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Windows 7: Firefox - Workarounds for Add-On incompatiblities with Firefox updates

Firefox - Workarounds for Add-On incompatiblities with Firefox updates

Various methods for getting incompatible Firefox Add-Ons to work in newer browser versions
Published by Airbot
02 Jul 2011
Published by

Various methods for getting incompatible Firefox Add-Ons to work in newer browser versions

information   Information
Firefox Add-Ons depend on the developer of the Add-Ons to keep them up-to-date with current and future Firefox browser versions. There are some Add-Ons that that we may use and depend on that are poorly kept up-to-date with new and future Firefox versions (Aurora/Beta/Nightly builds) by the developer/s.

Most of the time (but not always), the Add-Ons will work just fine in a new Aurora or Beta build even though the Add-On on addons/ states only up to a lesser browser version than you want to use. Say you want to use a Firefox 6 Beta build, and the Add-On only states up to Firefox 5.0*.

Firefox will run the Add-On compatibility check when updating the browser and disable any Add-Ons that it finds are incompatible. While this may be necessary as the Add-Ons may truly have incompatibility issues, it may also not be really necessary as the Add-On might work just fine in a newer version.

This will show you a few ways to workaround the compatibility check and get the Add-On to work in the new browser version.

warning   Warning
These methods are at your own risk. The Add-Ons may or may not work, or possibly in rare cases cause corruption in your Firefox profile. So make a backup / backup of your last known good Firefox profile before you do it if you're unsure.

Check the developers website

Some Add-ons will have an newer updated version on the developers personal website weeks or even months before they show up on addons/ Best to check the devs website first (if they have one) to see if there is an newer version than at addons/ You can usually find the devs website link on Mozilla addons page.

Use an Add-on

Use the Add-on Compatibility Reporter add-on from Mozilla. It will enable the disabled incompatible add-ons. You can also test them out and report incompatible add-ons to Mozilla.

Or use the Nightly Tester Tools add-on. It has several features.

Use about:config

This will just disable the browser from auto checking if any add-ons are incompatible or not, allowing them to install.

Type about:config in Firefox's address bar and press Enter. Click OK for I'll be Careful, I promise.

Right-click on an empty space in about:config, and create New-Boolean value.

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Enter extensions.checkCompatibility and click OK.

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In the True or False value popup that pops up next, enter False, then OK.

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Restart the browser.

Edit the version number in the install.rdf file

Edit the specific Add-ons install.rdf file.

Navigate to

The add-ons will most likely be named with numbers followed by the file extension .xpi.

Example: {1AFDJD34-753F5-4cHk-08334445533}.xpi

You'll need to find out which one of those is the add-on you want to edit. You can open and find out which one is which and also edit the .rdf file with a file archiver like 7-Zip.

(The install.rdf file will have the name of the add-on in it somewhere.)

Right-click on the add-on you want to edit, and in the context menu go to 7-Zip/Open archive.


Right-click on the install.rdf file and choose Edit.

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Near the bottom it will show a minversion/maxversion. Enter in the browser version number you want it to work with (if it said 5.0 and you want it to work with FF 6, put in 6 where the 5 was.

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Go to File and Save in notepad. Then click Yes to save in archive.

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Restart the browser. The add-on should now be enabled.

That's it.

02 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64

Nice tutorial Airbot !

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.2 MATE (64 bit), W10IP VM
Use the asterisk

Make a backup of the rdf file before attempting to edit it!

You can often get away with replacing the entire FF version number with an asterisk (see gif below).

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I have edited all of my favourite extensions using this method (the ones that FF didn't "like") and I have had no problems.
This may not be true for all Add-ons.

I would also suggest that you change the Add-on version number, so that you can remember which Add-ons you have edited.

I've changed all of my edited Add-on version numbers (to 7.0.0).
Of course I'm running FF8a now. D'oh!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Firefox - Workarounds for Add-On incompatiblities with Firefox updates

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