Mozilla plans to enable WebRender in Firefox 92
Mozilla plans to enable WebRender in Firefox 92 for all supported operating systems and device types. WebRender is already enabled on Mac OS X (since Firefox 84) and on most Linux distributions (since Firefox 91). Starting with the release of Firefox 92, WebRender will also be enabled in Firefox for Windows and for Android.
The main idea behind WebRender is to improve the rendering of web pages by making the experience faster and smoother. Developed in Rust, WebRender has been in development and testing for a long time.
I wrote a guide in 2020 that explained how to tell if Firefox is using WebRender to display web pages. You can check this to see if your copy of Firefox already has the feature enabled; here’s just the little rundown in case you’re in a hurry:
- Load about: support in the Firefox address bar.
- Scroll down to the Graphics section.
- Check if the composition value is set to WebRender.
advice: You can also press Ctrl-F on the page to search for WebRender.
WebRender can use hardware acceleration for rendering if it is supported by the graphics processing unit of the device. Software emulation is used if the GPU is not supported.
WebRender can no longer be disabled in Firefox 93
Beginning with Firefox 93, Firefox users can no longer disable WebRender because the options to do so are no longer included in this version of the web browser. The only option Firefox users have when they experience rendering issues is to switch WebRender to the software.
Some configurations may never get WebRender hardware, for example if the hardware is too old or if the drivers have bugs or issues.
- Load about: config in the Firefox address bar.
- Confirm that you will be careful if the warning page appears.
- Search for gfx.webrender.software.
- Set this value to TRUE to activate the WebRender software.
- Set this value to FALSE to disable the WebRender software. Note that you cannot force the use of WebRender hardware if the hardware / driver is not compatible.
- Restart the Firefox web browser.
Linux users might want to check if gfx.x11-egl.force-enabled is enabled and set it to True if not. It should always improve performance, unlike WebRender on its own, which can sometimes lead to performance degradation depending on the graphics unit and driver.
Firefox 92 will officially be released on September 7, 2021.
Now you: Is WebRender enabled in your Firefox installation?