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Problem with Firefox Plugins


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Hello,

I am having an issue with the combination CCleaner (CC) and Firefox (FF), both on the latest release (V5.72, 81.0)

Within FF i have deleted several search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo and within CC i have disabled their extensions using 'Tools','Bowser plugins'.

After restarting FF and starting CC, the search engines don't show in FF but do show re-enabled in CC.

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Confirmed that I can do the same and they come back.

They are obviously being background loaded/enabled by Firefox itself when you launch it; so that they would be instantly available if you selected them in Firefox.

I'm not sure how to stop that, there is probably something in Firefox 'About:Config' that would do it but there are a lot a Firefox settings to wade through in config.

If I get time I'll see if I can track then down later.

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4 hours ago, nukecad said:

Confirmed that I can do the same and they come back.  They are obviously being background loaded/enabled by Firefox itself when you launch it; so that they would be instantly available if you selected them in Firefox.  I'm not sure how to stop that, there is probably something in Firefox 'About:Config' that would do it.....

Hi nukecad:

According to the Firefox Support article Add or Remove a Search Engine in Firefox, search engines that are removed from the list of available search engines at Tools | Options | One-Click Search Engines with the Remove button can be added back by clicking the Restore Default Search Engines button, so that implies they aren't permanently deleted from the user's default Firefox profile by design.  However, I'd still expect search engines that were hidden or removed in the Firefox settings to be shown as Disabled in CCleaner at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox.

If the behaviour GeorgeNelis noticed with CCleaner v5.72 is caused by a bug then the problem must have started before CCleaner v5.72 was released since I see the same thing with the previous CCleaner v 5.71 (rel. 14-Sep-2020) and the latest Firefox v81.0 browser.  My Amazon.ca and eBay search engines are always hidden / disabled (i.e., the check mark is toggled OFF) in my Firefox browser at Tools | Options | Search | One-Click Search Engines as shown below (note that GeorgeNelis might have gone one step further and actually used the Remove button to remove DuckDuckGo and Bing from their list of available search engines) ...

1877855890_FFv81_0SearchSettingsOneClickSearchEngines24Sep2020.png.1708e39e098a7a8267d4c48959198997.png

... when I search from the Firefox address bar or search bar my hidden / disabled Amazon and eBay search engines are not offered ...

242777882_FFv81_0SearchBarOneClickSearchEngines24Sep2020.png.a79b003231caf87952c434e05a5c12ad.png

...but when I go Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox in CCleaner v5.71 the Amazon and eBay search engines are both listed as Enabled.  I also have no idea why CCleaner lists my Amazon search engine for their Australian site at Amazon.com.au when it's listed as Amazon.ca (I live in Canada) in my Firefox browser.

1635024804_CCleanerv5_71BrowserPluginsAmazonandeBayEnabled24Sep2020.png.78b158089b74b63d30739167d25dc028.png

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the changes in Firefox 79 described in the Mozilla blog Changes to Storage.sync in Firefox 79 (i.e., the same changes that caused the buggy CCleaner v5.69 to incorrectly wipe custom settings in Firefox browser extensions) is the same reason why CCleaner can no longer detect the correct status of custom settings for the Firefox one-click search engines.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.1016 * Firefox 81.0 * CCleaner Free Portable v5.71.7971

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I've done a bit of testing now and I think it's just an issue with understanding the terminology used by mozilla.

'Removing' a search engine from the One-Click list doesn't disable the search engine, it just 'removes' if from that list and stops it being displayed on the search bar dropdown.
The 'removed' search engine is still loaded and enabled, but you can't see it on either list.

You can fully disable the search engine using CCleaner, but you have to close Firefox to do that - and then Firefox simply re-enables it again when you open Firefox.

To test:

  • I removed all but google from the list in Firefox.
  • Open CCleaner and they are still displayed as enabled.
  • Close Firefox and disable the extensions in CCleaner, close CCleaner.
  • Re-open CCleaner and they are still disabled. Close Ccleaner.
  • Re-open Firefox and there is still only Google showing in the One-Click list.
  • But re-open CCleaner and you can see that re-opening Firefox has enabled them all in the background again.

So CCleaner is disabling them, but then Firefox is re-enabling them next time you start it.

To stop Firefox  doing that then you would have to make a change to what Firefox does on launch.

I'll have a look round and see if I can find anyway to stop Firefox doing it.

PS. Testing a bit more it seems to be any Firefox plugin that does not show a 'Publisher' or shows Mozilla as the publisher that will get re-enabled in this way at Firefox launch.

 

 

 

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@GeorgeNelis @lmacri

As this is a different issue from the one where it was originally posted (that one was solved) I have now split it out into it's own thread.

