At 12:00 a.m. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, formerly Greenwich Mean Time) today, many Firefox users found themselves browsing with their usual extensions. But as clock ran over to midnight, a code certificate expired and caused the glitch, disabling all extensions.
Extensions were set to “legacy” status, meaning that they are no longer compatible with the current version of Firefox. This applied to almost all extensions, even those that are up to date. Reinstalling extensions does not fix the problem, and neither does restarting the browser.
The experience of browsing without extensions has been a shock for many users. “I forgot what the internet with ads looks like,” one user wrote on Reddit. “It’s hell.”
Product Manager at Mozilla, Kev Needham, apologized for the error and assured users they were working on a fix: “We’re sorry that there is currently an issue where existing and new add-ons are failing to run or be installed on Firefox,” he said in a statement to Engadget. “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.”
In addition, the official Firefox Twitter account tweeted about the problem this morning, saying, “So sorry for the issue we’re having with add-ons right now! We’re working hard to fix it and will keep you updated.”
A temporary fix has been posted on Reddit. It requires users to manually load .xpi files for each browser extension, and only lasts until the browser is closed. When the browser is reopened, the fix has to be performed again, so it’s not ideal.
Fortunately, it seems that the problem will be sorted soon. The Mozilla Add-ons Twitter account announced that a fix for the issue has been created and will be rolled out shortly: “We rolled out a hotfix that re-enables affected add-ons. The fix will be automatically applied in the background within the next few hours.” You can see more details about the soon to be rolled out update on the Mozilla Discourse site.
To receive the update, you will need to enable the Studies system. To enable this, go to Firefox Preferences > Privacy & Security > Allow Firefox to install and run studies. You should receive the update automatically.
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