FAQ for extension support in new Firefox for Android

There are a lot of Firefox applications on the Google Play store. Which one is the new Firefox for Android?

The new Firefox for Android experience is currently available for early testing on the Firefox Preview Nightly and Firefox Preview production channels.

In February 2020, we will change which Firefox applications remain available in the Play store. Once we’ve completed this transition, Firefox Preview Nightly will no longer be available. New feature development will take place on what is currently Firefox Preview.

We encourage users who are eager to make use of extensions to stay on Firefox Preview. This will ensure you continue to receive updates while still being among the first to see new developments.

Which version supports add-ons?

Support for one extension, uBlock Origin, has been enabled for Firefox Preview Nightly. Every two weeks, the code for Firefox Preview Nightly gets migrated to the production release of Firefox Preview. Users of Firefox Preview should be able to install uBlock Origin by mid-February 2020.

We expect to start transferring the code from the production release of Firefox Preview to the Firefox for Android Beta channel during the week of February 17.

I’m using one of the supported channels but I haven’t been able to install an extension yet. Why?

We are rolling out the new Firefox for Android experience to our users in small increments to test for bugs and other unexpected surprises. Don’t worry — you should receive an update that will enable extension support soon!

Can I install extensions from addons.mozilla.org to Firefox for Android?

No, in the near term you will need to install extensions from the Add-ons Manager on the new Firefox for Android. For the time being, you will not be able to install extensions directly from addons.mozilla.org.

What add-ons are supported on the new Firefox for Android?

Currently, uBlock Origin is the only supported extension for the new Firefox for Android. We are working on building support for other extensions in our Recommended Extensions program.

Will more add-ons be supported in the future?

We want to ensure that the first add-ons supported in the new Firefox for Android provide an exceptional, secure mobile experience to our users. To this end, we are prioritizing Recommended Extensions that cover common mobile use cases and that are optimized for different screen sizes. For these reasons, it’s possible that not all the add-ons you have previously installed in Firefox for Android will be supported in the near future.

Will add-ons not part of the Recommended Extensions program ever be supported on the new Firefox for Android?

We would like to expand our support to other add-ons. At this time, we don’t have details on enabling support for extensions not part of the Recommended Extensions program in the new Firefox for Android. Please follow the Add-ons Blog for future updates.

What is GeckoView?

GeckoView is Mozilla’s mobile browser engine. It takes Gecko, the engine that powers the desktop version of Firefox, and packages it as a reusable Android library. Rebuilding our Firefox for Android browser with GeckoView means we can leverage our Firefox expertise in creating safe and robust online experiences for mobile.

What’s happening to add-ons during the migration?

Support for uBlock Origin will be migrated for users currently on Firefox Nightly, Firefox Beta, and Firefox Production. All other add-ons will be disabled for now.

44 responses

  1. Christian wrote on :

    Will the new geckoview-powered browsers allow installing non-supported addons? How is ” supported” defined?

    1. Andrew wrote on :

      From the article:

      Will add-ons not part of the Recommended Extensions program ever be supported on the new Firefox for Android?
      We would like to expand our support to other add-ons. At this time, we don’t have details on enabling support for extensions not part of the Recommended Extensions program in the new Firefox for Android.

  2. Matthijs wrote on :

    Will it be possible to stay on the current Firefox for Android version until the add-on support is fleshed out more? Losing my add-ons, even temporarily, would really inconvenience me.

    1. Caitlin Neiman wrote on :

      Yes! You won’t get the update until the new Firefox for Android is ready for release. At that time, other add-ons will be supported (although there’s a chance that some of the ones you currently have installed will not be supported.)

      What are the add-ons you currently have installed?

      1. Steven Knipe wrote on :

        Not the original commenter, but I wanted to give my list of extensions aside from UBO (which is definitely a very important addon to get working, so glad to see that it’s supported)

        Important (I Won’t switch unless it or a replacement is available):
        1) Greasemonkey: I have 6 scripts currently, and am occasionally adding more. They’re all fairly simple scripts, but add important features to some websites I frequent.
        2) Scroll Bar: Really important for long webpages (adds a menu item to create a scrollbar which can scroll to the top/bottom/arbitrary middle point very quickly)
        3) SingleFile: Downloading webpages for offline viewing (This is already supported on desktop firefox natively), save as PDF just doesn’t work for me.

        Less important:
        1) Show comic title-text: The title-text on images is available via a long press, but is cut off if it’s too long. This is a nice replacement for that process.
        2) View Page Source (Mobile): Occasionally I want to check the page’s HTML source code, but this is pretty rare.
        3) Tap Translate: Convenient way to translate short foreign language sentences in an otherwise english page

        1. Onotole wrote on :

          My “won’t switch unless implementet at least this” list:
          uBlock Origin
          TamperMonkey
          HTTPS Everywhere
          Selection Disabler
          Stylus

        2. Tim Lew wrote on :

          Alternatives;

          0) uBlock Origin; some chromium builds support plugins (like the Kiwi Browser)
          1) Greasemonkey; a workaround is that you can put javascript in a bookmark
          2) Scroll Bar; I think most are OK with a fast swipe
          3) SingleFile; maybe offline wikipedia in aard 2
          1) Show comic title-text: https://www.explainxkcd.com
          2) View Page Source (Mobile): Remote devices from the desktop
          3) Tap Translate: chrome translate is busted on mobile…

      2. Arjunsinh Jadeja wrote on :

        Not OP but I find the extension “Universal Bypass” very useful. It’d be great if it’s included in your recommended extensions list.

