If you had to choose five Firefox Add-ons

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 4, 2008
Updated • Nov 9, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Lets say your computer has limited resources and you can only use five Firefox add-ons when browsing the Internet.

Tell me, which would you choose and why. I'm currently cutting down on Firefox extensions that I'm actively using because I felt that Firefox was using too much memory when I started it without opening a website at all.

This was largely due to the massive number of extensions and themes that I had installed. After discovering that I could reduce the memory usage of Firefox by more than 15 Megabytes by simply reducing the number of add-ons and themes I was using, I decided to do just that.

I removed all themes but the default one and got rid of a handful of add-ons that I was using either because it was convenient to use them or because they would add a feature that I was using from time to time. Add-ons that fell into this category where the Adsense Notifier add-on, the Google Toolbar, the StumbleUpon Toolbar, Gmail Notifier, Tab Mix Plus and others.

Several of the features that I was using were also available in one extension. As an example, the Search Status extension displays the Pagerank and the Alexa rank of the active website and I was able to remove the Google Toolbar and the Alexa Toolbar because of this.

I added Gmail to Thunderbird which made the Gmail Notifier obsolete because I run Thunderbird all day long. Five add-ons remained after this that I can't live without, they are:

  • Adblock Plus - that's my number one Firefox extension, can't live without it.
  • Firebug - if you are a web developer you need this extension. It displays an unbelievable amount of information, great when working with CSS for instance.
  • Greasemonkey - a wonderful add-on that adds so much functionality.
  • Search Status - displays the Pagerank and Alexa rank among other things. Offers great information if you do SEO.
  • Tiny Menu - can't live without the Tiny Menu anymore. All my menus, address bar and everything else is in one row on top. Saves lots of space.

Which Firefox add-ons can't you live without?

Article Name
If you had to choose five Firefox Add-ons
If you had to work with just five add-ons for the Firefox web browser, which add-ons would you pick and which would you throw out in the process?
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  1. Terence Hill said on January 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    My top five:
    1. Tab Mix Plus
    2. Adblock Plus
    3. Download Statusbar
    4. Greasemonkey
    5. Past and Go 2 (this one is very useful)

  2. Tehmul Ghyara said on January 7, 2008 at 6:09 am

    1. Adblock Plus
    2. Scrapbook
    3. Firebug
    4. Unplug
    5. KeyScrambler

  3. Leo said on January 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    1. Adblock Plus – very useful to clean up frequently visited sites
    2. All-in-One Gestures – mouse gestures
    3. ScrapBook – incredible useful add-on for web based researches that allows you to save and annotate any web page.
    4. Tab Mix Plus
    5. Flashblock – useful for slow machines when visit the web pages full of flashes

  4. Jonas Martinsson said on January 6, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I’d go for the following five:
    – Hit-A-Hint: keyboard shortcuts to all links/fields
    – ViewMyCurrency – automatically translate all currencies to your local currency
    – Download Statusbar – better download status.
    – Firebug: for JavaScript debugging
    – Google Notebook: for saving snippets and pages publish them as RSS

    (Adblock Plus makes my browser way too slow…)

  5. DiaBLo said on January 5, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Can’t live without Mouse Gestures

  6. D3 said on January 5, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    1. Canadian-English dictionary
    2. Customize-google ( when it works) :/
    3. Downloadthemall!
    4. About this site bookmarks
    5. Fission

    6. Orbit Downloader firefox integration
    7.Password exporter

  7. Bangalored said on January 5, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Adblock Plus
    Auto Copy
    No script
    Personal Menu
    Download Statusbar


    Almost there:
    Searchbar Autosizer

  8. Rico said on January 5, 2008 at 7:29 am

    -Adblock Plus
    -Stumbleupon toolbar
    -CustomizeGoogle (no longer need to click “Next Page” to see more results as the page scrolls endlessly!)

  9. Agustin said on January 5, 2008 at 6:00 am

    -Adblock Plus
    -Web Developer
    -Auto Copy


  10. Daniel said on January 5, 2008 at 4:29 am

    – All in one Gestures, Closing tabs with an L rocks
    – Flashblock, No you can’t play music or show a goofy ad!
    – Google Toolbar – Autofill, Bookmarks, Highlighted searches, so much power…
    – Tabbrowser Preferences, set in my tabbed browsing ways.
    – ColorfulTabs, silly yet mildly useful.

  11. Jojo said on January 5, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Martin you are not making sense. You saved 15 whole MB? Wow. That’s impressive [not].

    How much physical memory do you have on your computer? I have 2GB.

    I just restarted FF to get a reading of memory reading minus the usual memory leak so well known to FF users. With 54 tabs open in 2 windows, I am using:

    InMem KB….Private KB….Total KB

    Would 15MB make any real difference in these totals? I think not. I have over 1GB of free Windows memory available right now.

