How To Uninstall Firefox Add-ons With No Remove Option - gHacks Tech News

How To Uninstall Firefox Add-ons With No Remove Option

You can uninstall most Firefox add-ons from the addons manager page in the web browser. All you need to do is type in about:addons in the address bar and tap on the enter key to open the page.

A click on remove next to an add-on uninstalls it from the browser. You may need to restart the browser afterwards depending on the add-on to complete the process, but the add-on has been removed completely from the web browser when Firefox restarts.

Some add-ons on the other hand do not show a remove option at all in the addons manager. Most of the add-ons that you cannot uninstall from within the browser are called global extensions.

They are installed from third party sources, for instance when you install or update security software or another application on your system. The Babylon Toolbar is an example extension as it is often attached to software installations.

Uninstall Firefox Add-ons without Remove button

The majority of extensions are installed in the extensions directory of the Firefox profile folder. I'd suggest you start there to see if the extension that you want to remove from Firefox is listed there.

firefox extensions

One of the easier ways to find out where it is located is to type about:support in the browser's address bar and hit enter. The page that opens lists an option to open the profile folder under "application basics" near the top.

You may run into two issues when you look at the list of installed browser add-ons. First, that extensions sometimes install with cryptic names so that it may be difficult to identify them, and second, that you may not find the extension that you want to uninstall listed here.

The easiest way to identify add-ons here is to load them into archiving software like 7-zip. Double-click on the install.rdf afterwards and look for name there.

unknown firefox addon

extension name

Some extensions are already unpacked in a folder. Just open the folder of the extension in that case and double-click on the install.rdf file in there to identify its name.

It is however likely that you do not see the extension that you cannot remove in the directory.

Global extensions

Global extensions can be installed into any directory. The most likely folder is the extensions folder in the Firefox installation folder. This is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\extensions for 64-bit Windows operating systems, and C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extensions for 32-bit systems. Keep in mind though that you can install Firefox into any directory. Portable Firefox users need to open the extensions folder under the portable path.

Repeat the steps outlined above to identify all extensions listed here.

The third and final option is the Windows Registry. You may find extension information under the following two Registry keys:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mozilla\Firefox\Extensions\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Mozilla\Firefox\Extensions\

Use the shortcut Windows-r to bring up the run box. Enter regedit in there and hit enter. Navigate to the keys in the Windows Registry and check if extensions are listed there.

registry extensions

Information that you will find there include the extension path.

extension path

Backup the Registry key first by selecting File > Export. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory of the extension. Backup that directory as well, before you delete both the directory and the Registry key that links to it. Repeat the step for all extensions that you want to delete.

Please note that you need to close Firefox before you start deleting extensions on the system this way.

If you follow the method, you should be able to delete any extension that you cannot uninstall from within the browser interface.

Summary

To sum all that has been said up:

  1. Check the extensions listing in the Firefox profile folder first.
  2. Afterwards, check the extensions listing in the Firefox installation directory or program folder.
  3. If the extension was not listed in either location, check for extension references in the Windows Registry.




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    Comments

    1. Robert Palmar said on February 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm
      Reply

      Great information, Martin.
      Cryptic names are a headache.
      I have WinRAR and that should work.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm
        Reply

        Yes Winrar, Winzip and most other tools can be used as well.

    2. Marika said on February 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm
      Reply

      Thanks for the tips. Easy way to find out the ID of an extension is to go to about:support where they are all listed.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm
        Reply

        Marika, great tip. Thanks

    3. ilev said on February 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm
      Reply

      The question is why are there add-on with no remove options .

    4. Q said on February 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm
      Reply

      Martin,

      Good tip. However, there are some things a novice might have difficulty with while following the instructions.

      It would be good to mention that .XPI files use ZIP compression and are ZIP files (but do not use a .zip extension) and that the .RDF files are text files.

      The .RDF files might be opened in a text editor when 7-Zip is used (I have not verified this), but that may not be the case when executing from the Windows using the file’s association.

    5. Pawan said on February 5, 2012 at 2:13 am
      Reply

      how is this news, and why it is showing up in Google News when searching for Firefox?

    6. MITHI said on February 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm
      Reply

      Go to help menu & select troubleshooting information
      refer extensions its just simple

    7. Bill said on May 2, 2013 at 10:52 am
      Reply

      You said to type in about:addons in the address bar on the Add-ons Manager page when it opens up. THERE IS NO ADDRESS BAR WHEN YOU OPEN UP THAT PAGE.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 2, 2013 at 10:55 am
        Reply

        I said to type about:addons to open the add-ons manager.

    8. Pko said on June 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm
      Reply

      It is a shame that firefox allows this kind of unsafe behaviour. All extensions should be uninstallable from an admin interface without requiring acessing directories or, even worst, using the registry. Apparently there is no good and safe internet browser for windows anymore. Thank you for your help.

    9. Ken said on July 11, 2013 at 3:45 am
      Reply

      FYI: For Windows 7 x64, the global Firefox extension registry location is at:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Mozilla\Firefox\Extensions

      I had a hard time finding this and that was where my bad extension was hiding.

    10. Dave said on January 11, 2014 at 5:53 pm
      Reply

      Ken, thank you! I thought maybe my install was corrupt because I couldn’t find the extensions in any of the places people were telling me they should be.
      Then I found your post!

    11. Farrukh said on May 6, 2014 at 11:55 am
      Reply

      Yessssssssssssssss i have deleted it from registry. Its so easy but take care while deleting registry files. Thanks its really works.

    12. xtcrefugee said on September 30, 2016 at 10:52 pm
      Reply

      Ken above is correct, I needed to look in Wow6432Node to find the extensions I wanted to remove.

      It’s also far easier to open about:support (or go to Help->Troubleshooting Information) and look there to find the ID for the extension you want to remove, rather than unpacking all your.xpi files.

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