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Why are eBay, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google, Bing and Amazon extensions listed in profile without permission or removal option in add-ons manager?

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  • 2 have this problem
  • 537 views
  • Last reply by lmo129

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Why did Mozilla add bing, google, twitter. amazon, eBay and wikipedia extensions without permission and without showing them in the add-on manager for removal? I found them in my profile, but could not disable them there. Fortunately I was able to disable them in CCleaner. I have not found any explanation in version update blogs, privacy policy notices, etc. If they were added to Firefox by the websites, there was no notice that this would happen that I could find. Is the extension the new data collection technology for these websites to replace cookies?

Chosen solution

Those two are not bundled with Firefox. Defaults are included in the omni.ja file, so they can't really be removed. And last time I checked it, they couldn't collect any data. This search engine file contains only manifest with an URL to the search engine, list of parameters and translations.

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All Replies (9)

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These are not extensions but search engines. A number of search engines has been in Firefox since almost beginning. Now the only change is that they are listed on the about:support page.

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Two questions: Not all search engines are listed as extensions, e.g. IMDB and wiktionary. Maybe these two were not defaults? When I remove search engines on Options Search page, they still show up as "true" in profile list, even after restarting Firefox. CCleaner still shows them as "disabled" plugins, but they returned as "true" in profiles after a restart , so there is no way to remove them from there now either. So can they actually be removed or would that negatively impact operation? And do these extensions collect data even when not in use? Thanks.

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Chosen Solution

Those two are not bundled with Firefox. Defaults are included in the omni.ja file, so they can't really be removed. And last time I checked it, they couldn't collect any data. This search engine file contains only manifest with an URL to the search engine, list of parameters and translations.

Modified by TyDraniu

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See also this builtin page:

  • resource://search-extensions/
  • resource://search-extensions/list.json
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As stated above, I had disabled unwanted Twitter, eBay, Amazon, etc., Firefox extensions using CCleaner. All the disabled extensions automatically re-entered enabled on a second line after the 71.0 update. So now I have 32 extensions and plugins shown for Firefox (compared to 6 in I.E., 3 of which are disabled in I.E.). I had previously refreshed Firefox and have 2 profiles. The disabled line was for a "default" profile, the second same enabled extension was for a "Default User" profile. I hoped if I enabled the original line, the second would be unnecessary and disappear, but the duplicates remained even after a re-boot. I also switched back to the original profile, but duplicate lines showed there as well. Should I delete one profile? Refreshing and creating a third profile probably won't help. It doesn't seem to be a problem with CCleaner.

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Hi lmo129

The extensions you mention aren't really installed in the profile folder, but some like the screenshot add-on are installed globally in the "browser/features" folder in the Firefox program folder and others like the search engines are builtin (stored in an omni.ja archive in the Firefox program folder) and merely show as installed and enabled when you use a specific profile. Only extensions you see in the extensions folder in a profile are actually installed in this profile.

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I opened an extensions folder for one of my profiles in Notepad and really couldn't make any sense of it. Maybe different installations should have different names, but my main interest is to eliminate the duplications. Any idea how to clear out what appears to be in my profiles at this point? Also, it would be nice if users did not have so many add-ons that they may not want, especially if they are not necessary. I liked Firefox because I used to feel like I had more control with this browser. Thanks.

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In my Troubleshooting Information, those search engines ARE listed under extensions, though not listed in add-ons. And they do sometimes kick in though I use duckduckgo

Modified by Bootz

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I also use DDG which is why I did not need the additional search engines and tried to disable them. Bottom line is that Mozilla took away some of the user's right to chose which was a hallmark feature of Firefox in the past. I show 14 plugins for Firefox now since I removed duplicate profiles. I only chose about 3 of these, like the 3 total I have listed for I.E., which now seems to be the less encumbered browser. Firefox seems to get less user friendly with every update. Responses have described what exists and where, but still haven't explained why all these add ons are necessary. Thanks.