Using Old Extensions (Add-ons) in Firefox 3
Did you download Firefox 3 already?
Yesterday, the Download Day, was a big day for Firefox as it released its latest version 3.0. When the Download Day was first announced last month, I pledged to download the free browser within 24 hours after it’s release to help set a Guinness record.
I have been using FF for years and always got the latest update when it became available. While FF is great, the biggest headache as I experienced is its memory consumption. I am using quite a few extensions and always have a lot of tabs opened. If I don’t restart the browser for a couple of days, its memory usage just keeps growing. It’s not rare to see that Firefox uses some 700MB of my memory. I have tried many memory tweaks with pretty much no luck. Since Firefox 3 is supposed to do a better job in keeping memory usage under control, I decided to get the browsing software as soon as it is released.
Anyway, I got the software yesterday and it looks good so far. The only problem is that the browser is up-to-date, but not all the add-ons. Some of my favorite ones have been disable due to incompatibility with FF 3. One of them is called AutoCopy, which allows me to copy the text by just selecting it, no Ctrl-C needed. It’s a very convenient extension. Losing it all the sudden caused a lot of pain.
So I searched a little bit and found this workaround to let me continue using the add-on until the FF 3 compatible version is available.
- Download the AutoCopy add-on file (you can find one at here, then right-click to Save Link As);
- Change the file extension from .xpi to .zip (from autocopy-v0.6.4.xpi to autocopy-v0.6.4.zip) and use your file compression/decompression application such as WinZip or 7-Zip to extract the files;
- Find the install.rdf file in the extracted file folder and open it with a text editor (Notepad);
- In the file, find this section
- Drag and drop the install.rdf file onto the autocopy-v0.6.4.zip file. It will ask whether you want to overwrite (or add) the file, install.rdf, to the archive. Confirm;
- Change the file from autocopy-v0.6.4.zip back to its original name autocopy-v0.6.4.xpi;
- Grab the autocopy-v0.6.4.xpi and drop it into your FF browser. A window will pop up:
<!– Firefox –>
and replace 2.0.0.* with 4.0.0.* and save the file.
Click the Install Now button once it becomes clickable and the install will begin.
However, the installation may fail if another window pops up with the following error message:
If this happens to you, then there’s a little extra work to be done before you can enjoy your old extensions. According to this discussion, the above problem can be easily fixed by adding a new value to the Firefox configuration:
- Open a new tab and type about:config in the address bar;
- Right click inside the window and select New->Boolean;
- A new window will pop up and enter extensions.checkUpdateSecurity as the preferred name;
- Set the default value to false in the next window;
Now repeat Step 7 in the above installation process and you will see the following window:
Restart your Firefox and enjoy your favorite, old extensions again
I have used this method to install two more add-0ns, MinimizeToTray and Page Title Eraser, and they all work like they used to so far. This method may not work with all the add-ons, so you have to try to see. Until those extensions get updated, I will keep the extensions.checkUpdateSecurity value and use this workaround.
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