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How do you clear the Add-On box of dead entries in Mozilla Firefox?

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
This may turn into a double question.  Is the Mozilla Support
Help Page closed down?  I could not log on.  They say my
account is inactive.  But when I resend my email address in
order to reactivate my account, I do not get a confirmation
email to tell me what to do next like they said I would.
Therefore, is their support page closed down?

Now to my question.  In their Add-On box in Firefox,  (go to Tools,  then
click Add-ons),  I have a growing amount of entries that have
had their day but have now been superseded by more
updated versions.  

For example Java Console 6.0.20 has been superseded by
Java Console 6.0.23, etc., etc.

The old Java Console 6.0.20 remains showing although it is
inactive.  I want to know how to rid the Add-on box of those
dead entries.

Can anyone shed light on this?  Thanks.

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Question by:Maverick2010
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35011802
Have you simply tried using the Windows Add/Remove Programs control panel to remove the old Java versions on your machine?  That should remove them from Firefox.

My approach is often to remove ALL the Java stuff from the machine (Add/Remove Programs) and then go and do a fresh download and install, just to be sure it was all good.
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35012134
Thanks for the reply.

I use Vista Ultimate.  This may sound dumb, but where do I find the Add/Remove Programs?  I thought it was in Control Panel but I don't see it.  Am I overlooking it?

I have Uninstall but I don't see Add/Remove.
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35012355
Why do they feel the need to keep changing things like this?

The new menu item or control panel item is named Programs now.

http://www.netomatix.com/development/vistaaddremove.aspx
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35012536
OK, thanks.  I have Uninstall a Program.  I don't seem to have Add/Remove a Program.

So I guess I can uninstall Java 6.0.23 (the latest one I have).  This is the only Java showing in my Control Panel Uninstall.

What is still showing on the Add-Ons box is Java 6.0.20, Java 6.0.21, Java 6.0.22 as well as the current one-Java 6.0.23.  These older ones are what I want removed.  They are not active, they are just still there.

Do you want me to proceed to uninstall Java 6.0.23?
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35012580
No.  If there is only one showing, don't remove it.  If it doesn't show the others we'll have to look elsewhere.

I will keep investigating.

You'd think there would be an "uninstall" right on the Firefox plug-ins page.  But noooooo.  Either that or it is hidden really well.

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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35012818
Yes, I agree.  You would think there would be a Remove function like the little Downloads box has in my Vista.  Thanks for researching for me.
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35013391
Found on the web that some versions of Firefox store their Java plugin here:

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins

See anything there that looks like Java?

I don't have anything in that folder on my system but I do have Java, so I can't figure where the latest version of Firefox is saving it.

Java seems to be handled differently that the other plugins.

Having old versions of Java is more a cosmetic issue than anything else.  It is a curiosity but maybe not worth worrying about.

You can always uninstall Firefox and re-install it.  That should clear the plugin list and give you a fresh start.
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35013662
There is a npdeployJava1.dll  ( a NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java) whatever that is.

I realize that my question about deleting older versions is cosmetic.  I am really trying to learn about how to keep my system clean of such clutter.  I want to tackle these issues before they grow into something outrageous.

I suppose that I will have to do just that-uninstall Firefox from time to time and reinstall it.  That seems to be the only solution.

I will wait and see if anyone comes up with anything else in a few days but if not, I suppose yours is the only answer.
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35013981
I don't blame you for wanting to keep your system clean.  I'm obsessive about it, too.  That's why I was interested in your question.  I haven't found the answer, but maybe someone else knows.  You don't owe me any points.  Maybe if you ask the question again someone will be able to help.
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35022615
I think I may have found something.

There is a registry key that lists the Firefox Java plugins:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MozillaPlugins]

Do you see all the old versions there?  I think you may be able to simply delete the subkeys for the obsolete plugins.

There is also a folder with extensions, but I think you've already checked it:

C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\44fxayps.default\extensions
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35027516
Thanks and sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

I cannot find the folder Documents and Settings\.  I  Explored my C Drive and did not see it.  Am I looking in the wrong place?

As to the registry key, I forgot how to pull it up and I am not sure how to try and delete any extension keys I might find.  Can you refresh my memory?  Besides, won't this be risky-messing in the registry?

Thanks again.
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by:sjklein42
ID: 35029429
To see your Documents and Settings files using Windows Explorer, you'll need to be sure you have these settings enabled (or disabled) in the "FolderOptions" of the Windows Explorer "Tools" menu:

enable [*] Display the contents of system folders
enable (*) Show hidden files and folders
disable [ ] Hide extensions for known file types
disable [ ] Hide protected operating system files

You'll have to say "Yes" to a prompt about Do You Really Want To Do This.  There is no danger to seeing these files - it can just be confusing to some people, hence the confirmation step.  When you are done, you can set them back to their defaults.

This is the folder (tree) where some of your Firefox settings are stored.  (The string "Owner" is probably different for you - it is the username of the account you are logged into.)

C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\44fxayps.default\extensions

But this is probably not where we need to look to answer your original question...

-----------------------------------------------------

To see the Registry entries (which is actually the most promising for solving our problem), you do need to be a little careful but it is not that bad.  There are always "confirm" dialogs if you accidentally hit the "delete" key.  That's about the only real danger.

First, to run the Registry Editor, go to Start/Run... and then type "regedit" <ok>.  This will start the Registry Editor.

