locking toolbar and blocking add-ons

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
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Joined: April 23rd, 2012, 5:30 am

Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 8:11 am

Ho all, I posted this onto the suppor forum earlier, but might get a better response with a wider audience

In a nutshell, i'm looking for a solution to stop things such as toolbars installing in FFX other than taking away user account access rights and locking down.

what I want to know is:

a) does anyone know if there is a setting in FFX or an add-on that I can install that will lock out addons from auto installing? and

b) is there a setting in FFX where I can lock out changes in the toolbars (like IE has). I have looked, but havnt found anything.

I know that these 2 requests go against the grain for FFX's free access mantra, but the inlaws like FFX over IE. Basically I manage my inlaws PC (win7) and Lappy (vista), and I am finding more and more software updates are bundling unwanted crap like search engines, toolbars and applets or utilities, which then install unseen and shag things about. I recently downloaded one upgrade for a well known AV / Malware title for me, and had to dodge 3 bundled unrelated shitems before I could install the main upgrade.

Ive looked through the FFX settings, and theres a few 'warn me' options, but I cant see a lock out changes option.

What ive got is the ultimate IT catch-22 conundrum. i want to stop em changing or installing anything, but i dont actually want to lock the account, because when they go away the lappy goes too and they need to be able to add wifis or networks etc and because i also know I'll get phone calls if it doesnt. i have doubts locking the account would be a satisfactory solution, plus it makes having a lappy self defeating.

all suggestions welcome,

cheers in advance,



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Posts: 23734
Joined: October 23rd, 2008, 11:43 am
Location: Asheville NC

Post Posted April 17th, 2013, 11:56 am

Your best defense is constant vigilance in updates. Never allow the "easy" update and always do a custom install. You might also look into completely removing some unwanted software that keeps installing nasty 3rd-party crapware when it updates. Since this crap is usually installed at the OS-level there's not much you can do to block it from Firefox, and Mozilla refuses to setup a way to allow users to block global extension installation. Remember, this software doesn't just bog down Firefox, some of it may be a trojan for malware or spyware.

- You can completely block the install of global extensions by creating and using the following Integer about:config preference:
extensions.enabledScopes = 5 ... on-scopes/

- Keep a back-up of the prefs.js file and simply use it to replace their edited prefs.js.

- Always delete the user.js file if you didn't create it... some nasty toolbars use this to lock settings so you can't "reset" them. Alternatively, you could create a blank user.js file and set it to read-only.

- You can also use the user.js file to lock any settings they might try to change. Note that they will still be able to change the setting, it will just reset when they restart Firefox.
Tip of the day: If it has "toolbar" in the name, it's crap.
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