11 Firefox Extensions That I Can’t Live Without

Karl L. Gechlik 23-07-2008

I love Firefox and I love extensions!

There I said it. I am an extension junkie!

I did a clean install today on a new laptop and I decided to document some of my favorite Firefox extensions. But before we get into the list …

I wanted to warn you that each additional extension you install uses more memory and can slow down your Firefox or computer. So try out as many as you want, keep what you need and disable/uninstall the ones you don’t to keep your fox running nice and quick.

As I created a list of my favorite extensions, I realized I had more than 30 on the list. I whittled it down to about 21 must have cant live withoutkills my productivity to use your crappy extensionless browser.. extensions I couldn’t live without.

So in no particular order here are 1 through 11 and watch out for the next bunch in a few days …

I guess I should start out with what an extension is and how you install / use them for the n00bs out there.

An extension is a small program or add on to Firefox and they have been around for as long as Firefox has. These extensions give you a super power if you will (or at least lets you do something you couldn’t do before.) Like automate things you do often or integrate a service right in your browser. Are you excited?

I didn’t think so but hey it was worth a shot. Continue on to the top ten Firefox extensions after the jump.

1. Flashblock

Flashblock is an absolute must-have for blocking Flash advertisements, auto-starting videos or annoying games. Using Flashblock will help you retain more of your memory and some of your sanity while browsing the interwebs. It has a white list as you can see below and requires Javascript to be enabled.

11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without flashblock1

From the developers site:

Flashblock is an extension for the Mozilla, Firefox, and Netscape browsers that takes a pessimistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content.

2. Secure Login

Do you have problems remembering all of your passwords? Do you hate typing in your usernames and passwords over and over again? Want to automate logging into websites? Then SecureLogin is for you!

Secure Login

“¢ Works out of the box without any configuration needed.
“¢ Login with one click or a keyboard shortcut (automatically submitting the login forms).
“¢ Easy and convenient selection for multiple logins (multiple users)
“¢ Provides direct login to any site from the bookmarks (using the “Secure Login Bookmarks”).
“¢ Integrates with Mozilla Firefox password manager.
“¢ Provides easy access to the saved passwords.
“¢ Prevents malicious JavaScript code to automatically steal your login data.
“¢ Provides an option to protect your login data from all JavaScript code during login.
“¢ Websites requiring JavaScript for the login process can be added to an exception list.
“¢ Can prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks to steal your passwords without having to deactivate JavaScript.
“¢ Helps to protect you from phishing.
“¢ Shows the login URL(s) and the number of available logins in a tooltip of the toolbar button and the statusbar icon.
“¢ Can be set to automatically search for login data and highlight form fields.
“¢ Can be used with a toolbar button, a statusbar icon, a keyboard shortcut or via the context menu.
“¢ Completely customizable interface (buttons, icons and menus can be enabled/disabled).
“¢ Provides a customizable keyboard shortcut
“¢ By default only active on login so it doesn’t consume any system resources while surfing.
“¢ Can fill out additional form fields using the Autofill Forms add-on.
“¢ Possibility to play a sound when logins are found or when logging in.

Secure Login

3. Add-in

Are you a heavy user? Do you want to have instant access to your saved bookmarks through Firefox? Then you should check out this extension and go get your browsing on! Very tight Firefox and integration. This is a huge help to me during my hours of web surfing.

11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without delicious firefox

“Our new extension for Firefox tightly integrates your bookmarks into your browser, making it easy to search, sort, and view your bookmarks. It automatically syncs throughout the day with your account and makes it easy to keep your bookmarks at your fingertips on any computer you use.”

4. Read it Later

Do you want an easy way to clip pages to read later? Then try out ReadItLater and eliminate flooding your bookmark area with one visit wonders. Consider it your temporary area where your new websites live so you can decide if you want to add it to your bookmarks or give it the old heave-ho.

This Firefox extension allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest. A commenter (Chris) summed it up very well: “It’s a ‘staging area’ for bookmarks.”

Our favorite part of this extension is click to save mode. Here you can hit Control-M and then tag links. Instead of opening them it will add them to your ReadItLater list! Awesome for use with digg! Sweet.

Also check out our article on the best tools for saving web pages to read later 5 Better Alternatives to Pocket That Bookmark Anything for Later Pocket has long held the crown of being the internet's best digital bookmarking service. But is it time to scrap it and search for better read-it-later bookmarking alternatives? Read More .

11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without clicktosave


  • Save pages to a reading list to read when you have time
  • Offline Reading Mode – Read the items you’ve saved for later on the plane, train, or anywhere
  • RSS Feeds – View your list from anywhere with automatic rss feeds of your items
  • Sync Between Computers – Sync your reading list with any number of computers, work or home
  • After reading, bookmark pages on your preferred bookmarking service
  • Click to Save Mode – Quickly batch a reading list just by clicking on interesting links


5. FireFTP

There really is not much more to say about Fireftp besides what the author decided to post. But I will add that it comes in very handy to be able to use a full featured ftp client instead of the old browser interpretation of one!

FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.

