How to revive Firefox after installing a bad extension

February 16, 2006 — Leave a comment

Yesterday I installed a bad extension that broke my Firefox. I’m not really sure which one it was since I tried several different ones. Well, after installation and then restarting Firefox it refused to work. Tooltips did display but the interface didn’t accept any input. Neither mouse nor keyboard. What to do?

I found the Firefox 1.0.x user directory which is located under `~/.firefox/default/*/`. Within there exists a directory named `extensions`. All your installed extension data is stored in a subdirectory of this location. Just deleting the subdirectory doesn’t get you anywhere since the installation information is stored in a file called `Extensions.rdf`. If you’d know how to interpret the content of this file you could try to uninstall the suspicious extensions in that file.

I tried but I didn’t succeed. So I removed the contents of that folder. Before you do that make a copy of that folder in case you need some data you might miss later on. Do it like this:

cd ~/.firefox/default/*/extensions/
zip -r ../extensions.zip *
rm -rf *

Then all content in this folder is gone and Firefox starts again without any extensions installed. This is the bad news, but at least you didn’t have to delete all of your user data.

If you have some more information about removing a bad extension without using firefox then leave a comment. I hope this guide helps someone in need.

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