Firefox 60: Disable Firefox Sync integration - gHacks Tech News

Firefox 60: Disable Firefox Sync integration

Mozilla added a new customization option to Firefox 60 that gives an option to users of the web browser to disable the browser's Firefox Sync integration.

Firefox Sync is a data synchronization service that is integrated into the Firefox browser. Users need to sign up for a Firefox Account to use it and may then sync some data with the cloud and other connected devices.

Sync evolved over the years; it started out as an add-on for the Firefox web browser but was built-in Firefox eventually to reach a larger audience by exposing the feature to all users of the browser.

Firefox Sync is the primary option to sync data such as passwords, bookmarks or the browsing history across devices. It is great for Firefox users who run the browser on multiple devices and for users who want to back up important data in the cloud.

Firefox users who don't use Firefox Sync are exposed to it in the browser, however. The main menu lists a Sync option prominently (Sign in to Sync) and the options have an entire section dedicated to synchronization. If you display the menu using the Alt-key, you find Sync listed under Tools as well there.

Disable Firefox Sync integration

firefox sync disabled

Mozilla added a new preference in Firefox 60 that gives you the option to disable Sync so that it wo't show up in the main menu, in the preferences, or under Tools.

Here is what you need to do to configure it:

  1. Load about:config?filter=identity.fxaccounts.enabled in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Double-click the preference to toggle its value.
    1. A value of True means Firefox Sync is enabled.
    2. A value of False means Firefox Sync is disabled.
  3. Restart the Firefox browser to complete the process.

Once you have made the change Firefox Sync is no longer visible in the browser UI and sync functionality is disabled.

firefox disable sync identity.fxaccounts.enabled

You can undo the change at any time by setting the value of the preference to True. The patch is an uplift from the Tor project as indicated on Mozilla's website.

Closing Words

Adding an option to Firefox to disable Firefox Sync is a good change in my opinion. Firefox users who don't use it can hide Sync in various places in the user interface to streamline it more.

Now You: Do you use Firefox Sync? (via Sören Hentzschel)

Related articles

Summary
Firefox 60: Disable Firefox Sync integration
Article Name
Firefox 60: Disable Firefox Sync integration
Description
Mozilla added a new customization option to Firefox 60 that gives an option to users of the web browser to disable the browser's Firefox Sync integration.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Advertisement

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:


Previous Post: «
Next Post: »

Comments

  1. Thorky said on February 28, 2018 at 10:41 am
    Reply

    Thats a good feature. I don’t use Sync at all but carry my profiles on a USB-Stick with me. The less Mozilla knows about me the better. :)

    1. Syl said on February 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm
      Reply

      Note that since Sync is end-to-end encrypted, Mozilla could only know device types and IPs, not user content. I don’t know what they do keep, maybe nothing for all I know, just saying what *could* be kept.

      I don’t use Sync because even that is too much for me and I’d rather like local sync, but it’s a useful feature for many people so they might like to know that they are not trading significant information in exchange for this synchronisation feature. (Browsers like Chrome on the other hand grab and use all of the data)

    2. XenoSilvano said on March 24, 2018 at 10:19 pm
      Reply

      by having the portable version of the Firefox web browser stored on a USB drive, the standard desktop version of the same browser installed on a computer and a Firefox Sync account would allow the user to keep the desktop version of the browser sycronised with the portable version, not only maintaning a backup of the browser on the computer in the event where something unfortunate to happen to the portable version of the Firefox web browser or the usb drive where it is stored on, it would also remove the need of having to transfer the latest state of the portable version of browser onto a USB drive every time the user requires to use a personalised version of the browser on a different computer

  2. Paul's Dad. said on February 28, 2018 at 11:53 am
    Reply

    Hum… This isn’t a customization option.

    1. Fx0 said on February 28, 2018 at 12:37 pm
      Reply

      uhm… what else if not a customization option? Maybe you don’t know Firefox well but about:config in Firefox has a lot of customization options…

      1. Paul's Dad. said on February 28, 2018 at 12:51 pm
        Reply

        Precisely. All options are customization options. OR. There is a subset of options that, due to their closer relationship to what would be considered a “customized” Firefox, can be considered “customization options”, where other options wouldn’t.

        I’m glad we’ve come to an understanding.

    2. jupe said on February 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm
      Reply

      How’d you figure that? It changes the interface, and disables a component, I’d call that customization.

      1. Paul's Dad. said on February 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm
        Reply

        @jupe So would Mozilla, these days.

      2. Anonymous said on February 28, 2018 at 3:44 pm
        Reply

        This was “news website” level of comment, congrats

    3. John Fenderson said on February 28, 2018 at 5:41 pm
      Reply

      @Paul’s Dad

      How is this not a customization option? I don’t understand.

  3. Zen said on February 28, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    Its a good start for those who don’t use sync. For users that don’t use sync and work with the about:config preferences frequently would benefit even more the switch hid all the .sync variations of preferences. For users who want want to squeeze out every little performace gain here and there it would be even better to have this feature completely untethered. I have my fingers crossed.

  4. Yuliya said on February 28, 2018 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    Neat. I already disabled everything related to fxaccounts that I could find in about:config; getting rid of those sync placeholders is something that I always wanted.

  5. Bobby Phoenix said on February 28, 2018 at 2:36 pm
    Reply

    Sync is awesome. Been using it since it first came out. I love how it syncs add-ons. I find a new one I like, and add it to my one browser, and presto, it gets installed on all my machines. Saves a lot of time with anything I want to be on all my computers.

  6. Jessica said on February 28, 2018 at 4:27 pm
    Reply

    Sync can be used with your own servers instead of Mozilla’s so it’s hardly an issue anyway.

  7. jorgen said on February 28, 2018 at 4:37 pm
    Reply

    I just would something to take a backup and restore or to move to a new PC/ install but deff not has to running all the time, an ad hoc function would suite me better

  8. John Fenderson said on February 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm
    Reply

    “Do you use Firefox Sync?”

    No, I avoid the cloud the greatest extent that I can.

  9. Mere question said on February 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
    Reply

    Hey Martin no article about Mozilla’s sandboxing improvements with Firefox 60 on MacOS where the content process sandbox no longer allows writing to files anywhere on disk? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1405088

    1. XenoSilvano said on March 24, 2018 at 10:23 pm
      Reply

      I do not think that you will find much news about Macs on this website

  10. Mark Hazard said on February 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the article Martin. I wish that there was an easier way, like a menu option in settings, to disable it, instead of editing the configuration file.

  11. Mike K said on February 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm
    Reply

    This is useful. I have been using Bookmark OS in the browser, so no need for sync

  12. Farmers said on March 1, 2018 at 1:34 am
    Reply

    Seems an awful lot of fuss about nothing to me. I use it (partially), but it’s entirely up to me whether I use it or not so I don’t see the point of going further than simply not signing in to it.

    1. Pants said on March 1, 2018 at 5:21 am
      Reply

      The pref was created as part of the Tor Uplift, i.e in this case, the pref is for TBB to flip to harden anonymity by removing the feature altogether

  13. Cinikal said on March 1, 2018 at 3:31 am
    Reply

    Never use it never will. Would like to see Mozilla keep only the core essentials in Firefox and do not see sync as being on that list, send it back to an addon.

  14. Pierre said on March 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm
    Reply

    I don’t really see the interest
    Yes, I do, between my FF in Windows and Linux.
    Or between several versions when I have

  15. Robert said on June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm
    Reply

    “identity.fxaccounts.enabled” seems to be missing now.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.