Firefox 98.0.1 removes Yandex Search and search providers

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 15, 2022

Mozilla released Firefox 98.0.1 on March 14, 2022. It is a minor release that comes a week after Firefox 98. Firefox 98.0.1 removes the search providers Yandex and from the web browser in select regions.

add search engine firefox

When Mozilla released Firefox 98, it did hint at the removal of search engine providers in Firefox, but did not mention any by name or provide more details other than that it did not "receive formal permission" to integrate the unmentioned search engines in Firefox.

The Firefox 98.0.1 provide details, but it is still unclear which search providers were affected in the Firefox 98.0 release.

Mozilla notes in the official release notes:

Yandex and have been removed as optional search providers in the drop-down search menu in Firefox.

The search providers were available as default providers in select regions, including Russia and Turkey. Mozilla removed these from the list of search providers that Firefox users could switch to by default in the web browser. The release removed the providers from Firefox installations in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey.

Mozilla replaced the search engine, if it has been the default, with Google Search. The Google Search queries use the Firefox tag by default.

Mozilla points out further that the search engines have also been removed from custom versions of Firefox that partners may have distributed in select regions.

If you previously installed a customized version of Firefox with Yandex or, offered through partner distribution channels, this release removes those customizations, including add-ons and default bookmarks. Where applicable, your browser will revert back to default settings, as offered by Mozilla. All other releases of Firefox remain unaffected by the change.

No explanation is provided for the change in the release notes. Firefox users may add the removed search engines back to the browser. One of the easier ways of doing so is the following:

  1. Select Firefox Menu > More Tools > Customize Toolbar.
  2. Drag and drop the search field to the Firefox address bar.
  3. Visit the search engine that you want to add, e.g.,
  4. The search field displays a plus symbol over its icon, indicating that it detected a search engine that you may add to Firefox.
  5. Left-click on the icon and then on the Yandex icon, which is highlighted with a plus icon as well.

The search engine has been added to Firefox and you may make it the default or use it occasionally only. Search providers are managed by loading about:preferences#search in the Firefox address bar.

Closing Words

Details are still unclear. What sort of agreement did Mozilla want search providers to sign for inclusion in Firefox? Firefox users who are affected by this may add the search engines back to the browser.

Now You: what is your take on all of this?


Firefox 98.0.1 removes Yandex Search and search providers
Article Name
Firefox 98.0.1 removes Yandex Search and search providers
Mozilla released Firefox 98.0.1 on March 14, 2022. It is a minor release that comes a week after Firefox 98. Firefox 98.0.1 removes the search providers Yandex and from the web browser in select regions.
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  1. KulturalMarksistWO said on March 21, 2022 at 2:32 am

    …and there’s lot’s of new anti-R* extensions on
    just type in that particular country name starting with R and look for yourself where all this hysteria has gone, madness.

  2. person said on March 20, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    Mozilla continues to gladly jump on the Silicon Valley censorship bandwagon. This may be their most user-hostile move yet, as it modifies existing installations. Jeff Bezos would be proud.

    On the subject of propaganda: Not all propaganda is lies, and material not meant as propaganda can be lies too (for purposes of clickbaiting). To complicate things further, some vehicles honestly will identify as propaganda, and others will insist on self-defining themselves as “free press”, or “the voice of the people”, or whatever, while being propaganda too. They claim they can do so because their investors are private entities, which is nonsense.

    Who decides what is “propaganda”? If I go to a political party website I know I’m going to read things that are propaganda by a simple matter of definition, and if I my newspaper has as its only sponsor a single political entity, or multiple ones, I know I’m reading partisan propaganda, but otherwise, this is not as simple a matter. Who is going to be the judge? Decide what is propaganda, or more importantly, what is true?

    It has been reported that, if it’s true that pro-russia news have been upranked in Yandex, they have been downranked in Duckduckgo. That’s not free search either. Is Mozilla going to censor Duckduckgo, to fix DDG’s censorship problem? When Mozilla does that (well they already are doing that with Yandex), may the government, some government somewhere, or a DNS backbone company, or a search engine, censor Mozilla on the grounds that it does censorship? According to Mozilla’s own logic, it should.

    It was good while it lasted, but Mozilla’s corporate ethos of an open internet and free speech finally crumbled under outside pressures (it being a corporation based on the USA). It would eventually. Some would say this happened much earlier.

    I still think the technology is fine, but the politics are thrash, and there’s no going back now, probably.

  3. Your Mom said on March 18, 2022 at 9:29 am

    It’s also worth noting the penalties for violating OFAC sanctions can be quite severe…. prison time up to 30 years and/or fines ranging from a few thousand dollars to several million.

