Disable Firefox Add-on Controls

Note: This article may be updated in the coming days as we learn more about the new add-on controls in Firefox 8.

As mentioned earlier this week, Firefox 8 introduced some new Add-on Controls that were designed more for single users. These incldued the ability to review and disable user installed add-ons on the first run of Firefox 8 as well as automatically disabling any 3rd party installed add-ons. However, there is a minor glitch in that corporate/enterprise bundled add-ons are classified as 3rd party install add-ons and therefore will be disabled by default.In a corporate/enterprise environment most users are not going to know that these add-ons should be enabled and for that matter management doesn’t really want the users enabling/disabling company add-ons.

There is a work around that involves creating (Firefox 7) or modifying (Firefox 8+) a couple about:config variables. However, I am unfamiliar with how these settings would be pushed to all users so that when they do upgrade to Firefox 8 (or future versions), the add-on controls are disabled. To modify a preference first copy and paste the preference name into the filter then double-click on the preference,

  • extensions.shownSelectionUI needs to be set to True. To created this preference in Firefox 7, right-click in the about:config window and select New > Boolean. For preference name enter extensions.shownSelectionUI and for value set to True. This will disable the Add-on Control Wizard that comes up on the first run when updating to a new version.
  • extensions.autoDisableScopes needs to be set to 11. To created this preference in Firefox 7, right-click in the about:config window and select New > Integer . For preference name enter extensions.autoDisableScopes and for value set to 11.This will allow “bundled” (within the application directory which in Windows would be %PROGRAMFILES%\mozilla firefox\extensions) but will still disable 3rd party add-ons from other locations.

With these settings in place, when users go to Firefox 8 (or newer versions) they will not see the Add-on Control Wizard on first run and extensions that are in the application directory regardless if they are 3rd party or user installed will remain enabled.

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  3. Are you sure the preference is not extensions.autoDisableScopes? According to a lot of other sources it’s ending with an -s-.