Automatically trust third-party root certificates

Firefox Firefox Last updated: 11/21/2023 66% of users voted this helpful

Starting with version 120, Firefox can now automatically trust third-party root certificates installed in your operating system's certificate store. This article explains what this means for you as a Firefox user, how it works, and how you can manage this feature according to your preferences.

What are third-party root certificates?

Root certificates are the backbone of the security system that underpins HTTPS web traffic. Firefox, like most web browsers, includes a pre-installed set of trusted root certificates. However, sometimes, users or organizations might need to trust additional certificates not included in this default set. These are known as third-party root certificates.

Why is this feature important?

  • Seamless browsing experience: With this update, Firefox will use third-party root certificates added to your operating system, allowing you to seamlessly access more websites without extra configuration.
  • Convenience for users and organizations: Particularly beneficial for enterprise environments or specialized web services that use their own certificates.

How it works

When you navigate to a website, Firefox checks if the site's certificate is trusted. Firefox will now also look for any third-party root certificates you or your organization have installed in the operating system's certificate store. If a website uses such a certificate, Firefox will trust it automatically, provided the certificate is present in the OS store.

Security implications

  • Trusted administrators: These third-party certificates are typically installed by you or your organization's trusted administrators, ensuring they are safe to use.
  • No compromise on security: The feature doesn't lower Firefox's security standards; it merely extends trust to additional certificates deemed secure by you or your organization.

Manage the feature

This feature is enabled by default. However, if you wish to turn it off, you can easily do so by following these steps:

  • Click the Menu button on the right corner of your screen and select Settings.
  • On the left hand side, select Privacy & Security and scroll down until you see the Certificates section.
  • Uncheck the Allow Firefox to automatically trust third-party root certificates you install option.
    Automatically trust third-party root certificates

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