It is possible to install Firefox add-ons for all users that use a computer instead of installing them for every user separately. This is helpful if you are the computer guy in the family for instance and want everyone to have a basic set of extensions enabled that add functionality and security to the accounts.
The process of installing Firefox add-ons globally looks like the following. Download the xpi file instead of clicking on it which would install it directly. Once the add-on has been downloaded you use the following command at the run prompt (type Windows R): firefox -install-global-extension .
Let me give you an example: firefox -install-global-extension c:\extension.xpi. The add-on will be silently installed and is available normally afterwards in the Tools > Add-ons menu of Firefox. Only administrators may uninstall the add-on but it is working for all users who are running Firefox.
Update: Themes can also be installed globally in the browser. The command -install-global-theme is needed to do that, followed by the theme's path.
Update 2: As of Firefox 18.104.22.168, it is no longer possible to install extensions or themes globally from a network share. Only themes and extensions residing on the same local disk or mapped drives can be installed this way.
Update 3: The option to install extensions globally has been removed from all versions of the web browser starting with Firefox 3.6. Both the-install-global-extension and the -install-global-theme command line parameters have been removed and are no longer available. The change happened with the update to Gecko 1.9.2, and not only affects the Firefox web browser but also other applications based on that core, including the Thunderbird email client.
Update 4: While the flags have been removed, it is still possible to install Firefox add-ons globally. You can check out this page on the Mozilla Developer portal which explains how you can add extensions globally using the Windows Registry.
If an entry exists under the HKEY_Current_User and HKEY_Local_Machine then the one referenced under Current_User will be used.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.