11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without fireftp

7. TinyURL Creator

Do you TinyUrl? Working in the world of tech support I use it on a daily basis. Now with this Firefox add-on you can shrink URL’s very easily.

Easy shrink any long URL or link in the page to something you can email or Twitter using the TinyUrl service with a single click in your browser.


8. Colorful Tabs

Do you want to be able to easily distinguish between tabs at a glance? How about if they were all different colors? Wouldn’t that be a huge help? You better believe it is. Plus it makes your browser all pretty in the process.

The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface.

11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without colortabs

9. Customize Google

Are you a customizing freak? Do you like things the way you like them? Do you hate how the results from Google are displayed? Customize them!

CustomizeGoogle is a Firefox extension that enhances Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo,, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam). All features are optional and easily configured.

Customize Google

10. Download Statusbar

Next to installing extensions I love downloading stuff almost as much! Isn’t it wonderful? But if you are like me, your downloads can get out of control and you can lose track of exactly what is going on. Check out what Download Statusbar does to your Firefox status bar. This is another one I could not live without. Why isn’t this built into the Fox yet?

View and manage downloads from a tidy status bar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.

11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without downloadbar

11. Download Them All

Doing research? Want to grab all that porn a lot of songs from a page? Need to download a lot of stuff from a single page? Why not use this plugin to save you the leg work? DownThemAll makes this a snap. I wish I could go back in time and give this to a younger me.

The first and only download manager/accelerator built inside Firefox!


11 Firefox Extensions That I Can't Live Without downthemall2

Did I miss some of your favorites? Do you HATE some of the ones I have listed above? Do you know of any extensions/add0-on’s that screwed up your machine? Share your favories and experiences… guess where?

In the comments!

Related topics: Ad-Blockers, Download Management, FTP, Google, Mozilla Firefox, Password.

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  1. zoraro
    January 19, 2009 at 6:33 am

    @ jkm, try "Try All Again" extension.

  2. Gypzee
    December 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    I couldn't live with out Download helper .. rip any video off the net (or music) Must. Have. It.

  3. John Reuschlein
    December 19, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    What I find essential for Firefox 3:
    Answers (2.2.48 currently)
    Quick info for a word or term. Why read blindly unknown words.
    Foxmarks (Real nice syncronizer between multiple computers.
    Stumble Upon: Great way to discover new web sites and people.

    These are my essentials.

  4. jkm
    December 14, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Do you know of any extension that will automatically reload pages that didn't fully load (i.e. "page load error" pages)? If one doesn't exist already, one should!

  5. Rosie
    August 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    I thought I might not be able to go on after I upgraded to Firefox 3, and left Netscape Linkpad behind. Its developer seems to have moved on, sadly. But thanks to you, I discovered ReaditLater, which is just as good and maybe better. (: Thank you!!!

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      September 10, 2008 at 12:53 pm

      Glad to help Rosie!

  6. TJ
    August 2, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Great article I like the Downthemall addon I was looking for a fast way to download videos since the realplayer download extension doesn't work for ff3.

  7. Ellie Harrison
    July 26, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I don't think that Flashblock and Adblock Plus have the same functions -- I use Flashblock to stop annoying flash features like movies, buttons, etc. and Adblock Plus to remove ads, whether they are links, images or rollovers.

  8. ham
    July 25, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Cannot you live without these extesions ? That is funny! Why would you need downthemall in Firefox 3? This page sks...

  9. Krasen
    July 24, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    If those are the 11 extensions you can't switch to Opera ... i dont think they are that mutch useful :) again Secure Login is embeded in Opera browser :)
    and the only thing i miss is the flash blocker that i cannot have there.

  10. Jeffrey Herr
    July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    TinyURL = (All the features of TinyURL and then some!)

  11. Ellen
    July 24, 2008 at 9:24 am

    My can't live without are
    Feedly - creates a unique and useful presentation of feeds from Google and other services. It's my startpage these days.
    Easy DragToGo - click on some text, drag it and it opens a new tab with search results. Love it!
    tinymenu - I use this on my laptop to save screen space
    Auto Fill Forms
    Secure Login
    Diigo (I use that now for bookmarking rather than
    GButts - didn't need the whole Google toolbar but wanted some of the buttons

    I have to check out a couple on your list, especially Flashblock and some that others have mentioned.

    Great post btw.

  12. surfmadpig
    July 24, 2008 at 6:22 am

    In Firefox 3 there's no need to use Flashblock, because you can block the flash from the add-ons window.

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      July 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

      Yes you can block flash from the add-on menu but you can not enable it on the fly. I like being able to hit that play button and not jump through hoops to see my content!

      Keep the comments coming!

      @Kat: LMFAO! Thanks for the heads up!

      @Mark can you make that change?

      • Mark O'Neill
        July 24, 2008 at 8:35 am

        what you didn't pee down the list? Oooh, Ok.....I'll change it then...

