How to prevent Firefox from showing commercial links in the address bar
If you’re using Firefox and keep seeing those pesky sponsored links in the address bar, here’s how you can turn them off, so you can browse with peace of mind.
Firefox displays sponsored links in the address bar. Sponsored links, a fancy name for advertisements, appear as part of Firefox Suggest, which was introduced in Firefox version 93 and later.
Although Firefox displays these links to try and be helpful, more often than not they are just plain annoying. So here’s how to turn off sponsored links in Firefox.
Contextual suggestions, as Firefox calls them, are designed to provide smarter suggestions when you start typing. By tapping into adMarketplace, Firefox will provide relevant sponsored suggestions from âtrusted partnersâ.
For example, if you are looking for a pair of Converse sneakers, you might see a suggestion to visit the brand’s eBay store. While Firefox might call them suggestions, they’re really just ads.
These ads will be displayed in the address bar, the same section where you would expect suggestions from your browser history or other open tabs.
If you are using Firefox version 93 or higher, you might see these sponsored links in your address bar. Here’s how to turn them off:
- Click on the hamburger menu, then navigate to Settings.
- To select Privacy and Security in the left menu, then scroll to Address bar – Firefox Suggest.
- Click the switch to sponsor suggestions to deactivate them. That’s it!
You can also deactivate Suggestions from the web if you want to completely disable any kind of Firefox suggestions.
Is Firefox trying to capitalize on ad revenue?
According to Mozilla, this feature was introduced in Firefox version 93 to fund development and optimization. Mozilla also reaffirmed that no new data will be collected, stored or shared to provide such suggestions to its users.
This is probably Mozilla’s attempt to diversify its revenue streams. Mozilla has teamed up with adMarketplace to offer suggestions right in the address bar, so it’s likely a deal was struck here. Mozilla also reaffirmed that it only partners with companies that meet its privacy standards.
Occasionally, you may also see suggestions in Wikipedia’s address bar. These are not sponsored. Since most people prefer to use Firefox due to its increased emphasis on privacy, it’s likely that most users will want to turn this feature off.
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