How to Disable Sponsored Ads on Firefox’s New Tab Page

Ben Stegner 10-05-2018

Mozilla Firefox has long been the mainstream browser with the biggest focus on privacy. While Google’s wildly popular Chrome collects all sorts of information about your browsing to serve you more relevant ads, Firefox hasn’t had such a purpose.

But with the recently-launched Firefox 60, you’ll start seeing “sponsored stories” on the New Tab page. Here’s what to know about them and how to disable them if you wish.

Disabling Sponsored Ads on Firefox’s New Tab Page

Firefox introduced “suggested content” in 2015. This used your browsing history to suggest sponsored stories that you may find interesting.

Since Mozilla bought the read-it-later service Pocket in 2017, the service has been integrated into the browser in a few ways. One of these is on the New Tab page, with Recommended by Pocket stories appearing alongside your Top Sites and other content.

Firefox Disable Suggested Posts

In Firefox 60, though, Pocket is expanding these stories to include “sponsored content”. If you’d rather not see these, you can easily disable them. Open a new tab in Firefox, then click the Gear in the top-right corner. Under Recommended by Pocket, uncheck the Show Sponsored Stories box.

That’s all you have to do. You can even uncheck Recommended by Pocket if you’d rather not see any suggested stories at all.

Why Is Mozilla Introducing Ads?

It’s easy to see this as a shady move by Mozilla, but the company has transparently outlined it reasoning for this change.

You can read the post for full details, but Mozilla has confirmed that these ads appear from your local copy of Firefox. It doesn’t share all your private data with advertisers, and it selects high-quality stories instead of the usual clickbait junk.

If you love Firefox, leaving these sponsored stories enabled is a good way to support Mozilla. The company has to make money somehow, and has thankfully chosen to go about it in a pretty non-intrusive way. For more, check out our Firefox FAQ The Firefox FAQ: 7 Key Questions Answered New to Firefox? Firefox Quantum is worth your time! Here we have compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mozilla Firefox. Read More .

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  1. Linda Kelly-Smith
    May 25, 2018 at 9:37 am

    These computer folks know what they are doing. Seriously folks, need computer help just contact them.

  2. TestyLastTimeVisitor
    May 11, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Sirs at<

    Today's visit to your site pooped up a warning that starts with "We notice you're using an adblocker."

    Your sites 'kewl' plugins have it WRONG! I am NOT using a "ad blocker", but I do use a Stalker blocker. I block Stalkware such as cookies, LSO's, Beacons, Pixytrackers, canvas fingerprinting, and other such nefarious tools web sites use to circumvent our right to privacy on the Internet.

    Get rid of your stalkers, and I'll see your ads. You have no business spying on where I was, or where I travel on the 'net.

    • ReadandShare
      May 12, 2018 at 6:23 am

      "Get rid of your stalkers, and I'll see your ads. "

      Sounds fair to me. What say you, MUO?

  3. dragonmouth
    May 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Aren't you and MUO speaking with forked tongues? On the one hand, in this article, you are advocating, or at least advising how to eliminate the display of ads in Firefox. OTOH, in many other fiery article, MUO writers have predicted the end of Internet if people keep using adblockers, and have excoriated those that do. Which is it? Should we block ads or should we let then run rampant all over our monitor screens?

    • Ben Stegner
      May 10, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      This is an option in the browser that Firefox directly provides and shows instructions on how to perform. I would agree if we were showing some wild workaround hack to remove these ads, but it's simply a new setting the browser offers.