Original author(s)Alexandros Kontos
Developer(s)Waterfox Limited
Initial release27 March 2011; 12 years ago (2011-03-27)
Stable release
G6.0.6[1] / 21 November 2023; 3 months ago (21 November 2023)
Preview release
G6.0 Beta 5 / September 14, 2023; 5 months ago (2023-09-14)
Written inC, C++, CSS, JavaScript, XUL
EngineGecko, SpiderMonkey
Operating systemWindows 7 or later, Mac, Android, Linux
Platformx64, ARM64, PPC64LE
TypeWeb browser, mobile web browser, feed reader
Websitewww.waterfox.net Edit this on Wikidata

Waterfox is a free and open-source web browser and fork of Firefox. It claims to be ethical and user-centric, emphasizing performance and privacy.[2] There are official Waterfox releases for Windows, macOS, and Linux.[3] It was initially created to provide official 64-bit support, back when Firefox was only available for 32-bit systems.[4]



Waterfox shares core features and technologies like the Gecko browser engine[5] and support for Firefox Add-ons[6] with Firefox. It is also compatible with Google Chrome and Opera extensions.[2] It disables telemetry and Pocket by default, which are present in Firefox builds. However, it collects technical information about the user's device to update properly.[4]

Waterfox Classic

Waterfox Classic is a version of the browser based on an older version of the Gecko engine that supports legacy XUL and XPCOM add-on capabilities that Firefox removed in version 57.[7][8] It is still partially maintained with fixes and patches from Waterfox and Firefox ESR releases. However, its development has been separated due to several changes from Waterfox that are otherwise unapplicable.[9]


Waterfox Classic has multiple unpatched security advisories. The developer states that "changes between versions so numerous between ESRs making merging difficult if not impossible".[10][9]


Waterfox was first released by Alex Kontos[11][4] on March 27, 2011 for 64-bit Windows. The Mac build was introduced on May 14, 2015 with the release of version 38.0,[12] the Linux build was introduced on December 20, 2016 with the release of version 50.0,[13] and an Android build was first introduced on October 10, 2017 in version 55.2.2.[14]

From July 22, 2015 to November 12, 2015, Waterfox had its own search-engine called "Storm" that would raise funds for charity and Waterfox. Storm was developed with over £2 million of investor funding and powered by Yahoo! Search.[15][16][17]

In December 2019, System1, an advertising company which portrays itself as privacy-focused,[18] acquired Waterfox.[19][20] In July 2023, Alex Kontos announced that Waterfox had been turned into an independent project again.[21]


See also


  1. ^ "Release G6.0.6".
  2. ^ a b "What Is Waterfox and Is It Safe?". MUO. 2022-09-13. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  3. ^ "Waterfox, Free Web Browser". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  4. ^ a b c Proven, Liam. "Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson". www.theregister.com. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  5. ^ "FAQ". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  6. ^ "Find and install add-ons to add features to Waterfox". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  7. ^ Kev Needham (2015-08-21). "The Future of Developing Firefox Add-ons". blog.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  8. ^ Villalobos, Jorge (2017-02-16). "The Road to Firefox 57 – Compatibility Milestones". blog.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  9. ^ a b "Waterfox Classic development will continue, but as a separate project from G4". ghacks.net. November 4, 2021. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "Unpatched Security Advisories · WaterfoxCo/Waterfox-Classic Wiki". GitHub.
  11. ^ "About Waterfox". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  12. ^ Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 38.0 Release". www.waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  13. ^ Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 50.1.0 Release (Windows, Mac & Linux)". www.waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  14. ^ Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 55 Release (Windows, Mac, Linux and Android)". www.waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  15. ^ Kontos, Alex (12 May 2015). "4 Year Anniversary: Waterfox Charity and Storm Search". www.waterfoxproject.org. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  16. ^ "New search engine from Waterfox founder aims to take a punch at Google". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  17. ^ Lake, Howard (2015-08-07). "'Ethical search engine' Storm to generate funds for charities". UK Fundraising. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  18. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (14 February 2020). "Waterfox web browser sold to System1". ghacks.net. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Waterfox has joined System1". www.waterfox.net. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Welcome Waterfox!". www.system1.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  21. ^ Kontos, Alex (2023-07-03). "A New Chapter for Waterfox". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2023-07-05.