Right-click on extension icons to manage them in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 6, 2018
Updated • Jul 6, 2018

Mozilla plans to add a new handy feature to future versions of the Firefox web browser that allows you to right-click on extension icons in the browser's toolbar to open the extension's page on about:addons.

Firefox extensions may display icons in the browser's main toolbar and users may remove these icons or move them instead if they prefer them to be available in a different location.

Firefox users who want to open the options of extensions can do so only if the extension allows it, e.g. when the extension options are opened on a left-click.

If that is not the case, it is required that users open about:addons and click on the options button next to the add-on they want to customize the extension.

Firefox: manage extensions

firefox manage extensions

If you run a recent Nightly version of the Firefox web browser -- Firefox Nightly is the cutting edge development version of the browser -- you will see a new item when you right-click on extension icons in the Firefox interface.

The new item is called Manage Extension and it is listed at the top of the menu. The other menu items provide options to customize the display of the icon and to display other toolbars.

Manage Extension on the other hand opens the page of the extension on about:addons. You can reach the very same page directly by loading about:addons and clicking on the more link next to any extension listed on the page.

Note that some extensions displays options right on the page while others may display them on different pages instead and only when you click on the options button.

Closing Words

It is a small change and probably mostly useful to inexperienced users who may not know how an extension icon landed on the toolbar and how to manage it.

I'd very much like it if Mozilla would implement the options that Chrome displays in the context menu. Chrome lists options to remove the extension right from there and to open its options; I find both options particularly useful.

With Firefox, it takes two clicks and probably a bit of scrolling to disable or remove an extension.

Now you: What is your take on the feature?

Right-click on extension icons to manage them in Firefox
Article Name
Right-click on extension icons to manage them in Firefox
A look at an upcoming feature for the Firefox web browser that lets users manage extensions directly from the right-click menu.
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  1. Ctrl + Shift + A said on July 9, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Finally… even though one can bring up swiftly the about:addons page with a…
    Ctrl + Shift + A

  2. Mick said on July 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    There was once a great FF add-on named Extension Options Menu. Upon clicking on the toolbar button you’d get a drop-down menu with all your add-ons or only the ones that have options (your choice in settings). Clicking on an add-on would open its options, right click could enable/disable it, middle click remove it (or something like that, not sure of the details anymore). Right clicking on the button would open the add-ons manager. A complete and perfect overall solution, but I guess no longer possible to implement in the new FF. Shame indeed.

  3. jupe said on July 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I get an extra option to go straight to an extensions options (only for some extensions), in Nightly.

    screenshot : https://screenshots.firefox.com/rYtXdcUGh2ptWx02/null

    1. Oriol said on July 7, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      This seems an entry provided by these specific extensions, it’s not native. This can be done with the “menus”/”contextMenus” permission.

  4. Ahmed said on July 7, 2018 at 1:45 am


    This is already in Firefox 62 Beta. It is noted in this mozilla blog article.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 7, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Thanks, so it might land in the next release already.

  5. Oriol said on July 6, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    It’s nice to see the feature that I implemented mentioned in gHacks!

    @MartinBrinkmann “Chrome lists options to remove the extension right from there and to open its options”
    Adding an entry to remove is planned in bug 1401610.
    Opening options is what I initially wanted, but for the moment adding a management entry seemed a better idea because it works for add-ons without options, and you can open options from management.

    @yogaisevil “Adding such a trivial feature is a sloooow process”
    I’m just a contributor and I added the feature when I noticed I wanted it.
    If you want to speed up the process, you can also contribute, your patches will be welcome.

    @Popo “just something Mozilla forgot to copy”
    Not really a copy, I didn’t know Chrome already had this when I proposed the feature.
    And I don’t get why adding missing features proves Firefox is crappy.

    @Anders “add minor tweaks and advertise them as great feature”
    This was not added by the team, and it’s not advertised as a great feature.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 7, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I do like the feature and it is great to hear that remove will be coming as well.

      Would not it be possible to open the options if they do exist or the management page if they don’t? Or do you think that this would be too confusing?

      1. Oriol said on July 7, 2018 at 6:13 pm

        Extensions can display options either in the management page or in a new tab.
        In the former case it’s not much important, you may only need to scroll a bit.
        But in the latter, you may need to disable or remove the extension. This can be done from management but probably not from the options page.
        Therefore, if an entry for options is added, I think it shouldn’t replace the management one.

  6. Shiva said on July 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    I use All-In-One Sidebar extension icon. One click only. Sometimes old school could be useful for new valuable lessons. Hope springs eternal.

  7. yogaisevil said on July 6, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    This has been in Nightly for weeks. Adding such a trivial feature is a sloooow process.

  8. Popo said on July 6, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    “…add minor tweaks….”

    I really don’t understand why Martin make whole article on such minor thing that is just something Mozilla forgot to copy in chrome…. 🤔

    It’s nothing new it’s has been in Chrome/Chromium since age: https://i.imgur.com/gnj3ywb.png

    Anyway I’m so happy to use Chromium now has my main browser, so much more stable and better memory management… Mozilla/Firefox has been crap more and more since the last 5 years and this article prove it one more time again.

