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How to install Google Chrome extensions in Firefox

The following guide walks you through the steps of installing Google Chrome extensions in Firefox.

Mozilla is currently working on implementing WebExtensions support in the Firefox web browser which will make the browser compatible with many of the extensions offered for Google Chrome and Chrome compatible browsers.

The organization plans to release an initial stable version of WebExtensions in Firefox 48 Stable which will be released on on August 2, 2016 if things go as planned.

While that particular release won’t have feature parity with Google Chrome, it marks the first big step in reaching that goal.

One of the main benefits of adding WebExtensions support is that Firefox users will be able to install the majority of extensions for Google Chrome.

This guide shows you how.

Install Google Chrome extensions in Firefox

install-google chrome extensions firefox

Note: While you can install pretty much any Google Chrome extension in Mozilla Firefox 48 or newer, you will notice that not all of them work right now.

The main reason for that is that WebExtensions is a work in progress and that support is not fully complete yet. Also, some WebExtensions make use of Chrome specific features that Firefox does not support.

With the warning out of the way, let’s get started.

Step 1: Install Chrome Store Foxified

chrome store foxified

The first thing you need to do is install the Firefox add-on Chrome Store Foxified which powers the conversion and installation process in the background.

The Firefox add-on replaces the “get Google Chrome” notification on the Chrome Web Store when you open it in Firefox with an “add to Firefox” button on extension pages.

Step 2: Install Chrome extensions in Firefox

add to firefox chrome extension

Visit the Google Chrome Web Store and open extensions that you are interested in. Locate the add to Firefox button and click on it.

Depending on how you have configured the Firefox add-on, the Chrome extension may be installed automatically or manually at this point.

Chrome Store Foxified can install the Chrome extension as a temporary Firefox add-on that is only installed during the browsing session.

This is a good solution if you want to test the Chrome extensions’ functionality to see if it works in Firefox yet.

Another reason why that is a good solution is that you may run into Firefox add-on signing issues otherwise.

The developer of the Firefox add-on has integrated an option to sign the extensions that you install automatically, but you need to sign in to a Mozilla account for that.

Doing so is the only option if you want to use the Chrome browser extension permanently in the Firefox browser.

When you hit the add to Firefox button the first time after installing the add-on, a small notification prompt is displayed that gives you options to install the Chrome extension temporarily, or to install it permanently by signing in to a Mozilla account.

You can configure the Firefox add-on to automatically select the temporary option for you so that you don’t get the prompt all the time.

Here is what happens in the background

google chrome extension in firefox

The Firefox add-on downloads the Chrome extension and converts it from crx (Google format for extensions) to xpi (Mozilla format).

It will edit the manifest.json file of the extension to make it compatible with Firefox, and save the processed file to the desktop or another location of your choosing (if you change it in the settings).

It will then install the extension and display the prompt to you or install it automatically as a temporary add-on depending on the preferences.

Closing Words

You may notice that extensions add icons to the Firefox main toolbar, and you can use those icons. The screenshot above shows the functioning Google Translate extension for Chrome in Firefox for example.

You may notice slight issues with some extensions, like a layout that is not 100% accurate yet.

While some Chrome extensions work without issues already in Firefox, others either don’t work at all or are not working properly yet.

I have yet to encounter a Chrome extensions that could not be installed in Firefox, but that does not tell you anything about whether it is working or not.

Tests were run using Firefox 49 which is currently available on the Nightly channel.

It seems likely that the majority of Google Chrome extensions will work in Mozilla Firefox at one point in the not so far away future.

This could give Firefox a major edge over Mozilla considering that Chrome users cannot install legacy Firefox add-ons at all as they are not based on WebExtensions.

Chrome Store Foxified offers an elegant solution to download, convert and install Google Chrome extensions in Firefox.

Now You: Which Chrome extensions would you like to use in Firefox?

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The post How to install Google Chrome extensions in Firefox appeared first on gHacks Technology News.


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