Firefox Add-ons Manager Redesign

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2010
Updated • Sep 14, 2016
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

The Firefox add-ons manager is currently hidden deep in the web browser. It can only be accessed by clicking on Tools > Add-ons.

Update: you can load it directly in newer versions by loading about:addons in the address bar. Other things have changed as well. The add-ons manager opens in a browser tab now, and you may use it to manage extensions, plugins, dictionaries and other items.

The add-ons manager opens in a new window that gives you options to manage extensions, themes and plugins. Search engines on the other hand are not maintained in the add-ons manager which is not the most elegant solution as you need to open the search engines manager by loading about:preferences#search for that.

Redesign plans existed for some time but progress has only been made recently. A new - fairly incomplete - preview of the new add-ons manager has now been added to the latest Firefox Nightly builds.

Several blogs have already reported about the changes including Mozilla Links and Boriss' Blog.

Overview of the changes in the new Firefox add-ons manager:

  • Redesigned user interface.
  • Languages, search engines, extensions, themes and plugins can all be managed from the add-ons manager.
  • Add-ons manager is now displayed in a tab in the web browser, can be accessed via about:addons
  • New extensions manager backend including api changes
  • Ram and CPU usage information

The last feature has not been mentioned in the other blog posts. It is only visible in the preview screenshot shown below:

There is currently no button to launch the add-ons manager but users can enter about:addons in the address bar and bookmark the url for faster access.

What's your opinion on the new add-ons manager?

Update: Mozilla has added another option to open the browser's add-ons manager. Firefox users can enter the shortcut about:addons in the address bar of the browser to load the add-on manage in the active tab.

The add-on manager has been redesigned in the meantime. Take a look at the screenshot of the current version of the add-on manager.

firefox addon manager

The new add-on manager lists extensions, plugins, themes, user scripts and even an option to find and install add-ons right away. Search engines on the other hand are still not listed by it.

Some features highlighted by the early design are not included as well. This includes the cpu and ram information among other things.

Firefox Add-ons Manager Redesign
Article Name
Firefox Add-ons Manager Redesign
Mozilla plans to update the add-ons manager of the Firefox web browser and has released a mock up of how the new add-ons manager could look like.
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  1. kaosfury said on May 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I’m not sure I understand how hiding it in about:addons is better than making it readily available in the menus. Seems like a step backwards.

  2. Girish Mony said on May 1, 2010 at 3:56 am

    I like the concept of about:addons. I am eagerly expecting for it. The current design has no problem, except opening in new window.

  3. Crodol said on April 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Like the current one better. What’s supposed to be wrong with that design?

  4. HNicolai said on April 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Nice! The new one looks sweet :)

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