3 min read

Last week on Friday, Firefox users were left infuriated when all their extensions were abruptly disabled. Fortunately, Mozilla has fixed this issue in their yesterday’s releases, Firefox 66.0.4 and Firefox 60.6.2.

This is not the first time when Firefox users have encountered such type of problems. A similar issue was reported back in 2016 and it seems that they did not take proper steps to prevent the issue from recurring.

Multiple users were reporting that all add-ons were disabled on Firefox because of failed verification. Users were also unable to download any new add-ons and were shown  “Download failed. Please check your connection” error despite having a working connection. This happened because the certificate with which the add-ons were signed expired. The timestamp mentioned in the certificates were:

Not Before: May 4 00:09:46 2017 GMT

Not After : May 4 00:09:46 2019 GMT

Mozilla did share a temporary hotfix (“hotfix-update-xpi-signing-intermediate-bug-1548973”) before releasing a product with the issue permanently fixed.

To apply this hotfix automatically, users need to enable Studies, a feature through which Mozilla tries out new features before they release to the general users. The Studies feature is enabled by default, but if you have previously opted out of it, you can enable it by navigating to Options | Privacy & Security | Allow Firefox to install and run studies.

Mozilla released Firefox 66.0.4 for desktop and Android users and Firefox 60.6.2 for ESR (Extended Support Release) users yesterday with a permanent fix to this issue. These releases repair the certificate to re-enable web extensions that were disabled because of the issue. There are still some issues that need to be resolved, which Mozilla is currently working on:

  • A few add-ons may appear unsupported or not appear in ‘about:addons’. Mozilla assures that the add-ons data will not be lost as it is stored locally and can be recovered by re-installing the add-ons.
  • Themes will not be re-enabled and will switch back to default. If a user’s home page or search settings are customized by an add-on it will be reset to default.
  • Users might see that Multi-Account Containers and Facebook Container are reset to their default state. Containers is a functionality that allows you to segregate your browsing activities within different profiles. As an aftereffect of this certificate issue, data that might be lost include the configuration data regarding which containers to enable or disable, container names, and icons.

Many users depend on Firefox’s extensibility property to get their work done and it is obvious that this issue has left many users sour. “This is pretty bad for Firefox. I wonder how much people straight up & left for Chrome as a result of it,” a user commented on Hacker News.

Read the Mozilla Add-ons Blog for more details.

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