Saturday, January 21, 2012

5 Alternative Add-on Managers For Firefox

Sometime around last year, with the release of Firefox 4, Mozilla completely revamped the add-on manager windows of the browser. The current add-on manager features bigger fonts and thicker add-on details panel with generous amount of padding thrown all around (just like the new Google). Also, other utilities like themes, plug-ins, userscripts etc. are grouped along with add-ons but separated by tabs. Overall, a nice change and functionally better than the old add-on manager but uses too much vertical space. Here are some add-ons that fixes the various flaws in the new add-on manager.

Cleanest Addon Manager


This tiny restartless addon will free up wasted space on the Add-on Manager window by reducing the height and the font size. It can be very useful if you have a long list of addons and you need scroll every time you want to access an addon.

Classicish Add-on Manager


This add-on returns the add-on manager window to its classic roots. Among the handful of changes effected by this add-on are:

  • Buttons and other elements take their colors and appearance from your system's settings.
  • The status line (that shows e.g. "will be enabled after you restart Firefox" and "is incompatible with this version of Firefox") is moved to the bottom of the extension entry. The incompatible warning is hidden if you have extensions.checkCompatibility set to false.
  • The Discover pane is hidden, since you probably don't need help discovering add-ons if you're reading this.
  • The "Remove" button is hidden, and the "Disable" button is hidden for window widths under 800px. You can still access these from the context menu, or the details page.

Addon Manager Firefox 4


This add-on features a crazy color scheme – the developer has sure got eccentric tastes. Other than adding mucky colors, it reduces the height of the add-on details pane, shows add-on count (total/disabled), adds ‘Enable All’ and ‘Disable All’ buttons accessible from Tools for all add-ons drop down menu, inserts ‘Last Updated’ date and sorter buttons and a few other cosmetic changes.

Addon Manager Fix


Addon Manager Fix is another add-on from the same developer with yet another unfortunate color scheme. It has the same functions as Addon Manager Firefox 4

Add-ons Manager Dialog Returns


This restartless add-on does not replaces the add-on manager, just makes the current one open in a separate window, instead of in a tab. Aside from that, it also brings several ‘non-intrusive improvements’ like:

  • Keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation.
  • Can collapse Add-ons Manager tab names
  • Can set Add-ons Manager homepage as default web site to Get Add-ons
  • Focusing on the addon search field reveals the Search Tab unless it's not empty.
  • Can use a Restrained Visual Style for the dialog

Most of these I couldn’t see because the add-on is not completely compatible with Firefox 9. The good thing is, you can use it together with other add-ons such as Cleanest Add-on Manager.


  1. Noticed in your extension list, that you're using Speed DNS. Unnecessary extension since Firefox added DNS prefetching in 3.5. =)

  2. The first and the last screenshots are actually from the developer :)
    The rest are mine.

  3. I sure wish someone would create a feature to group add-ons into customizable and collapebal groups/folders/cateogries. For example, "Tabs", "Appearance", "Privacy", "Security", "Fun"...and my personal favorite categories "Add-On Later" & "Wishlist" (social?) To "Wishlist" I would add "Add-On Overhead" for impact on start-up time for each add-on, as well as memory footprint and cpu usage per add-on...Gee, it would be nice to view a list of frequency of use for each add-on...Well, I can dream, can't I?

  4. Million thanks for this amazing share. You literally saved us with this


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