Force Install Incompatible Extensions into Firefox 4 Beta

Are you someone who likes to try out beta versions of future versions of software, such as browsers? Firefox 4.0 is currently in beta and you might want to try it, but the fact that many of your favorite extensions will not work may prevent you from doing so. So how do we go about making them work without complicated editing?

There are a few ways you can try to force Firefox to allow all your add-ons to install and run anyway. Please note that this may cause adverse behavior with some add-ons, but many add-ons work just fine.

Method 1: The Add-on Way

That’s right. Install another add-on. It’s that simple.

Ironically, the most popular add-on to do this, Nightly Tester Tools, is currently NOT compatible with Firefox 4.0 because it does not work with the new add-ons manager.

But don’t worry, Mozilla has released their official add-on to force install incompatible extensions. It’s called Add-on Compatibility Reporter.

After you restart to install the add-on, it will ask you to restart again to enable the add-ons that were disabled because of incompatibility.

When you’re done with all that, you should notice your add-ons are back, but some might not be working properly. You can help Mozilla and the add-on developers identify which add-ons still work (and just need an update of compatibility information) and which don’t.

Compatibility Reporter

Compatibility Reporter

Choosing an option on compatibility submits a report to Mozilla.

Submit Compatibility Report

Submit Compatibility Report

Method 2: The about:config Way

If you rather not install another add-on, you can try editing the about:config.

Browse to about:config.

Right click anywhere and choose New –> Boolean.

New Boolean

New Boolean Value

You will get a popup window asking for a preference name. Enter one of the following, depending on your Firefox version.

4.0 Beta: extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b
4.0 Release: extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0
Boolean Preference

Boolean Preference Name

Set the value to false.

After you complete either Method 1 or Method 2, your extensions should install fine, however there are no guarantees that they will work properly.

Have another method to do this? Share with us in the comments.

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Brian is the co-founder of TechAirlines. He is a developer currently focusing on mobile and web development. He is currently a sophomore at Stony Brook University, majoring in Computer Science.