Install Firefox Browser for Android

Edited by Jay, Maria Quinney

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Firefox by Mozilla has been on the internet scene since November 2004 (Firefox 1.0). Over the years it has significantly grown in popularity due to its security, speed, customization options, and the fact that it's on an open source platform. When software opens up the source code and allows developers from around the world to contribute, great things can be accomplished. A large group of highly driven developers working in tandem can produce incredible results in the software realm.

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The first version of Firefox for Android (2.1-2.2 Eclair) was released back in 2011, and since then, there have been numerous improvements made. In the following VisiHow, we did a fresh install of Firefox 57.0 on a Google Pixel running the Oreo OS.

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Please note that you have to be running Android 4.2 or higher to continue with the installation.


Installing FireFox and Syncing Other Devices

  1. 1
    Launch your app drawer and tap on the "Play Store" icon.
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  2. 2
    From the Play Store, search for "Firefox browser". When the results populate, tap the first link in the list.
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  3. 3
    On the Firefox app screen, tap "INSTALL".
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  4. 4
    Once the installation has finished, tap "OPEN".
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  5. 5
    The first two screens are the welcome and privacy introduction. Tap "Next" to continue.
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  6. 6
    The next two screens talk about customization and syncing. If you want to sync this version of Firefox with other devices, tap "Sign in" or "Create an account". For this article, we created an account to sync. If you don't want to sync, tap "START BROWSING" and skip to the next section of this tutorial.
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  7. 7
    If you're creating a Firefox account, enter a valid email address, create a strong password and enter your age. When all the information is entered, tap "Create account".
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  8. 8
    On the following screen you'll be asked to save the password you just created, tap "Never" or "Remember". Next, you can choose what you want to sync by tapping the checkmark next to each option, followed by "Save settings".
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  9. 9
    If you created a new account you'll have to verify your email address. Sign in to your email account and tap "Verify email" to proceed.
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  10. 10
    If everything went correctly, you'd be redirected to a screen that says, "Account verified".
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Customize Homepage and Set the Default Search Engine

  1. 1
    From the default home screen, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner, then tap "Settings".
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  2. 2
    From Settings, tap "General".
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  3. 3
    On the general settings screen, tap "Home".
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  4. 4
    Here on the home screen settings page, tap "Set a Homepage". In the following pop-up, you can select the default Firefox page or, enter a different URL. Tap "OK" when you're ready.
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  5. 5
    Back out to the Homepage settings screen, tap "Top Sites". In the pop-up menu you can; set the default, hide, or change the order of the top sites. You can also enable/disable; recommended by pocket, recent bookmarks, and visited, by toggling the switch on or off.
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  6. 6
    To set the default search engine, head back out to the main settings screen and tap, "Search".
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  7. 7
    Here on the Search page you can choose from one of the pre-installed search services or tap "Add more search providers" at the top of the screen. You can also check/uncheck "Show search suggestions" and "Show search history" at the bottom of the screen.
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Share, New Tabs (Standard & Private), Bookmarks, Find in Page, Close Tabs

  1. 1
    To share a page, navigate to a website, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, followed by "Share".
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  • 2
    When the share panel opens, select one from the list of services/apps.
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  • 3
    To open a new standard or private tab, tap the three-dot menu, then tap either "New tab" or "New private tab".
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  • 4
    A standard tab will be white up in the address bar, and a private tab will be black up in the address bar.
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  • 5
    When browsing with private tabs your history will not be saved. Firefox will also block certain parts of websites that attempt to track you.
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  • 6
    To access your bookmarks, tap the three-dot menu icon in the upper right corner, then tap "Bookmarks".
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  • 7
    All your bookmarks will be listed on this screen. If you synced with another device earlier, you would see a tab with those bookmarks as well. In our example, you can see a tab called, "Desktop Bookmarks".
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  • 8
    To search for some text on a page, tap the menu icon at the top, followed by "Find in page".
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  • 9
    Next, you'll see a search box and you your keyboard. Type the word or words you want to find, then look for the green highlighted text.
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  • 10
    To access or close any open tabs, tap the number inside the little box in the upper right corner. Here you can tap on a tab to open it or, close it by swiping or tapping the "X".
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  • Request desktop site, Add-ons, Page options, Tools

