How to use those new add-ons in Firefox for Android (and why you definitely should)

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For the longest time, the Firefox browser was on the cusp of becoming my default web browser in Android. But something was keeping that from happening. And then…the missing piece arrived, and Firefox is now my default Android browser.

The latest release of the browser finally supports add-ons.

Also: This handy Firefox Mobile feature is saving your old tabs for you

Why does this matter? Well, now you can include add-ons (aka, extensions) for things like ad blockers, password managers, privacy, and many more. Although you won’t find as many add-ons for Firefox Mobile as you will for the desktop version, the ones that are available can improve your browsing experience dramatically.

For example, you get all the following::

  • uBlock Origin
  • Dark Reader
  • FoxyProxy Standard
  • AdGuard AdBlocker
  • Privacy Badger
  • Bitwarden
  • Ghostery
  • NoScript Security Suite
  • Read Aloud
  • Search by Image
  • ClearURLs

That list alone should pique the interest of most Android users. I immediately added uBlock Origin and ClearURLs to Firefox to prevent ads from causing problems and remove tracking information from URLs. That was about as no-brainer as it gets for a mobile web browser.

Let me show you how to install add-ons to Firefox Mobile, so you can enjoy a much-improved experience.

Installing add-ons to Firefox Mobile

What you’ll need: To make this work, you’ll need the most recent version of Firefox installed on Android. I’ll demonstrate with version 123.0a1 on Android 14. Make sure to go to Google Play Store > Profile Icon > Manage Apps & Device > Manage > Updates Available and check to see if there’s an update for Firefox available for your device. If so, run the update.

Once you have Firefox updated, open the browser on your Android device.

Click the vertical three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the Firefox window.

The Firefox mobile main menu button.

Accessing the Firefox menu happens from the top right corner of the main window.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

From the resulting menu, tap Add-Ons.

The Firefox mobile main menu.

If you don’t see the Add-ons menu, you’ll need to upgrade Firefox.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Scroll through the list of add-ons until you find one you want to install. Once you’ve located it, tap the associated + button.

The Firefox mobile add-ons listing.

Here’s a sampling of the add-ons available to Firefox mobile.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

A new pop-up will appear, listing the permissions required for the given add-on. If you’re OK with what the add-on requires, tap Add and the installation will complete. Once you’ve installed an add-on, it will be listed at the top of the add-ons listings.

The Bitwarden add-on permissions listing.

The Bitwarden add-on installation won’t be complete until you give it permission.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Not every add-on will have configuration options (most do). To access the options, tap the listing at the top of the add-ons page to reveal the configurations you can change. From that same page, you can also remove the add-on (should you no longer want it).

The uBlock Origin configuration page in Firefox mobile.

Some add-ons will include configuration options, while others may not.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Also: Firefox vs Opera: Which web browser is best for you?

And that’s all there is to using add-ons with the mobile version of Firefox. Hopefully, this addition will sway you into using the open-source browser for a more secure and safe experience on Android.



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