Many users have noticed a message on the Firefox browser options page(about:preferences) such as ‘Your browser is being managed by your organization‘ or ‘Your organization has disabled the ability to change some options.’. Users who have an antivirus installed on their system, especially Avast or AVG or AdBlock or privacy-related add-ons installed in Firefox, see this message on their preferences page.
If your device is not part of an organization and you are a single user, then some other program such as Avast antivirus or an add-on controls parts of the browser. Because another program controls the browser, some users face limitations in the settings they can modify, while others can change all settings.
What is Import Enterprise Roots?
Import Enterprise Roots is a policy in Firefox that, when enabled, reads SSL certificates from the Windows certificate store. It does not read any SSL certificates from the Windows certificate store when not enabled. Avast antivirus uses this policy to intercept traffic to protect users from malware and harmful websites. Many privacy and Adblock related add-ons use this to protect their users.
The Enterprise Roots preference can be used to import any root certificate authorities which are added to your operating system like Avast antivirus. There are many policies and preferences like this in Firefox, which have been added to prevent users from getting access to a few features in Firefox. When any software or add-on turns on any policies, then Firefox will start displaying this message – ‘Your organization has disabled the ability to change some options.’
What does it mean when your browser is being managed by your organization?
It means that your device is being controlled by an administrator, and there might be restrictions and blocks applied on your internet. Usually happens when you are using a device given by your school or company.
They might monitor your web activity and apply blocks on certain websites that might be deemed harmful.
How to disable import enterprise roots?
If you cannot modify certain settings in Firefox and want to be able to modify those, you should disable this policy. Here are a few different ways in which you can disable it –
1. Disable inside Firefox
- First, type in about:config in your browser’s address bar and press enter.
- Now tick the ‘Warn me when I attempt to access these preferences’ and click the ‘Accept the Risk and Continue‘ button.
- In the search field type in ‘security.certerrors.mitm.auto_enable_enterprise_roots’.
- Now change the preference’s value from true to false by double-clicking on it.
- Again search for the following ‘security.enterprise_roots.enabled’.
- Then double click on the preference and change its value from true to false.
- Now no new certificate authorities like Avast won’t be allowed to be added and control the web traffic in Firefox.
2. Disable from Windows Registry Editor
- Open the Windows Registry Editor from the Start menu.
- Now go to the following address in the Registry editor ‘ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Mozilla\ ‘.
- Under the Firefox folder, all the policies enabled in Firefox are listed; delete the whole Firefox folder to disable all enabled policies inside Firefox.
- Now restart Firefox, and you should not see the same message on your Options page again.
3. Edit policies.json file
- Open the Firefox installation folder; in Windows, it’s usually located at C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox.
- You will see the ‘Distribution’ folder now.
- Go inside it and look for the policies.json file. Delete it when you find it.
- Now all the record of all the policies enabled in Firefox has been deleted; when you open Firefox again, no policies should be enabled.
- You can check it by visiting about:policies.
4. Remove antivirus or add-on.
As we already mentioned earlier, this policy is used by antivirus software like Avast or AVG or privacy add-ons like UBlock or Privacy Badger to scan the user’s web traffic and protect them from malware.
But if you think you do not need this kind of web protection anymore, you can go ahead and uninstall the antivirus or add-on, whichever was using this policy. Then this policy will also be turned off. Now your browser will not display the message of being controlled by an organization anymore, and you will be able to modify all Firefox settings.
You could use Windows Defender if you are anxious about your device’s safety, as it does a pretty good job of handling malware and protecting against harmful actors.
If none of the fixes worked for you, shift to Google Chrome; it’s a better browser anyway.