Modern Firefox Annoyances (A rant) (How to make Firefox behave)

edited December 2019 in Software

As many of you know, I've used Firefox as my main web browser for many years. I've always loved the browser, but lately it's been getting worse. First off, the new "Firefox Home". I open a new tab and I'm bombarded by this mess:

"Top Sites" followed by sponsored clickbait articles? What kind of crap is that? I would expect something like this out of Google, but not Mozilla. At least I now know that sipping cocoa by the fire will improve my winter... Turning that off requires some digging in the settings:

Next up, we have more advertisements, this time in the form of recommended extensions:

If you visit a site, Firefox tries to be "helpful" and shows a bright blue button with a pop-up of an extension it thinks you should have. Turning these off requires a couple more settings:

There are two check boxes. One is for extensions, one is for "features". I've yet to see any feature pop-ups, but I'm sure that will change. Speaking of "features", what is this: The browser is bringing me gifts? Surely it must be a Christmas time Easter egg, right? Nope. It's advertising what's new in the browser. There is no way to turn this off! You have to click on it and open it and then it will disappear for a while until it comes back again. I tried turning it off in about:config, but it came back anyway.

Finally, we have data collection:

I think Firefox alerts you that it is collecting data when you first install it. I know it used to, I can't remember for sure if it still does. Either way, above are the check boxes you can turn off. "Studies" allows a number of things to be installed or changed in the background, including patches and features. I turn them all off.

All of this seems like a lot of work for what once was a simple install. Unfortunately, this seems to be the new norm, as many browsers, and even operating systems (cough Windows 10 cough) implement more of this nonsense, which previously would have been unacceptable. I could also add about there being no way to permanently enable Flash Player, when the 2 plugins that come bundled with Firefox are always enabled, but I think this is enough for right now.


  • edited December 2019

    Is this with regular Fx? My ESR installs don't have any of this nonsense except for Pocket, but I turned that off forever ago.

  • @robobox said:
    Is this with regular Fx? My ESR Installs don't have any of this nonsense except for Pocket, but I turned that off forever ago.

    Yes, this is the regular Firefox. Some of this stuff started with v71 (like the gift icon). I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of these appear in the next major ESR version.

  • I have none of these also, as I'm too an ESR user. However I did get the Recommended Plug-Ins the minute I got my ESR version upgraded but removed that straight away.

    Also, I've always set my homepage to about:blank so I'm free from that eyesore which reminds me too much of Edge.

  • This is why I put up with what's his name and simply use Pale Moon.
    I put up with Australis, and then Firefox began bring all sorts of childish garbage from other browsers I can't find the words to write.

    It's trying to get a foothold back improperly: by copying other browsers. Very very sad.
    I still remember the day Firefox 3 came out and I was like "damn, this is one unique browser."
    Now it looks and acts like anything else out there. Sickening and saddening.
    Mozilla what happened to you?

  • Another thing I noticed recently is that Mozilla has been hiding the ESR downloads on their site.

    However, at least it isn't like another certain browser that prevents you from customizing anything.

  • edited December 2019

    Personally, I got tired of Firefox the moment I had to start beating it up just to show the standard menu bar. Of course, they would not need to hide it if idiots would stop using short screen monitors.

    BTW, they have always tried to hide their ESR builds, even though that is what normal people should be using. Instead they wanted to force the public to be beta testers. I suspect they pay Google to hide the direct link:

    Download Firefox ESR

  • I always enable the menu bar also. And there's one other weird thing I've noticed, only on linux. Firefox ignores the system scrollbar style and automatically makes it this horrible thing with no scroll arrow buttons.

    The scrollbar in the Appearance window is what it should look like. I tried a number of different themes and it didn't seem to change anything. When I searched the issue, a lot of people have complained about it. Firefox blames the OS and its theme, linux developers blame the browser. And then there are those in the forums who just go "You don't need the scrollbar arrows anyway. They're outdated waaaaaahhhhh..."

  • Yep modern firefox sucks but there isn't any real alternatives. Pale Moon simply doesn't cut it for me since it doesn't support some of the extensions I regularly use such as RES.

  • @SomeGuy said:
    Personally, I got tired of Firefox the moment I had to start beating it up just to show the standard menu bar.

    You're not the only one. I remember trying to get it back right after the upgrade to Firefox 3.5 (or some other version, can't remember, but it was around the summer of 2009). Now it's easier to bring it back by right clicking any free space where the tabs are and selecting "Menu Bar".

    However, the biggest inconvenience for me was when Firefox 55 came about, it unified the address and search bars (because I like to have a separate search bar for quick look-ups). That caused me to get Pale Moon but later Firefox 52 ESR. Thankfully when it came to ESR 60, I now have a choice between a unified search bar or two separate ones. Let's hope that remains unchanged.

  • edited December 2019

    I myself use SeaMonkey on Windows and MacOS, as it doesn't have any of the nonsense that modern Fx has, and it has a UI with an actual menu bar. On Debian I use a customized Firefox ESR.

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