Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ documents version 5.1 of the settings. Please always upgrade to the latest version of the browser. If your question is not answered here, you can try to get answers in our Gitter / Matrix room, or on r/LibreWolf and c/LibreWolf.

Alternatively, you could check the parts in the Firefox documentation that could be relevant:

Security and Privacy:

How often do you update LibreWolf?

LibreWolf is always based on the latest version of Firefox. Updates usually come within three days from each upstream stable release, at times even the same day. Unless problems arise, we always try to release often and in a timely manner.

It should however be noted that LibreWolf does not have auto-update capabilities, and therefore it relies on package managers or users to apply them.

Can I use LibreWolf with Tor?

Please don't.

Tor Browser is specifically designed to reduce fingerprintability. Using LibreWolf or any other browser would make you stand out. From a personal security perspective it's also a good idea to have a seperate browser for .onion sites and general Tor browsing.

Why do you disable Google Safe Browing?

We disable Safe Browsing as we consider it a censorship concern, and we would rather not let Google control another aspect of the internet. With that being said, Safe Browsing is still a good security tool and Mozilla's implementations is privacy respecting. For this reason less technical users, and those who feel like they need the extra security, can and should safely enable it.

Do you recommend using any extensions?

Yes, in fact we include uBlockOrigin in the browser. We also have a few suggestions that you can look at.

However, as a general rule, you shouldn't install too many add-ons. Each add-on is a new potential source of security vulnerabilities and may make you stand out.

What are some tips on a more hardened setup?

To improve your privacy we suggest enabling letterboxing, in order to prevent your real window size from being fingerprinted. This can be especially useful if you resize your window.

Should I allow canvas access? How do I do it?

Please be mindful when allowing canvas access as it is a very strong fingerprinting vector; however, if you are already logged into a website you shouldn't stress too much about giving it canvas access because they already know who you are.

Canvas can be handled on a per-site basis thank to RFP. You will be prompted for access next to the URL bar, so look for the icon there.

Why is the built-in password manager disabled?

We believe you should use a password manager that is better for your security and comfort, please consider some of the options in our recommended addons.

Does LibreWolf use HTTPS-Only mode?

Yes, and you won't need any extension for that. HTTP can still be allowed for certain sites.

Does LibreWolf make any outgoing connections?

Yes, but they aren't in any way privacy invading and they were carefully evaluated. Specifically they are needed to fetch and update the blocking lists used by uBO, Tracking Protection and CRL, which we considered more important than disabling all outgoing connections, especially ones that are harmless. LibreWolf also makes an occasional connection to check wether you have received push notifications from websites you have subscribed to.

With that being said, LibreWolf is still commited to removing all privacy invading connections, and to keep all connections to the bare minimum required to maximize and balance privacy and security.

What is Mozilla Tracking Protection?

In LibreWolf we decided to enable Tracking Protection, as it plays nicely with uBO and it can block some extra scripts. Additionally, when set to strict it includes dFPI, SmartBlock, enhanced cookie cleaning and stricter referrer policies. For this reason, we always suggest the default strict mode, and when using it please do not enable FPI, as it interferes with the more recent dFPI.

Tracking Protection requires some occasional outgoing connections, in order to fetch its blocking lists: these connections are harmless for privacy, and TP has a flawless track record in this regard. A particular important connection is the one that TP makes on first launch, as without it the feature cannot effectively work.

If you want, you can block these outgoing connections by using the following overrides:

defaultPref("browser.safebrowsing.provider.mozilla.updateURL", "");
defaultPref("browser.safebrowsing.provider.mozilla.gethashURL", "");

As stated above, and despite what you see in the Settings UI, blocking these connections will cause TP to stop working, as it won't be able to use the lists that allow it to block known tracking, cryptomining and fingerprinting scripts.

Why isn't First Party Isolate enabled by default?

FPI is not enabled by default as we use dFPI, and the two do not work well together. dFPI is a newer implementation and it causes less breakage, plus it is included by default when using Tracking Protection in strict mode.

Please also notice that dFPI makes containers and containers extensions redudant, unless you want to protect your privacy when visiting the same website multiple times, during the same browsing sessions.

