Unable to install add-ons (extensions or themes)

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  • Revision id: 32378
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  • Creator: ideato
  • Comment: xpi & jar files, link to wikipedia
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An inability to install an extension can be the result of problems with the extension, Firefox preferences, or the version of Firefox you are using. This article describes various causes of install problems and what you can do to address them.


Add-on is not compatible

An internal file in each add-on indicates the range Firefox versions with which the extension is compatible. In the Firefox Add-ons area of Mozilla, you can review version compatibility information on the page for each available extension.

If your installed version of Firefox does not fit within that range, installing the add-on results in an error, indicating that the add-on is not compatible. If your version of Firefox is incompatible with the add-on, you can:

  • Upgrade to the latest version of Firefox. For more information, see Update Firefox to the latest release.
  • Find a version of the add-on that is compatible with your version of Firefox. The Firefox Add-ons website usually has the most up to date version of each add-on.
  • Use a different extension. For many extensions, there are similar extensions that provide the same functionality. For more information, see Firefox Add-ons.


Software installation disabled

It is possible to disable all installation of software, including add-ons, through Firefox. To check to see if software installation has been disabled:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the FilterSearch textbox, enter xpinstall.enabled.
  3. The value of xpinstall.enabled should be set to true. If this value is currently set to false, then software installation is disabled.
  4. To set the value to true, right-clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click the property name, and select Reset.
  5. Try to re-install the extension.


Firefox prevented the site from asking you to install software

By default, Firefox permits you to install add-ons only from trusted websites. If the website from which you are installing add-on is not on the trusted websites list, a yellow bar appears across the top of the web page with a message similar to the following:

Firefox prevented this site (www.example.com) from asking you to install software on your computer.

To allow the site, click Allow in the yellow bar.

To add the site to the trusted sites list:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Security panel.
  3. At the right of Warn me when sites try to install add-ons, click Exceptions....
  4. In the Allowed Sites - Add-ons Installation dialog, the list of permitted sites is displayed. The current site URL is inserted into the text field.
  5. To allow the site, click Allow. Then, click Close.


You are asked to download the add-on, rather than installing it

Some websites serve add-ons as downloads, requiring you to download the file to your computer, before installing it.

  • These files are usually .xpi or .jar files.
  1. Download the file to your local computer.
  2. In the menu at the top of the Firefox window, click the Tools menu, and select Add-ons. The Add-ons window is displayed.
  3. To add the downloaded add-on to the list of available add-ons, drag and drop the file into the Add-ons window. The Add-on is added to the list.
  4. The installation process should begin.


Invalid file hash (possible download corruption)-261

This error message may be caused when you have Firefox set not to allow third-party cookies. To prevent this error, you need to temporarily enable third-party cookies.

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Privacy panel.
  3. Check mark Accept third-party cookies.


Download Error -228

Disabled cache

This error message may be caused when the Firefox cache is disabled. To re-enable the Firefox cache:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Advanced icon.
  3. Click on the Network tab.
  4. In the Cache section, the size of the cache must be at least 1 MB.

Other software

Sometimes, firewalls or spyware screeners may cause the Download Error -228 message. If you use the CA firewall, Windows Defender, or the resident option of Spybot S&D ("Teatimer" feature), you should temporarily disable the software to see if your system permits the add-on to install. For more information, see the documentation that came with your software.

Unexpected installation error -203

See Unexpected installation error -203 when installing add-ons.


Nothing happens when you click the install link

If you click an install link and nothing happens, you should verify that JavaScript is enabled. For more information, see JavaScript settings and preferences for interactive web pages.


Corrupt extension files

Corrupt extension configuration files can cause problems when trying to install an extension. Deleting these files will make Firefox recreate them (removing any corruption) the next time it starts. You won't lose your extensions or their settings by deleting these files.

  1. Open your profile folder:

    Click the menu button Fx57menu , click Help and select Troubleshooting Information.From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.

    • Under the Application Basics section, click on Open FolderShow in FinderOpen Directory. A window will open that contains your profile folder.Your profile folder will open.
    Note: If you are unable to open or use Firefox, follow the instructions in Finding your profile without opening Firefox.

  2. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 .

    Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu , then click Exit. Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen, then click Quit Firefox.Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu , then click Quit.

  3. Delete the following files:
    • extensions.ini
    • extensions.cache
    • extensions.rdf
  1. Restart Firefox.


Add-on is blocked

Certain add-ons have been blocklisted by Mozilla for being unsafe. For more information see, Add-ons that cause stability or security issues are put on a blocklist.

Add-on is compatible but fails compatibility check

If you have a program called "TDC Digital Signatur" installed on your computer, it may interfere with critical parts of Firefox, including add-on compatibility check, add-on update and Firefox update. For details, see this Danish Firefox Support page.



Based on information from Unable to install themes or extensions - Firefox (mozillaZine KB)