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A stack of chocolate cookies on a plate

How to automatically reject cookies and hide cookie pop-ups on Firefox 

David Rutland
David Rutland Tips

No-one likes being being tracked on the internet, and changes in data protection laws around the world mean that in some jurisdictions, you don't have to be.

In The EU and UK for instance you'll see a pop-up if you visit a site which uses cookies to collect data, and you can reject cookies on your device.

Cookie consent popup on the Guardian website - it obscures most of the page

Clicking on the reject cookies option time and time again is irritating. No, we don't want cookies, and we don't want to have to tell you every time, either. The situation is exacerbated if you make a habit of browsing in private or incognito mode, as your device remembers your preference by, erm, setting a cookie. In private or incognito mode, these cookies are flushed when you exit.

While browsers such as Brave have a setting to hide cookie consent pop-ups, there's a hidden setting on Firefox to automatically reject cookies before you even see the pop-up. Unfortunately, it's not perfect.

How to automatically reject cookies on Firefox.

Firefox warning to proceed with caution

While the setting to automatically reject cookies and hide pop-ups on Firefox is hidden, you can turn the feature on in seconds.

  1. Open a new Firefox tab and in the URL bar, enter: about:config

  2. You'll see a warning, advising you to "Proceed with Caution". Click Accept the risk and continue.

  3. Type cookiebanners.ui.desktop.enabled

  4. Toggle the value to True

That's it. Firefox is now set to reject all cookies and hide the cookie banners

While changing this setting on Firefox rejects all cookies if there is a Reject All button on the banner. It doesn't work on all sites, and won't work on those which have a Manage or rect Cookies button with further choices.

On the BBC News and Guardian websites, for instance, the cookie banner is still there. Overall, we've say it has around a 60% success rate. your mileage may vary, but it's better than nothing, and development is ongoing. And as privacy laws tighten to force sites into always giving users a Reject All choice, its efficacy will improve.

 

David Rutland

David Rutland

David is a freelance writer with a background in print journalism, and a love of Free and Open Source Software. He has been using Linux since the early 2000s, and runs a range of sites and services from a Raspberry Pi perched precariously atop his living room couch. David never passes up a chance to take a stray edX course to better his understanding of technology, humanity, and other, related matters.

David is a terrible guitar player, and he spends his free time touring the British Isles, off-grid, with his caravan and dogs. Occasionally, he writes books. No-one likes them. See what he's up to at davidrutland.com