An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

July 20, 2011

Google Toolbar for Firefox Has Been Discontinued

Another Google product bites the dust. This time it's a popular add-on: Google Toolbar for Firefox. Many users were surprised to see that Google hasn't updated the toolbar for Firefox 5, even though it wasn't a difficult task. After enabling the Add-on Compatibility Reporter, most of the features worked well in Firefox 5.

It turns out that Google no longer wants to update Google Toolbar for Firefox, but it doesn't admit that the product has been discontinued.

"Google Toolbar for Firefox is compatible with Firefox version 4 or older. If you use Firefox version 5 or newer, you won't be able to use Google Toolbar."


Google suggests a long list of add-ons that could replace Google Toolbar's features, but the suggestions are too generic. For example, Google links to the search results for [bookmarks sync] or [language translate] in the Firefox add-ons gallery.

A Google blog post offers an explanation: "many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser" and thanks the loyal users. That's also true for the IE toolbar, but there are many useful features that aren't included in the browser: auto-translation (a built-in Chrome feature), Google Bookmarks integration, using Google Docs to open documents, smart spell-checking using an online service, highlighting search terms, suggestions for navigation errors (another built-in Chrome feature), custom buttons and gadgets.

You probably remember that Google Toolbar for Firefox was released in 2005, five years after the Internet Explorer version. At that time, Firefox users who wanted to install a Google Toolbar with PageRank support could try an unofficial extension called Googlebar. Maybe that extension will be resurrected, now that Google Toolbar for Firefox is no longer available. Releasing some of the source code under an open-source license would be helpful.

For now, Google Toolbar still works in the latest Firefox releases if you install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter first and restart the browser. Here's Google Toolbar in Firefox 7 Alpha 2 (Aurora):


Last year, Microsoft's Bing Bar dropped support for Firefox and became an Internet Explorer-only add-on, just like Google Toolbar. Bing Bar is powered by Silverlight, a software for running rich internet applications. A few months ago, Google tested a new Google Toolbar powered by Chrome, but only for Internet Explorer. It's likely that the new toolbar didn't work well in Firefox, so Google decided to only offer an Internet Explorer version.

{ Thanks, Colar. }

66 comments:

  1. This is really pissing me off, one of the reasons I do not use Google chrome is that it did not had a Google toolbar when it first came out (I do not know if it has one now because I never went back there)

    Firefox 5 is a version of Firefox that I really do not like (it broke far more things that It fixed) but as you mentioned the changes needed on the Google toolbar to work with Firefox 5 were not that great.

    Do you know if there has been any Google Failed product that found a better life on the open source community?

    That would be My only hope

    ReplyDelete
  2. Google has and is making some very very odd moves that I am not sure if I am a fan of or not yet...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google is trying to redirect usage to Google Chrome... that's all...

      Delete
  3. I don't use Firefox for a long time and I don't miss any toolbar : you have extensions with Chrome which work alike and don't reduce the space of your browser... you also have now the applications and some of the them are links... No toolbar needed !

    ReplyDelete
  4. I use the Google Toolbar only for custom buttons. I like to type the search text in the search box and then click the appropriate button for the site that I want to search on. Or just use the buttons as bookmarks. Is there a similar add-on for Firefox?

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is really sad news... I always used Firefox and Google Toobar in combination... Now I have to switch back to the previous version of the Firefox :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2011/06/enable-google-toolbar-in-firefox-5.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Its a sad news for me. I really enjoyed with google toolbar in firefox.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I guessed something like this would happen once Chrome appeared. It's true that many of GT's features can be replaced by built-in features and/or extensions but, so far, not all of them. If they can eventually do that then fair enough. In the meantime I stick with Firefox and GT with compatibility reporter add-on.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Weird? I recently auto-updated to Firefox 5 on Ubuntu Natty & Google toolbar add-on has continued working exactly as before.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Maybe they just got tired of constantly updating for compatibility with the new versions of Firefox! :)
    That doesn't look like a good sign for the relationship between Google and Mozilla though...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shame on Google instead of staying an open company they become obsessed by "Chrome OS" AKA Android and "Google+" close all relations with other products than Google products... A new Kind of M$-Crap...

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  12. So much for a competitive browser market! As soon as free open-source Firefox competes against Google Chrome (and Microsoft IE), they withdraw support. I'm sticking with Firefox!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Although I understand why they are doing this, I really wish I could continue to get the tool through firefox simply because I prefer FF. I anyways do all my searches through google.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm wondering what's going on with Google. Stopping support for competitive browsers, dismantling Google Labs... It sounds almost like they are giving up their user-centric "don't be evil" mantra and going Micro$oft on us.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This might help someone. http://lifehacker.com/5458509/get-google-toolbars-features-without-the-toolbar I personally hate the google toolbar.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So first no more Google toolbar for Firefox, Next for IE. To pursuade everyone to use Google Crome (Google systems).
    Now is that good, evil or neither for the consumer/user.

