What is pingsender.exe on Windows?

If you monitor the connections your computer makes, you may have noticed that a program called pingsender.exe is making regular connections to the Internet.

Depending on the program or service that you use to monitor connections, you may get additional information right away. Windows Firewall Control for instance displays the remote IP address of the connection attempt, and the organization that signed the executable files.

That organization is Mozilla Corporation, and the IP address belongs to Amazon's cloud service AWS.

Pingsender.exe

pingsender.exe

You may have noticed as well that pingsender.exe springs to action whenever you close the Firefox web browser.

The article "Getting Firefox data faster: the shutdown pingsender" by Alessio Placitelli provides additional information on the executable file.

Firefox collects data if telemetry collecting is enabled. The browse transfers the data regularly to Mozilla in intervals. A big chunk of data was sent to Mozilla on the start of the next browsing session up until recently.

The issue was that this could mean that Mozilla would get the data hours, days or even weeks after it had been collected by the browser.

Pingsender is activated from the second browsing session on. It is launched as a separate process during Firefox shut down, and attempts to send the telemetry data that was collected during the browsing session to Mozilla.

Mozilla managed to reduce the sending time significantly. According to Placitelli, 85% of pings reach Mozilla within an hour, and 95% do so within the first 8 hours. Only 25% of pings reached Mozilla in the first hour without pingsender, and it took 90 hours to reach the 95% level of pings without pingsender.

Read also:  Firefox: Legacy add-on, or WebExtension? How to find out

In short: Pingsender is a separate process that Firefox spawns on shut down to send telemetry data to Mozilla.

Firefox users may load about:telemetry in the browser's address bar to check the data that Mozilla is collecting.

Those who don't want to provide Mozilla with data can turn the data off under about:preferences#privacy.

firefox pingsender

Another option is available. If Pingsender.exe is the problem, you may turn that feature off in the following way:

  1. Load about:config?filter=toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled in the browser's address bar. This opens the advanced Firefox configuration dialog.
  2. The preference toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled determines whether Pingsender is used or not. You can disable it by setting its value to False. Simply double-click on the preference to do so.
  3. The preference toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabledFirstSession enables Pingsender for the first session as well.
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What is pingsender.exe on Windows?
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The article describes the purpose of pingsender.exe, a program for Windows that is launched on the operating system when Firefox shuts down.
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Responses to What is pingsender.exe on Windows?

  1. dark October 14, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled

    Its already false by default on Waterfox. :)

    • Gabriele October 14, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Waterfox is a good alternative, and i will switch for it if they maintain the promise to prolong the XUL add-ons compatibility after v57.
      But they are a bit slower releasing new updates: FF 56 is out from september 27 and they are still on 55

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 10:43 am #

        It's a lot of work but Waterfox 56 is scheduled for second half of this October. It's coming... I'm waiting for it as well.

    • HK-Rapper October 14, 2017 at 10:20 am #

      Waterfox users are browsing voluntarily with 1 critical and 6 high Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures? Way to make a point.

      I just configured my FF 58 and 52 ESR manually and it works better than Waterfox. Enjoying servo a lot on nightly, that speedboost is insane!

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 10:51 am #

        Waterfox will fully express its potential when Firefox 57 will provoke many users' cries and tears by throwing their legacy add-ons to the garbage : many will then either (try to) revert to Firefox ESR 52 (done from Firefox 55+ they'll have to reinstall from scratch I guess), either switch to another browser, either opt for Waterfox. My belief is that many will choose Waterfox. I anticipated when I moved recently from Firefox ESR to Waterfox and up to now I'm bathing in the ocean of tranquility (though that wording would better fit to 'Pale Moon'!)