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Well I've not found how to permanently disable them yet, but I have found confirmation of my thinking/testing of what the Firefox 'Remove' option actually does, or more importantly doesn't do.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/change-your-default-search-settings-firefox

Quote

To remove alternative search engines you don't want to be displayed in the search bar or address bar, remove the check mark next to the search engine listed in the Search panel under One-click Search Engines. This will not remove the search engines themselves.

 

I'm tending to think that they are 'baked in' and can't be completely disabled/removed without some kind of hack to the Firefox loading process.

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1 hour ago, nukecad said:

... So CCleaner is disabling them, but then Firefox is re-enabling them next time you start it. ...

...PS. Testing a bit more it seems to be any Firefox plugin that does not show a 'Publisher' or shows Mozilla as the publisher that will get re-enabled in this way at Firefox launch.

Hi nukecad:

Then that sounds like the CCleaner browser add-on manager for at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox isn't working as expected if the changes made in CCleaner to enable/disable Firefox browser add-ons aren't permanent.  Doesn't that qualify as a bug?

I did some more testing and it's not just the one-click search engines in Firefox that are a problem.  I disabled my  Bitdefender TrafficLight for Firefox extension from within CCleaner v5.71 at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox (my image <here> shows CCleaner detects the Publisher as BitDefender Labs) and CCleaner initially disabled this extension in Firefox, but the when I closed and relaunched Firefox a second time the Bitdefender TrafficLight extension automatically re-enabled itself.  CCleaner v5.71 is still reporting that that  Bitdefender TrafficLight is disabled even though I can see it's re-enabled in Firefox.

Thanks for splitting this off as a separate topic.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.1016 * Firefox 81.0 * CCleaner Free Portable v5.71.7971

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1 hour ago, lmacri said:

 Doesn't that qualify as a bug?

Not really a bug - CCleaner is doing what is is expected to do and disabling the extensions - but Firefox is then re-enabling them again as soon as you launch Firefox.

So it's more of a pointless excercise disabling the 'special' Firefox extensions, rather than being a bug.

It wouldn't matter how, or what, you used to disable them, Firefox will always put them back/re-enable them.

(This particular issue is nothing to do with syncing, but it is similar to the syncing issue with browsers.
If you have your browser synced then you can clean synced browser data off your machine with CCleaner and it's gone from your machine; but the browser will sync it back again as soon as you open the browser - So that cleaning of synced data is also pointless).

This one may be confined to those 'special', pre-loaded, Firefox extensions and not be an issue with other browsers?
(And I'm not going to install Chrome just to test it).

(PS. I believe that I have found the json file that is controlling that automatic search engine/other extension launching in Firefox but want to look at things a bit more before playing about with it).

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8 hours ago, lmacri said:

I disabled my  Bitdefender TrafficLight for Firefox extension from within CCleaner v5.71 at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox (my image <here> shows CCleaner detects the Publisher as BitDefender Labs) and CCleaner initially disabled this extension in Firefox, but the when I closed and relaunched Firefox a second time the Bitdefender TrafficLight extension automatically re-enabled itself. ..

 

7 hours ago, nukecad said:

Not really a bug - CCleaner is doing what is is expected to do and disabling the extensions - but Firefox is then re-enabling them again as soon as you launch Firefox. So it's more of a pointless excercise disabling the 'special' Firefox extensions, rather than being a bug.  It wouldn't matter how, or what, you used to disable them, Firefox will always put them back/re-enable them....

Hi nukecad:

Perhaps it's a matter of semantics.  What you call a "pointless exercise" is what I would call a bug.

If I disable my Bitdefender TrafficLight for Firefox extension from my CCleaner add-on manager (Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox, highlight the extension and click the Disable button) the extension re-enables itself after a second re-start of the browser (i.e., the icon reappears in my browser toolbar and the extension is fully functional).  There's nothing "special" about this extension - it's just a typical browser add-on downloaded from the Mozilla AMO store at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/.

1105705378_FFv81_0BrowserToolbarBitdefenderTrafficLightEnabled25Sep2020.png.c062296167ac0244215b0f10334cf6f6.png

If I disable my Bitdefender TrafficLight for Firefox extension from my Firefox add-on manager (Tools | Add-ons | Extensions ) as shown below the extension remains disabled through multiple re-boots (i.e., the icon disappears from my browser toolbar until I re-enable it in the Firefox add-on manager).

