The hugely popular Internet browser Mozilla Firefox has recently been updated to version 20. With this update, the Mozilla team is hoping to address some of the users’ concerns by adding some much needed features as well as resolving some old issues. The features that this update adds to Mozilla Firefox bring it closer to its competitors, making the browser more user friendly.

Users will see some new features on the Firefox 20 window, but part of the update also addresses the Developers section. We’ll take a look at what the update brings for everyone and see how Firefox 20 fares against other web browsers.

New features in Firefox 20


Users of Firefox will be thrilled to notice some changes in their favorite browser that add to the overall appeal. The most obvious of these changes are in the main window of the browser, adding features that Chrome or Opera users had for some time now.

New Downloads Manager – This very important update changes the default download window that users had in previous Firefox versions. Now, in the top right corner, users can see a small downloads button that opens to a menu when pressed. In this panel, the user can see all the recent downloads, as well as some options regarding them. By right clicking on an ongoing download, they can pause or resume it. Also, by clicking the “Show all Downloads” button, the Download Window will open.


Private Window – A feature that both Opera and Chrome have, the ability to open a Private Window is now available in Firefox 20. Opening the private window can be done by clicking on the Firefox button on the top left side and selecting “New Private Window” option. The new window will open and the Firefox button will turn purple when you are in private mode.

Close Hanging Plugins – This feature allows the users to close plugins that have stopped working without the entire browser crashing. By default, Firefox 20 will wait 11 seconds before allowing the user to close the plugin and continue browsing.


HTML5 improvements – The Mozilla team has been hard at work making HTML5 browsing perform better. Adding the h.264 codec is a great improvement, allowing users to view videos in HTML5 format. However, this feature is turned off by default, and it requires users to turn it on by accessing the configuration menu. Here is how to do this:

  • Open a new tab and in the address bar write down about:config
  • Promise that you will be careful in the warning window that opens
  • In the search bar, type
  • Double click the entry to turn it on or off (the current state can be seen in the “Value” field)

Data Choices – This option is about sharing information about your hardware and software configuration with Mozilla in order to improve the browser in future versions, as well as the option to send crash reports to Mozilla. This feature can be found in the Options Panel, under Advanced -> Data Choices. The two features are Telemetry and Crash Reporter.


Developers Improvements – In the Developers section, users will see some updates in the overall design. This menu has been redesigned in order for users to easily browse the different tools via their dedicated menu as well as the Toggle Tools feature that allows for quicker access to the Web Console. Also, there is a option to view the tool in a separate window, which makes it easier to keep track of everything, or for using multi-monitor arrays.

Apart from the updates above, there have also been lots of performance updates and all the usual tweaks for faster browsing and operating. Firefox 20 is a pretty big update on the past version of the browser. This takes it closer than ever to Google’s Chrome of Opera in terms of productivity.

Download Firefox 20

If you like what the developers have done in the updated version of Firefox, you can download it from the official Mozilla website.

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I often wonder, where is technology heading? What do all of these advances mean for us and for our future? I sometimes miss the days when I didn’t know how to use a floppy disk, or how a computer CPU works, but now, until I find an answer to my questions, I’ll keep tracking these advances and show everything I find to those who share my interests.