How To Completely Disable Firefox Tiles (Including Tracking Features)

Firefox Tiles
mox1
Thursday, Nov 13th 2014

After updating to Firefox 33.1 on my MacPro last night, I was greeted with an annoying new feature, known as Mozilla Tiles. In this blog post I give you a quick run-down on how to completely disable them, and give you a nice blank page back.

Last night Firefox prompted me to update to the latest version. When it restarted I was greeted with the lovely new page you see above. Basically this is Mozilla's way of making a few extra dollars. Initially, Mozilla indicated they would not be tracking or doing analytics on users interaction with the the tiles page, but currently it appears that they do. Being a bit frustrated with all of that, I went in search of a way to disable it. I found that you can partially turn it off, but there were no instructions on how to fully revert back to the pre Firefox 33 version (which just showed a blank page and didn't track anything). So after a bit of tinkering, I figured out how to do it.

To Disable Mozilla Tiles Completely:

Start Firefox and open a new tab. Leave the top URL bar blank
  1. Type "about:config" into the top bar (where the url is usually located, NOT the search bar).
  2. You will see a page that says This might void your warranty. Click I'll be careful I promise
  3. Type "browser.newtab" into the search bar that just showed up.
  4. Edit browser.newtab.url and change it to "about:blank"
  5. Edit browser.newtabpage.directory.ping and make it blank (delete what is there)
  6. Edit browser.newtabpage.directory.source and make it blank (delete what is there)

If you have followed the steps above correctly, your window should now look something like this:



And there you have it, Firefox no longer has the URL to send tracking info to, so it can't track your Tile usage if it wanted to! It also removes the silly gear that stays in the top right if you disable tiles using the recommended method.