Firefox users all over the globe were flustered when they found out that all their add-ons had stopped working all of a sudden. Reports are now pouring in of what's apparently a glitch that effectively disables all Firefox add-ons.
Affected users were quick to determine the cause — an expired intermediary certificate used to sign Mozilla add-ons.
The issue, which also occurred nearly three years ago, is described in more detail on Mozilla's bug tracker. In a statement, Firefox product lead Kev Needham said the team is working hard to restore all add-ons to their functional states.
"We're sorry that there is currently an issue where existing and new add-ons are failing to run or be installed on Firefox," said Needham. "We know what the issue is and are working hard to restore add-on functionality to Firefox as soon as possible. We'll continue to provide updates via our Twitter channels. Please bear with us while we get the problem fixed."
How About Reinstalling The Add-Ons?
Since the glitch occurs because of an underlying certificate, reinstalling add-ons won't work — those who've tried were met with an error message that says, "Download failed. Please check your connection." Mozilla must issue a patch before everyone can go back to using add-ons normally again.
There's a temporary workaround, though it only applies to those who are using the Firefox Developer or Firefox Nightly build. Look under "about:config" and set the "xpinstall.signatures.required" value to False. Add-ons should start working again immediately after. Those who don't know what these phrases mean should probably just stay off until Mozilla issues an official fix.
There's also a less glamorous fix for those using another version of Firefox, although the user has to repeat the steps every time they reopen the browser. It requires enabling add-on debugging and manually loading each extension's .xpi file, which sounds cumbersome. Again, perhaps it's just best to wait for Mozilla to roll out a patch.
For those who really need their add-ons working again, there's an alternative. Simply turn the system's clock back a few days so that the certificate isn't expired. This will work, but it will also mean that any site the user goes to with a certificate that's expired would work as well. Emails from a local email client will have the wrong date, and some sites might show incorrect dates as well.
Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more. If you'd like to share your experience with add-ons, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!