Firefox 3.6 knows when your plugins are out of date

You may have noticed that both Firefox 3.5.3 and 3.0.14 will warn if an outdated version of the Abobe Flash Player plugin is installed.

The warning that shows when you have an outdated version of the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed

Outdated Flash warning

This is because old versions of plugins can cause crashes and other stability problems, and can also be a significant security risk. But this was just one of the first important steps in providing a safer and more stable experience when using plugins.

Additionally, the awesome WebDev team have been developing a Plugin Check web page that will look at all your plugins, and warn you which ones are out of date and therefore potentially have security or stability issues. And since finding and installing an updated plugin can also be tedious, that page will also provides a link to the latest version of each outdated plugin. They’re still testing to make sure the majority of plugins are detected correctly, so are asking for your help in testing it. You can help out and try it yourself, by visiting https://www.mozilla.com/plugincheck/

Firefox 3.6 will have this integrated to make sure users know when they have an outdated plugin installed, without having to manually visit the Plugin Check page. Whenever you load a page that uses a plugin that is out of date, you’ll get this warning:

In-browser notificationClicking on “Update Plugins…” will bring you to the Plugin Check page. Additionally, the Plugins tab of the Extension Manager (Tools -> Add-ons) will indicate which of your plugins are out of date. You can also get to the Plugin Check page from there.

This is in the latest nightly builds of Firefox (trunk and branch), and will be in Beta 1. Since the Plugin Check page is still being tested, and not yet available via the main mozilla.com site, the URL that the nightly builds of Firefox have is to a non-existent page. This will of course be fixed once the Plugin Check page has had more testing.

Updated 30/10/09: Changed the URL for the Plugin Check page to point to the production-version.

331 thoughts on “Firefox 3.6 knows when your plugins are out of date

  1. Could you not fix the SSL cert error? It would be good to send this around the office so that people can check if their plugins are up to date.

  2. It lists only Shockwave & Java (which are both up to date).

    It doesn’t list these ones that I’ve got installed:

    - Flash
    - Acrobat
    - Silverlight
    - Windows Media
    - A few others (e.g. Microsoft Office, Windows Presentation Foundation)

    Running Firefox 3.5.3 (en-gb) on Windows XP.

  3. Ian: You’ll notice the address is on a staging server, since it’s still being tested. When it’s rolled out to production it will have a valid SSL certificate.

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  50. Dear All,

    many thanks for your valuable ideas which are fully workable and interesting.

    Thanks / Samadi

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  67. I am having trouble with the adobe flash and it is asking me to close the firefox. And I can’t to figure out how to do that. All because I need to download the adobe flash on my desktop. But yet I was successful to download the latest version of firefox 3.6. any idea help please

  68. it seems good. I have been working of Safari for last 5 years. It will take some more time to get used to its goodness compared to Safari. :-( :-(

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  74. The uploading to FireFox 3.6b1 English (US) has been quite smooth and older version FF3.5.5 add-ons are intact. Yes it is wonderful to get the warning to update older version of say Adobe Flash as that could effect in secured and safe browsing. But would have been more pleased if the update link was provided, though would not search for that link and update the same manually after searching.

    First impression is that inspite of FF3.6b1 being Beta it has got lot accomplished already and do look to give feedback as get using it more frequently.

  75. I think that is a good idea featuring versions include a new feature; a compatibility mode for plug-ins not compatible with last versions.

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  216. Is this the only fucking information from mozilla how to fix a plugin that worked until 3.5? Are you fucked up at mozilla, not to provide ANY information about how to pass your bullshit plugin check besides some foreign bullshit blog? damed…

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  230. To the above comment:

    No, this isn’t the main information point about outdated plugins – merely an introduction to the feature and how it’s integrated into Firefox to better help people and keep everyone safe.

    When visiting the plugin check page (https://www.mozilla.com/plugincheck/), any outdated plugin will have a yellow “Update” button beside it. If you click that button, it will either take you directly to a page where you can download and install the latest version, or give you information on how to install the latest version.

    Note that this feature won’t stop you from using outdated, unstable, and insecure plugins. But it does make it easier to keep plugins up to date, stable, and secure.

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  245. Blair,
    I have recently downloaded 3.5.7 and I have been having problems with:

    1. SSL Certificate Error Messages and “Warning: Contains unauthenticated content” on the Yahoo Login page where before I upgraded Firefox, this Login page showed the Lock symbol on the Status Bar.

    Now it shows a Lock symbol with a Red Exclamation Mark with the Warning message!

    If I go to another webmail site, I would have to view the SSL Certificate on that page and select corresponding SSL Certificate. This gets pretty annoying. Will SSL Certificate be updated?