    Something tells me Google has started to focus, cut costs, rationalise or become more efficient.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I liked it when the toolbar was available in Firefox

    ReplyDelete
  18. Does Google want a piece of the pie or not? Guess when one gets big enough, they pick and choose whom they make alliances with and as they say, "Let The End User Beware" because "You Are So Screwed!" Thanks Google for absolutely nothing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have Firefox 4, and all of a sudden yesterday, I couldn't get into my reader, my calendar, none of my Google stuff except email. It keeps asking me to sign in and when I do... nothing. If you want to stop support fine, but it's not like you don't have my email address, Google--shoot me an email and let me know what's up so I can make arrangements. That's not too much to ask right? That makes sense doesn't it? It's kinda shady.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks Google for not supporting the Fire Fox community!

    B I N G !

    ReplyDelete
  21. I miss my google toolbar,I had a lot of buttons for my favorite sites Spell check I really loved.Their add on aren't that great.How can you get back to the older version of firefox?This is pure crap.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lets see what they could do with the Googlebar again.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Worst.
    Comment.
    Navigation.
    Ever.

    Click preview. Hit back page button. Comment gone. Forever.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such bad news. A lot of people use firefox 5 and the Google toolbar. Too bad it didn't work out either of them. Got to go back to the old firefox version if you want to use the toolbar. Wish there were less bugs/errors on browsers.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I slowly came to like and then even depend on the
    Google toolbar. It tied in nicely with the other Google products I used. If they want to discontinue the product that is their right, but not giving their loyal users any notice is not acceptable. It shows a total lack of caring for their customers and I fear foreshadows a drastic change in how Google interacts with it's users. I rely on the internet for work and personal planning, scheduling, communications and more. So finding out after upgrading my browser that I now have to search out and test new apps that I hope will provide the same level of service is a giant pain in the ass. Google I love your products but you dropped the customer service ball on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Money talks. Also for Google. They and MS want to leverage out Firefox, but no chance with me. Shame on you both.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Google is a piece of shit company, they offer absolutely NO personal customer support.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Google are really pathetic. Now the google toolbar fails to sign into my account unless I go through a whole authentication process. It was working fine with the compatibility component of firefox off, but now...

    ReplyDelete
  29. I just went to download the G toolbar and discovered this blog, new laptop, I didn't use it much but really need it to monitor page rank of my site/s. Really am getting annoyed with Google now, as mentioned they are turning into M$, wolf in sheeps clothing springs to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Google are so huge you would think by now they would be able to make it compatible with everything especially firefox

    ReplyDelete
  31. Firefox 7 is out and say bye-bye to Google Toolbar... :(

    ReplyDelete
  32. And now google did more evil
    They made it impossible to sign in on the google toolbar, so your cloud bookmarks have disappeared.

    Praise be to Mr Tayler for this fix:

    http://randytayler.com/2011/09/cant-log-in-to-the-google-toolbar-miss-your-bookmarks-i-help-you/

    ReplyDelete
  33. And I'm not going to use Chrome by force! I used google toolbar for its buttons (mostly gmail). Now I'll have to click on a link in my bookmarks bar!

    What Google has done is what I call "Bad Forceful Policy" and I'm not going to follow this policy, the way I didn't use G+!

    gL :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Only a stupid idiot would use internet explorer.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thats bullshit, i willstop using all google services.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm still using Firefox version 3.6.23 and Google toolbar quit working right about 2 weeks ago. Just an FYI. Going back to an older Firefox version may no longer work.

    ReplyDelete
  37. The last firefox update tonight just disabled CA , computer Associates,tool bar . I don't like internet explorer it has too many holes in it. Blogspot will not work with yahoo- now kind of looks like a deliberate attempt to get us to pay those pop up techs. Thanks for verifying that Google is just not supporting firefox.
    EF

    ReplyDelete
  38. Why didn't google update its toolbar for firefox

    ReplyDelete
  39. Google is pushing people to use Chrome

    ReplyDelete
  40. For Firefox the add on "Google Shortcuts 2.1.6" is highly configurable and seems to serve as a satisfactory replacement (except for lacking auto-fill). I had been having problems with the Google toolbar and would have liked to see it updated, but since it wasn't this will suffice.

    ReplyDelete
  41. All part of Googles destroy pricing plan (non business people should look it up, its exactly what Google have been doing for the past 10 years!), use firefox to raise the profile of Google, then release your own browser and sever any support for firefox.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It should be compatable with firefox

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi,
    I've solved it as follow: go to the profile directory and under extensions look for the appropriated folder for google toolbar. then open the install.rdf file and change simply the em:maxVersion tag!
    thats it :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. very bad...I am waiting for google toolbar....

    ReplyDelete
  45. I really regret having updated to the latest version of Firefox. In my opinion the upgrade is a serious degradation of the product and not having Google toolbar with it just ticks me off to mo end. I have been a long time user and supporter of both Google and Firefox, but not anymore. ...and my next smart phone won't be and Android either.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Do not wait for Google. There is not enough profit in Firefox for them and Firefox has been releasing major updates too often.
    ____

    The old Google toolbar appears compatible with FF 7.01. I have had no problems (after installing the "Nightly Tester Tools" (which includes the "Add-on Compatibility Reporter"). I have not done a thorough test, but nothing has failed yet.

