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A Guide to Bettering Firefox

Web browsers are kind of awful. They do too much (why would I want an application to be an image viewer, pdf reader, media player, and html renderer?), and as a result, they are bloated beyond belief. They strain developer resources, require sandboxing because of the insane default that JavaScript is arbitrarily executed, and yet, they're the most prolific method of application distribution in the modern day. Web browsers have become the most convenient place for many to do their computing, so, with this page, I'm trying to define a more sane functionality for the browser I use—Firefox.

Why Firefox?

I use Firefox because it is the best web browser for the kinds of modifications I need. It is also the last major browser standing against Chromium domination (even if Mozilla takes money from Google). If there were a web browser that had sane defaults and all of the features I need (and I do plan on creating my own that does), I would immediately switch to it; however, until there is a satisfactory browser, which can do what I want from Firefox, I will stick either with it or a fork of it like LibreWolf.

If you don't want to use Firefox, then at least choose your browser carefully.

In addition to the modifications and extensions listed here, my script, xdg-sanity, can be used to prevent your web browser from being used to open remote content that has a MIME type other than text/html.

Modifications to about:config

Read more about about:config here.

These settings are advanced user settings, and I'm not responsible for misconfigured browsers, broken web pages, or thermonuclear war.

Make any entries that do not have anything written for their values blank.


Disable or Enable Features

Disable Digital Rights Management

What is DRM and why would I want to disable it?

Disable Pocket

What is Pocket and why would I want to disable it?



Webpage Prefetching & Caching

Mozilla Telemetry

User-Agent Spoofing


Read about DOH here.

Header Sanitization

Disable Google Safe Browsing

This is an exhaustive list of all the settings you need to change. Typing only browser.safebrowsing into the about:config search box will return all of them, but make sure to apply the correct value to each.


When it comes to extensions, fewer is better, so try to limit your extensions to the minimum you need to browse the web. This helps reduce the performance impact and fingerprintability of your browser. The following are a list of extensions you can give the boot:

If there is any extension you feel is missing from this list, feel free to send me a git patch through e-mail adding it along with a description as to why you believe it should be included. Before contacting me, please read through the whole list and the DON'T BOTHER section of arkenfox's extensions page.

Standard Privacy Extensions

Advanced Privacy Extensions

These extensions may hinder or break certain functionality on websites using heavy amounts of JavaScript.


Further Reading

Fingerprinting Tests