Websites track you online to show you targeted ads, and Firefox 65 is just the latest browser to help you opt out. You can now block online tracking content without the need for a third-party add-on.

What is Content Blocking in Firefox?

Content blockingis a collection of privacy settings designed to block trackers and cookies that affect your privacy and online browsing performance. This feature first appeared in Firefox 63 as “tracking protection”, but it has been redesigned and is now called “content blocking”.

By teaming up with Disconnect, a company that strives to give people the freedom to roam the Internet without having to worry about whether their information is being collected and sold, Firefox can block a list of known trackers while browsing the Internet. You can find a full list of trackers that Disconnect blocks and does not block, along with explanationson its website.

Firefox lets you choose between three options to better protect your privacy online:

  • Standard: This is the default setting and only blocks known trackers in private windows, balancing protection and performance. Third-party tracking cookies are not blocked using this mode.
  • Strict: Blocks all known trackers and third-party tracking cookies in all windows, including regular sessions, detected by Firefox.
  • Custom: A mix between standard and strict modes that lets you have complete control over trackers and cookies and lets you choose what you want to block.

Warning: When you block all cookies, some websites that depend on them may not work as expected. This may cause pages or parts of pages to load or break.

How to enable content blocking

To find these settings, click Menu > Content Blocking in Firefox. If you don’t see this option, you haven’t upgraded to Firefox 65 yet.

Open content blocking settings

On the Firefox Preferences privacy page, choose the option that suits you best.

Choose a content blocking mode

When you choose the custom plan, you can manually enable and set two settings: trackers and cookies.

For trackers, you can block them in all windows or in private windows only. For cookies, you can block third-party trackers, unvisited website cookies, all third-party cookies, or all cookies.

When you click on “Edit block list”, you can choose between several tracking lists to block.

Click Edit Blocklist

Level 1 allows certain trackers, which maintains the functionality of some sites, and Level 2 blocks all detected trackers, which can damage websites or prevent content from loading. Click on a level, then click “Save Changes”.

Select a blocklist

You can also tell Firefox to send the “Do Not Track” signal to websites, but most websites ignore it anyway.

Soon: RIP “Do Not Track”, the privacy standard that everyone ignores

Do not follow the signal

After configuring all the settings, you can close the tab and browse the Internet freely. When Firefox blocks content from a website, a shield icon appears in your address bar, located between the green lock and the site information icons.

Content Block Shield

How to disable blocking for individual sites

As mentioned earlier, blocking all Trackers and cookies can cause parts of a website to malfunction and possibly crash. If you find yourself in this situation, instead of completely disabling content blocking, you can add exceptions for specific sites.

Click the shield icon, then click “Disable blocking for this site”.

Add a site as a content blocking exception

Then the page reloads and all trackers and cookies are allowed. The shield is now crossed out, which means content blocking is disabled on the current website.

Content Blocking Disabled