How to access the Mozilla add-ons sandbox

UPDATE: This entry is outdated. The sandbox for addons is no more. Instead there is a checkbox you can check to display ‘experimental’ addons which is the same thing. You may need to register (free) and log in to see the checkbox. Also the checkbox is not visible if there are no experimental extensions that match your search query or are in the category you are browsing.

The add-ons sandbox is a place for un-tested firefox extensions, themes and other add-ons. Users who don’t mind using untested add-ons can try out these extensions and review them. If a particular extension gets enough thorough reviews, that extension can be moved on to the the public add-ons site.

There are some pretty cool extensions in the sandbox, and if you want to try them out there are a few steps you must take.

  1. Go to addons.mozilla.com
  2. If you haven’t registered with the site, do so now (it’s free). Otherwise log in. Near the top of the page you’ll see a bar with a search box. On the right of the search box are the links for registering or logging in.

    Step 2

  3. Once yo’ve registered and logged in, have a look on the left side of the search box. If the word ‘Sandbox’ is not visible, click on ‘My Account’ which will be just to the right of the search box. If it is visible, skip the next step.

    Step 3

  4. On the account settings page, look for ‘Show Sandbox’ and make sure the checkbox is checked. Save.

    Step 4

  5. The word ‘Sandbox’ is now visible on the left of the search box. Click it. The colour of the grey bar will change to a sand-like background.

    Step 5

  6. Towards the left of that bar you will see ‘Home > Sandbox > …’ Click on ‘Sandbox’. You’re done!

    Step 6

  7. If you want to leave the sand box, click on ‘Public’ on the left of the search box. Or, in the location bar, remove the ‘/status:1’ from the end of the url.

Remember! These are add-ons untested and so may not be safe! On the other hand the majority of them are by honest and competent coders who want their work to be made public and needs your help in testing and reviewing them.

If you want a few sandboxed extensions to review that I know are safe try:

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2 Responses to “How to access the Mozilla add-ons sandbox”

  1. R Emarell Says:

    Though I like Firefox and Thunderbird, I generally have found MozillaZine to work poorly over the years, and the current iteration is no exception. On 5 April 2008, I was blocked from downloading an addon that is in the alleged sandbox because I had not enabled access to the sandbox. I clicked around until I was at my account profile edit page. No mention of sandbox. Later I located this blog entry (“How to access the Mozilla add-ons sandbox”) and revisited my account profile edit page. The “Show sandbox” checkbox option depicted in step 4 simply is not there, though all the other depicted fields are. I also tried loading my profile in an alternate browser. No dice. Annoying!!!

  2. ttechnotes Says:

    “simply is not there,”

    Yeah this entry is now outdated. Mozilla now lists sandboxed addons as being “experimental”.

    Search for the checkbox on a page that lists all the addons that lets you show experimental addons. You may need to register and log in for this.

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