Regedit opens up where you left off the last time you ran it, so for you it will probably open at the top (My Computer).  These are not files - these are Registry Entries.

We are looking for:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MozillaPlugins]

so first click on the "+" sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to "open" it.

Then click the "+" sign next to "SOFTWARE" and scroll down to where it says "MozillaPlugins".

Click the "+" sign next to MozillaPlugins and you should see a list of plugin names.

To remove a plugin:

Right-click on the plugin name.  You will get a menu.

For safety-sake, you can first pick "Export" to save the old value (which we are about to delete).  It will prompt for a name (make one up).  Save it, and we will be able to restore this registry entry if we change our minds.

Then, right-click and pick "Delete".  This will remove the entry from the Registry.

Without bothering to close the Registry Editor, you can try right away to see if starting Firefox, it no longer has the plugin you deleted.

If it works for the first one, delete the others you want to get rid of using the same procedure.
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35029512
Just noticed you're using Vista.  The DocumentsAndSettings folder is a bit different for Vista.

You can, however, still navigate to subfolders of Document and Settings by entering the corresponding folder name in the address bar of Windows Explorer. For example, just type

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\

in the address bar of Windows Explorer and you should see all of the user profiles’ subfolders.

http://4sysops.com/archives/documents-and-settings-in-vista/
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35031987
Thanks for the info.  Although I was able to find Documents and Settings, unfortunately I can't access it.  It says access is denied.  Why?  What is this new problem?

About the Registry.....I found the Java entry.  But under it  there are no Java Console 6.0.20 entries.  There are a lot of (under the Folder MimeTypes-which is directly under the @java.com/JavaPlugin Folder)
many that say application/x-java-applet;version=1.1.2, etc., etc., on down the list of numbers. (1.1.3. 1.2  1.2.1 etc.)

I don't know if those are older Java entries that I have long since forgot about when I reformatted my computer about a year ago or so-but wait!  If I reformatted wouldn't those entries be long gone?  So I don't know what those entries represent.

You've got a lot of good information in your last message but unfortunately I still can't put it to use yet.

Thanks.  Any ideas about those entries?  Should we mess with them?
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Expert Comment

by:sjklein42
ID: 35033180
When in doubt (especially in the Registry) it is better to leave things alone unless there's something really broken that needs fixing.  We certainly don't want to take a chance of making things worse just to fix a cosmetic problem.  That was the point I was trying to make a few days ago.

Vista has a lot more "security" on the system files than XP and before.  I would not worry that you cannot directly access the Documents and Settings folder.  There is probable some setting we could change that would fix that, but from what I could tell, the plug-ins are not stored there, anyway.

I sure do wish I knew the answer to this interesting mystery, but I've run out of ideas again.

If I do think of something I'll post it back here, but it may be time to abandon this question and ask it again to get some fresh eyes on the problem.  No soup for me.  :)
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35033206
OK, thanks for all the input.
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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35071509
HI, again.

I like the idea of trying to uninstall Firefox and reinstalling it hoping that this will clear out the Add-On box.

I just looked into the possibility of doing this and I find that it would wipe out all my personal settings including the bookmarks.

Does anyone know how to save those bookmarks and their associated web addresses before I wipe them out?

There is an option to save my settings before I do an uninstall and reinstall.  I did that first and it did not wipe out the old entries in the Add-On box.  So I figure that the only option now remaining is to wipe out all settings and start afresh.

Can anyone help?  Thanks.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Maverick2010 earned 0 total points
ID: 35101099
Those must be manually removed, since Java did not remove them when updating. See:

   Here is the solution to clearing out the Java entries in the Add-Ons box:

Those must be manually removed, since Java did not remove them when updating. See:  * http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_:_FAQs_:_Install_Java#Multiple_Java_Console_extensions

Go to Program Files/Mozilla/extensions    and delete the old extensions.
You will be looking for folders:

    * {CAFEEFAC-0016-0000-0020-ABCDEFFEDCBA}
    * {CAFEEFAC-0016-0000-0021-ABCDEFFEDCBA}
    * {CAFEEFAC-0016-0000-0022-ABCDEFFEDCBA}

These were my old versions that needed to be removed.  After a Restart of the computer (and an update to the latest Java while I was at it), those old entries were gone.

This thread is solved.


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Author Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35101215
I asked this question on the Mozilla Support page and someone answered it and it worked.  I cannot take credit for their work.

I'm glad too that I won't have to uninstall Firefox now and risk losing my Bookmarks.

Now, I wish to spread my points.  Since I provided the solution, I need to click that button.  But I do not wish any points since others helped me.  I would prefer to give others the points-namely sjklein42 who tried to help me the most.

How do I select myself as the solution but award points to sjklein42?
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Author Closing Comment

by:Maverick2010
ID: 35170801
Someone else came up with this solution.  I post it here for those who want to know.
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Expert Comment

by:jasimon9
ID: 36170292
This also helped me. I found those exact folders starting with {CAFE ...} for the extensions. the 0023, 0024 and 0026 are obviously the Java versions 6.0.23, 6.0.24, and 6.026. I left the 0026 in place and removed the other two and the dead extensions are now gone.

I wonder why Mozilla cannot get all these weird cases into their interface. I suppose the problem is really that they don't enforce standards, and various developers just have their own oddball ways of doing things.

I have seen many, many posts about this subject, usually involving looking for the ../extensions directory in the profiles, which in my experience can be in quite a few different places.
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