How to disable Firefox browser update

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 Firefox Menus

  1. Select the “Menu”  button in the upper-right corner, then choose “Options“.
  2. Select “General” on the left pane.
  3. Scroll down to the “Firefox Updates” section.
  4. Select one of the following options as desired:
    • Automatically install updates
    • Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them
    • Never check for updates
  5. Check or uncheck the “Use a background service to install updates” option as desired.

From about:config Menu

  1. Type “about:config” in the address bar, then press “Enter“.
  2. Search for the “” setting.
  3. Double-click the “” 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 – “%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

Follow any of the steps above and you will disable Firefox browser update for our firefox browser. 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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