Thursday, March 19, 2015

How do I turn on Tracking Protection? Let me count the ways.

I get this question a lot from various people, so it deserves its own post. Here's how to turn on Tracking Protection in Firefox to avoid connecting to known tracking domains from Disconnect's blocklist:
  1. Visit about:config and turn on privacy.trackingprotection.enabled. Because this works Firefox 35 or later, this is my favorite method. In Firefox 37 and later, it also works on Fennec.
  2. On Fennec Nightly, visit Settings > Privacy and select the checkbox "Tracking Protection".
  3. Install Lightbeam and toggle the "Tracking Protection" button in the top-right corner. Check out the difference in visiting only 2 sites with Tracking Protection on and off!
  4. On Firefox Nightly, visit about:config and turn on browser.polaris.enabled. This will enable privacy.trackingprotection.enabled and also show the checkbox for it in about:preferences#privacy, similar to the Fennec screenshot above. Because this only works in Nightly and also requires visiting about:config, it's my least favorite option.
  5. Do any of the above and sign into Firefox Sync. Tracking Protection will be enabled on all of your desktop profiles!


  1. Any idea how this interacts with Ghostery? Presumably it would be a no-op if Ghostery is already rewriting these 3rd party script refs, but I'm curious.

    1. Ghostery and other addons that rely on nsIContentPolicy process requests before the network channel is even opened, so if the same resource is blocked by both Ghostery and Tracking Protection, then Tracking Protection won't even see the request.


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