"Permission Needed" indicator on browser action?

I’ve been porting my Firefox extension, Panic Button, to Manifest V3, and have noticed that there is a little indicator that appears directly below the browser action toolbar button icon; the tooltip on the same button also includes the text, “Permission needed.”

However, the extension doesn’t require any website permissions. The permissions it does request, in the manifest.json file, are:

"permissions": [

In case it matters, the action key in the extension manifest is set up as follows:

"action": {
    "default_icon": {
      "16": "img/default16.svg",
      "32": "img/default32.svg",
      "64": "img/default32.svg"
    "default_title": "Panic Button",
    "default_area": "navbar"

When right-clicking on the browser action toolbar button, there is a new toggle option in the context menu that didn’t appear pre-MV3:

Extension Can Read and Change Data:
:heavy_check_mark:︎ Only When Clicked

The “Only When Clicked” toggle menu item is checked by default, and there doesn’t appear to be a way to uncheck it.

What is this new toggle option on the context menu, and why is that indicator present on the browser action icon?


This appears to be a bug related to the use of the activeTab permission in MV3 extensions: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1851083.

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I’ve ran into this on my addon as well https://github.com/Skeletonxf/duplicate-tab, same setup, only requests activeTab - user can’t get rid of the dot since it deliberately never asks for permission for all tabs.