Firefox Addon Plague
Date: 16/4/2009
Since I blogged about Microsoft forcibly installing it's .NET Firefox add-on I noticed today that the most recent Java update installs it's own "Java Quick Starter" Firefox add-on too. At no point does it warn you that it will do this, and you have no option to not install the add-on. If it wasn't for Firefox's smart decision to show the add-on window on startup whenever the add-ons change I wouldn't have noticed it at all.

So I'm starting to see a trend here, large opaque companies and dumping their add-ons into Firefox without the least regard for what the use wants. And Firefox, much to my distaste, lets them! On top of that, Firefox won't let you uninstall them, you have to find the various registry keys and DLL's and blow them away by hand.

I would like to see Firefox be a lot more picky about what add-ons it loads, and if something new appears in the list... don't blindly load it, but prompt the user "Load" or "Delete" this new add-on? Then these big corporate overlords will not be able to slip their code into everyones daily lives so easily. Maybe Firefox should not load any add-ons that the user hasn't installed via Firefox itself?

In any case, the removal instructions for the "Java Quick Starter" are:
  • Close Firefox
  • Delete the '' registry value in:
  • Delete the files in:
    C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs
    for good measure.
  • Add optionally remove Java totally from your machine ;)

If anyone knows of some software that can block registry writes to certain keys... let me know ok?
17/04/2009 3:05pm
This is a known problem. I don''t know why Mozilla doesn''t just fix this. Here are documentation and steps to uninstall bad extensions.
20/05/2009 12:54am
Andrew, thank you so much making your insight accessible. Disabling jqs in the Java control panel did nothing to alleviate this issue with my Win2000SP4 PC and Mozilla. However, your solution was effective and you have improved my quality or life.
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