      • HK-Rapper October 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

        >"many users' cries and tears by throwing their legacy add-ons to the garbage"[1]

        [1]Citation needed, because:

        1) Mozilla says a lot users use no extensions
        proof: https://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/06/surprise-40-of-firefox-users-dont-use-add-ons/

        2) there are lists for migration, which webextension replaces what legacy addon
        proof: https://gist.github.com/IzzySoft/db7c7d4243283ca84b3abd8b94114e2e

        3) tree style tabs ported
        proof: https://www.ghacks.net/2017/09/27/tree-style-tab-is-a-webextension-now/

        3) so far I could find replacements for 19 out of 20 addons I have
        proof: myself

        The drama is fake. Evolve and embrace the speed of nightly. I've seen the light. People who are dinosaurs and upset or lazy creating drama. Nothing new since the fall of Rome. I'm glad when those who "cry" as you say are gone to Chrome and stop bombarding these articles with their fake news how bad Firefox is when Firefox is still the best browser.

        Martin helps those who still care to make Firefox a better place, so thanks for the article. Even though pingsender was already silenced on my system.

      • Richard Allen October 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

        @HK-Rapper
        "Waterfox users are browsing voluntarily with 1 critical and 6 high Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures? Way to make a point."

        Just out of curiosity, what am I missing here? 10 days ago Waterfox was updated to include the security updates from FF v52.4esr and FF v56. Since then 52.4.1 and 56.0.1 were released but those were bug releases not security updates. So...what am I missing?!? It took the Waterfox dev one week (Oct. 4) to incorporate the security patch along with some other changes. I wouldn't consider that anywhere close to an excessive amount of time. Especially when I compare that to a so-called 'security' company who proclaims to be a leader in their field take multiple weeks to update their version of the chromium browser. When you consider the army of devs (sarcasm) working on Waterfox I think 'they' are doing a fine job.

        "I just configured my FF 58 and 52 ESR manually and it works better than Waterfox."

        Anyone that has used Nightly recently will agree that Nighlty performs better than WF And FF. 52esr? Not so much! I can't think of a single parameter where 52esr is better than v55, not one. I currently have WF, FF v56, and Nightly installed and I used FF ESR for a few years before updating to the release channel when v54 was released. Again, what am I missing?

      • Appster October 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

        @HK-Rapper: You don't know what you are talking about. Alex Kontos, the Waterfox dev, has backported all the security patches of Firefox 56 to Waterfox 55.2, so that his users stay safe while he is preparing the Waterfox 56 release. And how can Firefox work better than Waterfox when Waterfox is just the same Firefox minus the crap?

        @Tom Hawack: I like that pun at the end, although I would not dare to compare anything Moonchild does to such beauty.

      • Richard Allen October 14, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

        @ Martin
        Many hours and 10 comments ago I submitted a comment very similar to the one below and it disappeared. Is there a reason for the disappearance that I need to be made aware of?

        @HK-Rapper
        "Waterfox users are browsing voluntarily with 1 critical and 6 high Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures? Way to make a point."
        Just out of curiousity, what am I missing here? 10 days ago Waterfox was updated to include the security updates from FF v52.4esr and v56. Since then 52.4.1 and 56.0.1 were released but those were bug releases not security updates. It took the Waterfox dev one week (Oct. 4) to incorporate the security patch along with some other changes. So...at which "point" am I not aware ot the vulnerabiltiies that you mention?

        "I just configured my FF 58 and 52 ESR manually and it works better than Waterfox."
        The word "it" in your sentence is a singular pronoun(?) but you mention two different browser versions so I'm not really sure what your intent was. 52 ESR works better than WF? I can't think of a single parameter where 52esr is better than v55, not one. What performance parameter am I not aware of?

      • Martin Brinkmann October 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

        I did not remove any comment. Is the comment there yet again?

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

        @Richard Allen, I had received your previous comment you mention via email notification but indeed it wasn't published. Those things happen sometimes, I experienced it myself. Doesn't mean there's been a whatever censure but only a hiccup somewhere. If the user either edits his text (within the 10minutes) or provides a new email then the machine sometimes gets out-of-logic, ust lie human beings :)

        Back to your comment(s) : no, you're not missing something. The point is only that fast thinking may associate and limit a forked browser version's content to its version number when in fact the decimals of Waterfox 55.x include as you write it latest Firefox 56 security updates. If I hadn't been concerned, then reading Waterfox developer's blog, I could as well have believed that Waterfox 55 was built only around Firefox 55...