  4. black hole son said on March 16, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    > what is your take on all of this?

    Due to the sanctions, Yandex Search and may simply not be able to pay Mozilla to be in their search anymore.

    Nevertheless, MARTIN BRINKMANN has once again sparked the flames of speculation here.

  5. TelV said on March 16, 2022 at 4:18 pm


    It’s because Yandex’s CEO has been added to the EU sanctions list:

    That and Yandex allegedly manipulating search results to the benefit of Putin I believe.

  6. rjussituian said on March 16, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    What happened to mozilla “open policy”. lol

  7. Anonymous said on March 16, 2022 at 8:10 am

    Well Yandex is about to go bankrupt so bold move anyway Karen.

    1. gnome said on March 17, 2022 at 11:44 am

      “Well Yandex is about to be nationalized or bought by Chinese vulture investors so…”

    1. Anonymous said on March 16, 2022 at 5:21 pm

      April 30, 2015

      Mozilla : “Deprecating Non-Secure HTTP”

      A commenter : “The great thing is, if there is a […] web site […] which is not politically acceptable, the government can just have the CA revoke the certificate! And I’m safe from content I shouldn’t be reading.
      (footnote: My previous comment was negative. Fortunately, moderated it away! Thank you for protecting me from having posted something perhaps foolish before!)”

      A reply : “What utter nonsense. […] Pure idiocy”

      January 9, 2020

      Mozilla : “There are legitimate concerns that respecting CA revocations could be a path to enabling CAs to censor websites.[…]
      If censorship concerns do bear out, then Mozilla has the option to use its root store policy to influence the situation in accordance with our manifesto.”

      “We are committed to an internet that includes all the peoples of the earth — where a person’s demographic characteristics do not determine their online access, opportunities, or quality of experience.”

      March 15, 2022

      “Many Russian businesses have found themselves placed on sanctions lists due to the sweeping actions taken by Western nations, meaning that the largely Western organizations that issue certificates and renewals can no longer legally offer services to them. […]
      Users of most of the major Western browsers are able to manually configure them to accept the Russian TLS certificates if they so desire.[…]
      As long as the Russian government is involved in the project in this way it is very unlikely that Western browsers will ever add them as valid.”

      Why unlikely ? Reason given :

      “This new Russian Certificate Authority is a clear strike at privacy and freedom online because it gives the Russian government the power to surveil citizens and spoof any Western Internet service from Twitter to BBC.”

      Mar 24, 2010

      “Law Enforcement Appliance Subverts SSL”

      “At a recent wiretapping convention, however, security researcher Chris Soghoian discovered that a small company was marketing internet spying boxes to the feds. The boxes were designed to intercept those communications — without breaking the encryption — by using forged security certificates, instead of the real ones that websites use to verify secure connections. To use the appliance, the government would need to acquire a forged certificate from any one of more than 100 trusted Certificate Authorities.”

      “CA Certificates In Firefox” :

  8. Anonymous said on March 16, 2022 at 5:08 am

    The root of the problem is the world’s reliance on Big Tech monopolies. Starting with Google and Microsoft.

  9. Richard Steven Hack said on March 16, 2022 at 3:51 am

    Mozilla has been moronic for years now. This is no surprise.

    People are going to be so butthurt when it turns out Russia is NOT losing the war and Ukraine gets reoriented into a pro-Russian country and all the neo-Nazis end up in Europe (where they will be no doubt welcomed with open arms, certainly by Germany now that they’re intent on “rearming”.)

    Everything you read in the MSM about this war is the direct product of a CIA “information operation.” When US idiots are paying $10/gallon at the pump, you’ll maybe get the picture. Or maybe not.

    As H.L Mencken said, “How does so much [false news] get into the American newspapers, even the good ones? Is it because journalists, as a class, are habitual liars, and prefer what is not true to what is true? I don’t think it is. Rather, it is because journalists are, in the main, extremely stupid, sentimental and credulous fellows — because nothing is easier than to fool them — because the majority of them lack the sharp intelligence that the proper discharge of their duties demands. “

  10. Neutrino said on March 16, 2022 at 12:54 am

    Vivaldi has removed Mail ru and Yandex from their Bookmarks too.

    Others, who are also riding the stupid trend in different ways:

    Tutanota – percentage of subscriptions goes to “help” Ukraine (?!)
    DuckDuckGo – downranking search results, aka censorship (I warned you about that son of a b**** long ago)
    Brave – promoted a sponsored image of a charity project to donate crypto to Ukraine (?)
    Telegram – banned the channel of RT (I can’t stand RT at all, but that’s not the way)

    CTemplar are the only ones, I know so far, who have publicly announced they’d not use the conflict to promote their service! (kudos).

