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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Google Toolbar on Firefox 11

I should have titled this post Google Toolbar on Firefox 11 and Beyond.  This trick works on Firefox 12 too and hopefully future versions.  This has been a popular post so I wanted to make it clear this isn't just for Firefox 11.

I have been an avid fan of the Google Toolbar ever since it was created.  It has always frustrated and befuddled me that Google never created one for Google Chrome.  And now I'm confused and aggravated (this is putting it as nicely as I can) that Google has decided to discontinue support for it in Firefox.

On my Desktop PC I have had Firefox and the Google Toolbar working happily together and Firefox has been continually updating to new versions and all is still good.  But when I got a new laptop I installed Firefox 11 and that's when I found that Google no longer offers the Toolbar for Firefox. Argh!

But wait, why does it still work on my desktop?  After a lot of trial and error I have figured out how to get the Google Toolbar working with Firefox 11 on my new laptop and I wanted to share how to do this.

Uninstall Firefox

From Control Panel, uninstall Firefox.  I suggest you DO NOT remove personal data

Install Firefox 4
Download and install Firefox version 4 from FileHippo

Install Google Toolbar
Then install the Google Toolbar for Firefox from FileHippo

Edit the install.rdf File
Now before you upgrade to Firefox 11 we have to do a little surgery.  In Windows Explorer go to this directory:

C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\jtn2a7fp.default\extensions\{3112ca9c-de6d-4884-a869-9855de68056c}\

NOTE: The above is on Windows 7, and the exact directory names may be different on your PC

In the above directory look for a file called: install.rdf

Using Notepad (or Notepad++) edit the install.rdf file.  Look for the line that looks like this:

and change it to this:

(Note:  As you will see in the comments below, change it to a higher value like 20.0.* so that you can make it work in Firefox 12 and beyond.)

Save the file.

Upgrade Firefox
From within Firefox click on Help and About Firefox

You should see the button to apply an Update.  This will take you to the latest version, which as of this writing is version 11.0.

I also wanted to mention this:  Those that used to get around it by using the Add-on Compatibility Reporter (, this apparently stopped working as of Firefox version 10.


Update 6/21/2012
The saga continues.  Read how I was able to make it work with Firefox 13: 

Update 9/27/2013 - Please see my post More Issues with Google Toolbar on Firefox 24.0


  1. Thanks, it worked.
    The path to install.rdf in WinXp is:
    C:\Documents and Settings\{USER_NAME}\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\2dhzie8z.default\extensions\{3112ca9c-de6d-4884-a869-9855de68056c}

    Also, you do not need to uninstall, you can just make the change before upgrading. I was running Firefox 10 and just changed it.

    Thanks again, and have nice weekend

    1. I compiled an xpi extention that eneble google toolbar in all version of Firefox till 19.00 version.
      To install,go to “file”-”open” and browse the file from your desktop.Install.That’s it
      Download the file from:
      My name is Mircea,and this blog open my eyes about “how to enable Google Toolbar in Firefox” for the first time.I tried many times to compile it,but no result.When I finally did it,I was verry happy about this.Now,I want to share my hapiness with all of this blog users.Thank again to Abhik's blog for help and ideas

    2. Thank you for the clue how to have back my favourite Google Toolbar, I simply need it every minute as translator!

    3. I followed all the steps from David but I changed the version to 50.0., works no issue.
      I used so far (after toolbar became obsolete for Firefox) the Add-on Compatibility Reporter but it was working randomly on various PC I have in use.
      I will use this great post on all my PC's, so happy I could use it.

  2. This works perfectly. Thank you so much David - it's great to have the google toolbar back again.

  3. I just had to do this on another computer and was able to set it to version 20.0.* and it worked fine. - Just wanted everyone to know.

  4. I too changed to 20.0.*. it did worked perfect after restart. thanks for the tip

  5. Nice! worked like a charm even without reinstall/uninstall. modified in note pad with existing 11th version and just restarted Firefox. BTW, had exactly the same issues with other tool-bars, but found them all under "extensions" and modified accordingly. Thank you so, so much!!! 8-)

  6. you are great budy.. i was trying for google toolbar since long time.. & thanks a lot you for help me..

