August 17, 2011 - Warren Held
Force Extension Compatibility in Firefox
Every time a major Firefox update is released and I go to install it I sit there, fingers crossed, as it checks all my plugins for compatibility. Most of the extensions I use are kept up to date, often supporting versions of Firefox that aren’t out of beta yet. When I upgraded from Firefox 5 to Firefox 6, however, my ReloadEvery plugin was listed as incompatible. I use ReloadEvery to automatically reload stock or forex news website tabs every 5 min so I can always switch to the site and have the newest posts visible, without having to manually refresh them each time. I figured since Firefox 6 wasn’t a major update, the ReloadEvery extension would probably be compatible, it just wasn’t yet listed as officially supporting version 6. There is a method build into Firefox that allows you to disable the compatibility checking:
- Open Firefox and in your URL bar type about:config and hit enter.
- A warning is displayed, just tell Firefox everything will be ok.
- Type “extensions” into the filter text field to bring up a list of extensions.CheckCompatibility options. Find the one for the version of Firefox you are using (you can find what version of Firefox you have by going into the Firefox menu -> Help -> About), right click on it, and click toggle. It should now be listed as false. You will have to restart Firefox for your update to take effect.
- If for whatever reason your extension REALLY wasn’t compatible at all with Firefox, and renders it unusable to the point where you can’t get back in the about:config to turn checkCompatibility back on, there is another way. You can usually find your Firefox profile by browsing to about:support and clicking on the “Open Containing Folder” button, but if you rendered your Firefox unusable this obviously isn’t going to work. Instead to go your search bar (Windows 7 just click on the Windows button at the bottom left of your screen, Windows XP go to Start -> Run) enter %APPDATA%MozillaFirefoxProfiles and hit enter.
- Once in your Firefox profile folder, locate prefs.js, right click on it, and go to Open With -> Notepad. Locate the line you modified (in my case it would be user_pref(“extensions.checkCompatibility.6.0”, false);) and change the false to true. Save and exit. Now when you start Firefox compatibility checking should be re-enabled.