    1. Anonymous said on March 16, 2022 at 1:44 am

      I never use Yandex or any other Russian services but people capitalizing on this war are really scummy

  11. Anonymous said on March 15, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    Yeah, that will show Putin and make Mozilla shrinking user base grow…. Mozilla is lost.

  12. foolishgrunt said on March 15, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Martin, you found the right combo of keyword to attract the Russian trolls!

    On the offchance that somebody here is genuinely concerned about this, and not just paid to feign outrage, I promise that you have already spent more time thinking about it than it would have taken you to add the search engine back manually.

  13. Haakon said on March 15, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Decades ago I stopped updating to the .0 and waited for the .0.1 release.

    Apparently, this .0.1 is only for the removal that Russian stuff. The real .0.1 will then be .0.2.

    So, what’s all this chatter about Russia? Is something going on with Russia??

    1. Ulysses said on March 15, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      So, Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.

      1. Anonymous said on March 17, 2022 at 12:00 pm

        kindergarten teacher

      2. Test said on March 16, 2022 at 7:48 am

        Pretty much sums up 99.9% of the worlds knowledge about this situation. But hey you do you and be dumb like the media wants you to be.

      3. Anonymous said on March 16, 2022 at 8:55 am

        Ulysses quoted the exact words that fell out of the wunnerful American vice-President’s mouth!
        Such leadership!

  14. Torin Doyle said on March 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Terrible judgement from Mozilla. ??

  15. Visan Gabriel said on March 15, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    the whole technological gang is aligned to the order.

  16. Iron Heart said on March 15, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Well, they are riding on the war outrage & boycott train along with everyone else. It‘s fairly pathetic.

    Notably, I don‘t buy into the shittalk of anyone who says he or she cares about Ukraine, unless you have been active for many years supporting the country‘s citizens in some shape or form. If you haven‘t ever visibly cared for them, don‘t pretend that you care now, other than having some basic human compassion for war victims. I hate these fear porn, morally-elevate-oneself hype trains that don‘t have any kind of substance to them. Yuck, shame on all of you, unless you can prove that you are genuine with active support.

    As for Yandex: Wasn‘t it the default search engine for Russia itself? Isn‘t it retarded to delete it for Russians, if Russians want to use it, and can‘t find their own media on western search engines anymore? I also don‘t see how this petty move (Yandex can be added back with two clicks via the address bar once you visit their website) really helps anyone? What does it do for war victims in Ukraine if you ban a search engine in Russia, for Russians? Nothing but riding along on the holier-than-thou fear porn hype train, if you support this petty move that is trivial to reverse, you are just stupid.

    1. Baa said on March 15, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      I bet 99% of everyone that posted Ukrainian flags on their instagram accounts can’t find Ukraine on a map. But hey, they participated! They fought a war! Just like they ended racism when they posted BLM all over the place. People are sheep. Dumb sheep.

    2. Visan Gabriel said on March 15, 2022 at 5:28 pm

      totally agree!

    3. moneytauks said on March 15, 2022 at 3:54 pm

      or maybe because Yandex loses money (negative EPS:, has a tanking share price, and can’t afford to pay its bondholders?

  17. thanx4thaLOLZ said on March 15, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Martin doin his part with this article to help troll farm workers meet their quotas, ha ha
    seriously tho, Yandex shares are down 85% since december and they’re about to default on their bond payments… as if they can afford to pay ff these days, lolololol

  18. jolen said on March 15, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    with obfuscated proxy and torbrowser nothing its impossible for communications with Russia federation

  19. MdN said on March 15, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Well done Mozilla. Those sites get hacked on a daily basis, so good riddance. In Russia you can’t even say “war” without landing in prison. And I expect them to disconnect from the internet North Korea style any day now. Or at least China style great Swiss cheese firewall?

    Oh, but poor wehraboos, putinverstehers, Karens, christians, national populists, bigots and NWO tinfoil hatters will complain in the comments because they want the “truth”. Cope.

    People like them will believe when Russians say that Russian speakers in Donbas are prosecuted because you’re too smart to know that Zelensky speaks Russian half the time and no one cares. If this was 1939 they’s complain bout not getting enough German press to decide whose side they’re on (but they already decided anyway).

    1. Yash said on March 15, 2022 at 7:01 pm

      Well said. It is really hard to find someone who knows a thing or two about politics on tech sites. Most are a bunch of whingebags – Gary Neville.

  20. Yash said on March 15, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Comments so far are hilarious. Keep it up.

  21. Anonymous said on March 15, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    I’m waiting for Firefox to announce it now identifies as Chrome and you will be banned if you don’t refer to Chrome/Chromeself as such.

    1. MdN said on March 15, 2022 at 2:59 pm

      Russia identifies as has/been, and you’re next. ;-)

  22. Anonymous said on March 15, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    lol at all the moaners. If you don’t like it, don’t use Firefox.
    Otherwise, don’t complain. Mozilla can do what it wants.
    I never use Russian crap anyway.

    1. Freedom Eagle Of Justice said on March 15, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      Damn straight! I only use the American internet myself.

    2. Dumbledalf said on March 15, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      American crap is always better. Agreed.

      1. MdN said on March 15, 2022 at 3:00 pm


      2. Anonymous said on March 24, 2022 at 12:06 pm

        “Whatabout Whatabout Whatabout”

        That could be a legitimate reply if “MdN” was actually also opposed to “American crap”.

        However, most of people and organizations such as “MdN” who use such vocabulary have supported most of the wars, coups, murders, sanctions, censorship, hateful lies an other crimes of US imperialism for decades, sometimes not only in words but also in acts. At best, passively, by not doing before what they are doing today.

        Mozilla is one of those active supporters of the propaganda and censorship of US imperialism and has been long before reaching a paroxysm with this war.

        Especially interesting is their ignorance that the nazis in this war are in the Ukraine armed forces, not in the Russia ones, and were put there thanks to Obama. They may not be the main reason for this war, but if you’re going to criticize nazis, at least don’t blame the wrong side.

  23. justanEd said on March 15, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    As I sit here in NYC I can only shake my head in dismay. We are witnessing cancel culture at its “finest”. I once did a search for a piece of music. The singer sounded like Frank Sinatra, but the song could not be found in his discography. I turned to Yandex last. Lo and behold, it was the only search engine that actually led me to the singer in question, and I was able to procure the album as a Christmas gift for my father. This is a stupid and shitty move on Mozilla’s part.
    I read somewhere that Yandex moved their operation to Switzerland; is this true? Anyone know?

    1. jochen said on March 16, 2022 at 9:13 am

      ´i read somewhere´ yeah sure you did. yandex makes negative revenues and is about to default on bond payments, but now they can afford to pay some of the highest wages in the world going from worthless rubbles to swiss francs…
      the disinfo here is comical

      1. justanEd said on March 16, 2022 at 7:51 pm

        Yes, I did. I also found it doubtful, which is why I asked. Where did you read about a default? Is that related to Yandex’s operations, or to the fact that Russian banks were blocked from international payment systems?
        You sir, are comical. Again, a question is not equivalent to disinformation.

      2. jochen said on March 17, 2022 at 11:26 am

        ´ I once did a search for a piece of music´ but now you are unable to do a search for “yandex bond” for example? after that, perhaps a search for “willful ignorance”

      3. A.Nonymus Bro said on March 17, 2022 at 5:25 pm

        @jochen You are the one purporting something. Have the courtesy to cite a good source.

      4. jochen said on March 18, 2022 at 4:20 pm

        allow yourself to decide what is a ´good source´ after you query “yandex bond” with a search engine of your choice. almost 2 weeks since the company warned holders that the debt would need to be converted to shares

        now go look at their cash position, operating costs and outstanding debt. with that maybe, maybe you can understand why they are desperate to find buyers for their business units and why analysts expect yandex to be nationalized

  24. Pet said on March 15, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Regardless of the ongoing invasion/war/dispute/ blah blah (call it what you like), every software that comes out of Russia (and all the ex soviet countries), Turkey and China should be banned. Yes, in that i also include the so much advertised Kaspersky stuff.
    The most corrupted economic systems, the most corrupted Devs.

    1. computer said no said on March 17, 2022 at 10:20 am

      You do realise that not all russian people are behind the current situation and is merely the actions of the govt which incidentally all nations are under this influence so sanctioning the russian people themselves is nonsense and will achieve nothing.

  25. WoketyWoke said on March 15, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Can’t wait for Firefox to declare itself vegan as well.

  26. Sebas said on March 15, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    Pathetic, feel good woke nonsense.

    1. MdN said on March 15, 2022 at 3:03 pm

      “Wokeness” does not exist. Like “god” or “nations” or “liberals” or “globalization”. Get on with the times.

  27. Annonymouse said on March 15, 2022 at 11:35 am

    So.. Mozilla remotely changed user’s settings. Yesterday they used one search engine and day after it disappeared.

