Techniques for force installing incompatible extensions in Firefox

May 31st, 2017

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are definitely the two most popular web browsers at the moment. It comes to no surprise that there is a vast amount and variety of free browser extensions which can be installed and used with these browsers to improve their performance and functionality, and to make the user experience much easier and satisfying.


extensions in Firefox


While more web developers are working on making the add-ons compatible with the different web browsers, by using special instruments, such as the Cross Browser Extension Framework offered by Besttoolbars, there are extensions which still work with only specific browsers and even with specific versions of these web browsers. This is usually done by developers in order to ensure that the extension is developed properly and tested thoroughly for the latest browser versions, but given the monthly updates of Firefox and Chrome, this could cause problems for the users who want to install and use them.


Methods for overriding the compatibility checks for add-ons in Firefox

For Mozilla Firefox, there are certain ways to force install an extension even when the Add to button is greyed out and a text appears that the extension is not available for Firefox:

  1. The Nightly Tester Tools This add-on can disable the compatibility checking for extensions in Firefox. You need to install it, restart Firefox, go to the menu bar by pressing Alt+T and find the Nightly Tester Tool. Select the “Force Add-on Compatibility” button. This should enable you to install the incompatible add on. Click on it and choose Enable. Ignore the warning text and proceed to install it.
  2. You can also disable the compatibility checks for the add-ons. The easiest way to do this is to install the Disable Add-on Compatibility checks It will allow you to use the older check compatibility preference to Firefox, and will enable you to install the extensions you want regardless of their compatibility.
  3. Manually edit the checkCompatibility preference of the extension. If you are comfortable with manually editing the preferences of your Firefox browser, you can do this by:
  • Checking which version you are using by accessing About Firefox in the menu bar.
  • Type about:config in the address bar, and then proceed to choose the “I’ll be careful, I promise” option.
  • Right click the window and choose New. Select Boolean.
  • When prompted to enter a preference name, type extensions.checkCompatibility.(your browser version number)
  • For Boolean value – select “false” and then click OK

And voila! Once you restart your Firefox browser you should be able to override the compatibility checking for extensions, which will allow you to install add-ons for different versions of Firefox. The problem with this specific method is that each time your browser version is updated, you will need to follow all the steps again to remove the compatibility checking preferences.

  1. Advanced user may try hacking the extension in order to increase and add new version numbers to the older and outdated add-on. Download the extension file (XPI file) by right clicking on the extension and choosing the Save link as option. Open the file with 7-Zip. Right click on install.rdf and pick Edit. Use Notepad++ to edit the file and add the versions of Firefox you want by adding the version numbers to the <!– Firefox à



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