Firefox and Chrome Registration Error Message = Ball of Confusion

Last night as I was doing some work on my Tablet PC, I went to open up Firefox and I got an error message that said Chrome Registration Failed. I meant to do a screen grab of the notification box that contained the error but I guess I didn’t. After dismissing the error message it popped up a few more times in succession and then Firefox opened up correctly.

I was momentarily confused. I thought I must have opened up the Google Chrome browser, but then why was Firefox opening up if I did that? I closed out Firefox, opened up Google Chrome, closed it, then opened up Firefox and saw the same behavior. Weird.

I then Googled the error message and discovered this:

Chrome refers to the that part of the Firefox window that lies outside of a window’s content area. Toolbars, menu bars, progress bars, and window title bars are part of the Firefox browser chrome. It is in no way ​rela​ted ​to Goog​le Chro​me.

Chrome registration is something each Firefox add-on must do to work in Firefox. While some add-ons come with the appropriate chrome.manifest file, other add-ons rely on chrome.manifest being automatically generated when you start Firefox.

Chrome registration failure can occur when an add-on has come bundled with Firefox and you don’t have system rights to edit files where Firefox is installed. (Thus chrome.manifest cannot be generated.)

To prevent this error from happening again, you need your system administrator to log on with an administrator account, and run Firefox at least once.

I followed the steps outlined in this post and indeed the problem cured itself. But I have to say, in these days of Browser Wars that gave me a few moments of complete confusion. You’d think that somewhere along the line someone on the Mozilla team might think about changing the labeling here to prevent similar confusion.

By the way the fix as outlined worked just as well in Windows 7.