Mozilla to end support for Firefox Lockwise password manager

Replacement service already lined up as browser specialist continues to streamline business

The Mozilla Firefox logo on a laptop

Mozilla has announced that its Firefox Lockwise password manager will reach end-of-life on 13 December.

The final versions of the plug-in will be 1.8.1 for iOS and 4.0.3 for Android, after that it will no longer be available for download or reinstallment. 

Lockwise joins several defunct projects Mozilla has taken down to try and streamline its business and become more profitable. Over the last few years, the company has shut down the team building the operating system for the failed Firefox phone, as well as binning off a file transfer tool and the Thunderbird email platform. There is, however, an Android replacement for the password manager - Firefox 93 for Android - that was released last month. 

Firefox Lockwise was launched in 2018, originally as a small experimental mobile app (named Lockbox at that point) that ended up bringing a way to access saved passwords and perform autofills on iOS, Android, and even desktops. It was later adapted as a Firefox extension, but with only a four-year lifespan.  

In a support article posted by Mozilla, users are advised to continue accessing passwords via the native Firefox browser on desktop and mobile. There is also a note on the support site suggesting that the Firefox iOS app will gain the ability to manage Firefox passwords system-wide later in December. This might mean that Mozilla adopts the features of Lockwise and eventually integrates them into the Firefox browser apps for all platforms. 

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Mozilla laid off around 250 people - roughly a quarter of its workforce - in 2020 to refocus its business on projects that make money. CEO Mitchell Baker wrote in a blog post, at the time, that the company's plans leading up to the outbreak of COVID have become "no longer workable" after it became a pandemic. 

As part of the layoffs, Baker laid out a series of new focuses for Mozilla to set a stronger course for the company, such as building new products that "mitigate harms" and "that people love and want" to use, and also to build out new revenue streams.

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