How-To Geek

Make Firefox Extensions Compatible After Firefox Update Breaks Them For No Good Reason

I wasn’t going to write another Firefox article tonight, but after restarting Firefox the automatic updater ran without my permission and broke my favorite extension. I could obviously crack open the extension and manually fix the problem, but it’s just ridiculous to have to do that.

Short Rant: Why does an x.x.x.1 release have to break any of my extensions? That’s just completely ridiculous. I realize that the extension developers could have picked a better version number in order to handle this, but it worked fine with, so it should work with

Back to the topic… you have a few options at this point:

  • Crack open the extension in your profile directory and change the version number in the extensions.rdf file.
  • Install the Nightly Tester Tools which will let you override the incompatibility.

Once you install the Nightly Tester Tools extension and restart Firefox, open up your Add-ons folder, right-click on the incompatible extension, and choose the “Make Compatible” option from the menu.


Now once you restart Firefox yet again, your extension should be back to normal and working fine.

Second Rant: Installing themes, plugins, changing options, restarting because of memory leaks…  Rebooting Firefox is beginning to remind me of Windows 98.

Install Nightly Tester Tools from Oxymoronical

Install Nightly Tester Tools from Firefox Addons

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/30/07

Comments (8)

  1. Asa Dotzler

    Security updates do not break extensions unless the extension author failed to write the extension’s compatibility version correctly. If you have an extension that’s disabled with a security update, contact the extension author and let her know that she hasn’t put the correct compatibility string in the extension. It’s probably missing a .0.* or something simple like that.

    – A

  2. The Geek

    I realize it’s the extension developers fault for not following the guidelines.

    That said, it’s still extremely annoying, especially in this case…. why did it work fine with but not ?

  3. Jake

    The Geek: Asa Dotzler answered this it looks like to me. You are supposed to define for maximum version to support, for instance, all 2.0 versions or all 1.5 versions. The author instead specifically said the highest compatible version was, which is was a security update. I made a version that shuold work with all future security updates to 2.0.

    Let me know if that works.

  4. The Geek


    Thanks for the update… I’ll install it.

  5. Webdog

    A minor heads-up: You may not notice it at first, but while the Nightly Tester add-on is active, it triggers a “build? number reference in the title bar of the Firefox browser. If that annoys you, after you have made your extensions “compatible” just disable the Nightly Tester add-on and the build number disappears.

  6. Lisaweb

    Wow, awesome, awesome tip! I rely heavily on several of my extensions for work productivity, and the authors of certain extensions are slow to update version compatibility. This saves me, big time. Thanks Geek!

  7. web design company

    Or even easier, create a new (true) boolean key in about:config called “extensions.checkCompatibility”

  8. John Waters

    I know this is a little off topic but Firefox is really getting to “mainstream”. No tech likes change, and that’s all Firefox is about lately. New tabs opening in the middle instead of at the end, the way they’ve redesigned the whole bookmarks section…I’m sorry but if it’s not broke don’t fix it and I almost agree with you…it reminds me of WinME more than Win98! I know most items can be fixed with tweaks but why should I have to just to get it back to functioning normal? I’ve been a fox user for quite a number of years and have always been happy with it, I think it’s time to start looking at the other alternatives out there…..just my 2 cents for what it’s worth..

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