1959502612_FFv81_0Add-onManagerBitdefenderTrafficLightDisabled25Sep2020.png.a7584f2dc2325dcdc166803cc3b2f876.png

1620854453_FFv81_0BrowserToolbarBitdefenderTrafficLightDisabled25Sep2020.png.85425ca0bff62b10fa5b74dba4278c60.png

If the CCleaner add-on manager for Firefox at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox doesn't work correctly and Avast / Piriform has no plans (or doesn't know how) to fix it, then they should remove this feature from CCleaner.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.1016 * Firefox 81.0 * CCleaner Free Portable v5.71.7971

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Hi,

I cannot remove the default search engines in CCleaner or Firefox?

When I disable the default search engines list in CCleaner they are just re-enabled again when I restart Firefox.

The default list is: Bing, Wikipedia, Amazon, DuckDuckGo, eBay and Google.

I know the default browsers still exist somewhere because under Firefox options you have the option to 'Restore default search engines' and they magically reappear.

I know this is more a 'Firefox' issue but I was hoping someone here might know where this Firefox default search engine list is hidden?

I cannot find this default list anywhere in about:config in Firefox or even the registry.

I managed to delete some unwanted features (such as autoform) via the Mozilla installation folder in myprograms but could not find anything relevant to the search engines list - unless I missed something.

I look this up also only to find the same old standard results / replies on how to remove the default search engines from the list - I know that - but they still exist and are always displayed in CCleaner even when I have 'deleted' them in FF - they are never truly deleted as you can restore them at any time, it seems they are 'embedded' with firefox somehow.

Appreciate any help and be as technical as you want.

 

list.JPG

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2 hours ago, lmacri said:

Perhaps it's a matter of semantics.  What you call a "pointless exercise" is what I would call a bug.

v
v

If the CCleaner add-on manager for Firefox at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox doesn't work correctly and Avast / Piriform has no plans (or doesn't know how) to fix it, then they should remove this feature from CCleaner.

Definitely a matter of semantics.

CCleaner is doing what it is asked to do and disabling the extensions so Ccleaner is working correctly and is not bugged, but Firefox is then undoing what CCleaner has done.
(It's like asking your son (CCleaner) to close your garden gate, but your daughter (Firefox) later opens it and leaves it open, you can't blame your son for that, he did what was asked).

When you run CCleaner it is simply showing the current state of those extensions, enabled or disabled.
(That's you looking out of the window to see if your gate is open or not).

As you say the only thing that CCleaner could do is stop showing those startup entries for the Firefox extensions,
(That's eqiavelent to you closing your curtains so you can't see the gate).

But I expect that if the entries were simply not shown in CCleaner then there would probably be complaints that CCleaner is not showing all Firefox startup entries.

I'll flag this thread/issue up to the staff, but TBH I don't think there is much that can be done by CCleaner to stop Firefox re-enabling those entries.
It's something that would have to be changed with Firefox itself. (Maybe post a bug report on Bugzilla?)

PS. By playing about with About:Config and Perfs.json I can sometimes, not always, get Firefox to stop re-enabling the Bing search engine extension for a while - but only for a while and it always comes back eventually.

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@MrManneI have merged your question into this existing thread about the issue, please read this thread from the start.

Or just read my post above this one for a quick explanation of what seems to be happening.

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  • nukecad changed the title to Problem with Firefox Plugins
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If CCleaner is offering to disable the addons knowing that FF will only enable them again........ what's the point of  CC offering to disable them in the first place ?

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2 hours ago, nukecad said:

@MrManneI have merged your question into this existing thread about the issue, please read this thread from the start.

Or just read my post above this one for a quick explanation of what seems to be happening.

No problem, I did not have a lot of a time so did not browse the other topics.

Could the default engines be unloaded from a specific .dll in the main folder?

They must be 'stored' somewhere?

I already deleted the default browser application - didn't work - it might be an app to check the browser is default but whatever its gone and FF still works without it.

Edit: I also deleted everything in the features folder (Form Autofill, DOH Rollout, and the Web-Compat junk - but these also re-enable unless you delete them)

Furthermore I could just begin to delete certain files in the main folder and see if the search engines disappear.

If I brake Firefox then I will just re-install, so I do not mind experimenting - everything is backed up.

So I might delete random stuff tomorrow and see if (by trial and error) I can hit the jackpot.... could be fun!

As for CCleaner they could just omit them because technically they are not your typical extensions - because you cannot turn them off, delete them and they do not show in the extensions section of FF but of course this kinda defeats the point - WHERE ARE THE DEFAULT SEARCH ENGINES!? lol

Cheers.

UPDATE: Partial success with editing the extensions-preferences.json, extensions.json and extensions-settings.json files all in your default profile folder.

