Google Chrome became monopoly in the browser world and Firefox is one of the best alternatives for Chrome. However, Firefox also has its own problems like slow loading. In addition, forced automatic updates could annoy the users. When you just landed a secure and fancy browser with all the add-ins working correctly, getting an auto update that you do not prefer is kind of unfortunate. Though there are multiple reasons for the continuous browser updates, you can learn how to control them.
Options to Disable Firefox Automatic Update
Depending on your Firefox browser version, there are variety of options to enable or disable automatic updates. In addition, there is a Firefox ESR version, mostly used by enterprises that do not receive feature updates. Mozilla Firefox ESR gets security updates, therefore, guaranteeing secure connections. However, its interface may not be appealing since it is for enterprise use.
Although Firefox makes it hard to disable updates, there are notable solutions you can consider. Try these options to disable automatic updates in Firefox.
1. Firefox Auto Update Options
Using the Firefox options/settings section, you can disable auto-update. It means your browser can check for updates, but it is upon you to install them or not. Therefore, this option does not disable update notifications.
- Launch your Firefox browser on your PC. At the top-right corner of the window, click the “Open Menu” option, and select “Options.”
- Under the General tab, scroll down to the “Firefox Updates” section.
- Select the “Check for Updates but let you choose to install them” option. Then uncheck the “Use a background service to install updates” option. That way, there will be updates pop-ups. You can either install or cancel them.
Note, Firefox continue to remind multiple times for downloading and updating the browser to latest version. You have to click “Not Now” button to stop downloading.
2. Firefox Enterprise Policies Option
If you are good at quick tweaks, then you can opt for this option. It requires system administrator permissions to run. This option is best applicable for Windows users and Firefox version 63 and above. Here are the simple steps to follow.
- Close all Firefox running windows on your device and open its installation directory/folder.
- If you are using a Windows PC, open disk C and locate programs directory. Then open the Mozilla Firefox installation directory. Alternatively, you can right-click on the Firefox shortcut icon on your PC and select “Open file location.”
- Under the installation directory, create a subdirectory/subfolder and name it “distribution.”
- Then create a JSON file on your desktop and name it policies.json. You should save the file in JSON file format with this code. You can use the Notepad app in your PC to create the file or use code editors like Notepad ++.
- Copy and paste the policies.json file created to the distribution subdirectory/subfolder. Close the installation folder. To ascertain whether it worked, open your Firefox under the Firefox Updates section. It should read, “Updates disabled by your system administrator.”
To revert the changes, delete the “distribution” subfolder. You can retain the JSON file in case you consider using the option in the future.
3. Using Regedit
Just like the Firefox Enterprise policies option, this option has a slightly lengthy procedure. However, it does arrive at the same solution. Why not try it if you feel impressed by the simple tweaks? It uses the registry editor app on your PC.
- Close the Firefox app.
- Open the Run window using the “Win + R” keys.
- Enter the command “Regedit” and then “OK” to open.
- Follow this key path, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies.” Under the policies key, create a subkey and name it “Mozilla.” Under this key, create a new subkey and call it “Firefox.” The new key path should look like this, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox.”
- On the right side, right-click on the space to create a new DWORD (32-Bit) Value. Name it as “DisableAppUpdate.”
- Open the entry and set the “Value data” as 1. Press “OK” to confirm.
You can check your Firefox Updates section to confirm the changes. It should read as “Updates disabled by your system administrator.”
To revert the changes, delete the “Mozilla\Firefox” subkeys.
How to Check Firefox Updates Manually?
In case you need a particular update, you can check for it manually. Disabling auto-updates does not restrict you from making updates.
Follow this short guide on your Firefox browser application.
- On your Firefox, click the “Menu” and select the “Help” button.
- Then select the “About Firefox” button. You should get the Firefox browser update window. If your browser is up-to-date, there will be no option to choose.
Why You Should Not Disable Updates?
Although updates render most websites and plugins unusable, it is crucial to keep your data secure. Therefore, whichever option you opt for, ensure that your PC is protected from cyber-criminals. For the plugins option, you can consider using alternative options.
Updates come with added security features and stability measures. It is attributed to the unavailability of beta testers option to help developers modify the software before the release. That way, frequent minor updates work just fine.
By now, you should have chosen the best option on how to disable the automatic updates in your Firefox browser. However, we do recommend that you keep your browser up-to-date to avoid security risks, especially for enterprises and professionals. If you do not require a full measure to control the updates, the Firefox Auto-updates option on the options menu should work for you. However, if you need to limit the updates notifications completely, then the Enterprise Policies and regedit options should disable the updates.