Firefox: your options to run legacy add-ons

The following guide lists all options that you have to continue running so-called legacy add-ons when Firefox 57 is released in November.

Mozilla plans to disable the legacy add-on system in Firefox 57 Stable. This means that any extension for Firefox that is not a WebExtension, the new format that Mozilla focuses on, will stop working in Firefox 57.

Many add-ons that are available for Firefox right now will stop working. New extensions are created, but it is fair to say that WebExtensions will never be as powerful as Firefox's legacy add-on system.

We made a rough analysis of the situation in July; it is improving, but there are still plenty of legacy add-ons out there that are not available as WebExtensions yet. Some add-on authors may be working on a port, some may wait for APIs to become available, and some have announced already that they won't port their extensions (usually because it is not possible, and won't be possible).

Firefox users who rely on specific legacy add-ons have a couple of options to retain their functionality. The following options are available:

Switch to Firefox ESR (until June 26, 2018)

firefox esr legacy

Firefox ESR, Extended Support Release, will support legacy add-ons until June 26, 2018. This special version of Firefox is maintained specifically for organizations that require more stability and less change when it comes to software.

Firefox ESR gets all the security updates that Firefox Stable gets, but none of the functionality changes. The current version of Firefox ESR, 52.x, is based on Firefox 52.0. This means that it won't incorporate any changes made in Firefox 53, 57 or even 60.



It is no longer supported after the release of Firefox ESR 52.8.0 which is released next to Firefox 60.

Switch to Firefox Nightly (unknown)

firefox 57

While Firefox Release and Beta versions won't support legacy extensions anymore when Firefox 57 hits the channel, the same cannot be said for Firefox Nightly.

Mozilla plans to ship Firefox Nightly with a preference to enable support for legacy add-ons.

Read also:  Firefox's unloaded tab handling got a whole lot better

This sounds good at first glance, but changes in the browser's core will render add-ons non-functional in Firefox 57.

Jorge Villalobos, product manager for addons.mozilla.org, confirms as much on the official Mozilla blog:

Starting with 57, many things will break that will also break add-ons. Most add-ons that aren’t WebExtensions will be broken regardless.

Compatibility issues will grow over time when further changes are made to the Firefox web browser. While some add-ons will continue to work at least for a while, it is unclear for how long, and for how long Mozilla plans to keep the preference in Nightly to keep on using legacy add-ons.

Update: Read the how to run legacy extensions in Firefox guide for instructions.

Block further updates (unlimited, but insecure)

firefox never update

Another option that Firefox users have is to block any updates to the browser so that Firefox won't get updated to version 57.

While that removes the time limit for using any legacy add-on that still works in Firefox 56, it means as well that Firefox won't get updated anymore with security updates. This makes it a non-option for most use cases.

Firefox users who want to disable automatic updates need to load about:preferences#advanced, switch to the advanced tab there, and select "never check for updates".

Note that Mozilla changes the preferences layout.

Pale Moon (not all add-ons are compatible)

pale moon 27.4

Pale Moon, which shares a lot of code with Firefox, may be an option of the add-ons that you want to use work in the browser.

Not all Firefox add-ons are compatible with Pale Moon on the other hand, so you best verify this before you migrate to the browser.

Summary
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Firefox your options to run legacy add-ons
Description
Firefox users who rely on specific legacy add-ons have a couple of options to continue using them when Mozilla cuts of support in Firefox 57.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Firefox: your options to run legacy add-ons

  1. buck August 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    Waterfox will be supporting legacy addons post FF 57, at least according to what the developer (Alex) has posted on his subreddit.

    • dmacleo August 8, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

      so far this has been my solution and honestly I am liking waterfox.

    • Anonymous August 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Waterfox is using the esr firefox base

    • wa August 8, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

      Waterfox is just Firefox recompile, it will not be updated past Firefox 57. Firefox 64 bit is same like Waterfox. So you'll be using old Firefox engine. It is same like turning off the update on Firefox.

      https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?t=1817

    • TelV August 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

      WOW! I'm truly amazed! I just installed Waterfox and was flabbergasted to find myself looking at the an exact copy of Firefox ESR which I've been using for the last couple of days. Not only that, but all the extensions I have installed have been duplicated in Waterfox.

      I actually loaded the Help menu expecting to see that I was still using Firefox, but see all the menus are related to Waterfox!

      At this juncture I think I may as well dump Firefox now since I see no point in continuing with it if Waterfox supports all the legacy extensions such as Classic Theme Restorer which I want to continue using come FF57.

      • Anonymous August 9, 2017 at 10:19 am #

        old people love old things :
        waterfox = outdated firefox
        FF57 = future of web browsing

      • Tom Hawack August 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

        Old people compare :)
        Young like he who feeds them :)

      • Appster August 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

        @Anonymous:

        "waterfox = outdated firefox"

        LOL, what? Waterfox is now at version 54.0.1, which is exactly like Firefox 54. Waterfox 55 is underway already. Could agree with you if you were talking about Pale Moon, but not Waterfox.

        "FF57 = future of web browsing"

        Very funny. Firefox does not have much future at all if the declining market share is anything to go by. The web is dominated by WebKit/Blink today. Firefox 57 will not change that, Google will make sure of it (if necessary by boycotting Firefox on its services, e.g. GMail, YouTube, Android)! And functionally Firefox 57+ will be severely lacking, when compared to prior Firefox iterations. Don't care about microscopic performance improvements!