        • Karl L. Gechlik
          July 24, 2008 at 9:18 am

          I love a good urine joke early in the morning... :)

          Is there a plugin to help my grammar? Lol

  13. Abdullah Cetin CAVDAR
    July 24, 2008 at 12:24 am

    My favorites are: "Read it later", "" and "Customize Google."
    Thanks for them. :D

  14. Brad
    July 23, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    About number 10, FF3 has this feature. It is not as spectacular as the addon but it can make it one less addon for you to have to install.

  15. Martin
    July 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Definitely can't live without:
    Extended Copy Menu
    Faviconize Tab
    FireFTP (the best FTP client I've ever used [and I've used a lot])
    Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer
    Google Reader Watcher
    IE Tab
    Text Link
    Zotero (because I'm a student and this makes my bibliographies a snap)

    Plus I really enjoy the benefits of:
    Link Alert
    Searchbar Autosizer

  16. Stephen
    July 23, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    session manager, allows you to save your session and restore it from crashes. it makes restarting firefox less annoying.

  17. Planet Malaysia
    July 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Agreed. I used 7 out 11 Firefox extension as what you suggested.

  18. Nxqd3051990
    July 23, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    1- Flashblock = Adblock Plus
    2- TinyURL Creator = tiny url bookmarklet
    3- Download Them All or Download Status bar

  19. Haricharan
    July 23, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I believe the Download Statusbar Addon concept has been already in place in FF3, except it doesn't have all the features. But thats good enough.

  20. Kat
    July 23, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Normally I don't say anything about spelling, but this is one time it really matters... you "whittled" down the list. Widdle = pee.

  21. John Baima
    July 23, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Replace Flashblock with Adblock Plus. Waaaay better.

    As for me, I can't live without Adblock of course, and All-in-one Sidebar, Colorzilla, Cache Viewer, Compact Menu 2, CustomizeGoogle, DisableBackspaceNavigation, Download Statusbar, Faviconize Tab, FireFTP, Fission, Greasemonkey, IE Tab, InFormEnter, OpenDownload, Remove It Permanently, Session Manager, Smart Middle Click, Tab Mix Plus, Update Notifier, and Web Developer.

    Well okay that's a bit much. I'll trim it down:

    Adblock Plus, All-in-one Sidebar, Compact Menu 2, Download Statusbar, FaviconizeTab, Greasemonkey, IE Tab, InFormEnter, OpenDownload, Remove It Permanently, Session Manager, Tab Mix Plus, and Update Notifier.

    I'm an extension whore.

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      July 23, 2008 at 1:15 pm

      Hey John thank for your 2 cents! What are the major differences between flashblock and adblock?

      • John Baima
        July 26, 2008 at 11:52 pm

        Flashblock is basically as you said in the article. You see anything in flash, and it shows a toggle to block it quickly (and can block all flash by default).

        Adblock, on the other hand, can:

        A. Do that, if you so wish
        B. Block Java, images, and text
        C. Allow regex filters for exact things
        D. Allow free subscriptions to lists of (C), which are often extremely comprehensive

        Basically, get it, go to the subscriptions page on their site (there's a link when you first install it on the "add new subscription" dialog, and for quick access here:, and install the subscription "EasyElement + EasyList."

        Never see another ad on the internet again. EVER.

        And it works before the page even loads; it tells it not to load that and fixes the page accordingly, instead of masking it or removing it when it loads; which results in faster load times, less annoyance, and not even a glimpse of ads.

        After using it for a while, you get used to it. It's really jarring to switch over to something without it and be like "HOLY CRAP THERE ARE ADS ON THE INTERNET?!"

        It really is disorienting.

    • bob
      July 24, 2008 at 8:01 pm

      agreed! Cannot live without adblock!

  22. JBB
    July 23, 2008 at 11:48 am

    You sure these are all Firefox 3 extensions? Or that they all work? I get errors trying to install some of them (colorful tabs, and the ie-in-a-tab one):

    Firefox could not install the file at

    because: Invalid file hash (possible download corruption)

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      July 23, 2008 at 12:01 pm

      Hey JBB - Yes I got all of these to work in my FF3. This is version 3.2 and FF3 support came out with 3.1.

      I hate to say it... But have you "Tried restating your computer?"

      From Mozillia's site on error 261:

      Invalid file hash

      If you receive the error, Firefox could not install the file at because: Invalid file hash (possible download corruption) when clicking an "Install" link, try the following:

      * Reload the page or clear the Firefox cache: "Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network / Cache -> Clear Now" (Firefox 2) or "Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> Cache -> Clear" (Firefox 1.5), then try again. [8]

      * If installing from (AMO), the problem could be with the database (bug 345505) or a broken mirror site (bug 420278). Try restarting Firefox to see if the extension or theme was installed despite the error [9]. You could also try installing at a later time or from an alternate location such as the author's homepage [10].

      * Manually install the extension (right-click the install link -> "Save Link As"-> save the .jar or .xpi file, then drag the file icon onto an open Firefox window). Note: If a manual install also fails, an antivirus (or other software that monitors downloads) may be corrupting the file.

      You could try saving the file on another computer, then copy it over and manually install it on the problem computer. [11]

      Note: This error can also occur when installing an "experimental" extension from AMO.