Disable Highlights on New Tab Page in Firefox

As you may know, Firefox 57 comes with a new user interface, known as "Photon". It is intended to provide a more modern, sleek feel that’s consistent across multiple platforms. It replaced the previous "Australis" UI and features new menus, a new customization pane and tabs without rounded corners. The new tab page of Firefox 57 comes with a search bar, top sites, Highlights and snippets. Highlights is a special section of the new tab page which extends top sites you visit. It represents them in a fancy way. If you are unhappy to see them, you can quickly disable them.

Firefox 57

Firefox 57 is a huge step forward for Mozilla. The browser comes with a new user interface, codenamed "Photon", and features a new engine "Quantum". It was a difficult move for developers, because with this release, the browser drops support for XUL-based add-ons completely! All of the classic add-ons are deprecated and incompatible, and only a few have moved to the new WebExtensions API. Some of the legacy add-ons have modern replacements or alternatives. Unfortunately, there are plenty of useful add-ons which have no modern analogs.

The Quantum engine is all about parallel page rendering and processing. It is built with a multi-process architecture for both CSS and HTML processing, which makes it more reliable and faster.

The New Tab page in Firefox 57 comes with highlights. They are special items promoted by Mozilla, which appear automatically. The more you browse, the more relevant highlights will become. Unlike top sites, Highlights can take you to a random page of a web site you browse frequently, e.g. to a new (or old) blog post.

If you don't like highlights on the new tab page, you can disable them.

To disable Highlights on the New Tab Page in Firefox, do the following.

  1. Open a new tab to see the new tab page.Firefox 57 Open New Tab
  2. On the top right, you'll see the tiny gear icon. It opens the page's options. Click it.Firefox 57 New Tab Page Gear Icon
  3. Uncheck (turn off) the Highlights item.Firefox Disable New Tab Page Highlights

You are done.

Alternatively, you can restore the classic New Tab Page in Firefox 57 and disable the Activity Stream feature.

That's it.

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