      • Marti Martz August 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

        > old people love old things

        "Ahh to be young and stupid again". *(as the saying goes )* ;) :)

      • www.com August 10, 2017 at 11:28 am #

        @TelV - enjoy it while it lasts. What @wa said up above.

        >"Waterfox is just Firefox recompile, it will not be updated past Firefox 57. Firefox 64 bit is same like Waterfox. So you'll be using old Firefox engine. It is same like turning off the update on Firefox."

        >https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?t=1817

      • Appster August 10, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

        @www.com: This is a quote from a competitor of Waterfox operating in the same niche, and is not at all speaking against the product.

      • www.com August 11, 2017 at 4:43 am #

        @Appster, so what. I also quoted the Pale Moon link referring to it, in case you didn't notice.

        He's also equating Waterfox with his 'superior product'. It looks hardly an endorsement of Waterfox

  2. buck August 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/68pk1n/waterfox_57_and_legacy_firefox_addons_what_are/

    " TL;DR Addon support will carry on. I'll be setting up a addon repo as well."

  3. wybo August 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    Lol, had a look at my add-ons and all with the exception of Privacy Badger has the "Legacy" logo, From No Script to Flag Fox to HTTPS Everywhere.

    Wow they only have a few months for the deadline, So can I assume that at least half will disappear.

    Now that would really suck and would be a reason to give up on Firefox.

    • ShintoPlasm August 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      NoScript is under way to becoming a WebExtension, and I'll be awfully surprised if the EFF don't soon switch their HTTPS Everywhere to share the Chromium extension's core.

      For an alternative to HTTPS Everywhere, how about Smart-HTTPS (Revived)? That's already a WebExtension.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/smart-https-revived/

      • wybo August 8, 2017 at 7:38 pm #

        Yeah No Script is almost essential for FF.. One of the main reasons I use FF.
        I'm sure EFF will get there. Still leaves me with a lot of other add-ons which are still legacy.

        Well I will wait until up to FF 56 and decide if I will switch to ESR or other offshoot s in development

        Thanks.

    • pd August 8, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

      They aren't even going to have the WebExtension APIs needed to support No Script landed until 57 itself. I guess they'll be in the nightlies so at least some testing for *that* extension can be done. Too bad Mozilla seemingly only decided to create APIs for the top X add-ons they knew they couldn't get away with executing.

  4. TianlanSha August 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    I would like to use Pale Moon, not for the legacy addons, but for the ideology and old school philosophy. But Pale Moon is really slow and has lots of trouble with websites for me. I'm using Chrome on Windows 7 now, but Chrome feels lightning fast and compatible, while Pale Moon struggles in lots of occasions.

  5. itsMe August 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

    Did you have sites to test? I never found Websites which load slow in Pale Moon. Pale Moon runs great here

  6. Tustamido August 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    - Basilisk (https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15505)
    - Seamonkey (not all add-ons are compatible)

  7. Gris August 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    I would use a pre-57 Firefox that is compatible with the legacy add-ons, and stop installing future updates. I see no point using Firefox 57 or a later version that is insecure, anyway. An updated Firefox, or any other application or OS, becomes insecure as soon as it is published.

    • Jody Thornton August 10, 2017 at 2:16 am #

      I understand your frustration, but what about v57 is so much more insecure? In fact, keeping the old add-ons structure is more of a security issue, because of access to the UI and internals.

  8. Anon August 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    The unbranded build is likely to run them. (With the same breakage as added in nightly.)
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Add-ons/Extension_Signing#Unbranded_Builds

    You always have option of running multiple profiles if the legacy add-on isn't a core change you require.

    Personally would think a fork of 56 adding security patches would be best but seen no takers willing to do the work involved.

    • Appster August 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

      "Personally would think a fork of 56 adding security patches would be best but seen no takers willing to do the work involved."

      You mean something like this? https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/5ysn9e/proposal_please_turn_waterfox_56_into_an_esr_and/ The Waterfox dev attempts to do exactly what you propose here.

      • Jody Thornton August 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

        But it appears that more plugins and add-ons won't work by that point. You once cited that Gecko 56 would be the best version to fork from, but that appears to be less the case now.

  9. Nik August 8, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    Switched to ESR. Will see in June 2018 what is the condition of addons and then decide.

    • Anonymous August 9, 2017 at 10:23 am #

      Good decision

    • www.com August 10, 2017 at 11:32 am #

      I'll be doing the same. Until then, all this gloom & doom nonsense should be considered for what it is.

  10. Shiva August 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

    Just installed ESR (CTR doesn't work with 57). Only security updates are enough, perhaps even better for my 68 add-ons. Another year of serenity.

  11. Appster August 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Martin, I have to criticize this article quite a bit. Nightly shouldn't even be there as an option, because - as you have already pointed out in your article - most legacy add-ons will break anyway. Furthermore I really don't understand how you could miss out on perhaps the two most viable options:

    - Waterfox: https://www.ghacks.net/2017/03/13/waterfox-dev-has-big-plans-for-the-browser/
    - Basilisk (by the Pale Moon team): http://www.basilisk-browser.org/preview/ and https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/moebius Note that Basilisk will have nearly 100% compatibility with every add-on that runs on Firefox 52 (ESR).

    I hope you take it for what it is - constructive criticism.

    • Neegan August 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

      What browser are you going to use ?

      • Appster August 10, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

        Mostly Firefox 52 ESR until June '18. Vivaldi for testing purposes as of now. Will see if anything comes to pass in regards to Waterfox and Basilisk. If so, one of these will replace my ESR setup.

