Google Toolbar Support For Firefox 5 Discontinued

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 21, 2011
Updated • Mar 7, 2015
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Google in a somewhat surprising move announced that they will discontinue development of the Google Toolbar for the Firefox web browser.

Taking effect immediately, the company notes that the Google Toolbar will not be supported on Firefox 5 and future versions. The change has no effect on the current toolbar offered for the browser which works on all versions of the browser up to Firefox 4.

The official reason for discontinuing Google Toolbar development on Firefox is that many features that the toolbar offered are now part of the browser. That's a lukewarm explanation at best, considering that there are still many features offered by the toolbar that are not part of the Firefox browser.

Among those features are the translator option, Google Bookmarks integration or Side Wiki support.

Sure, most of those features can be integrated via add-ons in the Firefox browser, but that is not what the short Google news announcement said.

First of all, we'd like to thank all of our loyal users of Google Toolbar for Firefox. We deeply appreciate all of the feedback over the years that helped to make the product so useful. As we all know, over the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation in the browser space. For Firefox users, many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser. Therefore, while Google Toolbar for Firefox works on versions up to and including Firefox 4 only, it will not be supported on Firefox 5 and future versions. Please see our Help Center for additional details.

What could be the underlying reason for discontinuing support? The only browser still supported is Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Even the company's own browser Google Chrome is not supported.

Could Google have plans to retire the toolbar completely? It certainly looks that way, unless the company decides to publish a Google Chrome version of the toolbar later this year.

Interestingly enough, Google has posted add-on suggestions for Firefox users who relied on the Google Toolbar in the past.

The support page lists the individual features of the toolbar and links to add-ons that replicate them.

Firefox users who until now worked with the Google Toolbar should visit the page once they update the browser to version 5 or later to install the features they need this way.

To be precise: Google is linking to Firefox add-on search results and not single add-ons for the task.

Have you been working with the Google Toolbar under Firefox? Why do you think Google stopped supporting the toolbar? (via)


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  1. Tiring said on July 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Let’s get things straight here. Google want the monopoly and want to control everyone and everything their way or no way, simple as that. They know full well the in this day and age Internet Explorer is not going to be a threat to Google Chrome so (for now) they’ll be happy to integrated the Toolbar into IE in the hope that people will love the Google aspect but, in the ever decreasing movement of people away from IE, people will look for alternatives and go to Chrome. That is what this is all about for Google, an ‘It’s our way or go to hell, no matter how wrong we may be’ kind of attitude. We have seen it with the Google search engine, we have seen it with their butchering and censoring of YouTube, we have seen it in the way the completely ignore anyone and everyone who voices a complaint against them, even if it’s an overwhelming 90-odd percent of people, we have seen it in the way that they are trying to shove Google+ down everyone’s throats and we are seeing it here with their withdrawal of Toolbar from Firefox. Soon we will see the same kind of trashing of the (for now) excellent Android operating system. Well I am getting to the point that I am beginning to hate Google just as much as I hate Apple and Microsoft, if not more so. They are getting too big, too big-headed and this is to the detriment of the end-user. Well I say “Stuff ’em”. They haven’t got a clue and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to bite them in the bum. We’ve been suffering this sort of conglomerate crap from the likes of Apple, Sony and Microsoft for years, we certainly don’t need it from Google too

  2. Anonymous said on August 17, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I just want my 4 years worth of bookmarks “available anywhere at anytime on any computer with google toolbar!” back??? Please? If I store bookmarks witht the browser and thus on the laptop (which is a stoopid little Acer that crashes on occasion) I risk losing them permanently anyway!

    There has to be a better way?

  3. SEOJoe said on August 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Google is changing its algorithm as can be seen with the new Google Plus One. They have made a concerted effort for some time to eliminate the need for the much abused “back links” as a method of determining popularity. Unfortunately for the link industry, it may soon be a thing of the past.

  4. kelly said on August 10, 2011 at 1:57 am

    well my firefox browser version 5 runs google toolbar just fine and i even re downloaded it twice google toolbar still worked just fine mabey someone is yanking our chain

  5. hipresurfacing said on August 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I am going to miss if i Upgrade my mozilla to 5. its not the best move from Google.

  6. kelly said on August 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    google tool bar works for my Firefox version 5 after i re downloaded it

  7. Anonymous said on August 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I loved google toolbar for firefox. But the only function I use is bookmark. I thought there was no alternative but I found a simple work around.

    I go to and used the function “Pin As App Tab”. This you do by right clicking the tab and select the option. This tab never gets in the way, it waits patiently until you are ready for it.

    And I think there is little bookmarklet that make it easier to add bookmark to your google account as well. As you can see i don’t know much about this stuff but I hope I helped some1.

