Having trouble with Firefox add-ons and plugins? They seem to be disabled with the latest update? Don’t they work as expected? In this guide, we will share tips to fix Firefox problems with add-ons, plugins or unwanted software. We are looking at the following scenarios:
- Add-on signing in Firefox
- Flash Plugin issues
- Missing Pocket Feature
- Fake Firefox Update
- Cannot remove add-on, extension, toolbars or theme
- Upgrade Graphics Driver
- Firefox Anti-hijacking for Search.
Firefox problems with add-ons & plugins
Firefox has changed a lot in the past few years, and with every update, new features & security measures are added. This may lead to issues with the add-ons and plugins. Let’s take a look at how they can be fixed.
1] Add-on signing in Firefox
Starting in Firefox version 57, only extensions built using WebExtensions APIs will work. This makes sure that all extensions have been verified before it reaches the consumers. If any extension doesn’t follow security guidelines of Firefox, they will not work, even if they used to work earlier.
While you can force Firefox to use unsigned add-ons and plugins, its best recommended to either find a certified update or look for an alternate version.
2] Flash Plugin Issues
Flash Plugin is blocked on some websites
Since Flash is known to have security issues, most of the websites and even Firefox don’t run any Flash-based media automatically. Instead, you get a notification. When you click on it, it uses the flash player and then runs it. If you want to run it automatically, you can do so.
- Go to Menu > Add-ons > Plugins.
- Locate Shockwave Flash. The default option is Ask to activate.
- To change, click on preferences and then uncheck the box which says “Block dangerous and intrusive Flash.”
While it is best to enable it on a per-site basis, but if your work demands it, then you can always enable it.
Flash Plugin has crashed
When this happens, first make sure that the plugin is updated. You can go to Plugins section > click on cog icon, and click on check for update. Second, disable hardware acceleration in Firefox, and check back.
Flash doesn’t work
When the above methods don’t work, and Flash content is of no use, its time to check if the flash player, i.e., Shockware Flash is disabled. Go to Menu > Add-ons > Plugins > Shockwave Flash > Activate. If it’s enabled, make sure to update the graphics driver.
3] Missing Pocket Integration
Pocket feature in Firefox allows you to save websites to read later. If you are unable to see Pocket right next to favorites or bookmark icon, do the following:
- Make sure you are signed into Firefox
- Go to about:config and type pocket
- Double click on extensions.pocket.enabled to true.
Post this Pocket icon will reappear next to bookmarks icon instantly.
4] Spot fake Firefox update
Gone are those days when you had to download Firefox to update it. Once installed, Firefox will automatically update itself to the latest version. Any prompt offered by websites or software should be considered as fake. If you encounter them, do not install it.
5] Cannot remove add-on, extension, toolbars or theme
As discussed earlier, if you are not able to install or enable an extension, it means they are not safe. Firefox is very strict with any third party software that interacts with Firefox. Toolbars are available under Extensions. However, if you are not able to remove an add-on, extension or theme, let’s see what we can do about it:
Remove in safe mode:
- Restart Firefox in Safe mode.
- Go to Add-ons dashboard.
- Locate it, and click on remove.
Disable extensions installed by software
If any software has installed an extension, you will need to either remove it using its configuration. If there is no such option, it is best to disable it. Go to Add-ons dashboard, locate the plugin, and choose to disable it. If disable doesn’t work in normal mode, disable it in Safe Mode or using Group Policy.
Manually Remove extensions, add-ons, plugins & toolbars
This is the last resort. Make sure your Firefox is closed when finally deleting the files.
- Type about:support in the address bar of Firefox and hit enter.
- Scroll down till you find Extensions section.
- Locate the one you want to manually remove, and note down ID value.
- Open the Firefox Profile folder, and go to the extensions folder. This contains XPI files for each extension, and the theme installed on Firefox.
- Find the one which matches with the ID you noted above.
- Delete it.
6] Upgrade Graphics Driver
Some extensions use graphics card (hardware acceleration) and WebGL to speed up their functions. Make sure graphics drivers are up to date, Hardware Acceleration is enabled, and WebGL is enabled. Here is how to enable WebGL-
- In the address bar, type about:config, and accept the risk dialog box.
- Find webgl.disabled
- Double click to turn it on.
7] Firefox Anti-hijacking for Search
Sometimes software, add-ons, and others hijack the default search engine of Firefox and replace with their own. While Firefox warns about any such change, in case you did not notice, here is how you gain back the control
Firefox Automatic Search Reset
- Go to Preferences and look for Search section
- Change your default search engine from the dropdown to whatever you prefer.
User Opt-in Reset
When Firefox detects a hijack, you will see a search reset option in the window. It will offer you to accept the change. If you haven’t made those changes, make sure to reject the offer.
Last but not least, always make sure to submit crash reports to Firefox which helps in long terms.
Let us know if these tips helped you to fix issues around add-ons, plugins or unwanted software.