How-To Geek

Launch External Apps from Firefox

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Do you need an easy way to access external apps such as Notepad or other apps while you are browsing? See how simple it is to set up customized launch buttons for your favorite apps with the External Application Buttons mod for Firefox 3.0+ extension.


Once you have installed the extension the first thing that you will need to do is open the “Customize Toolbar Window” and grab the “External Applications Toolbar”. Place it into your browser’s UI in a location that best suits your needs.


Once you have placed it where you want it and closed the “Customise Toolbar Window” you will see a “blank spot” in that location. Do not worry…the toolbar is still there…it is just empty for the moment.


There are two methods for adding an external app to your new toolbar. The first is by using the “Right Click Menu” and selecting “New Button…” which lets you browse for the exe file of the app that you want to add. The second is “drag-and-drop”. For our example we have decided to use the “drag-and-drop” method.


And just like that you can now access an external app with just one click.


As you can see Notepad opened up very nicely…


Here is what the “Right Click Menu” looks like for our new toolbar.

Note: Clicking on “Customise” will open up the “Customise Toolbar Window”.


Clicking on “Properties” will open up the following window for the particular app that you are inquiring about.



The options are very simple to work with…choose the prefix that you would like for the “Tooltip Pop-ups” for your apps and decide if you want the icons to be size “16 or 32”.



The External Application Buttons mod for Firefox 3.0+ extension can give you quick and easy access to your most needed apps (for taking notes, editing images, saving links, etc.) while browsing.


Download the External Application Buttons mod for Firefox 3.0+ extension (Mozilla Add-ons)

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 12/9/09

Comments (5)

  1. Camilo Martin

    It would be wonderful if it supported folders!

  2. calebstein

    It is not supported on Firefox 3.7 but I will force compatibility and see if it works anyway.

  3. calebstein

    It works better than I thought it would. Thank you for pointing this out! This addon alone was worth forcing addon compatibility alone.

  4. Chaim Chaikin

    @Camilo Martin

    I haven’t tried this extension out so I am not 100% sure if this works:
    Make a shortcut of the folder you want to add to the bar then drag the shortcut onto the bar. It should keep the same functionality since essentially buttons on that bar are shortcuts.

    I hope it works.

  5. Chaim Chaikin

    @Chaim Chaikin & Camilo Martin:
    Okay I just tried this out and it works good. You have to make the shortcut and then drag it onto the bar. (If you try to locate it with add a button it will not work because when you click on the shortcut it will just open the folder.)

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