  7. Thanks a lot David for this nice tutorial, everything worked well, but when I finished all from scratch, I couldn't log in through Google Toolbar, but I sorted it out:

    - you need to edit toolbar.js located in "lib" directory of the same path where's toolbar located
    - then go for Search for: "" and change all to: "" - without quotes.
    - save all the changes and exit

    This should solve log in problems

  8. Hello. I'm anonther anonymous person posting here, and I would just like to say thanks for posting this info.

  9. Great!!! I tried on my personal computer and after following your instruction, it works perfectly. Thank you so much.

  10. Thanks a lot for your instruction. It also works perfect with the german Firefox.

  11. Awesome... thanks, I got this to work for FF 12 as well

    1. When I upgrade to FF 12, it disables Google Toolbar because it's not compatible. How do I work around this issue?

    2. Just change the maxversion value to 12 or as others and I have begun to do, change it to something like 20.

    3. thanks david at first it didn't work so i had to go to lib directory following goranz's instructions. thanks to both of you.

  12. Hi David,
    May i copy this post on my blog? (of course with your name as acknowledgement and link to this article on the top).

    1. Btw, thanks a lot for the solution.

    2. By all means, spread the word. My goal is just to help someone else. As the expression goes, "Pay it forward".

    3. May 5 was my birthday and i consider it as a birthday gift from you.
      Thanks David.

  13. Hi David,

    Using this post I succeeded installing the toolbar in Firefox 12. I went to the filehippo link. If you click on download Firefox wants to install the XPI file. So right click and select "save link as". This should download the installer without installing. The XPI is a normal zip-file so extract all the files into a directory. Now I edited the install.rdf like you described with Notepad++.

    Remove the META-INF directory as this contains the signature of the original installer. If you do not remove the META-INF directory you will get an error claiming that the file is corrupt. Now zip the content of the directory and rename it to .XPI.

    In Firefox start the add-on manager, click on the gear and choose "install from file". Select the xpi just created and it should install.

    Kind regards,


  14. David,

    This is the best site describing this, thanks.....BUT....I am having and issue with my 2nd laptop.

    On the first one, I followed the instructions and it all works great and I got the toolbar back.

    On the 2nd one, for some reason it doesn't work. I get the error message during FF 12 install that the toolbar will be disabled.

    Any suggestions on what to look for. here's the config of laptop #2

    Older HP running XP with SP3
    the only real addons are the AGV anti virus

    toolbar works fine on this laptop with FF4

    Anyone thank in advance for any suggestions

  15. Grande David
    Been waiting for the toolbar for ages.
    Great tutorial and easy to work with.

  16. Spread the word. I figured out how to make it work in Firefox 13.

  17. I tried to make this work but couldn't. I was able to uninstall FF 13 then reinstall FF4. I was able to edit the install.rdf file using Notebook++. When I went to About Firefox and clicked Apply Update it didn't send me to FF 11 but to FF 12. I couldn't select FF 11. On attempting to update to FF12 it said that the Toolbox was incompatible and wouldn't install it. Were they lieing? I made some attempts to update to FF 13 using another part of your blog but it would always rewrite the install.file

  18. This is so helpful. I have been struggling with this for days. All that I found online didn't work till now. You're the man!

  19. Many thanks for this really useful info David. Using the main fix and your Firefox 13 addition I successfully recovered the Google Toolbar on my Win 7 and old XP machines with Firefox 13.0.1. All was well until a couple of days ago when the toolbar disappeared on my Win 7 machine. The space where it was is still visible, and it is listed in the View, Toolbars menu, but nothing is displayed where it should be. It might have happened when I opened two instances of Firefox, I remember seeing that one had the toolbar but the other didn't. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Is there a solution?

  20. Thank you so much!!!! I love the Google Toolbar for it's Word Find, and Ctrl+f is not the same.

    Wanted to let you know that I tried your fix 3 times on my machine without success. But, I did get it to work!!! I started with Firefox 3.6, installed Google Toolbar and changed the install file you speak of. I started poking around that area, Very Carefully! I found an RDF file called Extensions in which I changed the maxversion from 4.0 & 3.6.28 to 20. I updated FF to 14 and it works beautifully :) So, the steps I followed were:

    1. Yours from above. I changed my maxVersion to 20
    2. While in C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\8odqcxcs I found an RDF file labeled Extensions. There are 2 files in that folder labeled Extensions. The RDF is the one I changed.
    3. Open in Notepad
    4. Find all instances of maxVersion (I found 2) and change to 20.0
    5. Close and update FF, and it works :)

    Thank you again for your very easy to follow directions.

