Google Toolbar Bids Firefox Adieu

By Wesley Fenlon

Google has officially ended Firefox Google Toolbar support with Firefox 5, but the extension can easily be installed with a simple about:config change.

The Google Toolbar has buddied up with Mozilla Firefox for over half a decade, offering easy access to Google searches, Gmail, web history, and on and on. While all that functionality sounded great to the Google faithful back in 2005, it's all but irrelevant today, with Firefox's AwesomeBar and extensions easily covering the features Google Toolbar offered. And, of course, there's a little thing called Google Chrome that's won over more than a few former Firefox users.

With the changing browser landscape in mind, Google has decided to end Toolbar support for Firefox beginning with version 5; Firefox 4 is the last browser the Toolbar officially works with. Angry fans already missing Gmail notifications, a Reader button and mobile web history have already come up with ways to get the Toolbar working with Firefox 5. If you're a diehard Firefox+Google Toolbar user, read on for your salvation.

While comments on the Google blog suggest diving into Firefox system files to get the Toolbar working again, a simple solution lies in the Firefox about:config menu courtesy of Spy on Tech. Open about:config and right-click to create a new Boolean value titled "extensions.checkCompatibility.5.0" and set the value to False. Restart Firefox. Then head here to install the Google Toolbar. Voila!

Google has also helpfully listed several Firefox add-ons that replace most of Toolbar's functionality, should you desire easy access to a translator and Gmail notifications without the Google Toolbar itself.