[Firefox Tips] Disable Add-on Signature Check, Suggested Sites on New Tab Page and Website Blocking Feature

Recently Mozilla released a new version of Firefox web browser to stable channel which comes with many new features and improvements as mentioned in following article:

Mozilla Firefox New Version Updates

But there are a few changes or new features which might cause problems to a few users and users may want to disable them. Some of those unwanted features are as following:

  • Add-on or extension signature check requirement
  • Malware protection against websites containing unwanted software downloads
  • Suggested website tiles on New Tab page

Starting from Firefox 40.0 version, the browser will automatically check for the verified signature whenever you try to install an add-on or extension in Firefox. If the add-on has been verified by Mozilla and contains correct signature, Firefox will allow you to install the add-on. If the add-on doesn't contain verified signature, Firefox will show you a warning message such as "Add-on could not be verified for use in Firefox. Proceed with caution". In upcoming versions of Firefox, Mozilla will permanently disable unsigned add-on installation and you'll not be able to install unsigned add-on or extensions.

Mozilla has also enabled additional malware protection in Firefox which automatically disables websites containing unwanted deceptive software. Whenever you try to open such website, Firefox will show you a warning message such as "This web page has been reported to contain unwanted software and has been blocked based on your security preferences." By using this feature, Firefox sends some metadata such as website URL, file name, file type, file size, etc to Google's Safe Browsing service to know whether the website and software file is safe or not. Some users may not want to send any data to Google for privacy reasons.

Also if you open New Tab page in Mozilla Firefox new version, you may notice new unwanted website tiles which are suggested by Firefox based on your browsing history. Many users will like to disable these suggested tiles on New Tab page.

Today in this tutorial, we'll tell you ways to disable all these unwanted features in Mozilla Firefox. So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

Disable Add-on Signature Check Requirement in Firefox

We'll need to use Firefox advanced configuration tool "about:config" to disable add-on signing enforcement.

1. Open Firefox and type about:config in addressbar and press Enter. It'll open the configuration editor.

2. Now type xpinstall in Search filter box and it'll show a few results in the window.

3. Double-click on xpinstall.signatures.required preference and it'll change its value to false. Alternatively, you can right-click on the preference and select Toggle option.

Disable_Addon_Signature_Check_Firefox.png

That's it. It'll immediately disable add-on signature check requirement and Mozilla will no longer show warning for unsigned add-on or extensions.

Disable Blocking of Websites Which Contain Unwanted Software Downloads

Although we do not recommend disabling this feature but if you are sure a website is incorrectly blocked by Firefox and want to turn off this security feature, following steps will help you:

1. Open Preferences by clicking on Hamburger-style (3 lines) Menu button -> Options.

2. In options window, go to "Security" tab and uncheck following 2 options:

  • Block reported attack sites
  • Block reported web forgeries

Disable_Malware_Website_Blocking_Firefox.png

That's it. Now Firefox will not block any website and will not send any meta data to Google.

Disable Suggested Website Tiles on New Tab Page

1. Open a new tab and click on Settings icon (gear icon) present on top-right corner of New Tab page.

2. Now uncheck "Include suggested sites" option if you want to keep "Show your top sites" option enabled. Otherwise select "Show blank page" option.

Disable_Suggested_Websites_Firefox_New_Tab_Page.png

That's it. Now Firefox will no longer show suggested website tiles on New Tab page.





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Posted in: Mozilla Firefox


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Comments

  • in Disable Blocking of Websites Which Contain Unwanted Software Downloads
    it is better to click on exceptions on the right side then adding the website address you don not want to be blocked.
    better than allowing everything to be unblocked.

  • Is it possible to block individual sites from being blocked, without turning off the entire "Block reported attack sites" feature? I don't think it is.

    There is a BitTorrent site I frequent that gives rise to a warning every time I visit it. However, I find this ludicrous. The only threat is if you are stupid enough to download and run software from the site. (I think if you download and run software from a BitTorrent site, you deserve what you get, but that's a separate point.)

    If you're going to warn on BitTorrent sites because some software downloads are malicious, you should also warn on Gmail and every other webmail service, because sometimes you *will* get malicious email attachments. To be clear, doing so would be ridiculous, but that is my point.

  • Firefox 43.0 completely disables the add-ons which have not been signed by Mozilla.
    The above 'Disable Signature Check' tweak works for enabling them again.

    Thanks, VG :)

  • Update 43.0 has been a pain for me. I use Kaspersky and in your wisdom you think this is not secure. OK so I use the about:config tweak fine except the next day the bloody thing is back to the default setting (very frustrating).
    It has alreadycaused me a long telephone converstion with the NI site over investments and many failed purchase attempts and password re-sets.

    What do you think you are doing?

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