      3. Matthijs wrote on :

        I have quite a lot, but the most important ones are uBlock origin (which will be supported, according to the FAQ), Bitwarden and HTTPS Everywhere.

      4. Andrew Fox wrote on :

        I run Firefox Nightly on my phone and have a bunch of extensions, at some point it automatically converted itself to Firefox Preview. How do I revert it to get back my extensions without losing my browsing profile? Also it seems according to this article that Nightly is being removed and instead we have to use the 2 week rolling release version of Firefox Preview now? How do I import all of my data from Nightly to Preview?

        Here is the list of my current add-ons which have all been disabled except for uBlock Origin:
        – uBlock Origin
        – Unpaywall
        – Google Search Fixer
        – Content Farm Blocker
        – Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker
        – Decentraleyes
        – User-Agent Switcher
        – Newsfeed Adblock & Filter
        – Bypass Paywalls
        – Ageless
        – HTTPS Everywhere
        – HTML5 Video Everywhere
        – Cashrewards
        – Steam Database

  3. Panos wrote on :

    I’m using Adblock Plus on Firefox on my Android phone. For some reason, it’s not a “Recommended Extension” even though its the most popular extension addons.mozilla.org.

    I’m worried that Firefox will update itself and I’ll lose this important extension.

    1. someone wrote on :

      ypu can use abp filter on ublock origin and ubo is lighter

    2. Leo wrote on :

      Adblock Plus has greatly fallen out of favor after implementing their “acceptable ads” policy which allows companies to basically pay to be whitelisted by the adblocker. I’m not sure why you’d want to use it over Ublock Origin.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adblock_Plus#Controversies

      1. Andrew Fox wrote on :

        Not only has Adblock Plus been running “Acceptable ads” but recent versions of it also pop up notifications in your browser/on your desktop asking you to pay money to the creators. It’s become adware.

  4. E wrote on :

    What about support for themes (am a theme creator)

    1. Caitlin Neiman wrote on :

      We love themes by our great, creative community members, but due to the limited UI of the new Firefox for Android experience, only a limited number of pre-installed themes will work. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/add-compatibility-firefox-preview

  5. Dan Green wrote on :

    I would like to see: darkreader, decentraleyes, forget me not, HTTPS everywhere, I don’t care about cookies, redirect AMP to HTML.

  6. Elias wrote on :

    Hi,

    I love the new Firefox. However, I miss the Google search fixer that changes the user agent so that the google search is more advanced. I always check the football scores there and it works very well. So any chance to have support for that?

    I’m referring to this extension: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/android/addon/google-search-fixer/

  7. Fabio wrote on :

    And don’t forget Poper Blocker , I think the second important add-on after Uno or Nano adblocker

  8. Brett wrote on :

    Will you be able to sync the same addons as the web browser with you firefox account? (that is if they are among the recommended one)

    1. Caitlin Neiman wrote on :

      Not at this time or in the near future. This is something we may want to support later on once there are more extensions supported on the new Firefox for Android and we have worked through some desktop/mobile compatibility issues.

  9. zakius wrote on :

    okay so, how can I install and debug my extension of Fenix to make sure it behaves properly while you work on adding AMO support to be ready when it hits?

    1. Caitlin Neiman wrote on :

      The team is currently building support for that. We’ll post an update when it’s available.

  10. Teoh Han Hui wrote on :

    I’m currently using Firefox for Android Beta and Firefox Preview. How do I keep Fennec around, since I don’t believe Fenix is ready for my daily use (not until more add-ons are supported)? Is the profile shared between Firefox for Android and Firefox for Android Beta?

  11. Robert Freeman-Day (PresGas) wrote on :

    I just hope PFP from Wladimir Palant will continue to be working on the new Firefox for Android:

    https://pfp.works/

    It is my go to password store!! …at least until Lockwise gets a bit more features with generating passwords.

    I was a bit concerned at first gloss on the blog, but feel that there will not be a surprise loss of extensions without clear communication. Thanks!!

  12. MyName wrote on :

    Which browser to choose on Android if…

    …you want a fast browser: Chrome
    …you want a browser compatible with all websites: Chrome
    …you don’t care and use the pre-installed one: Chrome
    …you want a huge library of great add-ons: Firefox

    Add-ons are pretty much the only solid advantage Firefox on Android has. And now you go and toss the whole library of add-ons?

    I don’t get you guys…

  13. Arman Tamzarian wrote on :

    I’d like to see my list of extensions too:
    No Google Scripts – a god send for people behind firewalls that block Google because otherwise the webpage just hangs when websites use Google’s CDNs or Google Fonts or Google Analytics
    No Homo Graphs – a nice to have to protect against domain homograph attacks
    PhartShield – a nice to have to prevent phishing emails because Android on phones aren’t good with showing URLs

  14. Kemy wrote on :

    I get the impression that you have a closed list of extensions that you plan to support. Will developers be able to develop new extensions for fenix (or update their current extensions to make sure they work)?