    1. 1
      If you prefer to view the desktop version of a website, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, then tap "Request desktop site".
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    2. 2
      To access your Add-ons, tap the menu icon, followed by "Add-ons".
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    3. 3
      Here you'll see all your installed add-ons. Tap on one to edit or manage it. To search for additional add-ons, tap "Browse all Firefox Add-ons".
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    4. 4
      On the following screen you can search for Themes and Extensions. If you synced with another device, you would have had the option to use the same add-ons that were on your other device.
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    5. 5
      To access a pages options, tap the three-dot menu icon, followed by "Page".
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    6. 6
      When the page options panel opens you can; Subscribe to the page (if applicable), Save as PDF, Print, Add a Search Engine, Pin to Top Sites, and Add to Home Screen.
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    7. 7
      To access the browser's tools, tap the menu icon in the top right, then tap "Tools".
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    8. 8
      From the Tools menu you can access Downloads and Logins or, Start a New Guest Session.
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    Privacy

    To access Firefox's Privacy settings, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, followed by "Settings".

    1. 1
      On the main settings screen, tap "Privacy".
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    2. 2
      On the Privacy screen there are several options to be aware of.  
      1. Do not track: Toggle this on, and Firefox will tell sites that you do not want to be tracked.
      2. Tracking protection: This is enabled by default when you browse with Private tabs.
      3. Cookies: If this is enabled, Firefox will store cookies collected from the sites you visit.
      4. Clear private data on exit: Enabling this will ensure that your browsing data (open tabs, history, cookies, cache, site settings, etc.) will be cleared when you close Firefox after each session.
      5. Manage logins: Tap on this to access all your stored logins. You can access usernames and passwords, as well as make any necessary edits.
      6. Remember logins: Checking this will remember your logins on sites that require you to sign in.
      7. Use master password: Tap this to set one password for all your logins.
      8. Telemetry: Checking this will share performance usage, hardware and customization data about your browser.
      9. Crash report: Check this to send reports to Mozilla in the event Firefox crashes at some point.
      10. Mozilla location services: Enabling this will share your location when connected to WiFi or Data to improve Firefox's geolocation services.
      11. Firefox Health Report: Check this to share data with Mozilla about your browser health.
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    Accessibility, Notifications, Advanced

    1. 1
      To edit the browser's Accessibility options, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner, then tap "Settings".
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    2. 2
      On the main settings screen, tap "Accessibility".
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    3. 3
      Here you can enable; Use system font size, Always enable zoom, and Voice input.
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    4. 4
      To access Firefox's notifications, head back to the main settings screen, then tap "Notifications.
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    5. 5
      Enabling this will keep you in the loop about new features after each software update.
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    6. 6
      To access the browser's advanced options, head back to the main settings screen, then tap "Advanced".
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    7. 7
      Here on the Advanced options screen you can edit the following:  
      1. Restore tabs: Choose to either always restore or never restore tabs after quitting Firefox.
      2. Character encoding: You can select to show or not to show the encoding menu.
      3. Show images: Select Always, Only over WiFi, or Blocked. This is good to watch if you're on a limited data plan.
      4. Show web fonts: Enable this to download remote fonts when a page is loading.
      5. Auto-play: Enabling this will allow Firefox to auto-play media (videos/sound) if the website offers it upon page load.
      6. Remote debugging via USB: Enable this, and you can debug while the device is connected to a USB cable.
      7. Remote debugging via WiFi: If you enable this, your device will need to have a QR code reader app installed.
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    Clear private data and Make default browser

    To clear your private data, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner, then tap "Settings".

    1. 1
      On the main settings screen, tap "Clear private data".
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    2. 2
      When the menu pops-up, check each option that you want to be cleared, then tap "CLEAR DATA".
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    3. 3
      To make Firefox your default browser, head back to the main settings screen, then tap "Make default browser".
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    4. 4
      From the Default apps screen, tap "Browser app". On the Browser app page, select the radio button next to Firefox.
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    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Recent edits by: Jay

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