Usability

What are the most common downsides of RFP (Resist Fingerprinting)?

It is possible that users will experience breakage because of RFP: usually this is caused by canvas access, which can be relaxed on a per-site basis.

Other common problems brought by RFP include:

  • spoofed timezone.
  • forced light theme.
  • fixed user agent.
  • smaller and fixed window size on startup.
  • suppressed keyboard modifier events using alt-keys.

There's no real workaround for these annoyances as they are intended to protect your privacy. Tweaking them using extensions or preferences significantly impacts the effectiveness of RFP, both for the users themselves, and the rest of the userbase: modifications create a subset of users who stand out and reduce the number of RFP users who look the same, making it worse for everyone.

For this very reason we suggest against modifying any metric involved in RFP, as even a single change could make it useless. We also suggest users to get used to RFP and stick with it as much as possible: it is a very powerful tool that gets improvements as the result of the Tor Uplift Project, and it will surely benefit your privacy in a major way.

If you don't like the downsides of RFP, or you are not concerned about fingerprinting, you can disable RFP in the LibreWolf settings, or in your overrides.

In that case consider using an extension like CanvasBlocker to retain at least a minimum amount of fingerprinting protection.

Why am I seeing striped images?

If you see striped images in your browser, that's most likely caused by the fact that the website needs canvas access to display them properly. Check out how to allow it.

What should I do if video conferencing is not working?

Videoconferencing platforms may require one or more of the following features:

How do I stay logged into specific websites?

Add an exception at Settings > Privacy & Security > Cookies and Site Data > Manage Exceptions. Make sure you add a website to the exceptions before you login, both http and https versions of the domain. If you want to stay logged into www.example.com enter example.com and click on "Allow": you should then see the two versions listed, and you can go ahead and save the changes.

Please notice that these exceptions are bypassed by the settings at Privacy & Security > History > Clear history when LibreWolf closes > Settings.

Why is LibreWolf forcing light theme?

This is one of the privacy measure that come with RFP (Resist Fingerprinting). Please read this before you go on: as stated there, our stance is that if you care about fingerprinting protection you should never alter RFP behavior in any way.

If you still want the dark theme for web content, first check whether your favourite websites allow to set it manually. Alternatively, you could use an extension, but be careful as it could make you stand out.

How do I enable search suggestions?

If you use a privacy respecting search engine go to Settings > Search > Search Suggestions, and enable search suggestions.

How do I add a search engine?

LibreWolf provides a selection of privacy respecting search engines, but you can add more by following this guide.

Please note that at the moment there doesn't seem to be an easy way of restoring Google as a search engine.

How do I allow autoplay of media?

Autoplay can be controlled on a per-site basis from your urlbar.

How do I enable push notifications?

Push notifications require to set a per-site exception, just like with cookies.

How do I enable DRM?

We disable DRM by default, as we consider it a limitation to user freedom. Take a moment to read about it before you go ahead and enable it.

DRM support can be enabled from Settings > General > Digital Right Management (DRM) Content. Additionally, a pop-up and an icon in your URL bar will show up when a website is trying to use DRM.

Can I safely change language in the browser?

Yes, you can normally apply language packs from the settings. To protect your privacy, LibreWolf will make you appear to websites as a en-US user.

Can I set a default download directory?

As a security measure, LibreWolf asks for user interaction after each download. You can change that in Settings > General > Files and Applications > Downloads > Save files to..

Linux specific questions:

Can't open links with Librewolf when using Wayland

The solution is also described in this issue.

When setting LibreWolf as a handler to open links with, in some circumstances, environment variables parsed during "regular" launch are not parsed / applied when opening LibreWolf as a handler (XDG MIME handling) when using Wayland. Librewolf then either gets launched without opening the link or by giving an error ('Librewolf is already running').

This can be fixed by placing a modified .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications/.

