Opt-out of sending add-on information to Mozilla

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 21, 2012
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Mozilla introduced the Get Add-ons dialog in the add-on manager of Firefox and Thunderbird in Firefox 4 and Thunderbird 5. It basically displays a list of featured and recommended add-ons for the user which they may or may not find useful. I never found the feature useful as I prefer to hunt for add-ons on my own and not from within the Add-ons Manager. When I look right now at the recommended section, I also notice add-ons like the Sanskrit, Turkmen or Ndebele spell checker which I have no use for whatsoever.

The personalized recommendations are based on the add-ons that you have installed in Firefox or Thunderbird if you have at least three add-ons installed. The program sends information about the installed add-ons to Mozilla once per day so that the recommended section on the Get Add-ons screen can be updated.

firefox get add-ons

Firefox and Thunderbird users may have two issues with the Get Add-ons feature of the browser. First, it is sending add-on information to Mozilla once per day, which seems a bit excessive considering that most users probably do not make that many changes to their list of add-ons to justify that. Second, the recommendations are not useful enough to justify keeping the feature enabled.

Thankfully though, there is a way to disable the sending of add-on information to Mozilla:


Press Shift-F2 to open the developer console. What you need to do here is set the preference firefox get add-ons extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled to false. You do that with the following command:

pref set extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled false

extension getaddons cache enabled


You need to click on Tools > Options in Thunderbird, and switch to Advanced > General there. Click on the Config Editor screen here and enter the same preference name into the search box at the top.

Double-click the preference when it is displayed to change its value from true (enabled) to false (disabled).

thunderbird addons

It is likely that other Mozilla-based programs have the same setting, provided that they also do display add-on recommendations in the application.

Please note that setting the preference to false blocks the updating of add-on metadata in the browser. Metadata includes screenshots, the description, ratings or downloads. While I'm not 100% certain of that, it is likely that the data gets updated whenever you update the add-on though. (via Techdows)


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  1. Guest said on October 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I do use the in-browser Add-ons menu for search and installing from time to time (not the Get Add-ons function). Occasionally when I’m running a fresh Firefox install/profile or a School PC with Firefox on it, and I just want to install a handful of simple Add-ons simultaneously.

    I mostly just back-up my profile or Firefox portable for everything else, but it’s still nice to have the other option available for quick access reasons.

  2. Ken Saunders said on October 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Nice tip.

    You can also add the following to hide the Get Add-ons option altogether (still sends info of course if the preference you mentioned isn’t altered).

    #category-discover {
    display: none !important;


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