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How can one disable the addon compatibility checker in versions above 14.1?

  • 7 replies
  • 10 have this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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I asked before and got no answer so I am trying again. This occurs with any version i have downloaded above ver. 14.1. Every time i start up Firefox before the browser window opens there is a popup box that says it is checking the compatibility of my addons. I am not a fan of tabbed browsing so i use multiple windows. Any time I open Firefox the compatibility checker runs. I can not figure out how to prevent this from running. I am able to keep it off my system as long as I do not upgrade above version 14.1. The result is I have had to set Updates to never check to avoidbeing bombarded multiple times a day by Mozilla with the message that updates/upgrades for Firefox are available.

I have tried everything I can think of to download a higher version and not to have this feature, including doing custom installs and unchecking the maint. service box. But no matter what I have tried the popup addon checker is still there. Since I do not allow any programs or sites to update automatically, except for security software, I am not willing to update beyond 14.1 until I can prevent the addon checker from running without permission.

Is there any way to disable this function in versions above 14.1?

All Replies (7)

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You can update Firefox to the latest:

You can then reset Firefox and start afresh.

The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Note: This will cause you to lose any Extensions, Open websites, and some Preferences.

To Reset Firefox do the following:

  1. Go to Firefox > Help > Troubleshooting Information.
  2. Click the "Reset Firefox" button.
  3. Firefox will close and reset. After Firefox is done, it will show a window with the information that is imported. Click Finish.
  4. Firefox will open with all factory defaults applied.

Further information can be found in the Refresh Firefox - reset add-ons and settings article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

If you would like to take a listing of the add-ons, changed preferences/settings etc. to quickly replicate the previous profile, please Copy all to clipboard (on the left of the reset button), and paste it into MS Office Excel, or OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc, or notepad. However, it would be a good idea to check for the existence of the issue immediately after the reset.

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I have two issues with the above suggestion. The first is the statment: "This will cause you to lose any Extensions, Open websites, and some Preferences." To me this means you have no idea whether or not the proposed solution will actually work. I would not object to attempting it if I knew i would not lose any of the stuff I have spent a number of years accumulating and getting set up properly on my system.

So for now I am unwilling to try the above. My system is working fine with ver. 14.1, so that is not a problem. I would have to state categorically that the proposed solutions was not at all helpful and in fact was a warning never to try it as it is as likely to make things worse for me as to make them better.

So my next question would be to ask if the folks at Mozilla plan to make changes in the future that will make it possible for me to accept an upgrade where the addon compatibility checker is made voluntary rather than automatic? Until then I am afraid I will just have to leave the update function set to never check and hope all my security software protects me from whatever security flaws subsequent versions are intended to address.

If anybody else has a suggestion as to how to fix my issue that will not do any "harm" to how my system now functions I would be most grateful to hear it.

I am also curious as to why when I install any version above 14.1 it makes the addon checker work and doesn't allow me to stop it. But when I uninstall the download (but do not check the remove box for prefs etc,) and then reinstall version 14.1 and use the custom install and check the box not to install the maint. service, the auto checker is not there and so not an issue? Surely there must be another fix for this besides the reset one?

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You only get this when Firefox detect changes to the last version that was used to access this profile.

You may have security software with sandbox features if you keep getting that compatibility check.

You can check for problems with preferences and try to rename or delete the prefs.js file and possible numbered prefs-##.js files and a possible user.js file to reset all prefs to the default values.

It is possible that there is a problem with the file(s) that store the extensions registry.

Delete the files extensions.* (e.g. extensions.sqlite, extensions.ini, extensions.cache) and compatibility.ini in the Firefox profile folder to reset the extensions registry.

New files will be created when required.

See "Corrupt extension files":

If you see disabled, not compatible, extensions in "Tools > Add-ons > Extensions" then click the Tools button at the left side of the Search Bar (or click the "Find Updates" button in older Firefox versions) to check if there is a compatibility update available.

If this hasn't helped then also try to delete the addons.sqlite file.

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Thanks for the input cor-el. I read a number of the links and then started to check into some files, the user.js file in particular. I ran a file search for "user.js" and got back two locations. C:\Documents and Settings\Chris\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\kmdnt7pp.default\user.js and C:\Documents and Settings\Chris\Recent

If I click on either of these files I get a "Windows Script Host" error message: Script C:\Documents and Settings\Chris\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\kmdnt7pp.default\user.js Line: 1 Char: 1 Error Invalid Character Code: 800A03F6 Source: Microsoft JScript compilation error

Is it reasonable to assume this is the reason for my problem and if so, is it OK and correct to delete these two files as the solution? I would then once again try to install the latest version of Firefox. I know i can always uninstall the latest version and reinstall 14.1 if this doesn't help. However, i would hate to have it not work and also to cause further or new issues with my system.

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You shouldn't double-click the user.js file because this is a JavaScript file for Firefox and not a JScript file that Windows can handle.
You need to use a (plain) text editor if you want to open that file to see its content.

Note that a user.js file shouldn't be in the Firefox Profile Folder and will only be present if you or a Firefox extension or other software has created it.

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Well, I guess the level of experience needed to resolve this issue is well above what I have. I am loathe to take actions that are likely to result in creating more problems rather than solving the current one. While there may be a way to solve my problem, whatever it is will remain beyond my meager skills and understanding.

As long as I can continue to use version 14.1 I will do so. When that is no longer a viable option I will decide what to do. Since I run the absolute minimum number of Addons and Extensions as I possibly can, I should be OK for some time to come.

My problem will just have to remain unresolved and my Updates left set to never check.

Thank you to those who tried to help.

Modified by TwoTankAmin

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The user.js file isn't present in the Firefox Profile Folder by default, so you can safely remove it to prevent it from changing settings.