    • Jody Thornton August 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

      But how long will it be until Pale Basilisk Moon Franken-Fox is completed? Do we KNOW that it will be 100% compatible? Waterfox seems a possibility, but as others have mentioned, he has a costly view ahead with hosting add-ons and forking v56 to later versions, no?

      • Appster August 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

        @Jody Thornton: Basilisk WILL be 100% compatible with every extension that is compatible with Firefox 52 (ESR). Why? Because it is actually just a rebranded Firefox 52!

      • Tom Hawack August 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

        Firefox 52 is obviously the best reference for forking. Starting 53 and especially 55 (current) begins the fall towards 57. Hence, FF ESR 52 is a good, stable, comfortable sustain level to wait&see what Firefox will be at the EOL of ESR52 (July 2018), remaining attentive of the evolution of alternatives, be they Cyberfox, Waterfox, Basilisk or even 'Pale Moon' itself. IMHO of course. I'm not convinced that Cyberfox will make it with post-FF57 builds, neither am I of Waterfox once this post-57 era will be on the rails. I'd rather have confidence in Basilisk given the determination proven by history of the 'Pale Moon Project'.

      • Appster August 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

        @Tom Hawack:

        In all honesty... Yes, Moonchild is what you would call "determined". But he is also a very stubborn stickler for principles unwilling or unable to compromise. He insisted that huge companies like Facebook should cater to his small project instead of doing the conscious thing and see how to fix the issue himself. His refusal to include e.g. DRM will lead to problems in times of streaming services. The Waterfox dev at the same time was willing to compromise and made DRM an optional download, even if he ethically doesn't support it. He gives you the option to use it, if you want to. Moonchild on the other hand comes around with his rather annoying "I know better than you." attitude... I know whom I would bet on.

        Regarding Firefox 52 ESR: I don't get how people like you, Tom, can still call that "the best point to stay on". Sorry to say, but this is just a whole lot of nonsense. Firefox 52 happened to be an ESR because Firefox 45 was one, which in turn happened to be one because Firefox 38 was one and so on and so forth... It's just a COINCIDENCE for god's sake! Between Firefox 52 and Firefox 56 important improvements like 4 content processes and a vastly accelerated startup took place, both of which make Firefox faster and more stable. I for one won't miss out on them. Seriously, were it not for the incoming security updates Firefox 52 would long have been forgotten by now. It was by no means an exceptional release.

      • Tom Hawack August 12, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

        @Appster, OK, OK! for not mistaking FF-ESR 52 as such with its coincidence with FF52 stable. But I was focusing on FF52 independently of its ESR being -- coincidentally -- that very version. All ambiguity is now clarified.

        OK as well for post-52 improvements. Let's make a 50/50 deal and accept that FF54 could be the best platform to stick on. Firefox 55 now available doesn't thrill me when I read users' experiences which seem to prove that this 55 version is the real announcement of 57. That's how I feel it. I don(t wish -- at this time -- to be embarrassed by anything blocking in any way my legacy add-ons.

        If I had not switched to FF-ESR I certainly would have updated to 53, 54 ... but would have been slapped by 55 as it seems. Then what? Choosing ESR-52, trully downgrading from 54-stable to 52-ESR? That's why I opted for ESR rather than moving to 53 : I heard rumba next door and wasn't ready to dance on that ground. As I said, ESR-52, because stable until July 2018, is and remains my observation point. This is only a point of view, I wouldn't dare express it as a recommendation!

        I remember Moonchild's comments way back when I was a 'Pale Moon' user and would attend the forum. Determinate, stubborn ... I don't know, idealist certainly, with its flow sometimes of excessive engagement. But pragmatism also holds sometimes abandon of principles. It's a true problematic, philosophically speaking as well.

        Whatever, let us take our time,we're not on a road with a kid in front requiring fast thinking to choose between him and the trees. No hurry here.

      • Jody Thornton August 13, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

        @Tom Howack:

        Ah yes, Moonchild being so stubborn, never admitting his browser was at fault for those Facebook issues I was quite proud of myself for illustrating the point in this little skit. I mentioned that the Facebook situation was like me going to Dr Moonchild for a checkup, as I'm experiencing major major breathing problems. So he tells me,

        [Dr Moonchild] "Jody, all your organs check out fine, just you're not getting any air in those lungs."

        [Patient] "So Dr Moonchild, what can we do to fix it? I need to breathe."

        [Dr Moonchild] "Can't do anything! No problems with your lungs, they're all good. It's that bad air coming over from Zuckerville"

        [Patient] "Bad air from Zuckerville?" Jody gasps for air, "But I need to breathe. I called my friends over in Chromeville, and even in Watertown and Eye-Eeee Island. Apparently they've come up with some filtration system that allows residents to breathe easier. Could we not get that for folks here in Pale Peninsula?"

        [Dr Moonchild] "Nope! Can't do it. Dr Moonchild doesn't deal through sketchy business channels like that. We have a good working health system here. No, it's going to be up to Home Feed Refineries in Zuckerville to stop polluting the air, and passing it over to Pale Penninsula"

        [Patient] "Can you maybe write to them, and let them know what we're going through?"

        [Dr Moonchild] "No they can come to me. They know where to find me"

        [Patient] "Jeez Doctor! I need to do something quick here. I can't breathe" Jody keeps gasping... "Can you at least refer me to someone?"

        [Dr Moonchild] "Well I have someone I deal with across the pond who might be able to help you. His name is Doctor Matthew A Tobermory. He's pretty blunt and will tell you what I'm telling you. But it's your call."

        [Patient] "Isn't he being sued for malpractice or something?"

