Firefox Finally Goes 64-Bit on Windows

Illustration for article titled Firefox Finally Goes 64-Bit on Windows

Weirdly, there’s never been a 64-bit version of Firefox until now. But if you’re running Windows 7 or later, you can now explore the internet with the browser while using twice its current 32 bits.

Making use of the full 64 bits will allow the software to capitalize on the assets of modern processors. It won’t necessarily run faster, but you should find that many web apps run better (or at all!), and the browser’s security should be stronger, too.

It’s worth noting, as Mozilla’s Mark Mayo points out, that “Firefox 64-bit for Windows, by design, has limited support for plugins and users will notice that certain sites requiring plugins that worked in previous 32-bit versions of Firefox might not work in this 64-bit version.”



Image by Thanh Nguyen under Creative Commons license

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I just installed it and found that the plugins that stopped working can be made good again by going to about:config and changing the

xpinstall.signatures.required setting from true to false. Of course, as with anything in the about:config settings, you do at your own risk.

You have to actually download the new 64 bit program, not just update what you have or you’ll be keeping the 32 bit version. I found that while my bookmarks were retained, my theme, look, settings and tool bar customizations were changed back to default. I also had to reinstall all of my plugins and extensions. I might have done it wrong, but be aware.