    1. Richard Allen said on July 7, 2018 at 8:54 am

      I suspect that Mozilla was worried that Chromium users are easily confused which is why they added an option those poor souls are familiar with. Perhaps they are just showing compassion for the disadvantaged which I personally think is admirable. And I fail to see how a browser giving their users another option for how to accomplish a task is a bad thing.

      And you’re right, it’s nothing new in chromium browsers. but since it’s been in chromium browsers so long why has the implementation not been improved on? Right now in FF, without the new context menu item in the extension icons, it takes me two clicks to access the extensions page by using the menu. For years it’s only been two clicks. Chromium also takes two clicks to open the extensions page. But then if you want to remove an extension from a chromium based browser it will take four energy wasting clicks on a mouse which leads to more hazardous waste from depleted batteries being dumped in landfills whereas FF only needs three environmentally friendly clicks to remove the offending extension. Why are chromium browsers and their users so inconsiderate? LoL

      “Mozilla forgot to copy in chrome” Get over it, the chromium browser has been copying everyone else since it was released. Tabbed browsing, private browsing and extensions were all invented by the chrome team? Of course they were…not. But Chrome should get an innovation award for a context menu item. Sure, along with their participation trophy.

      How can you be “so happy to use Chromium now” with it’s ridiculously inferior smooth scrolling performance. Pitiful font rendering that made me find an extension to try and improve it, an extension for font rendering, wow, who would a thought such a thing was possible or even be needed in the 21st century? Let’s forget about that innovation award. At least the scrolling performance and font rendering has been consistent over the years, consistently bad.

      And graphics rendering is falling behind FF. 1080p 60fps video “still” has more dropped frames than what I see with FF which rarely ever drops frames on my hardware. When using the extension Video Speed Controller to speed up the playback in vlogs, 5-15% is what I usually use on YouTube or wherever, it causes an amazing number of dropped frames in 30fps video, that should be easy money. The ONLY thing that Chrome does better graphics wise compared to FF is with mp4a which I see in some YouTube live streams, I like the contrast better in Chrome. Does Chromium even have the same graphics capability as Chrome? :)

      You claim that chromium is “so much more stable and better memory management” and all I can say is that you are obviously working with at most a handful of open tabs because I have three chromium browsers installed and I’m not seeing anything remotely like you claim. Chrome Dev, Chrome Stable, and Vivaldi all work well, but they are not more stable or have better memory management than FF. From what I’m seeing, that includes Nightly being more stable than Chrome Dev. I will admit to using Chrome Dev for the picture-in-picture that I can watch in the corner of my display while scrolling through Feedly with FF.

      Most browsers do somethings very well and most browsers have things they don’t. It’s just disappointing that chromium has so many things that have needed to be improved on for such a long time and they have not been. And who has a bigger army of people that can be thrown at a browser? Does google even have any motivation to improve browser performance anymore? They got what they want. The sheep get their plug n play browser while the goolag collects their data. And the trolls complain about FF without it being installed.

      1. Richard Allen said on July 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        Clarification: I have too many browsers installed and it’s sometimes hard keeping the results straight. I could swear I saw an example of 30fps video with a bunch of dropped frames but I’m unable to verify that right now. Sorry.

        When using the extension Video Speed Controller to speed up the playback in vlogs, it causes dropped frames in “720p 60fps” and “1080p 60fps” video in Chrome. When watching 60fps video in FF the browser is yawning with one eye open. With the normal playback speed in Chrome there are only a few dropped frames with 60fps. The problem is not the extension, the playback speed can be changed within the YouTube video player with the same results. You would think YouTube video playback in Chrome would just smoke everyone else but that is not the case.

        Dropped Frames 720p 60fps:

        Dropped Frames 1080p 60fps:

        Just so everyone knows, yoga IS evil. I’ve always thought of it as a spectator sport for pervy old men. Hubba Hubba! ;)

      2. yogaisevil said on July 7, 2018 at 5:58 pm

        Damn. As the temperature rises to 2,672° Celsius, Poor PoPo and his suite of chromium armour never stood a chance!

  9. Peter said on July 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    I have waited for this long. Extensions I only use sporadically I want to enable/disable with as few click as possible, preferably one right click and one left click.

  10. Franck said on July 6, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Good finding, thanks !

  11. Anders said on July 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    When market share drops because of Mozilla’s crapware – add minor tweaks and advertise them as great feature.

    1. scorpiogreen said on July 7, 2018 at 4:58 am

      Not sure why you’re here if you think it’s crapware. This is just a minor line that will appear in the change log. Not a big feature as the article up above makes it out to be.

      1. Weilan said on July 7, 2018 at 10:53 pm

        He probably means the dropping of support for add-ons and replacing them with web extensions. And the other things that gradually turn FireFox into Chrome. And I’m with him on that, removing the old add-ons is a risky move, some will support it, some will boo it. I’m on the fence, because there were some really powerful add-ons. I use Chrome and the extensions I have are enough, so on paper I should be good with FireFox too, but I don’t like it as much as I did back in the day (2007-2009). Chrome quickly gained traction with its lightning fast speeds and FireFox only started copying it by making that abomination FireFox 4, which was slow, cumbersome and took years to fix. They also copied the Chrome’s versioning system of the big numbers.

    2. pokkehotro said on July 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      This hasn’t been advertised as a great feature. It’s just part of a pre-release build. The most attention it will get is an entry in a change log.

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