Installing mobile extensions for Firefox is now a piece of cake

Firefox for Android
(Image credit: VideoBCN / Shutterstock)

Firefox is one of very few mobile browsers that support third-party extensions, and the latest update will make them much easier for to install.

If you're familiar with the desktop version of Firefox, you'll be used to downloading privacy tools, tab organizers, password managers and other goodies by visiting and making your selection.

However, the process on mobile devices was different, requiring you to access an Add-Ons Manager through the browser's menu. 

That's about to change, though. As Engadget reports, when Firefox 85 is released on January 25, Android users will also be able to take their pick from Mozilla's archive of plugins by visiting and tapping a new 'Install' button beside any of the available options.

Plugins, baby

If Firefox has been your mobile browser of choice for several years, you might recall that the selection of plugins used to be much wider than it is now. 

That changed with the release of the new Firefox for Android last year, which uses Mozilla's own GeckoView engine rather than Android WebView. The aim was to give Mozilla's developers more control over the browser, but it also meant that the vast majority of plugins were no longer compatible, and had to be re-written.

There wasn't time to get every plugin optimized in time for launch, so the new Firefox for Android launched with just a handful of curated add-ons (including AdGuard, Privacy Badget and Ghostery) that Mozilla said were particularly popular with its users. 

We anticipate more plugins becoming available as they're optimized for the new browser, but no more big changes are in the pipeline. "This wraps up our initial plans to enable extension support for Firefox for Android," Mozilla said in a blog post. "In the upcoming months, we’ll continue to work on optimizing add-on performance on mobile."

Can't wait that long? You can install any plugin listed on by installing Firefox Nightly on your Android device and following Mozilla's guide to set up an override

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)