46 million people have left Firefox since 2018


Posts: 7,439   +67
Staff member
In brief: Firefox has long been considered one of the better alternatives to the world’s most popular browser, Chrome, particularly among Linux fans. So it’s a bit surprising to learn that Mozilla’s product has been losing quite a few users over the last three years—46 million, to be precise.

That figure comes from Firefox’s own Public Data Report and is highlighted in a Reddit thread by u/nixcraft (via itsfoss). It reveals that the browser had 244 million active monthly users at the end of 2018, but by the second quarter of 2021, user numbers had fallen to 198 million.

According to Statcounter, Firefox currently has a 3.45% share of the desktop, mobile, and tablet browser market, sitting behind second-place Safari (18.65%) and the long-time number one, Chrome (65.18%). It’s only just above Edge, which has a 3.41% share.

Firefox’s market share wasn’t always in single digits. At the end of 2009—seven years after it launched—when Internet explorer was still king and Chrome in its infancy, Mozilla enjoyed an almost 32% market share, while IE had around 56%. But Firefox’s share had halved by mid-2013 as Chrome started its ascension to the top.

There are a few reasons why Firefox has been hemorrhaging users in recent times. Rivals Chrome, Edge, and Safari are the default browsers on Android, Windows, and Apple devices, respectively. And the companies behind them are often aggressive in their attempts to attract users: last year, the Chrome Web Store briefly warned those using Edge about potential security risks, suggesting they switch browsers. Microsoft has also been guilty of similar tactics.

Another factor behind Firefox’s fall is likely the browser’s own missteps, such as the lack of significant performance updates, and major overhauls that have pushed some users away.

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Posts: 85   +57
It's a real shame, as the area needs at least some competition. With Trident and Presto now gone though, Gecko is the only competition to WebKit (or, baring Safari, Chromium).

But Firefox is now a resource hog like the others. Their insistance to bring social issues into their product (see 'master keys') doesn't help either. You're a web technologies company, not a social justice one.


Posts: 248   +312
Still my default browser though I also use chrome, edge and opera. Opera's built in VPN is useful for checking out sites elsewhere in the world that don't like UK IPs (that includes quite a few USA based ones) .


Posts: 2,196   +1,023
In the 16 years I've been using FireFox I've only had it brake once and kill my data, however thanks to an add on that created a profile and backed it all up periodically I was able to reset everything in FireFox and restore that backed up profile. Wish I remembered what it was called, now this is built right in to FireFox and works quite well, better than the Chrome equivalent in my opinion. Chrome has always been a pile of hot garbage in my experiences over the years.


Posts: 6,986   +5,499
I stopped using Firefox itself many years ago, however, I switched to Waterfox classic - which is a 64-bit derivative of Firefox. Occasionally, a web site will improperly display a form or something similar, unless I use Edge. I don't blame Waterfox for that, I blame the web site for not accommodating browsers other than Edge.

Even on my phone, which I rarely use to browse the internet, I use Firefox since it supports things like uBlock origin.

Even with the Edge issue, I still would not switch to Google's spyware - Chrome or any other browser. I am too happy with Waterfox to do so.


Posts: 882   +2,061
Too political, too obsessed with pointless UI redesigns & feature removals and still stuck trying to be a Lowest Common Denominator cut-down Chrome clone (whilst most people who want Chrome, use Chrome). Meanwhile, the power users have all switched to Vivaldi that pretty much has become the new "old school" Firefox for those who want the ability to tweak absolutely everything.

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,014   +2,373
TechSpot Elite
What a surprise: An unstated major premise.

How many people buy an iPhone and go out and get another browser instead of Safari? Same for Android and Chrome.

What is Firefox's PC/Mac/Linux market share compared to 2018 or 2009 or whichever year? That will tell you the true extent of userbase loss.


Posts: 1,029   +493
I just switched to Firefox on PC and mobile instead of using chrome as my main browser. I like being able to run add ONS on my phone and tablet (like ublock origin) and desktop performance was pretty much the same as chrome with a few additional default features that I liked over chrome.