  15. Rich Wallwork wrote on :

    The most important add-on for me and a fundamental reason I use Firefox, is called Mobile Dyslexic. It simply changes the typeface in a webpage to Open Dyslexic a specially designed font that improves readability for people who struggle with that aspect of Dyslexia.

    If this stopped being supported I would be very disappointed.

  16. Jacko wrote on :

    Add-ons are the only reason I use Firefox Nightly on Android.

  17. Devin wrote on :

    Loading my own custom addons is the only reason I use Firefox on Android at all, and now this feature is completely gone.

  18. Stefan wrote on :

    I just updated my old 52.9 to 73.0.1 and this new version sucks ! More than half of my addons can’t be replaced (tried Quantom when it was new and hated it – now i hate it even more) and the statusbar at the bottom is nowhere to find.

    I am sure of that Firefox is close to be history if You don’t listen to the users !

  19. Stefan wrote on :

    About 73.0.1 on a desktop computer: Why can’t it reach most sites i try to reach ? My bank site tells me i need to get a NEWER Firefox ! WTF ? Yes, i agree with those who say that Firefox is a joke today ! I am back on 52.9.0 ESR ! That at least works on the Internet !

  20. Canon Chan wrote on :

    You do realize there are beta channels built-in with Google Play Store? I always find it crazy to have 6 Firefox browsers in the store at the same time, and I’m not counting Firefox Focus yet.

  21. Anonymous wrote on :

    To all the impatient friends: please understand that infrastructural work is complex. You can’t just demand every add-on to magically still work for granted after an overhaul. Things need to be cleaned up. The devs need to focus on the most popular ones first then the rest. It’s called beta for a reason.

  22. Aaron wrote on :

    Priority should go to those extensions that allow readers who have visual impairments, low vision, and dyslexia.

    For instance beeline reader and mobile dyslexic. All of those that allow for text reflow. It really sucks to find a reading aid that works and then have it yanked away.

    Pretty heartless of Mozilla, to consider these types of extensions for inclusion, after the “most popular” ones.

  23. Samuel wrote on :

    Thanks for all the work put into the new Firefox for Android. I support this effort 100%.

    Add-on limitations on the phone are easier to sell, but that doesn’t mean I’m buying, though. By the looks of it, from experience, it feels like full add-on support is going to have to wait for like another whole year, with a possibility that it will just enter limbo status altogether. Sigh. At least the most important add-on is supported.

    I wish uMatrix was available much sooner than that though, what with it sharing a lot of code with uBlock Origin and being from the same author.

    1. Samuel wrote on :

      According to this Mozilla developer: https://youtu.be/cdaKXYs8GYk?t=283

      “Mostly all the API that were supported on Firefox for Android should be supported by Fenix. There could be some new bugs.” (regressions)

      So beyond bug fixing, there’s a “political” decision to not enable all add-ons but instead force existing add-ons to go through a UX overhaul process in order to be allowed on mobile.

      Since that kind of decision tends to stuck, that pushes up the probability for full add-on greenlight to fall into limbo status. So I’m starting to wonder about uMatrix and other non-recommended add-ons ever being supported, and about the potential slowness of the process leading to enabling more recommended ones beyond the first 10 or so.

      I understand the goal is to get adoption and retention, we all want (and actually need) that. But that does not mean the chosen policy is better than a more open one towards add-ons, with regards to that goal.

  24. Leon wrote on :

    I use Firefox from a long time, but in fullscreen mode availing fullscreen extension. In desktop mode I haven’t problem, but I need fullscreen on mobile also, Android.
    Firefox for Android install more fullscreen extension, but don’t work with none. I’m forced to use other browser, but I would want Firefox.
    Thank You

  25. YourName wrote on :

    Wow, people wants to use the very-last-beta-release, but they want to have it all working perfectly like in a production release… ???

  26. Jelle De Loecker wrote on :

    No more extensions? That’s like THE feature that sets Firefox mobile apart form all the other mobile browsers. How is this an improvement?

  27. Gary wrote on :

    As this would disable most of my security add-ons, I’m going to have to disable Firefox updates. The ability to use add-ons on Android was, for me, Firefox’s “killer app”. It was never the fastest, never the most stable, but it used to be the most secure. Not anymore…

  28. Micheal wrote on :

    Accoridng to the Retrocube Developer https://www.retrocube.com/: “Most of the API were supported on Firefox for Android should be supported by Fenix. There could be some new bugs.”

  29. DavidBE wrote on :

    AHA. Preview has just updated to the usability of Preview Nightly. I’d really like to be able to switch to using Preview or Nightly as my default browser. BUT I just can’t take all the white/light background websites any more so I MUST have either the ability to use the Dark Reader extension or an option like Android Google Chrome’s Settings>Themes>Dark>Darken Websites. Please. Very soon.