    Anyway, if I had to choose only 5 FF apps (out of the 40 or so I have installed), I might choose:

    1. Adblock PLus
    2. Scrapbook
    3. Noscript
    4. Flashblock
    5. Permit cookies

    If you gave me 5 more, I’d add:
    6. Cooliris
    7. Plain old Favorites
    8. IE View
    9. Fetch Text URL
    10. Download Helper

  12. Rick said on January 5, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Ad Block Plus w/ Rick’s list
    Gmail Manager
    Tab Mix Plus

  13. Steve said on January 5, 2008 at 3:16 am

    Adblock Plus
    IE Tab
    All In One Sidebar
    Download Helper
    Download Statusbar

  14. Jason said on January 5, 2008 at 1:28 am

    As others have said
    -delicious bookmarks
    -Adblock Plus
    -HTML Validator

    bonus add-ons (if we get to go over 5)

  15. Roman ShaRP said on January 5, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Sorry, but I don’t see any point in cutting add-ons:

    Created: Fri Jan 04 2008 23:55:47 GMT+0200 (FLE Standard Time)
    User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; ru; rv: Gecko/20071127 Firefox/
    ID сборки: 2007112718

    Extensions: [25]
    – Adblock Plus http://adblockplus.org/
    – Back to Top 5.0: http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions
    – CLEO 3.1: http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions
    – DOM Inspector http://www.mozilla.org/projects/inspector/
    – DownloadHelper 2.5.3: http://www.downloadhelper.net
    – Dr.Web anti-virus link checker 1.0.15: http://www.drweb.com/
    – ErrorZilla Mod 0.2: http://www.jaybaldwin.com/News.aspx?id=51
    – Fasterfox 2.0.0: http://fasterfox.mozdev.org/
    – FEBE 5.1.1: http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions
    – FlashGot 0.7.1: http://flashgot.net
    – Forecastfox Enhanced http://users.rcn.com/shoofy/forecastfox_enhanced/
    – FoxyProxy 2.6.2: http://foxyproxy.mozdev.org
    – ImgLikeOpera 0.6.15: http://imglikeopera.mozdev.org/
    – Java Console 6.0.03: http://www.google.com/search?q=Firefox%20Java%20Console
    – Morning Coffee 1.26: http://shaneliesegang.com/projects/coffee.php
    – Mouse Gestures 1.5.2: http://www.mousegestures.org/
    – MR Tech Local Install http://www.mrtech.com/extensions/local_install/
    – NoScript http://noscript.net
    – OpenBook http://www.chuonthis.com/extensions/
    – Speed Dial http://speeddial.uworks.net/
    – Tab Mix Plus 0.3.6: http://tmp.garyr.net
    – Talkback http://talkback.mozilla.org/
    – Ukrainian dictionary 1.4.0: http://ispell-uk.sourceforge.net/
    – United States English Dictionary
    – VideoDownloader 1.1.1: http://videodownloader.net/

    Themes: [2]
    – Firefox (default): http://www.mozilla.org/
    – Noia 2.0 (eXtreme) 3.371: http://kasteo.deviantart.com/

    Plugins: (5)
    – Java(TM) Platform SE 6 U3
    – Microsoft® DRM
    – Mozilla Default Plug-in
    – Shockwave Flash
    – Windows Media Player Plug-in Dynamic Link Library


    And all that with 9 open pages – below 70Mb (~68), what is slim against my 1 Gb of RAM on my home PC (on working PC I got 2 Gb).

  16. Damian said on January 5, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Ad block plus – you don’t realise just how much this does until you use someone elses computer
    Tiny menu – Screen space is precious ona 1280×800 laptop
    delicious – how did I cope without tagged bookmarks before?
    google toolbar – Yes I know theres google built into firefox, but one search box can control pretty much all my google apps, and theres loads more functionaility built in
    greasemonkey – as said already, its just so damn good

  17. gokudomatic said on January 4, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    my favorites, as a user and not developper, are:
    – download statusbar(very useful to get rid of the download window)
    – mouse gestures (an absolute must-have for me. my fav one from far)
    – adblock plus (huge must-have too)
    – unofficial googlebar (with instant search and highlights)
    – scrapbook(very useful for cleaning and preparing a page before printing it or storing it)

    after that, I still didn’t figured out how to use greasemonkey correctly to make it useful for me. And for development, the developer toolbar is a must-have too.

  18. Daniel said on January 4, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Here are my top 5, most quite developer related:
    – Web Developer
    – Search Status
    – ColorZilla
    – Dictionary Search
    – Fint Finder

    But in fact, I need at least 10 add-ons minimum as an absolute must…

  19. Zockerwurf said on January 4, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Firebug – Perfect for programming, also very useful for downloading hidden things such as backgroundmusic and so on ;)

    FireFTP – Fast, easy to handle. Like it very much for hosting my files.

    Adblock Plus – Nothing left to say :)

    All-in-One Sidebar – Looks nice, gives you a good overview.

    Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer – Who don’t like to have his bookmarks on every Computer available. Automatic synchronizing.

    If there are some “mistakes” in my comment: Call it swiss-english, but I wanted it like that :D

  20. Jesse said on January 4, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Minifox theme

    I have to really be careful when I goto friends houses because I want to install a bunch of extensions on their firefox.

  21. vance said on January 4, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    for me:
    ie tab

  22. LethAL said on January 4, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Screen estate isn’t a premium on my box, although I do have a minimal layout. If I was limited to 5, I’d probably say ABP, StumbleUpon, FaviconizeTab, Stylish and PersonalMenu (I prefer the consistency of using an icon).

  23. Seb said on January 4, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Adblock plus- love it
    Greasemonkey- like you said- adds so much functionality
    Speed dial- I find that really really useful
    Stumble toolbar if you count that as an add-on- what would I do with my free time without that?
    NoScript- love it, ok may be a pain to keep having to accept pages but it also blocks ads and other nasties :D

    Great blog as always :D

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