Ads have even invaded the Firefox URL bar now

Firefox Suggest
(Image credit: Mozilla)

After adding a new suggested search result feature to its browser earlier this month, ads have now begun to appear in the address bar in Firefox when US users search the web.

According to Mozilla, this feature was first introduced with the release of Firefox 92 back in September in order to fund the development and optimization of its browser. The company provided further details on Firefox Suggest in a support document, saying:

“Beginning in Firefox version 92, you will also receive new, relevant suggestions from our trusted partners based on what you’re searching for. No new types of data are collected, stored, or shared to make these new recommendations.”

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If contextual suggestions are enabled, Firefox Suggest will show links from its trusted partners directly under search results when searching the web from the browser's address bar. While these links could be convenient for users and will help Mozilla fund Firefox's ongoing development, at the end of the day, they're still technically ads.

Firefox Suggest 

After updating to the latest version of Firefox, the browser will show you a pop up asking you if you want to enable “contextual suggestions” or adjust your settings. While many users might just enable Firefox Suggest without actually knowing what the feature does, thankfully you can disable it after the fact.

To do so, you'll first need to click on the browser's hamburger menu and select Settings. From here, click on Privacy and Security in the sidebar and scroll down to Address Bar – Firefox Suggest. To turn off the feature, you'll need to deselect contextual suggestions as well as the occasional sponsored suggestions check box.

Mozilla has set its browser apart from both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge by positioning Firefox as a more privacy conscious alternative. However, having ads show up in the search bar that leverage a user's location can be off putting for those who installed the browser for its privacy and security features.

We'll have to wait and see whether or not Mozilla continues its work on Firefox Suggest but until then, at least you can disable the feature in Firefox's settings.

Via The Verge

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.