    ReplyDelete
  47. To install Google Toolbar in a new install of FF7 (not an upgrade from FF5 or FF6):

    - install Nightly Tester Tools add-on
    - set Nightly to "force Add-on Compatibility"
    - download Google Toolbar XPI file. Google it for direct download.
    - Run the XPI file. If asked pick FF7 to open it.
    - The Toolbar should install.
    - restart FF7.

    Optional:
    - install Compatibility Reporter Add-on.
    - remove Nightly Tester Tools Add-on.
    - set Google Toolbar as OK in Compatibility Reporter.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I got google toolbar back. After upgrading to 8 and finding that I couldn't use the GTB, I installed the add on anyway. It worked but wasn't satisfied with the buttons and couldn't find the auto fill. I could've swore that I had done updates to 7.01. So I downloaded and installed that. GTB wouldn't work. Then I downloaded 4.01 from http://www.oldversion.com/Mozilla-Firefox.html I installed it and it said that GTB was compatible. Ok, good. I looked for GTB in the toolbar list and it was there. I applied it and it works. Even has all my old data. Then I noticed, Hey, all the tabs are different, the password logo box is new. So it appears I have a combination of either 8 or 7.01 and 4.01 (?) It says it's ver 4.01 but everything is new. So try after getting ver 8 download 4.01 and see if you get the same results.

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is really a bad news.

    I have Firefox 5 and I want Google toolbar. But there is no option. So I have to upgrade my Firefox 5 to Firefox 6.

    ReplyDelete
  50. These add-ons should get you most of the way in firefox without taking up the space which the google toolbar took up (search for them on google..):

    - SearchWP (makes the words in the firefox searchbar become "buttons" which can be clicked, also allows for all search terms to be highlighted in current page)

    - SearchBox Sync (when you search for anything in a search engine, those words will be automatically updated in the firefox search box)

    - Toolbar buttons (Lets you add buttons to firefox, for example Google Translate to automatically translate the current page)

    - Google Shortcuts (also lets you add buttons to firefox, and even lets you make your own buttons which go to whichever URL you like)



    Try them out, they should help...

    ReplyDelete
  51. I want my GOOGLE Toolbar back on both my Firefox and IE forever...What's with this world anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  52. I want my Google Toolbar back on my firefox Please.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I want my Google Toolbar back Please.

    ReplyDelete
  54. This is typical of Google - they are becoming the new M$ :-(

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'm using Quirk's Search Status tool which resides in your system tray when you turn it on. Shows PR for each page as you surf, just like the Google Toolbar. I combine this with the SEO for FireFox add on. Only thing I wonder is how accurate their PR data is. Seems Big G likes messing with apps and scripts that scrape their data. It's also become apparent that they withhold a lot of information. An example is inbound links reporting. When you query, they only shows a portion of what they really have in their database.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Check this out ... it is working perfectly for me in FireFox 9 (the latest):
    http://www.itsabhik.com/tech/how-to-enable-google-toolbar-in-firefox-5.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I think installing software no longer supported by the author is asking for trouble, particularly anything to do with browsing and, therefore, system security.

      The main feature of Google Toolbar that I miss is the search history in the search window. This is very convenient and I'm surprised nobody else has implemented it, since the search information is available in the default history window.

      I don't blame Google for this. Once you introduce the capability of add-ons, surely you have a duty to ensure that future versions of your product are compatible with the most popular add-ons. Even the much-maligned MS did this with Windows. Mozilla has no such scruples.

      Delete
  57. Googlebar Lite works with Firefox 11. It has the best parts of the original toolbar that I used most.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I guess Google wanted users to use their very own browser. They kept it alive for IE in the hopes of attracting IE users to use Chrome. Of course, IE is excellent for downloading... downloading another browser. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  59. I think it's still hard to understand. I don't have any statistics about it, offhand, but it seems to stand pretty solidly to reason: Firefox is used by a substantial part of the Google user/customer base - and Firefox is a modern browser, with extensive support for HTML5 and so on - so why wouldn't Google at least support it with a toolbar, in addition to their marketing efforts about Chrome?

    I'm afraid I can't take it as a reason to switch back from FF to Chrome - and if Google doesn't want to make it easier for me to use Google+ with Firefox, then maybe I don't want to use Google+ so much. Hrm, sour grapes...

    ReplyDelete
  60. Grr... I totally hate this. I love Firefox and google together... but now I have this BABYLON searchbar which is super annoying... I'll change it to Yahoo!....

    ReplyDelete
  61. OMG.... I AM SO PISSSSSED right now

    ReplyDelete
  62. Earlier, I was using opera web browser but after experience the functionalities of Google toolbar in Firefox browser I might be switching to Mozila.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I installed the live pagerank plugin a little while ago and I've been keeping an eye on it... It seems to pull up the same kind of info as the live pagerank checkers and page rank predictors. Like you said basically, Expertu, doesn't do a whole lot of good, but I guess it's mildly useful... I'm going to try the one you speak of though, thanks!

    Regards
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete