Uninstalling add-ons

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-'''This article is written for Firefox / Thunderbird 1.0. In later versions, you just need to locate the extension's folder and delete it. The extension manager will properly unregister the extension after a restart.'''+'''This article is written for Firefox / Thunderbird 1.0. In later versions, you just need to locate the extension's folder (usually of form <tt>{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}</tt> or <tt></tt>) and delete it. The extension manager will properly unregister the extension after a restart.'''
==The Extension Manager== ==The Extension Manager==

Revision as of 22:58, 27 December 2005

This article is written for Firefox / Thunderbird 1.0. In later versions, you just need to locate the extension's folder (usually of form {xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx} or and delete it. The extension manager will properly unregister the extension after a restart.


The Extension Manager

Extensions and themes can be uninstalled using the Extension Manager. It can be accessed via in "Tools -> Extensions" and "Tools -> Themes".

If you can't uninstall an extension, then one of the following has occured:

  • The uninstall button and menu item are disabled. This means that the extension is locked. (For example, the default theme is locked.) To uninstall a locked extension, you'll first have to unlock it via Safe Mode.
  • The extension is listed with a red "generic" icon, or is not listed at all. Older versions of Firefox (0.9 and below) and Thunderbird (0.7 and below) used an older version of the Extension Manager; the problematic extension was not packaged for the new Extension Manager. You'll have to uninstall it manually or use an extension uninstaller (see below). The general recommendation is to create a new profile for Firefox or Thunderbird and only install repackaged extensions in it.
  • The extension repeatedly shows "This item will be uninstalled after you restart Firefox" even after restarting. In this case, do not use the uninstaller extensions. Either create a new profile or try uninstalling manually (see below).

Using Safe Mode

If you have a broken extension that makes it impossible to access the Extension Manager, you can start the application in Safe Mode. Once there, you can mark the offending extensions for uninstall, exit the application, and restart in normal mode to complete the uninstall.

Uninstaller extensions

These extensions are useful for Firefox (pre-0.9), Thunderbird (pre-0.7), and Mozilla Suite users.

Do not use these extensions if you have the "This item will be uninstalled after you restart Firefox" message in the extension manager! Either create a new profile or see the section below on performing a manual uninstall.

Uninstalling manually

It is strongly recommended that you create a new profile instead of uninstalling manually due to the risks and tedium involved in the manual procedure.

It's a good idea to make backups of your profile folder before deleting or changing anything in case something goes wrong.

Removing profile-installed extensions

You'll need to know the internal "short name" of the extension you're uninstalling. You can find it by searching for the full name in the chrome.rdf file (see below). These instructions do not apply to Firefox 1.5 and Thunderbird 1.5.

  1. Exit the application (Firefox, Thunderbird, or Mozilla Suite) and make sure it is not listed in your process list. <li>Browse to your profile folder. <li>Mozilla Suite users: Remove the <profile folder>/chrome/[shortname].jar file.
    All other users: Remove the <profile folder>/extensions/{extension-GUID} folder. You can find the GUID by looking in extensions.rdf file or by searching for [shortname].jar file in your extensions folder. Make note of the GUID as it will be needed later in this process. <li>Delete compreg.dat and xul.mfl (it may be called something slightly different, eg. XUL.mfasl) files. They will be recreated on next browser start. <li>Edit files in <profile folder>/chrome/overlayinfo. Find those that contain [shortname] inside them and remove entries, that look like this:
    <RDF:li>chrome://[shortname]/[path to file]</RDF:li>

    <li>Edit the <profile folder>/chrome/chrome.rdf file. Remove all entries referencing the extension. See the list of possible entries.

    <li>Firefox and Thunderbird users: Edit <profile folder>/extensions/extensions.rdf. Remove the entry that looks like this:
    <RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:mozilla:extension:{[GUID]}"
                     [more info]>
      [more info]
      <em:targetApplication RDF:resource="rdf:[junk]"/>

    <li>Firefox and Thunderbird users: Edit components.ini and defaults.ini and remove any lines that contain the GUID of the extension being uninstalled (it is possible that no such lines will exist). The files are located in the root of your profile folder. <li>Remove extension-related preferences from the user.js file and prefs.js. </ol>

    Some extensions also create extra files on your hard drive. For example, Menu Editor stores its data in a menuedit.rdf file in your profile folder and TBE uses tabextensions.js. You might want to remove those too.

    The list of possible chrome.rdf entries
    <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:mozilla:package:[shortname]"/>
    <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:mozilla:locale:[locale]:[shortname]"/>
    <RDF:li RDF:resource="urn:mozilla:skin:[skin]:[shortname]"/>
    <RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:mozilla:["locale"/"skin"]:[locale/skin]:[shortname]"
         <c:package RDF:resource="urn:mozilla:package:[shortname]"/>
    <RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:mozilla:package:[shortname]"
         [a lot more info]>
         <c:selectedLocale RDF:resource="urn:mozilla:locale:[locale]:[shortname]"/>
         <c:selectedSkin RDF:resource="urn:mozilla:skin:[skin]:[shortname]"/>

    Removing a globally-installed extension

    Firefox 0.9+ and Thunderbird 0.7+, by default, install their extensions into the profile folder, so this section will not apply to those users. Mozilla Suite users are still able to install their extensions globally (that is, in their Mozilla Suite program installation directory and not their profile folder).

    1. Exit Mozilla Suite.
    2. Browse to the "chrome" subfolder of your Mozilla Suite installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\\Mozilla\chrome for Windows users; for Mac users, Ctrl-Click the Mozilla Application folder package and select "Show Package Contents" and browse to /Applications/
    3. Modify chrome.rdf and the files in your "overlay" folder as described above in the "Optional steps" section.
    4. Delete [extensionname].jar (or the [extensionname] directory if it has one).
    5. Remove every line with a reference to the extension's name from installed-chrome.txt. Usually there are up to three such lines corresponding to content, locale and skin.
    6. A few extensions might use additional files. TBE, for example, creates the file tabextensions.js in <application folder>/defaults/pref/ in which to store its defaults. Search through your installation directory for such files and delete them.