If you have recently fired up Firefox only to find that all of your extensions have expired/been disabled/removed. This article will explain what has happened and how to bypass the issue to get your extensions working again. Of course, this guide is only meant to be used in the short term until Firefox officially fixes the issue.
If you have just fired up Firefox only to find out all of your extensions aren’t working, you aren’t alone. Almost every Firefox user around the globe is currently in the same boat. So what exactly happened? To put it as simply as possible a security certificate that Mozilla used to sign Firefox add-ons expired... Sounds like something that should have been picked up way before this happened right?
What this means is that almost every single Firefox add-on signed using this security certificate, no longer works and has now been automatically disabled by Firefox as a security measure. This equates to millions of users now viewing the Internet in its raw, un-ad-filtered form... Essentially an advertising platform. Something a lot of users haven’t seen for over a decade… Putting this even simpler... Firefox no longer trusts any of the add-ons in its database... Below is the official acknowledgment from Mozilla on their Discourse:
“At about 6:10 PST we received a report that a certificate issue for Firefox is causing add-ons to stop working and add-on installs to fail.”
“Our team is actively working on a fix. We will update as soon as we have more information.
Update: 11:12 p.m. PST: The team is currently testing a fix for this issue. In the meantime, signing of new extensions is disabled until the fix is in place."
What Can You Do to Fix it? (Fix All Firefox Extensions Removed)
First up, and my suggested solution is to simply use another browser for a short period of time until Mozilla fixes the issue. If you haven’t tried the new Microsoft Edge Chromium, now’s a perfect time.
If you don’t like the idea of switching browsers, you can do either of the following.
Option 1: Temporarily load extensions.
Option 2: Disable signature enforcement, telling your browser to trust all extensions. (Not available in all Firefox editions) These editions are Firefox Developer Edition, Firefox Nightly, Extended Support Release, and Unbranded builds. If you wish to use one of these versions of Firefox, you can migrate over using Firefox Sync or by forcing it to use your original profile.
Note: If you don’t know which edition of Firefox you're using, you can check by heading to Settings > Help > About Firefox.
Option 1: How to Temporarily Load Extensions in Firefox.
All of your extensions currently reside in the Extensions folder inside your profile folder. To find it go to Settings > Help > Troubleshooting Information, then copy Profile Folder.
Note: Any extensions installed via Firefox's debugging tools are installed ‘temporarily’, meaning they will be automatically disabled again when your browser is restarted.
Once you have done this, type about:debugging into the address bar and press Enter. Next, click Load Temporary Add-on. Now navigate to your profile, then to the Extensions folder inside. Here you should see a list of .xpi files (these are your add-ons ‘aka’ extensions). Finally, load one, then repeat the process for the rest.
If you have removed all of your add-ons fully, you can use this method to install add-ons from addons.mozilla.org. To do this navigate to the extensions page, uBlock Origin for example, then right click on the Add to Firefox button and select Save Link As... Once you’ve done this, load it using the process detailed above.
Options 2: How to Disable Signature Enforcement in Firefox.
If your build is one of the listed supported builds, type about:config into the address bar and press Enter. Accept the warning, then proceed to search for xpinstall.signatures.required using the search bar. Once you find it double click on it to set its value to false (off).
This forces Firefox to ignore installed extensions and trusts that they are what they say they are. As soon as you make the change your add-ons/extensions should automatically re-enable. This is obviously a minor security risk, so you will want to re-enable it once Mozilla officially fixes the problem.