      • Appster October 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

        @Richard Allen and Tom Hawack:

        HK-Rapper doesn't know what he is talking about, plain and simple. He hasn't informed himself one bit about the product. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Tom, I agree that Waterfox is heading in the right direction. Given the recent self-inflicted privacy disasters of Mozilla and little hope for improvement associated therewith, the product should have a solid future.

      • Appster October 14, 2017 at 10:54 pm #

        @HK-Rapper:

        Pointless post. I'll show you why.

        > Mozilla says a lot users use no extensions.

        Mozilla doesn't even have the correct numbers, since the probability of power users turning off telemetry is pretty high.

        > Evolve and embrace the speed of nightly.

        Speed on its own, without any noteworthy functionality is pretty pointless.

        > I've seen the light.

        Good for you.

        > People who are dinosaurs and upset or lazy creating drama.

        So wanting some advanced functionality in the browser is the attitude of a dinosaur? Seriously, a browser which can only display sites and play some videos is stone age. Future is not only about speed, but also about extending functionality instead of reducing it. You fail to see this.

        > I'm glad when those who "cry" as you say are gone to Chrome and stop bombarding these articles with their fake news how bad Firefox is when Firefox is still the best browser.

        LOL, what's point of using Chrome when Firefox 57 is almost exactly like Chrome? The two are perfectly interchangeable. It's you, the simple users, who don't value Firefox for what it is and should move to Chrome.

        > Martin helps those who still care to make Firefox a better place, so thanks for the article.

        I am also grateful for Martin's work, mainly because he sometimes dares to be critical of Mozilla's recent bullshit.

        > Even though pingsender was already silenced on my system.

        Oh, that won't be the only thing you'll have to turn off in the future. Yet according to you, Firefox is getting better and better, so I assume you will be happy to swallow anything they throw at you.

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 11:23 pm #

        @HK-Rapper, it's not of problem of stats but the fact many users are fond of an add-on, or of many, whatever the number, which will disappear once their Firefox updated to version 57. I know them because some are among my relatives, neighbors, friends who know nothing to computing, to browsers, who take everything as it comes, who have installed because it's easy one, two, three or more legacy add-ons and will be disturbed once those add-ons off-stage. You may have 50 webextensions and not be bothered, one legacy add-on and be annoyed. Less you know angrier you become when what you're used to simply vanishes. And those users, some of them, might very well move on to Waterfox for the only sake of keeping their add-on environment "as it was". Those users don't care about speed, new gadgets, they want what they're used to, they want their notepad even when the alternative is a word processing. I believe these users are a majority, not right here but on a planetary scale..

      • Appster October 15, 2017 at 12:01 am #

        @Tom Hawack:

        Oh Tom... I love how diplomatic you are when talking to people who obviously have no idea what they are talking about. Your patience and self-control should serve as a role model for all of us.

        I could never be like that, to be honest. After all, it's a proven fact that Mozilla is deliberately weakening its extension system. They try to justify it with technical necessities, but that's by no means not true. There is a "Gecko-elevated WebExtensions" concept up there (You can research it if you care...), proposing an unrestricted API which would allow developers to do things to Firefox for which there are no WebExtensions APIs yet. Guess what happened to that concept? It was flat-out ignored by Mozilla, thrown into the dust bin. This essentially means that their plan to limit extensions is purely and utterly deliberate. They just assume that their users won't need more than the Chrome crowd does, and as you see they are right in some cases.

        Them declining above mentioned concept shows how much their users are worth to them - nothing. They indeed could have come up with something great, something that would have combined the capabilities of XUL with ease of developing of WebExtensions... They didn't.

        So everyone repeating their straw man argument of technical necessity (e.g. HK-Rapper, 'www.com etc.) was totally fooled by them and buys into their lies. I have given up to debate with those people, because it is pointless. They are happy when functionality THEY don't find useful in their egoistic minds is thrown out of the product. This is why I'm all too happy to destroy their weak and non-defendable points. We, who have been with the product since the beginning, who have seen its highs and lows, don't need to defend our stance. It's up to them to explain to us how they could have been fooled so easily. They would never admit that they've been fooled of course, so the discussion drags on and on.