    1. Julie, great job finding this and for letting us know.

  21. That's interesting to hear Julie.

    Unfortunately it hasn't solved my problem, which is that there is a space where the Google Toolbar should be, but no buttons displayed there.

    Does anyone have a solution to this one?

    1. That's happened to me with other Extensions. I found the missing buttons by right clicking somewhere in the empty space and selecting 'Customize'. No knowing if it'll work for you, but only seconds to try.

    2. Thanks for this Tim

      What did you do after selecting 'Customise'? I just get the Customise Toolbar picker with a list of buttons to select. This doesn't seem to make the Google toolbar re-appear.

      Any help with this would be much appreciated. I'm currently using Googlebar Lite which is a poor substitute - I really miss the Search UK option that seems only to exist on the full Google toolbar

  22. Some further information to add. When I right click in the space where the toolbar should be, I do get a menu coming up, but the menu text has no background (i.e it is simply displayed over the grey blank area).

    The Button text option displays a further pull-down with the normal options (Icons and text etc), and these can be selected, giving a tick but no appearance of the toolbar.

    The spanner icon appears at the top of the menu but with no text alongside it and no action if you try to click it.

    Whatever has happened isn't corrected by going back to Firefox 4 and the early version of the toolbar, as in David's original post.

  23. Hello David-

    THANK YOU for this!!!!

    Since I am not a techie, it took me a while but I succeeded! The only disappointment is that it looks different than my Google Toolbar in my IE-I wish it had the Orange star FAVORITES sidebar that is on IE version.

    I have no idea why FF is not allowing an easy way to download/accept Google toolbars any more, but I wish they would.

    Has anyone tried downloading the newest version of toolbar onto FF 13 with success? If so, I hope they will post it.

    Anyway-thanks again for this!

    THX! ;-)

  24. I've got it working for FF 15.0.1 on my Win XP machines (4 of em!) but not on my Win 7 netbook. Any thoughts?

  25. ...similar situation to the one mentioned above by Rob M

    1. Alright! After much trial and error, I have found the solution to the problem first encountered by Rob M and then myself - the disappearing Google Toolbar with FF 15.0.1 on Win 7. I followed the instructions (10 steps) listed at
      and now all is well - in fact, it is golden!

      Thanks to David for this blog and Rob for making me feel not so alone.

  26. Thanks for your information Anonymous. I have followed the 10 steps as you suggest. I think actually the only one I didn't do previously was the edit to the toolbar.js file.

    Unfortunately I still have the same problem after doing all this - there is a grey space where the toolbar should be, but no toolbar or buttons visible. And I don't think the buttons are just hidden as floating the mouse over them doesn't reveal anything.

    Can anyone provide further help on this one?

  27. HELP!

    My MOST VISITED folder in FF was screwing up and I decided to do a System Restore to get things back to when they were working right.

    BIG mistake!

    What happened is it made things WORSE!! ALL of my Add-Ons and Downloads have disappeared! All of my bookmarks disappeared as well-thank God they were saved in a folder. My GOOGLE toolbar is gone and I cannot get it back! Everything is a mess. Can anyone help?

    I downloaded that Google Toolbar RAR but have no idea how to install it to FF from there.



  28. All,
    While the above approach does work, starting with FF16, having the google toolbar enabled screws-up the tear-off tabs functionality. Does anyone have a work around for this problem?

    1. I'm running Firefox 17.0.1 with the Google Toolbar and I'm not seeing an issue with tear-off tab functionality. Could it be another add-on causing this?

  29. I just formatted my PC, reinstall the Firefox. Now looking to install the "Google toolbar", but could not find installation file anywhere. Filehippo does not have it. Do you have any link where i can get it. Please do let me know, toolbar is the on feature i really like. Thanks in advance.