  28. beemeup5 said on March 15, 2022 at 11:04 am

    DuckDuckGo has also decided they know what’s best and now downrank / censor “Russian propaganda” from their searches. How do they determine what constitutes “propaganda”? The same way Facebook’s “fact checkers” determine what is or isn’t in line with ‘the narrative’ apparently.

    “You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them!”

    1. MdN said on March 15, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      RT boss Simonyan literally said RT and Sputnik are propaganda and weapons. Search for it on Yandex.

      1. Anonymous said on March 16, 2022 at 5:05 am

        They are Russia’s equivalent of Fox, CNN, BBC. Are you shocked?

      2. beemeup5 said on March 16, 2022 at 4:01 am


        Even if “just” RT and Sputnik were singled out for “special consideration”, that in itself would set a troubling precedent, because that would mean there’s now an internal list of sources that have been deemed “harmful”, in other words an explicit element of bias has been introduced where it did not exist before.

        And in case you didn’t notice, most forms of propaganda don’t call themselves ‘propaganda’. They simply assume themselves as fact and what is presented is simply the way things are or “should” be. Why censor only Russian propaganda? Why now? Russia has been encroaching on Ukraine for the past several years. Why didn’t Big Tech crack down on Russia when Crimea was annexed? It’s just convenient pick-and-choose hypocrisy. It is more virtue signaling and self-promotion than anything resembling actual consistent principles.

        The best way to expose a lie is to shine a light on it, not hide it away by censorship. It’s actually a good thing that there are such “obvious” sources of propaganda, because then the masses can educate themselves on what propaganda looks like. When tech and the media take it upon themselves to think for the public, you end up with walled gardens and echo chambers, the perfect breeding ground for ignorance and division, which leads to fear and conflict.

        True solidarity can only come from open and transparent discourse.

  29. computer said no said on March 15, 2022 at 10:22 am

    This is a rather puzzling gesture which is all it is….a gesture.
    users can simply remove or add desired search engines at their own discretion so this is simple virtue signalling.

  30. 1 said on March 15, 2022 at 10:13 am

    What a petty thing to do. LOL

  31. Dumbledalf said on March 15, 2022 at 10:12 am

    I bet that desperate PR move by Firesux will definitely bring back droves of Politically Correct Social Justice Keyboard Warriors to the dying browser.

    Firefox has been a pitiful mess since 2010 and it somehow finds ways to continue worsening.=

  32. Ulysses said on March 15, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Jad, this is something we should have expected. This is the same scummy organization that said we need to do more than deplatform people [whom we don’t approve of]. Yeah, the same one that claims to be for openness.

  33. El Doreal said on March 15, 2022 at 9:13 am

    This is nonsense from the west in addition to this ordinary people suffer by the abolition of services.

  34. u ask for opinion, so do not censor ! said on March 15, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Free internet & technology must be unbiased. Though, Mozilla has joined the war, yes. Very unpopular move from them!!
    (where are my comments?)

  35. Jad said on March 15, 2022 at 8:37 am

    That’s something I did not expect from Mozarella. Hope they/them try to fix the browser instead of packaging new trash ideas.

    1. Rex said on March 16, 2022 at 4:09 am

      You did NOT expect? Have you been sleeping under a rock for the last 12 years since they started with this crap?

  36. Yves said on March 15, 2022 at 8:01 am

    This is crazy. I use different search engines to search the internet. Open source is for everyone without discrimination, not only for those that declare to be better than others.

  37. Anonymous said on March 15, 2022 at 7:55 am

    Regardless of what is happening this is garbage. We don’t need Mozilla out playing social justice warrior.

    1. Bert said on March 15, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      That ship sailed years ago. Just ask Brendan Eich.

  38. Bobo said on March 15, 2022 at 7:39 am

    My goodness, that must have made a SERIOUS DENT in Mozilla-Karen’s bankaccount! Oh well, at least now Mozilla get some goodguy-points, always good for publicity. Hopefully this brilliant move will generate more users, the developers in the Mozilla bunkers are hard at work on how to exploit these potential new ukrainian freedom fighting keyboardwarriors in the most efficient ways possible to balance out Karens bankaccount. Maybe change the Fox in the logo to Blue/Yellow while you’re at it? Damn ambulance chasers…

    1. The Ghost of Alexander Litvinenko said on March 15, 2022 at 10:21 pm

      Have you considered using another browser?

    2. Antonio said on March 15, 2022 at 7:03 pm

      Sad but true!

    3. Visan Gabriel said on March 15, 2022 at 5:22 pm


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