        [Dr Moonchild] "Oh noooooo" Dr Moonchild chuckles "You heard about that did ya? Apparently he got into some angry rant when a patient referred to him as Doctor Matt. By the way, never never do that. Yeah that got ugly there"

        [Patient] "Can I just call him Doctor Tobermory?"

        [Dr Moonchild] "Yeah that should be good. Doctor Matthew A Tobermory apparently works as a physician for the Marine CORS - that's very important, because they might have the inside on this air filtration stuff your hearing about. Hey I'm a doctor, but that sounds like a bunch of wacky science to me"

        [Patient] "Well Dr Moonchild, I heard about this air filtration stuff from my friends. They were watching this documentary about it on NetFlix, but I can't get NetFlix in Pale Peninsula"

        [Dr Moonchild] "NetFlix! Hmmmm - never heard of it"

        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Of course, references there to two other things. First Crazy Matt A Tobin hated being referred to as "Matt", "Matt Tobin", or "Matty Boy - whatever". It had to be "Matt A Tobin" or "Tobin" - no substitutes. I couldn't not mock that - and then also the Netflix DRM thing came up.

        Love the Pale Moon browser, but the team? My Gawd, I could make a career out of slinging mud at those stubborn crazies. It would be well deserved too.

  12. Tom Hawack August 8, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Windows 7 rather than 10, Firefox ESR rather than stable, looks like we're many to be on strike. Whatever the reasons such a pause is temporary, we'll have to catch up afterwards. Mainlining my Firefox ESR 52.x non-updated after July 2018 is one thing I'll never do. At least peace of mind for another 11 months. We'll see afterwards how FF57+ is making its way, then it'll be back on board or bye-bye birdie.
    Wake me up June 26th, 2018.

  13. Mike August 8, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Basilisk (hate the name), under development by the PM team, may be another option when it is available. I understand if Martin doesn't want to mention it before it's actually available at least in beta. It is supposed to be a clone of Firefox forked from earlier this year (~v52) that will keep XUL addon support (based on forked "UXP" backend, that is intended as multi-app development platform). Slated to keep Australis-based interface that is in Firefox but not in PM. Seems like both Watefox Classic (my label) and Basilisk are trying to do the same thing in their own way, but we'll have to wait and see who does the best.

    • Tom Hawack August 8, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

      Interesting. Basilisk (odd name, wonder what's its meaning) is information here.

      Whatever browser forked on Firefox 52 which keeps legacy add-ons and provides security updates is a serious option. Cherry on the cake would be Webextensions handled as well, I mean with its latest APIs because what I see at the horizon is a Firefox 52 fork -- great! -- and my sadness to discover on AMO new add-ons, Webextensions only by then, not suited for the fork. And that will happen.

      Another option is to wait until the add-ons I consider as essential (the cream of the cream) are ported to WebExtensions, then forget all the legacy only add-ons I run, forget FF ESR, install latest FF stable together with a brand new profile : all from scratch.

      I know myself, by the time. To be frank I'd say that comfort pushes me to Option-1 but that discovery thirst inclines me towards Option-2. Most of the time comfort makes me lose time when I finally get caught up by the discovery thrill. I have to think, not too quick not too slow, and I have to think good.

    • Jody Thornton August 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      Alex from Waterfox sounded as if he would be happy to have worked with Moonchild to co-develop something. Too bad. Now we'll have VHS and BetaMoon (just indicate who I'm betting on).

  14. Jeff August 8, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Mozilla has become like Microsoft - not caring much about what the user loses but continuing to do hostile changes that users do not like. They call it progress, it carries a higher version number even if functionality is reduced. This is actually a good time to revise your choice of a browser and move on to something like Chrome or Opera.

    • Anonymous August 9, 2017 at 10:25 am #

      Strange comment.
      "functionality is reduced" ? FALSE rendez-vous at testpilot.firefox.com
      You don't like these changes but most users do.

      • Jeff August 11, 2017 at 9:14 am #

        How stupid you have to be? Firefox is going to discontinue dozens of addons which aren't supported at all in the new WebExtensions model. That reduces the customizability of Firefox to the same level as Chrome. If I can't run TabMixPlus, I might as well enjoy the benefits of Chrome such as massively faster startup and overall responsiveness. I couldn't care less about what happens to Firefox without my beloved add-ons going away. It could curl up and die. It's already about to fall behind Microsoft Edge in the next few years.

    • Jody Thornton August 10, 2017 at 2:20 am #

      But why would you go for a Chromium type browser, when at least Firefox would have some relationship to what it was? You would actually like Chrome better?

      That would make me ask, other than for customization, why use Firefox right now?

      • www.com August 10, 2017 at 11:38 am #

        @Jody Thornton

        They'll do it out of spite. FF isn't supporting my life & death i-can't-possibly-live-without-it extension anymore, so "I'LL PROTEST" with my fist up in the air!

        That'll show them!

        Yes!

        So they'll look at browsers that have even less customization and choice then what they have now. Does that make any sense? Well, this is the mentality out there.

        Nothing will make them happy except standing in time and living in the past.

      • Neegan August 10, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

        Everything is either customization or defaults, so your question is super restrictive :)

        I assume you were talking about customization of looks. Well if you remove that you have things like privacy, workflow tools that can drastically improve usability, comfort and productivity, and defending an open web; since without Firefox, we have a thorough Google monopoly with a side dish of Microsoft and Apple.

        Even a Chrome user should wish for Firefox to stay strong. I root for small browsers and Firefox is their big bro.

  15. pd August 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    55 already broke Status Bar 4 Eva and probably more.