    2. When I click on the Out of Date button on the Plugin-Checker page, it opens a Google search results page rather than what you mentioned above. Or is this a new feature applicable only to 3.6?

    3. My Bookmarks that I added with the One-Click Icon on the Address Bar are not being bookmarked at all. The same happens when I select Bookmark This Page as well.

    Thanks so much.

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  249. Getting off the subject just a little,but I have been using Firefox for quite a while and it has always been better than IE, but just barely. I liked the add- ons and extras that firefox provides. The speeds on my 10mbps dsl connection up to version 3.5 of firefox have been just OK, with adblock and better privacy installed. I tried faster fox and all of the tweaks with not much improvement. I switched to the test version of 3.6 and it blew me away with the speed and fast page loading. Now that it seems to be out of the test stage, I uninstalled 3.6 test and reinstalled 3.6 and I am getting the same results, The pages just snap into place instead of a so so loading. I hope that it helps others and that you can see a difference. I’m ecstatic, and hope that a future version of firefox won’t be over developed and hamper this improved speed. THANKS!!! DEVELOPERS this version rocks.

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  254. Donna: Sorry to hear you’re having some problems. You should visit http://support.mozilla.com/ where you should be able to get your questions answered by someone who knows more about that than I do :)

    DWIZZnc: Thanks! We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with 3.6. Onward to Firefox.next!

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  260. It was disappointing to install FF3.6 and discover that over 75% of the Plug-Ins that I use, like, and rely upon are “incompatible” and simply will not work in 3.6; according to the onscreen messages. I had no choice but to uninstall 3.6 and put 3.5 back on. I am simply too busy to deal with an additional hassle trying to re-learn what does and does not work right with my web browser.

    I assume you are not screening and deleting any comments that are not totally complimentary, although it is odd what an incredibly high percentage of effusive praise and worship is being expressed with a notable absence of critique, or [dare I say it?] criticism…

    That said, as a programmer and [no foolin'] Internet pioneer, I still find it a major pain to get stopped and sidetracked every time I open a browser, application, etc. to do a job and get hit with “you need to STOP what you are doing and DO WHAT WE SAY before you can do the WORK you came here to do”. This is one of the most annoying things about Windows, especially if you are a person who had been using X for almost 20 years when Windows was invented – and it’s worse than ever now….

    In trying to improve the World’s best browser (IMHO) be mindful to allow update SUGGESTIONS to have an OVERRIDE CHOICE unless the security issue is a calamitous “show-stopper” of a problem, else you will run the risk of becoming as annoying, nannyish, and dictatorial as so many of the M$ apps and features that derail the task at hand.

    A word of warning about how many add-ons will be disabled by the installation of 3.6, PRIOR to download and install, would be a courteous touch as well. After STOPPING and reading up on why the upgrade was so disruptive, I understand why so many add-ons are not re-written; now if I can just remember what it was I was doing when I innocently decided to take 3 minutes to upgrade to 3.6 and wound up killing the last part of the day…… I understand the price of progress is sometimes higher than usual, but a “heads-up” about 3.6 would probably be appreciated by those used to quick, easy, compatible upgrades of Firefox, which 3.6 ain’t. In a month, this should be a dead issue, but for those eager early adopters like me….. Thanks and keep up the great work!
    :cat

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  281. In other words, my plug-ins might be just fine but based on some secret criterion, Firefox determines that they are “out of date” and refuses to run with them, and who says the plug-in provider has provided an update? I getting tired of this.

  282. Jason: Plugins will be marked as out of date *only* if there is a newer stable version of the plugin available. Yes, your out of date plugin might be fine – but chances are, the newer version will be faster, more stable, or more secure.

    And this won’t disable the plugin – it’s only a warning to let you know that there is a newer, better version available, and to help you update to that version. You will still be able to use the plugin as you always have.

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  289. Windows and bars are dark grey. Who makes an add-on to change that to a favourite colour? I absolutely hate dark grey Let’s all be happy using Firefox, in every aspect

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  301. I just don’t like ALWAYS being prompted to update my plugins. Put a little icon in the corner, but stop hitting me to update every time I start up FF. This is worse than Windows Update!

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  305. It’s getting there – but not yet. IE is still the majority, and IE is still in the game, and Microsoft is still working on it.
    Firefox is making great progress, yes – but it’s still a far cry from being a definitive “win.”
    Firefox is my primary browser, yes. And I love it. But I still can’t really deny that IE still has the larger market share.

  306. When will Firefox and Chrome make it so I can view each browser tab individually from the start bar in Windows 7?!? The only reason I still use IE8 is because of that feature, which makes having multiple tabs extreemly easy. Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like it should have already happened.

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  308. The main problem with firefox is takes lot of memory,
    Right now my IE7 uses 124616 memory. But Firefox using 348880k memory. :pain:

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