Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox

In this post I will show you how to enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox. Starting in Firefox version 83, you can change your preferences and enable HTTPS-Only Mode. HTTPS provides a secure, encrypted connection between Firefox and the websites you visit.

The HTTPS-only mode in Firefox forces all connections to websites to use HTTPS. Most websites already support HTTPS while some support both HTTP and HTTPS. For example when you enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox, and if you visit a http:// site, Firefox will silently upgrade to https://.

Enabling HTTPS-only mode in Firefox provides a guarantee that all of your connections to websites are upgraded to use HTTPS and hence this is a secure option. Most websites support HTTPS, and if HTTPS-Only Mode is enabled, then Firefox will upgrade all connections to HTTPS.

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What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

If you are not sure what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, here is some explanation. A regular HTTP protocol allows the data transfer from server to browser however the data is not encrypted. This means during the transfer, data can be viewed, stolen, or altered. HTTPS protocols fix this by using an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, this creates a secure encrypted connection between the server and the browser which protects sensitive information.

The below infographic should explain more about the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

Difference between HTTP and HTTPS
Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

HTTPS-Only Mode Options in Firefox

There are three options that you find under HTTPS-only mode in Firefox

  • Enable HTTPS-Only mode in all Windows – Enables HTTPS mode for all websites. This option is the most secure among all. Firefox automatically forces all connections to websites to use HTTPS when you enable this mode.
  • Enable HTTPS-Only mode in private windows only – This option enables HTTPS in private windows. It’s secure and applicable when you launch a Firefox tab in private mode.
  • Don’t enable HTTPS-Only mode – Not a secure option but one should not select this option when you are concerned about safe and secure browsing.

Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox

The steps to enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox browser include.

  • First launch the Firebox browser on your computer.
  • Click the Application menu button and select Options.
  • Select Privacy & Security from the left menu.
  • Scroll down to HTTPS-Only Mode.
  • Use the radio button to select Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all Windows for Firefox.
Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox
Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox

Note – When you enable HTTPS-only mode in Firefox and visit a website that does not support HTTPS or does not seem to be rendering certain elements of the page correctly, you can turn off HTTPS-Only Mode for a particular site. Click on the Lock icon in the address bar. Use the drop-down under HTTPS-Only Mode and select Off.

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