Mozilla integrates Heartbeat user rating system in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 28, 2015
Updated • Jan 23, 2018

All Firefox versions ship with reporting and telemetry functionality. If enabled, these feature submit reports to Mozilla which help the organization get a better understanding of the Firefox browser.

There are three core features built-in Firefox currently that collect data and submit reports when enabled: health report, telemetry and crash reporter.

Health Report is being used in two ways. First, the data is analyzed by Mozilla to identify and correct issues such as high crash rates or slow startup times. The data is then used to address these issues and sometimes also inform Firefox users about them directly in the browser.

Telemetry provides Mozilla with real-world data. It helps understand how Firefox is used in the "real-world" and collects information about performance, hardware, usage or customizations.

You can load about:telemetry to display what is being collected or access aggregated data on Mozilla's Telemetry website.

The Crash Reporter finally sends reports about crashes of the browser to Firefox.

A fourth option has just been added to the most recent Beta version of Firefox.

Firefox Heartbeat


The Heartbeat user rating system is a rating widget that is randomly displayed to a subset of all Beta users of the browser.

It is designed to get "real-user" feedback as opposed to raw data in order to add user perception of features to the technical information that Mozilla collects already.

The primary goal of the user rating system is to identify issues and user frustration early on to reduce the number of repair releases by identifying and fixing bugs early.

A five-star rating widget is displayed to Firefox users who have been selected on that day randomly. Once you have rated the individual feature or experiment displayed to you, you are taken to a second engagement screen displaying various options to support Mozilla (for instance by liking on Facebook or following on Twitter).

Mozilla notes that the rating widget is offered to a "random subset of users" every day.

Disable Heartbeat

disable heartbeat

To disable Hearbeat in the browser, do the following:

  1. Type about:config in Firefox's address bar and hit enter.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Search for extensions.shield-recipe-client.enabled
  4. Double-click the preference to set it to false.

To restore it at any later point in time, perform the operation outlined above again. Instead of double-clicking the preference, right-click on it and select reset from the context menu.

The feature is included in all versions of the Firefox web browser.

Mozilla integrates Heartbeat user rating system in Firefox Beta
Article Name
Mozilla integrates Heartbeat user rating system in Firefox Beta
Mozilla has started to integrate a new user rating system called Heartbeat into Firefox Beta which polls users of the browser to identify issues early on.
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  1. Marco said on May 2, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Comment from 2018: Everyone who places a “backup” or “further” or “additional” telemetry client without telling me in regular option panel AND makes it work and pop up EVEN if I disabled the official and only telemetry option visible (unless you already know of the existence of the other!) is not behaving in a trustworthy manner. It’s a very good browser, but also Win10 is a good SO when evaluated as a program. They are displaying the same passive-aggressiveness they contest to MS. First they build something into new product without clearly telling you, then you have to find it out, then they tell you how to disable something you never wanted (so you can’t complain they’re forcing it). And…surprise! After all the time you lost the keep saying something like “Sorry for the annoyance. We understand you really don’t want this feature despite our heartfelt efforts, you ungrateful. Anyway have a nice day!” (parodyzing the message from the official wiki) Even middle-schoolers can handle refusals better. What’s different from Win10? More info, more options to disable. Still plenty of time lost just NOT TO have something. Mozilla was my favourite but now, following this “we want to know” intrusive trend they lost some ground. That’s a real user feedback, not deep-buried telemetry…

  2. TG2 said on March 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    *Feedback regarding the article*

    So mozilla yet again looking to get feedback from places that don’t mesh to the real world?

    Beta .. how many regular users install beta? I’m more than your average user, but I don’t do beta’s of firefox, infact I’m the oposite on somethings. With some of the crap mozilla has done over the past year and half, I actually started sticking to a few ESR revs for a time. They still have issues that the common man comes across, that for their own arrogance, stops people using the browser.

    SSL would be a key problem of theirs, and their arrogance has cost them. And still does until they finally show a dialog that *does* allow a user to take *FULL* responsibility for any and all SSL related errors.

  3. All Things Firefox said on February 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Martin, why did you remove the “We Use” section from the headliner? At least on my computer, there is extra room there for it, even with the Support button.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 1, 2015 at 7:48 am

      I moved it to the bottom for now. I still plan to move a Patreon, Donate and Support link to the sidebar to make them more visible, not sure how though yet.

  4. Niks said on February 28, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Should not have posted more articles after “Ghacks is dying and needs your help”. Should have kept it at top at least for this weekend to give more exposure.

    1. Croatoan said on February 28, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Ghacks has on average two stories per day and by making more articles that are important for readers he has very good status for tech site :D
      But I agree with you that he needs to have more exposure.

    2. RG said on February 28, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Use custom css to highlight it now that it is the first one in the “Popular” tab

    3. Martin Brinkmann said on February 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

      It is placed prominently under “support us” currently. I’m thinking of other means to give it more exposure.

      1. fokka said on February 28, 2015 at 3:14 pm

        you could “sticky” it so it will stay on top for a week or so, if that is possible. that would still feel less intrusive than a banner of sorts.

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm

        I won’t add a new banner. What I have in mind right now is place a support and donation button in the sidebar, and replace the banners for ad-blocking users with a static image that links to Patreon or the article.

      3. Niks said on February 28, 2015 at 10:55 am

        I don’t think anybody will actually look at it since it looks like just another navbar item. Maybe you should highlight it with some bright color.

      4. Martin Brinkmann said on February 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm

        Agreed. I will place it more prominently just have to find a better location for it.

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