It seems that even the slightest edit of extensions.json removes the list of engines but it also removes everything else (all but the openH264 codec thingy). My add-ons such as uBlock are still in FF but i can no longer edit them via CCleaner... so getting closer to a temporary fix!

p.s  I set the above files to read-only to prevent Firefox from resetting them, though I am not sure if it does this but did not take the risk at this point.

Edited by MrManne
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No need to bump usually on an active thread like this. But it is sometimes better to make a new post rather than edit.

Like yourself I've been doing some playing about with not much sucess.

I guess that mozilla just wants them enabled by default.

I suspect that even if we can work out how to stop that the next Firefox update will change the game.

As I said above though I don't agree that CCleaner should just ignore them; it should still report if they are enabled or not at any paticular time.

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To me at first glance it looks like Firefox is protecting itself from unauthorized outside modification and tinkering, and I'd say kudos to Mozilla for building it that way - if that's what's actually happening.

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Quote

Could the default engines be unloaded from a specific .dll in the main folder?

They must be 'stored' somewhere?

The search engines themselves are not actually 'stored' on your PC, they are way too big for that - but Firefox (or any browser) links to their database(s) when needed.

Quite a few .json, and other, files in the user profile seem to have links to them.

So I don't believe that being able to totally disable them would save much space or speed up your browser anyway.
Unless you tell your browser searchbox to use one or more particular search engine(s) then it's not going to link to their database in the first place.

You can untick them all in Firefox.
In which case the searchbox seems to default to Google, it does for me, even if Google is unticked in about:preferences#search.
TBH many users use their chosen search engine webpage for searches rather than using the browser searchbox anyway. (I don't usually even have it on toolbar).

PS. It is interesting to see from the screenshots that Firefox gives you different 'default' search engines depending on your country.
For instance here in the UK we get 'Chambers (UK)' as well as the standard Google/Bing/Duck Duck Go/etc. and notice that the Amazon engine is country specific in each of the screenshots posted on this thread.

image.png

 

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On 25/09/2020 at 06:52, lmacri said:

...If I disable my Bitdefender TrafficLight for Firefox extension from my CCleaner add-on manager (Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox, highlight the extension and click the Disable button) the extension re-enables itself after a second re-start of the browser ...

 

1 hour ago, Léon said:

When I disable Bitdefender Trafficlight in CCleaner it is still disabled after opening Firefox.

Hi Léon :

What is your Windows OS (if Win 10 let us know your version and build - see the TechSmith article How to Check Windows 10 Build), and what versions of Firefox and CCleaner are you using?

If you disable Bitdefender TrafficLight in CCleaner does it remain disabled in Firefox if you open and close your browser a few times? Note that I had to close and re-start Firefox twice before  Bitdefender TrafficLight re-appeared in my browser toolbar.
-----------------
64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.1016 * Firefox 81.0 * CCleaner Free Portable v5.71.7971

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After closing and re-opening Firefox three times (3 times!) Bitdefender TrafficLight was still disabled.

Windows 10, CCleaner and Firefox all latest versions.

Windows 10 Home edition, 2004, Build 19041.508.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Léon said:

After closing and re-opening Firefox three times (3 times!) Bitdefender TrafficLight was still disabled.  Windows 10, CCleaner and Firefox all latest versions. Windows 10 Home edition, 2004, Build 19041.508.

Hi Léon:

I updated to CCleaner Free Portable v5.72 today and repeated the same steps described <above> and my results were the same (i.e., my Bitdefender TrafficLight icon re-appeared in my browser toolbar after a second re-start of my browser).  However, I checked my Firefox add-on manager during today's test and noticed it reported extension was disabled, even though the TrafficLight icon re-appeared in my browser toolbar and was functioning normally.

From today's test after the update to CCleaner Free Portable v5.72:

1. Open Firefox. Confirm Bitdefender TrafficLight is working normally in Firefox v81.0 (i.e., add-on manager at Tools | Add-ons | Extensions shows extension is enabled and the icon appears in the browser toolbar). Close Firefox.

2.  Open CCleaner. Disable Bitdefender TrafficLight for Firefox v3.1.3 extension from the CCleaner add-on manager at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox (i.e., select the TrafficLight extension and click the Disable button.  Close CCleaner.

632757332_CCleanerv5_72BrowserPluginsDisableFFBitdefenderTrafficLight28Sep2020.png.11768a77b40266cde21ff47db359d3b3.png

3.  Open Firefox.  Go to the Firefox add-on manager (Tools | Add-ons | Extensions). As expected, the add-on manager shows TrafficLight is disabled and the extension icon (a green circle with white check mark on "safe" sites) has disappeared from the browser toolbar in the top-right corner of the browser.

