How to disable Firefox browser update

If you prefer to have more control over when and how Firefox updates, you may want to disable automatic updates. Here are a few methods you can try.

For some reason, Mozilla decided to remove the ease of users ability to disable and enable automatic updates as and when they choose. Mozilla being an advocate for an open web, could this be a signal of some corruption of what Mozilla is?

Well Mozilla’s Firefox browser since version 63.0 come without the ability to disable the automatic updates from within the preferences of the browser settings.

Users now have to resort to tinkering with advanced configurations, just to enable and disable automatic update. Users of Firefox can enable or disable automatic updates in Firefox with the steps below:

From about:config Menu

  1. Type “about:config” in the address bar, then press “Enter“.
  2. Search for the “app.update.auto” setting.
  3. Double-click the “app.update.auto” option to toggle the setting. If set to “true“, automatic updates are enabled. If set to “false“, automatic updates are disabled.

Via prefs.js file

  1. Close Firefox.
  2. Navigate to the following location based on your operating system.
    • Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11 – “%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox
    • Unix/Linux – “~/.mozilla/
    • Mac OS X – “~/Library/Mozilla/” or “~/Library/Application Support/
  3. Open the “Profiles” folder.
  4. Open the folder that represents the profile you would like to edit. The name of the folder will vary. It is usually a bunch of characters, followed by “.default”.
  5. Open the prefs.js file with a text editor like Notepad.
  6. Look for a line that contains app.update.enabled. If it doesn’t exist, add a line for it in the file and set it as desired using these examples:
    • user_pref("app.update.enabled", true); = Automatic updates enabled
    • user_pref("app.update.enabled", false); = Automatic updates disabled

Using the Windows Registry

  1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch the RUN dialog box.
  2. Type “regedit” and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox.
  4. Create a new 32-Bit DWORD value “DisableAppUpdate” and set its value to 1.
  5. Restart Firefox to take effect.

Using the policies.json file (Windows and Linux)

Create a policies.json file in the distribution folder in the Firefox installation folder.
Add the following code to the file:

{   "policies": {     "DisableAppUpdate": true   } } Save the file and restart Firefox.

Using Policies.json (MacOS)

  1. Close Firefox.
  2. Open the Terminal app.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter: mkdir ~/Library/Application\ Support/Firefox/distribution
  4. Type the following command and press Enter: echo ‘{“policies”: {“DisableAppUpdate”: true}}’ > ~/Library/Application\ Support/Firefox/distribution/policies.json
  5. Restart Firefox.

Follow any of the steps above and you will disable Firefox browser update for our firefox browser. Remember to exercise caution when modifying browser settings and always keep your browser up to date to ensure the best security and performance.You should know though that, keeping your browser up-to date is something you should ensure even as disabling it helps you reduce the fatigue it comes with its intermittences. Nonetheless, do keep your systems updated.

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Last updated on October 14th, 2023

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Gabby
Gabby

Inspiring readers to expound the possibilities of the unfolding World

2 Comments

  1. The instructions are outdated.
    The option “Never check for updates” doesn’t exist in newer versions of Firefox

Comments are closed.

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