Monday, July 26, 2010

Troubleshooting plugins

Determining if a plugin is the problem

You can selectively disable plugins while Firefox is running. If you suspect a certain plugin, disable it first, then test for your problem. If you don't know which plugin to disable:

  1. Open the Add-ons Window by clicking the Tools menu and selecting Add-ons.
  2. In the Add-ons window, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Select a plugin in the list and then click its Disable button. Repeat this step for each plugin in the list. You do not need to restart Firefox for the changes to take effect.
  4. Test for your problem. If it does not occur, go back to the Add-ons window and re-enable plugins one-by-one with the Enable button until you find which one causes your problem to occur.

Manually uninstalling a plugin

If you can't use an uninstaller program to remove a plugin, you can remove it manually:

  1. In the Location bar, type about:config and press Enter.
    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!, to continue to the about:config page.
  2. Search for the preference: plugin.expose_full_path.
  3. Double-click on the plugin.expose_full_path preference in the list to change the value to true.
  4. Enter about:plugins into the Location bar to display the About Plugins page.
  5. Each entry in the About Plugins page will have "File name:" followed by a path. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the folder shown for the plugin you want to remove.
  6. Rename the file to something other than its normal name - e.g. npswf32 becomes Xnpswf32

The plugin will be removed.

Re-initializing the plugins database

In some cases, you may not be able to install or re-install a plugin. Re-initializing the plugins database may fix this problem:

  1. Open your profile folder:
    • (Firefox 3.0 and 3.5):
    1. (Firefox 3.6): At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information.... The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.
    2. Under Application Basics, click on Open Containing Folder.
  2. From the menu at the top of the Firefox window, select File and then select the Exit menu item.
  3. Delete the pluginreg.dat file.
  4. Open Firefox
  5. In the Location bar type about:plugins and press Enter to bring up the Firefox plugins list.

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