1104017020_FFv81_0BitdefenderTrafficLightDisabledbyCCleanerv5_7228Sep2020.png.3f2dd7088a438b97dac40f56b29ab279.png

4.  Close and re-open Firefox.  Go to the Firefox add-on manager (Tools | Add-ons | Extensions). The add-on manager still shows TrafficLight is disabled but the TrafficLight icon (green circle with white checkmark) reappears in the browser toolbar.   TrafficLight seems to behave normally [e.g., the TrafficLight status icon (green/yellow/red) appears in Google search results].  Open and close Firefox multiple times to confirm the TrafficLight icon loads into the browser toolbar at every browser launch.  Close Firefox.

477223633_FFv81_0BitdefenderTrafficLightToobarIconReappears28Sep2020.png.37409c587451f26ca3b5e1a5988c7bbe.png

5.  Open CCleaner.  CCleaner add-on manager at Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox still shows TrafficLight is disabled (Enabled = No, see image in Step # 2) even though the TrafficLight extension loads in the browser toolbar as shown in Step # 4 and behaves normally.

 

I fiddled around and eventually got the two add-on managers synced so that the enabled / disabled status of my TrafficLight extension is correct in both Firefox (Tools | Add-ons | Extensions) and CCleaner (Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox) but it took a bit of work.  At one point my TrafficLight extension was enabled in Firefox at Tools | Add-ons | Extensions and the icon in the browser toolbar was visible but CCleaner (Tools | Browser Plugins | Firefox) showed the extension was disabled (Enabled = No) and threw an "access denied" error (sorry, I can't recall the wording of the full error message) when I clicked the Enable button.

I use the portable version of CCleaner downloaded from https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/builds (i.e., CCleaner is not an installed program on my computer and the ccleaner.ini file resides on a USB thumb drive) so perhaps that's why it took me a while to get both add-on managers in sync.  I don't think the fact that I still use Win 10 Pro v1909 (not v2004) would be a factor.

 

Regardless, this still doesn't address CCleaner's wonky behaviour with "special" Firefox extensions like the one-click search engines where Firefox will automatically re-enable one-click search engines if they are disabled in CCleaner.  I suspect Andavari's suggestion <here> that Firefox has a built-in protection mechanism to prevent outside sources (including malicious browser hijackers) from modifying the user's search engines is the most likely explanation.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.1016 * Firefox 81.0 * CCleaner Free Portable v5.72.7994

Edited by lmacri
Added link used to download "official" CCleaner Portable
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Hello Imacri,

Because my TrafficLight icon is always hidden from the toolbar (if a warning comes, it comes anyway), I only looked at the add-on manager.

If you insist I will do the test again with the icon in the toolbar.

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1 hour ago, Léon said:

Because my TrafficLight icon is always hidden from the toolbar (if a warning comes, it comes anyway), I only looked at the add-on manager.  If you insist I will do the test again with the icon in the toolbar.

Hi Léon:

I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to do more testing. The latest test results I posted <above> were really for the benefit of any Avast / Piriform employee following this thread who agrees that they need to open a formal bug report.  I only wanted to confirm that the behaviour I see on my computer was consistent for both CCleaner Portable v5.71.7971 (rel. 14-Sep-2020) and v5.72.7994 (rel. 23 Sep 2020) so they know this isn't a new bug that was introduced in v5.72.

At the end of the day, I never use the CCleaner add-on manager at Tools | Browser Plugins to manage my Firefox add-ons.  I only posted in this thread to show I could reproduce the problem the OP GeorgeNelis reported in this thread where one-click search engines hidden / disabled in Firefox v81.0 have a status of Enabled = Yes in CCleaner.

According to the releases notes <here>, CCleaner v5.70.7909 (rel. 06 Aug 2020) "Fixed a bug where CCleaner could wipe extension settings in Firefox if using a Firefox account" but I know several Firefox users who don't use a Firefox Account and had their custom settings wiped in multiple Firefox browser extensions the first time they ran CCleaner v5.69 - see Krusty13's comments in the Norton Tech Outpost thread Firefox 79.0 to be Released July 28 for one example.  After reading the 09-Jul-2020 Mozilla blog Changes to storage.sync in Firefox 79 I suspect that CCleaner v5.72 still has a few bugs related to Firefox's new storage.sync area for extension data that we're just discovering now.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.1016 * Firefox 81.0 * CCleaner Free Portable v5.72.7994

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Hello Imacri,

The only thing that really interests me in this case is:

I don’t like (to say it mildly) Bing, bol.com, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Google, Marktplaats and all their colleagues, so I don’t want them to be enabled in Firefox.

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