How to Uninstall Add-ons in Firefox 4

I realize that software engineers usually have good reasons for doing stuff like this, but it still bugs me when new versions of software make it harder to find features that were formerly much easier to find.

A lot of things are getting changed in the Firefox web browser. A big part are made up of interface changes, that are supposed to optimize the interaction of the user with the browser. The Firefox add-on manager for instance has been totally revamped, now loading up in a tab instead of a window.

But that’s not the only changes that Firefox 3 users need to get used to when it comes to the new add-on manager. Users who take a closer look at the information listed under extensions will notice that there are only buttons to open an add-on’s options, and to enable or disable it.

firefox add-ons

On a personal note, the whole new add-on listing feels hard to read and impractical to me, but that is not the point of this article. So, how are add-ons uninstalled in Firefox 4? Let us look at a closeup:

firefox uninstall addons

Do you see it? That little x next to the date of one of the add-ons listed in the about:addons menu? That’s how you uninstall add-ons. A tooltip appears if you move the mouse cursor over the x.

uninstall addon

A click on the x shrinks the size of the row, and displays options to restart the browser and to undo the removal. The information is easy to miss among all the other links and colors in the manager.

remove addon

Some add-ons can still not be uninstalled directly from within the add-ons manager. That’s for instance true for add-ons that are added during third party software installations. Especially security software “like” to add extensions to the browser that way.

That’s something the developers should prioritize if you ask me. Why have they made the decision to place that tiny x there for the uninstall functionality? I do not know, but there are other means that appear to make more sense, like adding another button next to Options and Disable, or making use of the space above the two existing buttons.

Have you played around with the new Firefox 4 add-on manager? Let me know what you think of it in the comments.


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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote device management products for IT applications. WTI’s Console Switch products, Remote Reboot products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback products are engineered to allow you to securely manage and troubleshoot rack equipment in remote locations.

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