        Just destroy their points and be done with it! You can't fix stupid anyway. Your diplomacy is out of place, Tom. They are defending a deliberate worsening of the product. They even go so far to defend things like Cliqz, because they are satisfied with the ability to opt-out instead of criticizing the introduction of spyware features in the first place. Hell, they don't even realize why Mozilla has excluded access to all of their own pages from the WebExtensions API. Why do they exclude themselves from uBlock and similar blockers, if they have nothing to hide? I bet the simple users have a satisfying explanation for that at hand... NOT.

      • Anonymous October 15, 2017 at 1:47 am #

        What a toxic mentality

      • Tom Hawack October 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

        @Appster, I'm discovering this "Gecko-elevated WebExtensions" you mention, I read the concept which seems so worthy and it being neglected ever before giving it a chance is sad. Maybe is this concept what drives in fact the Waterfox development?

        I'm not naturally inclined to "diplomatic" behavior, I still express occasionally excessive reactions, as when I treated the guy who attempted to make business with uBlock as being a "parasite". What I believe in, what I aspire to be and what I am sometimes are two schemes, but I strive to be what I'd wish to be. One thing I'm convinced of is that there is no principle, no belief that stands its whatever valuable nature if it opposes two human beings : the one in front of me is *always* more important than my idea. From there on let the debate be, but I've often noticed that trying to understand the opponent's thoughts, references helps. Also, clash starts when two parties are "on fire", and often gets handled when of the two at least makes the effort to calm down the debate. I appreciate when my irritation finds no echo, sometimes even finds a smart and peaceful remark so I try to do the same when I'm not irritated myself :)

        Whatever, long live debates, arguments which remain, IMO, always preferable to a soft consensus, when debate there is. If things turn out to be a boxing ring then I still might as I used to when younger stay on the ring and fight, but it's a bit idiot when the aim is an idea and not physical/mental energy. So I tend to leave the ring if/once I notice the opponent is more attached to winning than to debating. It's a work in progress and some have already achieved what I haven't at nearly 64 years old.

      • Appster October 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

        @Tom Hawack:

        > Maybe is this concept what drives in fact the Waterfox development?

        I sure do hope so.

        I like your thoughts when it comes to the respect before other human beings during debates. However, sometimes consensus can't be reached by any means. Since I've just decided to come up with something philosophical (or rather: something life has taught me) for you, as well:

        I do believe that two features have ruled humanity since its inception, and have secured its survival on an individual basis: The first is power, and the greed for power/fame/wealth in general. Yes, power. Unlimited power. People always seek to advance themselves, mostly by acquiring knowledge and becoming successful this way, some sadly through violence, warfare, abuse. However, people also want to live in peace and prosperity. The quest for power usually contradicts the second trait (more on that below), so people are seeking what you would call a "consensus". However, if someone notices that his or her opposite is defenseless, fully dependent on what the other is inclined to do, the powerful human being will leave the consensus and impose his or her will upon the defenseless one. This does not have to be too obvious, at all. Most people don't want to destroy their outward reputation and acceptance in society by being openly tyrannical, so the powerful usually hide their true motives behind ostensibly ulterior motives.
        The second human trait is the will and drive for freedom. People want to live in freedom, they don't like to be controlled by others in most circumstances. They hate oppression, some random will that is not their own being forced upon them. In order to secure their personal freedom, people try to achieve transparency. This has enabled us to survive for so long: We did always know what was going on. If you didn't notice the saber tooth coming for you your line went extinct, easy as that. If there is no transparency, people will live in fear and likely become paranoid as an extreme form of the quest for transparency.

        Power and freedom usually contradict each other. People don't want to in the clutches of others, while others will always seek to dominate in order to advance themselves in life. That's the entire problem of humanity. Every perversion or problem can be explained this way: Social injustice, wars (the quest to acquire riches and fame, basically), totalitarian tendencies, education, laws (laws serve a double function as they represent the power of the state more or less, but ideally also secure social peace), crimes, racism etc... It all goes back to people dominating or being dominated. Eat or be eaten. Rise up or let yourself be trampled down. Thomas Hobbes with his "homo homini lupus" actually had a point, if you ask me.

