How to Stop Firefox From Showing You Ads in the New Address Bar

“No questionable privacy policies or loopholes for advertisers. Just a lightning fast browser that doesn’t sell you. ” This is the quote you see from Mozilla when you first download Firefox. The company touts itself as the best choice for protecting yourself while browsing the Internet, but a recent update suggests Mozilla may be backing off on its word at least a little.

Here’s the thing: nobody likes ads. They can be intrusive, inappropriate, overly relevant, and can seem a little slimy in the wrong context. On the other hand, advertising is what makes most of the Internet free. You didn’t have to pay to read this article; the ad you see supported this click. You can play thousands of games on your phone for free because pop-ups keep the developers busy. It’s just the nature of the Internet.

Most of us can live with it to some extent. What’s not cool is that ads are served to us in mean or nasty ways. Until recently, Samsung users were forced to see ads when using the built-in weather app on their phones; Meanwhile, Waze shows you advertisements for nearby locations whenever you stop at a red light. Believe it or not, I don’t want to do Wendy’s 10-minute detour at every stop sign.

Firefox now shows ads in the address bar

This brings us back to Mozilla. Firefox does not sell itself to maximize ad impressions. The company prides itself on Firefox blocking cookies by default, preventing social trackers from tracking your activity, and generally blocking more items than other browsers. And yet, with one update, you’ll go from a regular private address bar to one that shows you ads as you type.

It looks like this new “feature” is included with Firefox version 92 . If you just don’t update, you won’t see it in your browser (I didn’t see this when I first opened Firefox today), but it’s not a viable solution. You should be able to update your browser to take advantage of the new features and bug fixes without worrying about these announcements.

How to turn off address bar ads in Firefox

Luckily, these ads are easy to turn off if you know where to look. Open Firefox Preferences, then click the Privacy & Security tab. Now scroll down to the address bar – Firefox Suggest . Here you will see a new option at the bottom of the ” Contextual Offers ” list with a new sub-option ” Include Random Sponsored Offers “. The latter option is responsible for displaying ads as they are entered into the address bar.

To prevent this ad from appearing, you can simply turn off the ” Enable occasionally sponsored offers ” option. If this setting is disabled, you should never see ads in the address bar. However, feel free to turn off the parent option ” Contextual Suggestions ” if you don’t want Firefox to suggest websites to you and search for you.


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