How To Downgrade Firefox Add-ons - gHacks Tech News

How To Downgrade Firefox Add-ons

It sometimes happens that one of your favorite add-ons gets an update that you are not happy about. A new add-on version can for instance break functionality, introduce changes that you do not want or decrease the browser's stability or security.

If you do not want to uninstall the affected add-on, you could consider installing an older version of it to overcome the issues that you are experiencing.

This can be a temporary solution until the issue is fixed in a new update or even a permanent solution if the most recent update introduced functionality that you dislike and don't want to use at all.

Firefox users have three options to download and downgrade add-ons in the browser. It is not necessary to uninstall the most recent version of an add-on before installing the old one as you can just install it to replace the newer version in the browser.

Keep in mind though that older versions may be incompatible with your version of the browser.

Installing old Firefox Add-on versions

You have several options at your disposal to install an older version of an add-on. The first option is presented on the add-on's page over at Mozilla. Just visit any add-on page on the Mozilla Add-ons repository.

Load the page in Firefox and scroll all the way down until you reach Version Information near the bottom of the screen. Click on the link to expand the selection. Locate See complete version history there and click on it.

version history

This opens a new page where the majority of previous add-on releases are listed. Make sure you read the "be careful" section at the top to understand the risks.

You can install an older version of the add-on by moving the mouse cursor over a version and clicking on the Add to Firefox button to start the installation.

install old firefox addon versions

Release notes are usually offered for every version listed on the version history page. Just install the add-on and restart the browser afterwards to complete the process. The add-ons manager should now display the installed version and not the latest one.

Alternatives

You can alternatively connect to the public Mozilla ftp server to download a previous add-on version. You do however need the unique add-on ID which is not displayed publicly anymore (Mozilla switched from displaying the unique ID in the url to descriptive names instead). If you do know the ID, you can download it from the ftp server as well.

A third alternative comes sometimes in the form of the add-on homepage on the Internet (not on Mozilla). Developers sometimes offer download links to old add-on versions on their websites. It is however usually a lot easier to use the official Mozilla Firefox site for that.

Disable Updates

You are not done yet. If you would stop right here Firefox will pick up the new version of the add-on and try to install that version automatically. Open about:add-ons in the Firefox address bar and click on the more link next to the extension that you have just downgraded.

Locate Automatic Updates there and switch it from Default to Off. This disables automatic updates for the selected add-on. See How To Turn Off Automatic Updates For Individual Firefox Add-Ons for an in depths guide.

Summary
How To Downgrade Firefox Add-ons
Article Name
How To Downgrade Firefox Add-ons
Description
Find out how to downgrade Firefox add-ons to an earlier version. Handy if the new version does not work properly or introduces features you don't like.
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    Comments

    1. Robert Palmar said on December 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm
      Reply

      Unfortunately I have had to do this more and more with Firefox new versions.
      And Firefox used to have the unique ID as part of the URL for the
      Add-on which in their infinite wisdom decided to remove.

    2. Yoshiyah said on December 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm
      Reply

      Very Useful indeed.

    3. boris said on December 19, 2011 at 7:35 am
      Reply

      I have only one add-ons which I downgraded.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 19, 2011 at 10:59 am
        Reply

        Downgrading is often a temporary solution if you encounter a issue after an add-on has been upgraded.

        1. boris said on December 20, 2011 at 8:37 am
          Reply

          So far it is more than a year since I downgraded. Although I had to go into add-on’s folder to manually change its version. This way I am not asked to update add-on each time new version is released.

    4. FX9 said on December 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm
      Reply

      Firefox 9.0 Final released, is now 30% faster thanks to TypeInference.

      http://www.mozilla.org/products/download.html?product=firefox-9.0&os=win&lang=en-US

    5. Roman ShaRP said on December 25, 2011 at 12:38 am
      Reply

      One more options is to setup a regular add-on backup with FEBE, so when you encounter an issue, you can downgrade add-on(s) or even re-setup browser quickly.

      I had to do downgrading because of add-ons unwanted changes quite a number of times, also had to reinstall all add-ons one or two times because of Firefox issue.

      So, FEBE is a must for me.

    6. bmar said on September 14, 2016 at 2:20 am
      Reply

      This worked great thanks for this article.

    7. Kj said on November 26, 2017 at 1:36 am
      Reply

      Yes, it worked like a charm. Got to the ‘any add-on page’ as linked above (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/), search your addon, scroll down to “Show All Versions”. Pick the one you want and click “+Add to Firefox”. You don’t need to uninstall the previous version or anything. You might want to you to your addon page and disable automatic updates for that addon.

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