After Firefox 4 was released, Mozilla switched to a so called rapid release cycle for Firefox. This was done in order to get new features out faster.
The idea in principle is great, but sadly this change was slightly rushed. For instance, the update mechanism wasn’t made completely invisible before starting with the rapid releases. This means that users are still getting dialog boxes thrown in their faces with every update, every six weeks. Compare this to Google Chrome which has updated completely silently from day 1, if I’m not mistaken.
For some reason Mozilla also still feel the need to show a
first run page after each update, informing you about the update.
Extensions being automatically disabled with updates has been a long-standing problem with Firefox, and if anything it has gotten worse with the rapid release cycle. Ideally the user should never have a reason not to update to the latest and safest version, and this is a huge issue for many Firefox users.
To stop your extensions from being disabled you need to switch off Firefox’s extension compatibility check. The good news is that this is fairly simple. The bad news is that you have to redo this procedure with every new version of Firefox (i.e. every six weeks) until Mozilla work out a better solution.
Here’s what to do:
- Check which version of Firefox you have. Go to Help -> About Firefox and make a mental note of the version.
- In the location bar, type in about:config.
- If you get the prompt, promise to be careful.
- Right click in the list of settings and choose New -> Boolean.
- Name the new value extensions.checkCompatibility.X.X, where X.X is your Firefox version number.
- Choose False in the next dialog box.
- Restart Firefox for the change to take effect. Now you should be able to enable any extensions that had been disabled.
The above works for the update channels Release, Beta and Aurora. If you are on the Nightly update channel, you need to put in nightly instead of the version number X.X.
Now let’s hope that Mozilla get their act together and fix the current update mess and do something about the extension problem!