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Mozilla tightens Firefox policies on third-party add-on install

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Aug 2011 8:20 User comments (4)

Mozilla tightens Firefox policies on third-party add-on install Hands more control to users to authorize apps installed by third-party software.
If you are a Firefox user, how many times have you installed software on your computer and noticed later that it installed its own add-on to Firefox (or even other web browsers?). Mozilla has decided to target this common practice, handing more control over to the user on what add-ons can and can't be active.

It found that many of these add-ons can result in reduced performance of Firefox, such as slow browser loading times and slower webpage loading. They also can hit user experience by cluttering the interface with toolbars, and they also can present a problem when they aren't supported by important browser updates.

Therefore, Firefox will changed so as to make the use of such add-on's strictly "opt in" for the user right from the beginning. If Firefox starts and finds that another program has installed an add-on, Firefox will disable the add-on until the user decides to authorize its use.


In addition, Firefox will also present users with a one-off add-on selection screen when they update to the newer version of the browser. This gives the user the ability to "fix the past", by disabling add-ons previously installed by third-party applications easily.



"We understand that there are legitimate use cases for some third-party add-on installations, and that those developers have done the right thing by asking users to opt in to the add-on, following our performance best practices, and providing a good user experience," a post on Mozilla's blog, reads.

"Unfortunately, the extent of unwanted add-ons installed through these methods has caused us to take action, but were confident that users who truly want such add-ons to be installed will opt in when Firefox prompts them."

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4 user comments

114.8.2011 10:12

this is a handy feature, cos i know people that when they install apps or programs of sorts they always tick the next box without looking and end up with crap on their browser toolbar..

great idea from mozilla in my eyes ;)

214.8.2011 12:38

Good news. That's about time!


"You know, it seems that quotes on the internet are becoming less and less reliable." -Abraham Lincoln.

315.8.2011 3:32

Thank you, Mozilla. Finally, I'll be able to install whichever software I choose without getting Bing, Ask, or whatever else crappy toolbar the installer sets up regardless of whether I opt in or not.

415.8.2011 5:16

I always have problems with unwanted toolbars that mess up my setup in Firefox, then I have to spend forever trying to fix everything. Most recently, this Ask.com toolbar got installed on my browser. Truthfully, I was sure I told the program I didn't want the toolbar, but it installed it anyway. What was most annoying was that the toolbar changed it so that my address bar's default search was Yahoo.com instead of Google. You would think restoring Google as the default would be simple, but it was impossible to figure out. I had to jump through all these hoops readjusting my toolbar. So this add-on is really welcome. Thanks Firefox.

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