It's easiest to just copy the existing .desktop file (for native packages /usr/share/applications/librewolf.desktop, for Flatpak ~/.local/share/flatpak/exports/share/applications/io.gitlab.librewolf-community.desktop) to ~/.local/share/applications/ and edit the Exec lines:

Flatpak
# io.gitlab.librewolf-community.desktop
Exec=/usr/bin/flatpak run --env=GDK_BACKEND=wayland --branch=stable --arch=x86_64 --command=librewolf --file-forwarding io.gitlab.librewolf-community @@u %u @@
Exec=/usr/bin/flatpak run --env=GDK_BACKEND=wayland --branch=stable --arch=x86_64 --command=librewolf --file-forwarding io.gitlab.librewolf-community @@u %u @@
Exec=/usr/bin/flatpak run --env=GDK_BACKEND=wayland --branch=stable --arch=x86_64 --command=librewolf --file-forwarding io.gitlab.librewolf-community --private-window @@u %u @@
Exec=/usr/bin/flatpak run --env=GDK_BACKEND=wayland --branch=stable --arch=x86_64 --command=librewolf --file-forwarding io.gitlab.librewolf-community --ProfileManager @@u %u @@

For Flatpak, this might also be possible by using flatpak override --user --env=GDK_BACKEND=wayland io.gitlab.librewolf-community, but this is not yet tested.

Native Linux Package
# librewolf.desktop

Exec=env GDK_BACKEND=wayland MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf %u
Exec=env GDK_BACKEND=wayland MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf --new-window %u
Exec=env GDK_BACKEND=wayland MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf --private-window %u

How do I get native messaging to work?

To get native messaging to work, for example for the Plasma Integration, create two symlinks by running these commands:

ln -s ~/.mozilla/native-messaging-hosts ~/.librewolf/native-messaging-hosts

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/native-messaging-hosts /usr/lib/librewolf/native-messaging-hosts

[How can I get Tridactyl's native messaging to work when I install Librewolf with Flatpak?

To get Tridactyl's native feature to work Tridactyl's install script needs to look into Librewolf's app data directory and be allowed to read the user's RC file.

Execute the following:

curl \
https://gitlab.com/librewolf-community/browser/common/-/raw/master/helpers/tridactyl-install.sh \
> /tmp/tridactyl-install.sh
sed -i \
's/\.librewolf/\.var\/app\/io\.gitlab\.librewolf-community\/\.librewolf/g' \
/tmp/tridactyl-install.sh
chmod +x /tmp/tridactyl-install.sh
/tmp/tridactyl-install.sh
# If installed onto the system, rather than the user, then remove `--user`
flatpak --user override io.gitlab.librewolf-community --filesystem="${XDG_DATA_HOME:-~/.local/share}"/tridactyl

I get the APT error "Certificate verification failed"

If you get an error message that looks something like this

Err:5 https://deb.librewolf.net uma Release
  Certificate verification failed: The certificate is NOT trusted. The certificate chain uses expired certificate.  Could not handshake: Error in the certificate verification. [IP: 116.203.248.82 443]
Reading package lists... Done
E: The repository 'http://deb.librewolf.net uma Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

You can try to fix it by running

sudo apt install ca-certificates

macOS specific questons:

How do I install LibreWolf on macOS?

As explained in the install section you can either build from source following the build guide, install using a disk image from the releases or install using HomeBrew.

How do I build LibreWolf on macOS?

You can build from source following the build guide.

How do I update LibreWolf on macOS?

To update the browser on macOS you need to grab the latest .app and drag it into your Applications directory, or if you installed using HomeBrew you can do it as you would for every other cask.

Is LibreWolf available via Homebrew?

LibreWolf is available as a cask, so you can install entering brew install --cask librewolf.

Does LibreWolf work on M1 machines?

Yes, we provide native builds for both Intel and ARM based machines. If you own a M1 powered MacBook the relative builds are refered to as aarch64, and they are also marked as experimental, as they are cross-compiled on Intel machines and we did not test them before release. Please consider that the build time on M1 is relatively low, so building from source is probably worth it in any case.

Why is LibreWolf marked as broken?

It is possible that M1 users see their recently downloaded LibreWolf flagged as broken or unsafe by the OS.

This happens because we do not notarize the macOS version of the browser: we don't have a paid Apple Developer license and we don't want to suppose this signing mechanism that is put behind a paywall without providing significant gains.

Here you can find a proposed fix, and the relative discussion.