        This sounds very bad, I know. Behold, there is some good in men. Love, comradeship, the willingness to support others who are in peril, is a sign of idealism and the quest for a peaceful existence ("consensus"). Everyone would like to live in a better world, and those who are powerless cling to those values as they can't make any impact. It's all they have If you would promise someone rulership over the world those positive values would fade even if this person would start out his/her rule full of idealism. Everyone wants to shape the world according to his/her ideals, but would not hesitate to forcefully impose those values if little resistance (Remember? Will for freedom...) is to be expected.

        In case of Mozilla, I believe they started out as idealists. They wanted to free the web from the dominating power of Microsoft. However, as Chrome took over and their influence and reputation faded away, they decided that it would be best to sell out the product and make some money with the rest of the user base. Today, we are also facing a situation in which developing a browser engine requires a huge team and tremendous amounts of money. So it is almost impossible to start from scratch unless you find some powerful billionaire willing to improve his social acceptance to fund you. Otherwise, bad luck. As far as I am aware all the small browser projects rely on the development process of someone from the big players, so that's the reason for their existence. Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft know that the appearance of yet another engine is unlikely, so nobody is able to challenge them. Remember, when people don't fear resistance anymore they are willing to leave the social consensus... And that's exactly what Mozilla is doing. They are trying to make money, and the easiest way (people are inclined to follow the path of least difficulty leading a set goal) is to sell out their users. They know that nobody will stop them, and they know that people will be equally bad or even worse off when they switch to Microsoft or Google. So they are no longer fighting monopolistic power and oppression, but have instead joined the cartel and present themselves as the least bad of all options. Needless to say, this is both machiavellian and extremely nefarious in the eyes of all people who have no interest to be sold out.

        Just my 2 cents.

      • Tom Hawack October 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

        @Appster, basically I agree with your analysis of causes and facts of human relationships.

        First I must emphasize on what I meant by "consensus". I aimed to express the idea that IMO a debate -- even if biased by ego, as long as there are arguments -- is always preferable to a "soft consensus" (translated from French "consensus mou") in that arguments of each would be bypassed by the aim of a consensus. This attitude may be worthy (and it is) in diplomacy, in business but when it comes to a debate of ideas with no war in perspective, consensus should remain a possible (temporary) conclusion, not an aim. Each party should be able to remain faithful to its convictions and yet able to modify them if truly convinced by those of the "opponent". If so then we lead to a synthesis rather than to a consensus.

        About relationships, about how the world moves. I'll have to put myself in the mechanics of the questioning to explain why I choose one method rather than the other.

        I've always believed ("felt" so to say) that trying to understand the world with the means of sociology, if it could illustrate causes and their deployment, could not on the other hand truly make the world better. Maybe am I interested more by improving relationships than by understanding them, likely because of personal inclinations and possibly because I lack the knowledge, that, academic, be it of sociology, politics, religions, anthropology and psychology.

        From there on I believe I change more and in a better way the world by forgetting thesis, academic papers, and focusing on the person I have in front of me. I've always remained stunned when occasionally noticing the gap between a speech, be it political, religious, philosophical and its practice once on the ground of a facing between two humans. What's the point of theories, even of faith, if not actively exercised within the reality of two humans facing each other?

        That's my point. Trying to understand the arguments and the background of an opinion with which I disagree with at first sight, with the effort of being ready to reconsider my convictions if I consider an argument breaks mine, with the effort of trying to understand why an opponent could behave in such a way that i'd consider he has abandoned the expression, the explanation, the defense of his ideas because blinded by ego.

        I'd agree such an attitude rather that of a monk than that of a thinker in whatever social matter. I believe the world is progressing on the long-term with hiccups here and there (if you can call World War I and II, the holocaust, modern battles and clashes.. a hiccup) but I get to wonder if this progress is not more related to the awakening of individual consciousnesses than to the works of religion, politics, philosophers (which by the way aim not to change but to reduce ignorance by "questioning the questions"). Finally I notice that brotherhood, if mentioned, is seldom considered as the pivot of life. I believe it is and at least that is in the area of my possibilities, even if it remains a work in progress. I'm not denying knowledge, only the fact it is not sufficient to make a better world, should it be necessary.

    • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 10:42 am #

      I have 'toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled' set to false here with Waterfox but it's set to false as well in Pants' Ghacks user.js file which I've always used extensively. What is sure is that there is no pingsender.exe file in Waterfox's install, likely one of the telemetry instances removed by Waterfox as water turns off fire.

      Amazing. Firefox considered as a better privacy alternative to major browsers and now Waterfox playing that role compared to Firefox.

      • Anonymous October 14, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

        Obviously, since it takes the entire Firefox codebase with a few modifications, and at least two of its main contributors are Mozilla developers, so I don't know, spitting on your dad doesn't seem particularly respectful. I don't see Tor Browser users doing that.

        Anyway you can disable telemetry in two clicks, it has been like that for years, and that ping thing is tied to telemetry.

        about:preferences#privacy-reports

        As for Waterfox's privacy, its fingerprint makes it unique, privacy goes beyond just telemetry. Waterfox has to spoof successfully...Firefox, in order to protect anything. But as I said last time, spoofing that isn't perfect is worse than no spoofing. Now Waterfox is 4 years old with quite a lot of patches, how different is its fingerprint from Firefox, and in which way ? Useragent is the most glaring and easy to correct but how about everything else ? How about in the future, as both browsers diverge ? How about right now, with all those legacy add-ons that could be detected indirectly and could not be found in any Firefox ? (For that part, it's possible that Waterfox will ditch legacy add-ons in favor of WebExtensions to which it will add API that try to emulate legacy, but we'll know more when the guy releases WF56)

        I'm glad that Waterfox exist because it helps guys like you with 30+ add-ons. I am a little cringy when I hear the language towards Firefox considering both browsers are brothers, like Tor Browser is, to the point that Mozilla employees work with both, and I wouldn't be surprised that Waterfox's author produces patch for Firefox, as Tor Browsers actively do.

        Finally, I think Waterfox can be qualified as providing better privacy than Firefox at this point, it should be thoroughly evaluated before making such a claim, as odds are stacked against it due to the need to spoof Firefox. Tor Browser is, because it has the Tor network to hide in on top of improvements that are still in the process of being backported into Firefox.

      • Appster October 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

        @Tom Hawack: In case you didn't know yet... Cyberfox is going to die. It is currently only getting the FF 52 ESR updates and will cease to be updated when they run out, according to the author.

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

        @Appster, maybe is your comment referring to one of mine below... anyway, concerning Cyberfox, what you mention about the browser's destiny echoes something I had in mind (must have read it somewhere) with no further reference. So it'll get off-track after FF52 will it? Always a pity to see good code vanish.

      • Appster October 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

        @Tom Hawack: Indeed, a pity. Since I am using a Mac I never had the option to test Cyberfox, but I heard good things about it. In my humble opinion it's a good decision to end the project now, since it would have lost one of its main features (integrated CTR) with the next ESR cycle anyway. He maybe could have opted to follow Waterfox 56 for some time, yet we still have to respect his decision at this point.

  2. Yuliya October 14, 2017 at 10:59 am #

    del /q "c:\program files\mozilla firefox\pingsender.exe"
    Part of my FIrefox post-install cleanup process..

    The full thing: (Save as .bat and run as admin.)

    del /S /Q "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\browser\features\*" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\gmp-clearkey\*" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\crashreporter.exe" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.VisualElementsManifest.xml" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\maintenanceservice.exe" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\maintenanceservice_installer.exe" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\minidump-analyzer.exe" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\pingsender.exe" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin-container.exe" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin-container.exe.sig" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin-hang-ui.exe"

    • ilev October 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

      I use Mozilla Firefox ESR, Portable Edition 52.4.1 . There no pingsender.exe file.

      • Yuliya October 14, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

        I too use ESR (: I included that in the idea that some day I'll move back from ESR to stable. But I guess that won't happen as now I'm considering a whole new browser. Leaning towards SeaMonkey or WaterFox. I'll see in a couple of months or so the decision of each development team and based on that I'll make my decision.
        If previously I was steering away from Mozilla due to legacy addons now it's more because of their decisions regarding users data collection.

    • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      So you're extracting the bullets are you? I'm not fond of deleting exe files from an install when having them stabilized (disabled via code) is enough. Look at me : doctor said "if we remove the bullet from your brains you may recover intelligence but you may as well say farewell to arms". I've chosen to remain alive whatever brain damage. See what I mean?
      That was my Saturday joke :) (sorry to whoever might be seriously concerned, no joke there)

      • Yuliya October 14, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

        But this doctor had done it already, tens of times, with 100% success rate ;)

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

        Maybe the wrong choice with that intellectual handicap. Like the doctor told me after "Without the bullet you might have chosen differently" :) -- I think I would have made the same choice! Tough to be judge and judged, can we be aware of our stupidity? Why do we "catch ourselves" thinking differently than we expect? Are wisdom and intelligence tied? Is the first definition of intelligence the aptitude to survive (body/brain) or the determination to remain faithful to a principle, a belief. "Renounce to your faith and you will not be thrown to the lions" : intelligence requires renouncing and yet another reference than life led some decisions....

        Anyway, I started the joke, and the story of the story is this : I was having the "apéro" ("having the aperitif") with some friends here and we started talking about this well known game where you have to place a sentence, or a title, something well-known inside a conversation or within a chat, forum etc, but in a coherent way (the result must not be flagrant). From there on someone proposed Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" ... I then remembered your comment about the batch file deleting EXEs and I jumped on the opportunity to demonstrate my high skills :)

        Sorry Martin for being once again off-topic (though it did relate to the article in a certain way!).
        Have a nice Sunday Yuliya, my friends and you all! See you nexy week within more fascinating techy news here on Ghacks, yeah!

  3. Emil October 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    about:telemetry does not even exist in Cyberfox, but all good things must come to an end...

    • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

      But pingsender.exe does? I'm asking you because at the time I used Cyberfox (which is an excellent Firefox fork by the way) pingsender.exe wasn't included in the same way it wasn't part of the built-on Firefox version. Cyberfox is very nice but I haven't heard of if/when/how that browser will comply with post-Firefox 56 and its abandon of legacy add-ons.

      • Emil October 14, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

        No pingsender either. Cyberfox is now on the ESR 52 branch as the author has given up due to health reasons. It was probably the best FF fork, all plugins working on an optimized 64bit build with his own extended classic theme restorer.

      • Tom Hawack October 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

        @Emil, "Cyberfox is now on the ESR 52 branch[...]". I think pingsender.exe was added to Firefox starting version 55 which is at least one explanation, even if we may never know if Cyberfox would have removed it. But as far as I remember Cyberfox is best known for CTR integration and perhaps optimized code, less for the fact of removing tracking features such as Waterfox does, not to mention Waterfox's second (or first) fame : maintaining legacy add-ons. This aside, Cyberfox is (and will appear t have been considering it's bound to disappear as I've understood it.

  4. Norm October 14, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

    As far as Waterfox being a bit slower releasing new updates, this might not be a completely bad thing. I usually wait a bit
    before updating browsers, I've learned to be cautious.

  5. Franck October 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

    Thank you very much for such relevant information !

  6. PissedElvira October 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

    I am wondering when this grotesque data mining will finally stop. Does it really help to sell profiles like: 93 old lesbian, married twice to a refigerator and a cat, has a doctorate in bowling and a masters in kiteflying. Working at a nailstore, speciality is cutting fathers toenails. Likes fine dining at places like Mcnuts and Shmear4you. And so on. It's just so sick to watch these companies steal information in every possible way, create a completely meaningless profile and in the end charge money for shit. And Mozilla ist doing the same. A company that values privacy. Knuckleheads.

  7. Richard Allen October 14, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    @Martin

    Sorry. I thought for a minute I might have done/said something that warranted my comment visiting the Twilight Zone. I make an effort to not be vulgar or to engage in personal attacks but then I've been known to embrace the use of sarcasm. Whatever!!! No, it's all good. :-D

  8. SF October 15, 2017 at 12:27 am #

    I have to say it amazes me when the Firefox fanatics come out the woodwork to defend Mozilla's increasingly questionable moves and practices in regards to privacy.