    If I knew about this little work around I would’ve booted google toolbar ages ago.

    1. RustyH said on August 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      I tried a similar “solution., Unfortunately, it wasn’t as functional as I would like.

      I ended up, and am quite happy with the GBookmarks addon.

  8. yosh2005 said on July 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

    There’s a work around that is working pretty well:

    Remove the existing Google toolbar, close the browser, open up again, then install the Add-On Compatibility Reporter, but make sure that it’s DISABLED. If need be, close and open the browser. Only then download and install Google Toolbar for FF.
    Do not enable the Add-On Compatibility Reporter, or you will have to do it all over again.
    Works perfect on my W7 laptop, and with an additional click in a error message popup window also on XP

    1. Jim said on July 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

      Not sure why you needed to go through all those gymnastics? As far as I’m aware, and I’ve been using Add-On Compatibility Reporter a few months now for other add-ons, it just needs to be on.

      1. yosh2005 said on July 27, 2011 at 8:09 am

        The point was to have Google Toolbar AND FF5. If you just install it without the Reporter, it doesn’t install. If you install it with the Reporter installed and ENABLED, he will disable the Toolbar (or not let you install it). The only way it worked for me, was to DISABLE the Reporter and then install the Google Toolbar.
        It is not clear why it works, as you don’t need the Reporter at all to tell you if an add-on is compatible, FF5 already does that. But with it installed, and disabled, you can have both worlds.

        At the same time, I am checking the claim of Google that you in fact don’t need the toolbar at all:
        First was to check, which of the features do I really use and it’s the Gmail button in 80% of all cases, the Search button 15% and the translate button in the rest.
        The Gmail Manager add-on does the checking, and from the Gmail site kept open I can easily get any other Google service.
        So if I’m honest, I don’t actually need the toolbar at all.

        I see their point!

  9. brian said on July 26, 2011 at 5:55 am

    It was the only toolbar I needed this blows. If the work arounds pan out I’ll be happy. But they got there hooks into so much stuff I can’t really boycott them. I needs my you tube too.

  10. Asad Naeem said on July 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I did not appreciate the decision of Google. I was very happy and comfortable with google toolbar in firefox. So I want that Google should take back its decision for google toolbar for firefox. Is there any “contact us” link for google so that I would email to google to see in this decision. I am not happy with the decision. I protest against it from the bottom of my heart.

  11. Ben said on July 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    There’s always addon compatibility reporter ( for those who want it to work with FX5.

  12. RustyH said on July 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Dear people…

    The google toolbar is (was) not stuck as a simple bar. The elements can be moved around in firefox without the need to use a horizontal row within the gui.

  13. bill williams said on July 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Why I never use any toolbar and really don’t understand why your love it .my avant browser also can make screenshots, search (picture, news,mp3)

  14. Robert Palmar said on July 22, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I have been using the Google Toolbar but rarely for Google search.
    I added many “hot” icons, some I modified or created, for a
    number of research and other sites for fast access.

    Anything I highlight can be searched by hitting the icon.
    I placed all these options and more in the context menu too
    but that is more clicks and movement than one fast toolbar hit.

    For me then it is a handy tool and one key reason I use Firefox.
    Oddly enough without it I might be using Chrome by now
    which I have been waiting to catch up on extensions
    comparable to the mix I have used on Firefox.

    Bottom line for me the Toolbar made Firefox more attractive
    and that is the reason behind Google’s decision along
    with probably a breakdown of the Google financial
    relationship which was once a major source
    of revenue for Firefox in the past.

  15. Steve Mount said on July 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I use Google toolbar because it is the only way to use Google Web History, which I find extremely useful. It allows me to search web sites I have visited in the past (at any time, on any computer) and know that I will be able to find them again quickly without having to bother to bookmark.

    As much as I love Google history, I must be the only person who does, because this is not much discussed on any of these forums (and Google seems not to care about supporting it; they don’t include it on Chrome, and they don’t even mention it in the post you cite). I suppose that I’ll just have to learn to do without it. It was great while it lasted.

  16. Ken Saunders said on July 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Ya, I agree about sticking it to Firefox.

    Why would Google continue to develop an add-on that may be helping to retain Firefox users.
    Doesn’t make sense to do that.

    I used it years ago. I know that’s it’s a very popular add-on, despite the lack of actual statistics.

  17. Daniel said on July 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Firefox users don’t need a Google toolbar.

    If it’s a move to try and bury FF, forget it Google.

    Chrome is a bubble gum browser, a fad like those who use Incredimail.
    Nothing for serious internet surfers to fully enjoy.

  18. Roman ShaRP said on July 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    No, I didn’t use the toolbar. Well, I just hate toolbars. I do prefer to work with add-ons and have only functionality and buttons I need, and have them where I need.

