How to Re-Enable FTP Protocol Support in Firefox

Starting with version 88.0 of the Firefox browser, FTP protocol has been disabled.  This means that users won’t be able to access FTP servers directly from the Firefox browser after updating to version 88. If you try to access any FTP server using Firefox, it will display options to choose third-party FTP client applications. For this to work, you should have installed an FTP client such as FileZilla, WinSCP, Cyberduck or CuteFTP that associates itself as default app to handle FTP protocol on your PC.

Even though the aforementioned FTP clients are definitely much better at accessing FTP servers than a web browser, sometimes we need quick access to FTP servers for example to download files. So many of the Linux distros are available through FTP servers. We can download those files only of Firefox has FTP support enabled.

Enable FTP in Firefox

Update: The following method does not work with Firefox 91 and above. For Firefox 91 and above, you have to setup an external FTP app such as WinSCP to work with Firefox. You can also change FTP app for Firefox later.

Here is how we can re-enable FTP protocol support in Firefox:

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox, enter about:config in the address bar and then click on Accept the risk to continue button.
  2. Search for a setting network.ftp.enabled and double-click on it to change its value to true.Enable FTP in Firefox
  3. Now you have enabled FTP support in Firefox once again.

In order to check whether FTP support has been enabled, you can visit any public FTP servers such as or All of these servers these days also have an HTTP access site that gives you access to all the files through a simple HTML interface. There is no difference between the FTP and HTTP interfaces as far as downloading the files is concerned. But FTP protocol also allows for uploading of the files depending on the user account permissions and the server configuration.

Enable FTP in Firefox

The reason why Mozilla has decided to disable FTP support in Firefox 88.0 is because FTP is not an encrypted connection. They plan to completely remove FTP support in the future, so these instructions to enable FTP in Firefox may not work in the future versions.


  1. Why has nobody (and I mean NOBODY) made a Firefox EXTENSION to allow FTP access? All of the FTP protocol handling could be done in the extension itself, with no need at all for it to leverage Firefox’s (now removed) FTP handling functions. If I’m not mistaken, an extension is just a DLL file and other supporting files (including a digital signature to prove authenticity), which are zipped together into a single ZIP file, with the file extension renamed to “xpi”. As the compiled DLL’s code is native x86 machine code, it has access to ALL of the Windows API functionality including the winsock functions needed to establish network connections. Therefore ALL of the FTP processing (including establishing a connection to the FTP server) could be done in the extension itself, and just display the results (the FTP server’s directory structure) to the Firefox main window. Any click on a file link would in Firefox would then send a signal to the extension that would cause the extension (not Firefox itself), to perform the download of that file.

    1. Extensions are limited in what they can do and depend on Firefox. They are not DLL and do not have direct access to Windows API.

  2. Confirmation on Firefox 91.0.1 for MacOS: FTP does not work anymore. 🙁
    To me, this is a pity. FTP was born in 1971, and since then, zillions of MB have been made available through this protocol. Of course, FTP is not encrypted nor secure. But, may be it is time to question our real needs for encryption. Have we thought about the CPU / bandwidth overhead needed by useless encryption? Digital carbon footprint does exist. And giving up w/ simple & sober protocols might not be the right way to handle it.
    Moreover, browsers are supposed to be a window over the global internet. They were originally designed as multi-protocol like gopher, wais, HTTP…, and of course FTP. Why closing the window now?

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