Google Chrome developers have published a document explaining that from version 82, the browser will no longer support FTP connections because usage “of FTP in the browser is sufficiently low that it is no longer viable to invest in improving the existing FTP client.” According to Google, it doesn’t matter that support for FTP is ending because there are “more capable” FTP clients available on all of the affected platforms.
At the moment, all of the big browsers support FTP but when Google yanks support, Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi may also lose the ability to connect to these addresses. Firefox, Safari, Edge and Internet Explorer all support FTP at the moment but it’s unclear if they will copy Google and ditch support too due to its dominance in the market and its ability to dictate its view of the web.
While Google is pulling FTP support for Chrome, it’s not going to leave users high and dry. When a user tries to access an FTP link, the browser will try to launch a separate program a user has installed which is capable of handing ftp:// URLs. Despite Google’s attempt to gracefully handle FTP URLs, it does warn that those who fetch PAC scripts over FTP will no longer be able to do this in Chrome, with users needing to migrate to other means of fetching PAC scripts.
Google has already removed support for fetching document subresources over FTP and support for accessing FTP URLs via HTTP proxies. On Chrome 78, 80, and finally 82, Google plans to wind down and ultimately end FTP support altogether.