    The Google move isn’t surprising – they announced a lot of discontinuing this year (Wave, APIs, Google labs).

    But the whole trend doesn’t look good for me. Yeah, I think that this year Google started to make decisions bad for it’s users, and this won’t end well.

    We all should look for the alternatives to Google services now, we can’t rely on them, because, well, Google is discontinuing them, showing to everyone that Google behind service doesn’t mean that service will be there forever.

  19. malothulaxman said on July 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

    orkut not open

    1. AC said on July 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      I have never used the Google Toolbar as I never saw the point in it. I agree with one of the earlier posters, it takes up to much UI and just adds clutter to the screen and it looks antiquated.

      I currently use Firefox 5 and I will be upgrading to Firefox 6 as soon as it comes out.

      If you run Firefox 4 (or higher) with the separate Google Search box to the right of the address bar, then all you need to do in order to access the search power of Google is hit Ctrl+K and the puts the cursor in the search box, type something, hit Enter and BAM! a Google results page.

      If you run Firefox 4 (or higher) with the separate Google Search box hidden, so you just have the address bar spanning the entire width of the page like Google Chrome, then you just hit Ctrl+L to put the cursor into the address bar and you can type a query and hit enter and BAM! a Google results page. This works just like Chrome.

      When the separate Google search box is hidden and just the address bar is displayed, hitting Ctrl+K will immediately redirect that tab to the front page of Google, where you will find the cursor already placed in the search field ready for you to type a query and get the result that way.

      Long story short, regardless of your setup in Firefox 4 or higher, Ctrl+L or Ctrl+K give you access to all the search power you need.

      As far as the sidewiki and translation parts of the toolbar are concerned, meh, I’m not fussed.

      The fact that Google are no longer producing a toolbar for Firefox is like telling Bill Gates that his Grandmother is no longer going to send a check for $100.00 on his birthday. As if he needs it!

      And why the hell would Google Chrome need the Google Toolbar! They have the seach box thing going on as well, and of Google want to implement any of the functionality in Chrome, then they can easily do that. As can Mozilla with Firefox.

      A piece of redundant technology has died. Good.

      1. David said on August 10, 2011 at 10:24 pm

        I will hate to see it go. My favorite part was the parsing of my search terms in the toolbar, then I can just click one to see all it’s instances within the displayed page. This was extremely handy. Sure I can hit CTRL-F, but then I just have to type the word in again that I just searched. Ridiculous. Come on, Google. You guys are slowly taking over the world, why let FF off the hook?

      2. davn8r said on August 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

        Since you never used the toolbar you may erroneously believe that it is nothing more than anotehr search box but in fact it is much more and it is the reason I am still running Firefox 4.
        Among other things the google toolbar allows me to simultaneously search using the same criteria not just for sites but also images, products, maps, my own own history and so much more including my own search buttons that I have added;
        I can click through each match of a search word on the page effortlessly without having to hit Ctrl+F and typing the word or words and clicking Next;
        My blank page is replaced with thumbnails of my most-visited sites which makes it extremely easy for me to bounce around;
        I can call up my morning news with 1 click in the toolbar – not a pulldown, scroll, click, etc…
        I get faster loading of google results by pre-fetching as I type;
        page translation – critical since I manage websites in 14 languages;

        I know that most of this functionality can be somewhat replicated using a bevy of other add-ons but it sure is nice having it all in one!

  20. RustyH said on July 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I believe the reason is simple… Firefox is updating to frequently for Google to keep pushing something that benefits the competition.

  21. FreeBSD News said on July 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Google wants every body to use Chrome, so why should it keep developing for FF?
    Should be interesting to see if their contract with Mozilla will get renewed when it expires.

    1. Marlon said on August 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      “FreeBSD News says:
      July 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

      Google wants every body to use Chrome, so why should it keep developing for FF?
      Should be interesting to see if their contract with Mozilla will get renewed when it expires.”

      Except, that in the story it says “Even the company’s own browser Google Chrome is not supported.” And they wonder why I won’t even think about installing Chrome. If they won’t support their own garbage, why should I?

  22. pd said on July 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Toolbars take up way too much UI. I hate them. The first thing I do in a brand spanking new profile is disable the bookmarks toolbar.

    Another toolbar bites the dust? Good riddance!

  23. Khai said on July 21, 2011 at 9:23 am

    “The official reason for discontinuing Google Toolbar development on Firefox is that many features that the toolbar offered are not part of the browser. That’s a lukewarm explanation at best, considering that there are still many features offered by the toolbar that are not part of the Firefox browser.”


    1. VS said on August 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Google bookmarks?

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 21, 2011 at 9:25 am

      You are to fast :) not = now

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