Google Toolbar For Firefox 5 and Future Versions Will Be Discontinued

After a surge of updates on Google Plus, it looks like Google wants to do a little housecleaning.

Yesterday, Google announced that they are ending support for Labs because the company wants to focus their resources and efforts on existing products. Now Google has announced that they are ending support for Google Toolbar for Firefox 5 and future versions.

Google says

For Firefox users, many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser. Therefore, while Google Toolbar for Firefox works on versions up to and including Firefox 4 only, it will not be supported on Firefox 5 and future versions.

google-toolbar-firefox-discontinuedI am not a power Google toolbar user and I uninstall it right away, whenever I see one. But there are a lot of people who regularly use the Google Toolbar in Firefox, because the toolbar provides handy shortcuts to Google services and provides easier sharing options. Google says that many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox, are already built right into the browser.

I beg to differ. Here is why:

1. There is no way to know the toolbar PR of a webpage in Firefox, unless you have Google Toolbar installed. I know there are a dozen SEO add-ons and third party sites for knowing the PageRank, but remember that none of them come shipped from the Google factory.

2. There is no way to perform a site specific search in Firefox, unless you know the operator.

3. The sharing options in Google Toolbar are super easy to use and supports almost any social networking site on earth. I agree there are a lot of Firefox add-ons for social sharing but they are not complete and are speed and performance hogs.

Other Toolbar features such as Gmail notifications, page translations and auto fill options are also close to dead. Firefox users who previously enjoyed using Google Toolbar, have to use a different add-on for each of them.

Being a Google Chrome user, I am a bit surprised on Google’s decision to phase out Google Toolbar for Firefox 5 and future versions. How are they going to track user behavior, site speed and other usability tests for Firefox users? Being a data driven company, why do they no longer want the data? A major portion of the Internet population still uses Firefox, I hope Google is well aware of that.

Or is it Let’s push the market share of Chrome by killing our features on competing products?

Update:  Workaround to Run Google Toolbar in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6

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Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

  • I feel a bit torn right now. I really need that toolbar, I use it a lot. I’ve been using Firefox 5 every since it got released, but I’m starting to consider moving back to Firefox 4 so that I will be able to use Google Toolbar. This is a really unfortunate circumstance.

    • Louis

      I’ve tried to download Firefox 4 again but it’s impossible – once you have Firefox 5, you’re stuck with it. I’ve moved to Chrome, but I’m not happy with it, although it’s much faster than Firefox – but certain convenient plug-ins are missing from Chrome that I use all the time in Firefox – it’s a real bugger, I’m telling you

  • Does this mean that, even though I’ve been running the Google Toolbar on Firefox 5 for weeks now, they’re going to shut it down? That’d be a bummer.

  • xafaR

    Wow! Google is froogle, woogle ..mean to Firefox really, if same attitude toward Firefox goes on, no wonder they will restrict access to Gmail via Firefox next month and all other services like.picasa etc.
    I am CSS developer and Firefox is the best tool to work on, *cough cough *firebug is partially stolen**

    so please google if you care to read this, pay attention on Chrome’s render quality rather than killing the competitors.

    • Is Google really planning on blocking access to Gmail and Picasa for Firefox? That’s horrible.

  • David Schrader

    I’ve used the Google Toolbar’s Bookmarks feature for years to synch my bookmarks and make them available on whatever PC I used and regardless of IE or Firefox. My positive feelings for Google just took a major hit.

  • I was thinking it was them trying to push Chrome before I got to the end. lol But thanks for the details. I been waiting weeks but I guess I might have to try Chrome now.

  • John Albers

    Yep, you had to go and mess with a good thing? Now your going to Pay!!! All the people that have come to love Your tool bars over the year’s, are going to drop U like a hot potato, and go elsewhere!!! Like, like, like,______________ fill in the blank yourself! Serves U right, for leaving us HI&DRY. Well that’s all I have to say on the subject!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    I have remove location bar in Firefox and replace it with Google toolbar. I don’t need http bar.

  • Tony

    Argh! I am stuck on Firefox 3, and won’t use Chrome, becuase I use the Google toolbar a lot.

    I like the ability to edit my existing search and searching again – can’t do that with Chrome.

    I am always, always using the buttons which take you to the first reference of the search term within the page.

    To say that Firefox 5+ and Chrome do what the toolbar does is nonsense.

    So annoyed that features I depend on won’t be around.