    • Richard Allen August 8, 2017 at 9:38 pm #

      I thought "Status-4-Evar" was broken also but it was weird because it worked fine when I was on FF 55 RC3 (desktop) but when I updated to 55 stable it quit working. I was already on the Status-4-Evar Development Channel version 2017.03.19.12b so I downgraded to version 2016.10.11.01 and it still wouldn't work. I then went and updated my laptop from FF v54 to v55 and Status-4-Evar works fine. So... I just now reinstalled the Dev version 2017.03.19.12b on my desktop and it started working again. WTH? Right now it's working on two computers for me, both using FF v55.

      For now I've decided to disable it on my desktop and use some css to modify the status popup in the bottom left corner of the browser. If you have a userChrome.css file setup in your profile folder you can give this a try:

      statuspanel { font-size: 11pt !important; filter: invert(100%) !important;}

      Increased the font size and inverted the popup colors. Black background with white text. I'm using it with FF v55 and Nightly.

  16. Jake August 8, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

    Simple question to you experts...
    Can I easily just install FirefoxESR on Win 7 when I have regular FF installed already (with profile on another HD, just as I would do with ESR) too. Would like to keep Regular FF too and not uninstall it...
    can they coexist nicely or do I need to do "stuff"...
    will there be conflicts when installing ???

    • Tom Hawack August 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

      Depends of the Firefox stable version currently installed : up to FF 54 there should be no problem but with FF55 it may be problematic.

      • Jake August 8, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

        ?, I have 54 installed... I would of course use different profile fodler for ESR and copy the old 54 one to ESR one folder..... will there be register conflict and such

        I would of course use "Portable Firefox esr" version (simplest option) from portableapps.com but from what I understand you cannot move the Profile folder from program folder to another directory, doesn't work ?

      • Pants August 8, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

        @Jake

        There's no issue with moving profile folders around. Portable is fully contained. Download it and unpack it - eg "D:/FirefoxPortable/". Close all your other FF's. Open the portable one by running the FirefoxPortable.exe. This will create a default profile. Close FF.

        Go look in "D:\FirefoxPortable\Data\" and you will see a profile directory. Rename it profile-clean, now go COPY your profile folder from %APPDATA% (not program files) and put in into "D:\FirefoxPortable\Data" and rename it "profile" and open FirefoxPortable.exe. Done.

        Worst case scenario, you didn't lose ANYTHING

      • Tom Hawack August 8, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

        I'd advise uninstalling your FF 54 first. Uninstalling FF never removes FF profile(s).
        Then install FF ESR : latest is FF ESR 52.3.0

        Once FF ESR installed and run it will automatically open your FF profile (that which remained when you uninstalled previous FF54). If you wish your new FF ESR to use a new profile you'll have to install that new profile before running FF : to do so, from Windows desktop, type :
        C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe -ProfileManager (FF 32-bit)
        C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe -ProfileManager (FF 64-bit)

        Now you have 2 profiles, the one you just created is virgin.
        But if you aim to copy FF54 profile to FF ESR there's no point in creating a new profile given all FF versions check for the profile flag to open in latest active. That flag is in :
        c:\Users\[USER]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles.ini

        There is no conflict installing FF52.x ESR over FF54, even if some about:config settings specific to FF53/54 may remain when obsolete with FF 52.x ESR : no problem, I believe. I never downgraded FF but there's been an article here at gHacks focusing on FF55's specificity, that of not being "downgradable" so it seems that under FF54 there should be no problem.

      • Jake August 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

        Maybe my bad english failed to explain .. I definately don't want to install FF52.x ESR over/instead FF54..
        I want both of them installed on Win7 using different Profile folders, possible ?

        Thanks for the info however....

      • Tom Hawack August 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

        @Jake,
        "I want both of them [FF54 & FF52ESR] installed on Win7 using different Profile folders, possible ?"

        Problematic.

        1- First, you'd have to have two different install folders (install, not profile), one you already have with FF54, and another for FF ESR. This means that you'd have to select a new folder rather than default when installing FF ESR. ===>>> I don't know if this is even possible : does anyone know?

        2- If (1) is OK, then you'd have to reserve a profile for FF54 and another for FF ESR. You can have several profiles but associating one profile with FF54 and another with FF ESR cannot be automatic : you'd have to start each FF with it's command line, i.e :
        c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe (your actual FF 54 install folder)
        c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox ESR\firefox.exe (your FF ESR install folder ... IF IT'S POSSIBLE!)
        followed by ...
        -ProfileManager - Starts with Profile Manager (choose profile on start)
        OR
        -profile "" - Starts with profile located at the given path (Example : -profile "E:\myprofile" )

        Frankly, I understand your concern but this appears to me rather complicated.

      • CT August 9, 2017 at 7:57 am #

        Well, this is in reply to your comment above this one (9:00PM) but there wasn't a reply button there. About uninstalling FF never deletes your profile and the new version will pick up the said profile. But anyways......your friggin' kidding me, lol. I never knew that, and whenever I've had a problem I've ended up deleting FF, fired up a new one, and then proceeded to manual re-do everything. Good lord!

        I'm hoping you could also answer me one more question since your one of the names I always see and read on Ghacks. I get incredibly confused with all the different FF names, corresponding version #'s, and release/end dates. I read something on here the other day which said:

        "In short: If you want to switch to ESR, it may be a good time to do so before the Firefox 55 release"

        And then I read this from one of the comments linked to Classic Theme Restorer's github page:

        "After installing Firefox 55 (beta) returning to Firefox 52 ESR might break your browser profile. It is recommended to move to Firefox 52 ESR before Firefox 55 release (2017-08-08)."

        So I panicked and spent the weekend re-doing my FF to ESR 52.2.1 with updates disabled. Now I'm panicking and confused again. My question is simply this..........can I continue to update the ESR version I have until June of next year??? And do I have to do anything special now that I'm running an ESR version - I'm assuming it knows which updates to give me.

        I apologize for my complete ignorance on this - to some this is second nature. To others - we panic, lol. I've been with FF since the beginning 110% because of it's customobility. OK, I just re-read this page and I'm now pretty darn certain that I can update my current ESR, but I just spent all this time writing this so I still wouldn't mind that extra sense of security of someone telling me so. Thanks alot.

      • Tom Hawack August 9, 2017 at 11:19 am #

        @CT,
        "[...] FF to ESR 52.2.1 with updates disabled. Now I'm panicking and confused again. My question is simply this..........can I continue to update the ESR version I have until June of next year??? And do I have to do anything special now that I'm running an ESR version - I'm assuming it knows which updates to give me."

        It is true that downgrading from FF55 is for the least problematic as to what I've read and that your references confirm. if I understand correctly you've downgraded to Firefox ESR 52, but from what version? Were you on FF stable 53, 54, 55? Anyway, I understand as well you've done it : you now have FF ESR 52 installed and running correctly : that's good, then.

        As for your now installed FF ESR 52 and its coming updates until June 2018.

        First, have you installed FF ESR (as whatever FF) with the 'Maintenance Service" checked (it is checked by default on install). I presume you have, in which case your FF (be it ESR as whatever version) will be automatically updated when applicable ... unless you have disabled those updates as you say you have (Options / Advanced / Update / 'Never check for updates' -- OK
        Otherwise (updates ON with 'Maintenance Service' installed) there should be no problem. It "should" because the only problem could be that ESR would be updated to stable ... I really don't think that could happen but I cannot be affirmative because I update manually only.

        SO : you have disabled all updates (in 'Options' mentioned above), you are running FF ESR 52 and your concern from there on is the update of the browser.

        You'll have to update manually. That is, you'll have to download the latest available FF ESR and install it.
        Martin here on Ghacks always publishes an article on new FF updates ans includes mentioning ESR.

        Firefox downloads at Mozilla Firefox release directory : [https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/]
        ESR directories are mentioned as %VERSION%esr/

        Once downloaded, either install over latest install either uninstall latest install first (from Windows Uninstall) then install your downloaded FF. I prefer the latter (clean install) but that's personal, not required) ... and you're done!

        I know therefor understand the mix of irritation and panic which can develop when we want to do for the best but lack information for doing so. My advice : modify irritation (if applicable, you didn't mention it!) to determination and replace panic by a good breath, a touch of Zen attitude ... and all will find its place, don't worry. Help yourself with continuous backups, always, it's essential.

        Any more questions? Feel free, but you must know I'm more into Zen than into computer stuff, and an expert of neither :)

      • CT August 10, 2017 at 6:03 am #

        Thanks for the reply. Funny, I just got an email today from Firefox asking me what I think of them. I've always wondered why they didn't do this PRIOR to making this philosophy turn - but it's not my company. Oh well. Anyways, I guess there was some info that I never stated in my questions. I was running FF54 portable when I panicked and set up FF ESR 52.2.1 portable, so I don't believe I've ever seen the "Maintenance Service" you speak of. So my general question was - even though like I said, I think it does clearly state in this article that I absolutely CAN continue to update this version of FF ESR all the way until June 2018. Martin's graph still confuses me to what exact version of ESR that is, but it doesn't matter, I read Ghacks everyday so I won't miss out when that week comes along. But I'll ask it anyways just for re-confirmation, and my peace and sanity - I can continue to update ESR all the way until June 2018, correct? Thanks for your help.

    • Shiva August 8, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

      I can tell only that my profile backup of FF54 (uninstalled) with Mozbackup works without issue with latest ESR (x32 or x64)

  17. Norm August 8, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    I switched from Cyberfox to Waterfox a few months ago, taking all my add-ons with me, in order to ride out this Firefox
    Upgrade Storm. Waterfox is running well and I will re-evaluate my options after the storm clears.

  18. Anonymous August 8, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

    "Not all Firefox add-ons are compatible with Pale Moon on the other hand, so you best verify this before you migrate to the browser."

    For people choosing that solution, don't forget to try installing with "Moon Tester Tool" (PM add-on)
    Like for Video DownloadHelper 6.3.1, Copylinks 0.5.0, Gif Block 1.2.3, etc

  19. Ray August 8, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

    Other than Waterfox, do you know if there is going to be a fork of FF56? FF52 ESR is good and all, but it's a few releases behind.

    • Eureka August 8, 2017 at 11:56 pm #

      Firefox 56 is not the best version to fork, because legacy extensions are already starting to break and it's just going to get worse. Firefox 52 ESR however makes a good jumping off point for a fork to do it being mostly up to date security wise and all the legacy extensions still work.

      • Appster August 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

        @Eureka: Firefox 52 being an ESR release is just a coincidence. After 6 releases have passed in between a new ESR comes out, that's all there is to it. One could as well fork Firefox 53 or 54, Firefox 52 ESR is just more convenient as the security updates are provided by Mozilla. Firefox 55 has significantly improved startup times for one, I wouldn't want to miss out on that. Also, 95%+ of legacy add-ons (the ones still being developed) should run just fine in Firefox 55/56.

      • Ray August 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

        What Appster said.

      • Jody Thornton August 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

        I would agree. Appster, you hear about the extensions breaking. Why would you still insist that v56 is a good fork point?
        :)

      • Appster August 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

        @Jody Thornton: Yes, I would still insist on Firefox 56 being the best point to fork off. Add-on developers give up on their legacy add-ons these days, which is a shame. Many don't bother to make their add-ons compatible with Firefox 55/56, as Firefox 57 will break them anyway. Only minor (yet important) adaptations would be required, as with every Firefox update. When we talk about Firefox 56 we actually talk about Firefox 55, because Firefox 56 will only be a very minor update if the beta release notes are anything to go by. Firefox 55 significantly improved startup times for one, users shouldn't miss out on that! Again: Firefox 52 being an ESR release is just a coincidence! After six releases have passed in between Mozilla releases a new ESR! End of story. There is absolutely NOTHING special to Firefox 52.

        To sum it up: Firefox 56 breaking add-ons that were compatible with e.g. Firefox 45 is no surprise. Yet we have a special situation today with Firefox 57 already on the horizon. Many authors just don't bother anymore (CTR & TMP devs being noteworthy exceptions)...

      • Anonymous August 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

        Beta release notes are never anything to go by, even Release release notes are minimalist and often don't list the most impressive changes.

      • Appster August 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

        @Anonymous: As if so much (apart from bugfixes obviously) changes between Nightly and stable release, LOL. The Nightly is basically what you will be served come November 14, 2017.

      • Anonymous August 14, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

        What are you laughing at ? What you said does not contradict what I'm saying.

        Btw, today's nightly is not what we'll get by November, nope.

      • Anonymous August 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

        Ah, I think I see what you misread. I'm talking about release notes as presented on the beta and release pages. Not talking about differences in code between beta and release.

    • the-edmeister August 10, 2017 at 12:50 am #

      52 ESR will be getting security updates until July 2017 , so it won't be a "few releases behind" at least as far as security is concerned.

  20. Anonymous August 9, 2017 at 12:00 am #

    Just downladed the NEW esr setup. They have made change, new setup icon and after the installation Firefox ask you if you want to switch to a "more recent browser", never seen this notification before.. Wanting to break my workflow Mozilla? wait June 2018 to ask again please.

  21. Harushi August 9, 2017 at 7:54 am #

    All Firefox legacy addons will discontinue developin. That means that addon version wouldn't have updates anymore and has more chances to have a security bug. So deciding to continue using legacy addons after Firefox 57 means you agree to break your security and privacy , which is the main benefit of using Firefox

    • Anonymous August 9, 2017 at 9:23 am #

      In France, more we have new security and privacy laws, less we have security and less we have privacy. Capitalism invaded our country, now poverty is everywhere, like cameras, police and the army too. I would like to agree having less security to live in peace like before the update.

    • wybo August 9, 2017 at 10:23 am #

      Now that makes sense.

      Oh dear it is all quite complicated.

      Thanks.

  22. maxxxa August 9, 2017 at 11:08 am #

    Time to find another browser ! Thx Mozila for many years and bye bye ((((

  23. Stefan August 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    I have been using computers since the Commodore era. Mozilla sucks due to almost all browserupdates break important addons to me. I did stop update Firefox at version 39.0 just due to all my important addons won't work in any later version. It might be a risk staying there but how i work is far more important to me. I always have backups on several external drives so if something happens it really doesn't matter, a complete restore takes 40 minutes.

  24. Johan B. August 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    If your legacy extensions dont work you can enable them again in about:config by double clicking on extensions.legacy.enabled.false.

    • Appster August 12, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

      @Johan B.: Theoretically, yes. However, Firefox 57 introduces a whole new UI, which will break all add-ons able to modify Australis (the previous UI) anyway.

  25. Peter Newton August 13, 2017 at 12:52 am #

    Well I suppose it had to happen at some point, all those useful addons employed to keep the shit out, and prevented the commercial interests from getting their way, had to die didn't they ? and most people will just roll over and accept it, because its just too hard to fight for your privacy and your freedom these days, even though you're being screwed for your data and making the big boys richer than they ever have been. I find this kind of lazy, passive, acceptance, nauseatingly sick quite frankly, just because it doesn't physically hurt today, does not mean it won't in five or ten years. So if you fancy being a bag of blood on two legs, providing a regular meal for vampires, mosquitoes, and parasites, carry on, if not, demand that there is optional compatibility with all your legacy plugins and addons. Do something about it ! Stand your ground for once in your life!

    • Anonymous August 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

      " all those useful addons employed to keep the shit out, and prevented the commercial interests from getting their way, had to die didn't they ? "

      Well no, and they won't. You shouldn't take your data from Ghacks comments, honestly, they are too one-sided, you can only become a radical in such a context.

      " because its just too hard to fight for your privacy and your freedom these days "

      Firefox does just that, and these days more than ever, but ok. Checkout the Tor uplift project, Containers, first party isolation, how Firefox will keep being better at blocking content through extensions, etc. As a privacy-first user, it would make no sense for me not to keep using Firefox.

      " legacy plugins "

      Those were especially terrible for privacy.

      • Appster August 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

        > Well no, and they won't.

        Well yes, and they will. WebExtensions are not even allowed to access "about:" pages. So if the browser vendor does anything privacy-evading there, they will not have the means to stop it. The use of Google Analytics on about:addons is a primary example: The uBlock Origin legacy add-on could block it, the uBlock Origin WebExtension cannot. You forget that extensions having full access to the browser has disadvantages as well as advantages. But I suppose you didn't know any of those details, right?

        > You shouldn't take your data from Ghacks comments, honestly, they are too one-sided, you can only become a radical in such a context.

        Yeah, all those radical Firefox users. Tststs... Really shouldn't comment here! Only the minority of Pro-Mozilla apologists should be allowed in!

        > Firefox does just that, and these days more than ever, but ok. Checkout the Tor uplift project, Containers, first party isolation, how Firefox will keep being better at blocking content through extensions, etc. As a privacy-first user, it would make no sense for me not to keep using Firefox.

        How naive are you, boy? Here are just some highlights of Firefox's privacy-evading settings:

        – “extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled” is true by default. It sends information about what add-ons you have installed to Mozilla. It is not related to the add-on update process. Why does Mozilla collect such data?
        – “network.captive-portal-service.enabled” contacts the following website… http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt …every single time you connect to a new WiFi hotspot, even if your computer handles the WiFi hotspot all by itself already. Why does Firefox need to do this?
        – “security.family_safety.mode” is set to 2 by default. It will censor content Microsoft wants to be censored via a local man-in-the-middle proxy in Windows 10.
        – “dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled” is set to true by default. It reports to the website owner every cut/copy/paste you perform on his website. Veeery private…
        – “dom.battery.enabled” is set to true by default. Websites can access your battery count and related information, e.g. what programs you use. Mozilla allows this by default.
        – “beacon.enabled” is set to true by default. Website owners are able to receive information from Firefox once you’ve left the website. Only useful for tracking, and Mozilla allows this by default.

        Firefox needs to be unfucked just like Chrome and any other browser out there. You obviously fell for Mozilla's marketing campaign. So please, do not repeat those untrue statements here.

        > Those were especially terrible for privacy.

        Quite the contrary. Read the uBlock Origin example again. Self-Destructing Cookies is not even possible as a WebExtension as it stands. There are many more examples for this.

        Honestly, if you don't have a clue, don't comment.

      • Tom Hawack August 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

        @Appster, how to disagree with facts, those you mention. Nevertheless as often stated settings are available to counter default values when those are not in favor of the user's privacy.

        I'm stunned to read all these settings you recall, not to mention several others.

        I must say that the few WebExtensions I use here with Firefox ESR 52.x have this specificity you mention ("WebExtensions are not even allowed to access "about:" pages) and I noticed this denied access to AMO pages as well. This is annoying. What I'd like to know is what exactly is the range of forbidden pages for WebExtensions, does it include all Mozilla pages? This limit in space to WebExtensions adds to their limit in functionality compared to legacy add-ons. Why did Mozilla build this wall?

      • Anonymous August 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

        Oh my god, people already debunked this copy pasted rant, you failed to counter them and you post it again as if they said nothing.

      • Appster August 16, 2017 at 10:10 am #

        @Anonymous: These trolling attempts will never stop, I fear. *Nothing* has been "debunked" so far. I copy and paste rhat because I find it futile to type the same configs again and again. If you refer to the discussion with Ryan... Ryan just stated that very few websites "may" use those settings for neutral purposes. He didn't even argue against their privacy-evading potential. So what was I supposed to "counter" there, given that he didn't argue against my point? But then, Pro-Mozilla TROLLS like you will always try to undermine my credibility without having any substantial arguments to back themselves up. No surprise here.

    • Tom Hawack August 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

      It's called democracy. When a majority decides. Mahatma Gandhi wrote (translated from French as I remember it) "Truth is not related to the number of votes" ("La vérité n'attend pas le nombre des suffrages").

      People can mistake, individually and summed up to a mass. I'd rather consider an individual since all starts from and with each and everyone of us. I linger to know if a majority of us is "lazy, passive". I do believe that minorities often hold a truth which is not perceived by a majority, and democracy is also a frame allowing those to express freely their thoughts. I also know that minorities can be the guardians of Hell, as a Hades prince of the depths. Hence, no better way than democracy in order to advance.

      But I do believe that it's up to each of us to take the time to think freely. We have in democracy to express our thoughts but we may sometimes forget that this freedom includes our very thoughts. There is manipulation, the open door to dictatorship with the people's consent, perhaps the worst because never spelled. But then again those who perceive such manipulation have the possibility and perhaps duty to inform, but I'd rather say in a humanist and philosophical way rather than within radicalism. Perhaps stating "Think freely!" is closer to truth than to say "Think in this direction in order to think freely".

      I like to remember Max Ehrmann's, "Desiderata", and its conclusion:

      "And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy
      confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its
      sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful
      world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

      We are all specific and those specifics build mankind. Truth is not "at the end of a rifle" as Mao said, but in brotherhood.

  26. Albert August 14, 2017 at 12:52 am #

    A serious question!

    FF 54.0.1 (32-bit) with NoScript, uBlockOrigin, HTTPS Everywhere and the FF and add-on updates disabled will become insecure over the next 12 to 18 months??

  27. Jody Thornton August 15, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    Actually it appears you can scratch Nightly of the list (by default anyway). As of the last update, my uBlock Origin add-on was disabled. I haven't tried the about:config trick yet to enable it. But won't that eventually be ditched too?

    • Jody Thornton August 16, 2017 at 1:15 am #

      It worked! I can run the uBlock legacy extension (although labelled as a WebExtension) for now.

  28. TelV August 21, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    Waterfox 55.0.1 for Windows is still testing at the moment: https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/6trq5j/test_out_waterfox_55_here_please_read_full/

    But at least it offers hope for us legacy lovers beyond FF57.

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