.

She wrote that to offset the effects of the removal, FTP has been added to the list of supported protocol_handlers for browser extensions.

No more FTP

What this means is that the extensions will be able to prompt users to launch an FTP app to handle the links that need the implementation.

Two releases after Firefox 88, Firefox 90 will arrive without the FTP implementation. This will also be applied to Firefox on Android. Michael Novotny, a software engineer at Mozilla, said last year that FTP is an insecure protocol and there are no reasons to prefer it over HTTPS if you are downloading resources.

Security measures demand that things change and this sure looks like it.