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How do I block the sponsered ads that show up on the blank page?

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I have Firefox set to not remember any history and to delete cookies on close. When I restart Firefox the blank page is filled with advertising.

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Just click the gear icon in the top-right and change from 'enhanced' to 'classic' or 'blank.'

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All Replies (9)

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What do you mean by the blank page -- do you mean in the Preferences dialog you chose the startup option of a blank page? If that doesn't sound familiar, see: Startup, home page, tabs, and download settings

That page really should be blank! What if you change your startup option to use a home page, and for your home page specify


(the built-in blank page)

Any difference? You can test by launching a new window (Command+n).

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If about:blank also is not really blank, my next suggestion would be to test in Firefox's Safe Mode. That's a standard diagnostic tool to deactivate extensions and some advanced features of Firefox. More info: Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode.

You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

Not all add-ons are disabled: Flash and other plugins still run

After Firefox shuts down, a small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

Any difference?

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The page comes up when a new tab is selected. This article describes the offensive advertising:

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Chosen Solution

Just click the gear icon in the top-right and change from 'enhanced' to 'classic' or 'blank.'

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Delete the ads, set the gear icon to blank, give it a restart. So far so good. I am so overloaded with the advertising thrown at me from every angle. It just pissed me off and was about ready to dump Firefox (I like Firefox).

Thanks for the help!

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Do you mean the directory tiles on the about:newtab page?

If you want to remove the sponsored directory links on the about:newtab page then use these steps:

Set the pref to an empty string on the about:config page.

  • = <empty>

Delete the directoryLinks.json file in the parent location of the disk cache to remove the currently stored directory links.

  • delete directoryLinks.json

See the about:cache page for the location of the disk cache and go one level up.

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I'll be careful" to continue.

The "AppData" folder in Windows Vista and later Window 7+ versions and the "Application Data" folder in XP/Win2K are hidden folders.

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Thanks for the last set of instructions. it confirms the Mozilia is adapting nasty advertise practices, most users would just deal with it. Shame on Mozilla.

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Note that you can drag a bookmark or history item and drop them in a tile on the about:newtab page to pin them and have your own favorites sites showing.

See also this article about the New Tab page (about:newtab):

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Thanks for the fast and timely responses, very helpful.