Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

How to remove surveys starting up with Firefox.

more options

We all have done it, said ok to taking a survey, right? Well this is bull. No site survey should be able to in bed itself in a startup session, ever. So, how do we go in and remove just that one site who has taken control of my startup. Closing it should be the end of it but no. These are not adware, reset is not the answer, too much work to do a reset. We should have a list of sites that are in the session restore so we can remove some misbehaving ones.

All Replies (3)

more options

What survey? From who? Is there an unsubscribe in the survey?


more options

Here are four ways an unwanted page could appear at startup:

(1) Home page => Custom URLs setting

If the page always appears in a new window (Ctrl+n), this is the likely explanation. See: How to set the home page.

(2) Session restoration / Crash recovery

If Firefox is set to restore your previous session windows and tabs, or if you forcibly terminate the program, Firefox will attempt to recover the last set of open tabs at the next startup. You mentioned "We should have a list of sites that are in the session restore so we can remove some misbehaving ones" so possibly this is the problem?

==> I'll give detailed suggestions below the line.

(3) Modified desktop shortcut

If you get an unwanted page every time you use your desktop shortcut, that URL might have been embedded. We can come back to how to check this but in short, right-click > Properties, check the Target line on the Shortcut tab. Usually you only need "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" with nothing after it.

(4) Add-on

Even if an add-on doesn't change your home page, it might be able to launch pages at various times. We can come back to how to check your extensions but as a starting point: Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems.

Bypassing Pages in Session History That You Do Not Want Restored

Unfortunately, once you have loaded an attack page, Firefox's crash recovery feature may keep bringing it back. There isn't a quick and convenient workaround for that, but I can describe a couple not-so-quick options.

Option #1: Hide the Session History Files

This prevents Firefox from restoring your previous session. If you don't care about those open tabs, this is easier. Also, I have a tool to generate a list of links from the old file for reference so you can re-open pages when needed.

Option #2: Change the Crash Recovery Behavior

If this seems to happen to you often, Firefox can be set to show a list of windows and tabs to select from instead of restoring automatically. Then you can pick out what you want and avoid the rest. This is easy to set up when Firefox is running normally, but takes more effort in the situation where you cannot start Firefox.

First Step: Open Your Profile Folder

Open Firefox's Profiles folders by pasting this shortcut to the Windows 10 system search box:


That should launch a File Explorer into the hidden path:


Here you may find just one folder or you might find multiple folders all with names like "ab35cd21.default-release". Find the folder with the most recently modified files.

Hiding Session History Files

Your profile folder should have a sub-folder named sessionstore-backups containing various files from your last session. Right-click that folder, click Rename, and add the word OLD so the folder name is sessionstore-backupsOLD then click away or press Enter to complete the name change.

Before leaving your profile folder, look for any file named sessionstore.jsonlz4 -- normally this file only exists after a normal shutdown, not after a crash or forced termination. If you do find that file, right-click > Rename to sessionstoreOLD.jsonlz4.

When you start Firefox, it should not find any tabs to restore and should start a new session.

If you want a list of what was in a session history file, you can load it into my tool here and then click Scrounge URLs:

The script should complete in 15 seconds or less. Longer than that and it probably is hanging (tab crash). You can close the tab and try again in a new tab.

If you get a useful list, click the Save List button so you can load the page from your computer when needed.

Modifying Crash Recovery Behavior

When Firefox is running, you can do it this way:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box in the page, type or paste sess and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the browser.sessionstore.max_resumed_crashes preference to display an editing field, and change the value to 0 then press Enter or click the blue check mark button to save the change.

But if Firefox is not running, you can edit the prefs.js file which collects your modified preferences. Firefox is rather particular about the format of this file, so you need to use an editor that won't change the formatting.

Don't double-click .js files because Windows will execute them as system scripts. prefs.js won't harm your system, but you never know, so it's good to avoid double-clicking them.

First, you may need to set Windows to show all file extensions rather than hiding common ones. This article has the steps:

Next, right-click prefs.js and choose Edit (to open it in Notepad) or Open With (to use a fancier editor).

At the end of the file, on a new line, paste in

user_pref("browser.sessionstore.max_resumed_crashes", 0);

and save the file. That should be equivalent to changing the setting through about:config.

Hopefully one of these tips will work for you.


more options

From the RNC. They are using Foresee. and the the Survey stops after 4 times being closed. I can't look for it anymore because it is gone. When you accept the request to take the survey a new window pops up with the survey. I have my Firefox set to clear clear history when closing. I don't use new windows for web pages, only tabs. We need a setting that simply says, Clear startup new window links on exit. So any link that is set to run in a new window on startup will be removed. That will fix their pants. Thank for all the help. I have made notes and will see if any of this works next time. Maybe even come up with some VB to add to take care of this.


Ask a question

You must log in to your account to reply to posts. Please start a new question, if you do not have an account yet.