  9. jern October 15, 2017 at 12:52 am #

    On my Mac, I simply deleted pingsender. I restarted my computer and it didn't reappear so it isn't persistant. Easy fix!

    • glob October 15, 2017 at 3:01 am #

      This feels like the most important step. Why trust an application not to use an executable when it's already doing something as dodgy as sending private info in the first place.

  10. Meisje October 15, 2017 at 12:53 am #

    I agree. But the data mining will not stop in the foreseeable future. Too big to fail business driven by greed&greed and supported by governments which probably are the worst data miners. Still, nothing lasts forever. :)

  11. Robert G. October 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Yuliya wrote on October 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    "del /q "c:\program files\mozilla firefox\pingsender.exe"
    Part of my FIrefox post-install cleanup process..
    The full thing: (Save as .bat and run as admin.) ...."

    Thanks Yuliya for the tip.

  12. TelV October 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    You do come up with some gems Martin! Entering about:telemetry in the location bar has never even occurred to me.

    But toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled draws a blank in about:config on FF52.4.0 so I guess it doesn't apply to ESR.

  13. Scroll October 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    @Appster

    >Hell, they don't even realize why Mozilla has excluded access to all of their own pages from the WebExtensions API.

    That's why you can't use zapper neither element picker with WE uBlock0 even in its addon page on addons.mozilla.org

    Whoever has WebExtension uBlock Origin, try Zapper or Element Picker here https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ublock-origin/

    Nothing will appear

  14. TelV October 15, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    Martin, there are a number of other telemetry settings at the foot of this github page posted by the CTR developer which you could maybe add to your article: https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx/blob/master/README.md

  15. RIUM+ October 17, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    I really don't get the problem with this? They haven't changed the amount of data they collect, or how much it's collected, and it still pops up a message when you first install the browser asking you if you want to enable the telemetry (NOT asking you if you want to disable telemetry). All that's changed is they have a different way to send that data back to their servers that has lower latency, so they can notice things like unexpected slowdowns & crashes quicker so they can fix them sooner.

  16. Matuschak October 17, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    i have firefox and i use windows firewall controll.. i never noticed pingsender.. thought it´s enabled in firefox when i check: about:config?filter=toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled

    are you sure that disabling telemetry / help mozilla in the FF preferences does not disable it too?

    i should get a notification from WFC if it tries to call out. but i never saw that notification and i did not create a rule for pingsender.

    • Tom Hawack October 17, 2017 at 11:14 am #

      If disabling telemetry with the option included in FF preferences included this pingsender then why would there be the extra setting made available in about:config which is 'toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled', true by default? Set it to false and pingsender.exe won't run.

      Note : pingsender was introduced with Firefox 55.

      • Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 11:03 am #

        Because you can want to keep telemetry enabled but not send pings. It's also useful for testing. That's why there are several prefs related to pingsender.exe, one on startup, one on shutdown, one on first use.

        It's easy to test, I just did a few times, no pingsender.exe was opened on shutdown with telemetry turned off.

    • Tom Hawack October 17, 2017 at 11:21 am #

      I forgot to mention this, extracted from Pants' Ghacks user.js at [https://github.com/ghacksuserjs/ghacks-user.js/releases] (choose accordingly to your FF version) :

      // 0330: disable telemetry
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.unified", false);
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.enabled", false);
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.server", "");
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.archive.enabled", false);
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.cachedClientID", "");
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.newProfilePing.enabled", false); // (FF55+)
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.shutdownPingSender.enabled", false); // (FF55+)
      user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.updatePing.enabled", false); // (FF56+)

  17. Brad spencer November 6, 2017 at 3:37 am #

    I think there's a typo:

    "Depending on the program or service that you use to monitor connections, you may get additional information right away. Windows Firewall Control for instance displays the >>>remove<<< IP address of the connection attempt, and the organization that signed the executable files."

    I think "remove" should be "remote."

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