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Why are we FORCED to upgrade?

  • 30 replies
  • 9 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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I have been getting seriously fed up with the constant nagging and popups telling me to update to the latest version of Firefox. I have been using 3.6.28 for ages and I am happy with the way it looks and works and the set of addons I use with it. The nagging since v12 have come to a feverish pitch and one day in desperation I did the upgrade. Then had to spend half a day sorting out the mess. I eventually got it to look and function similar to my old version but found not only that some of my addons would not work, there was some sort of compatibility issue with the version of Flashplayer I need to make my proxy server setup function correctly. Then spent another half day getting rid of every last trace of FF12 to go back to my v3.6. Even after unticking the "check for updates" boxes as recommended in other posts, I still occasionally get a nag box. Then this morning I find that the stupid thing has updated itself to FF12 without my knowing anything about it. What is going on at Mozilla? This is beginning to take on a sinister feel, much like big brother or the nanny state taking away our freedom of choice. I am well aware of the risks of not using the latest versions of everything. I am simply trying to exercise my right of choice. The senior members on this forum may well quote chapter and verse about how its all in our best interests but until Mozilla decide to supply me with a free computer I will continue to swim against the flow, getting stronger as a result. All this was posted on another thread of a similar topic and after yet another sermon about security holes, etc. etc. the thread was locked. My question and that of many other users remains unanswered. Why are we not allowed to choose which version we use? We know the risks, and accept them. OUR choice. OUR responsibility. If the Firefox team have decided to remove our freedom of choice (for our own good) then I suppose we will just have to "vote with our feet" as they say, and find another browser will a bit less of the "big brother knows best" attitude.

locked by a moderator as this thread has gone off topic at the end

Note by another moderator, continuation thread is /questions/931530

Modified by John99

Chosen solution

Gentlemen, I have finally managed to get into the about:config (registry?) area. I managed to wreak a bit of havoc amonst the auto update entries. I deleted three urls and switched app auto update to "false". I will report back if it seems to be doing the trick.

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Thank you for your posting, John99 but it is not helpful. As I have stated somewhere above I have unchecked (un ticked) the three auto update boxes in tools, updates, etc. but Firefox still insists on updating my 3.6 to version 12 in one hit without my permission. This has happened three times now and I do not like it. If there was a way to stop Firefox taking control of my PC I would happily keep using it but no one seems to know how to stop it. And frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the same old dogma about security issues from the other Firefox devotees.

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I will reboot into windows and check my 3.6 As I think was mentioned above is the problem that you have multiple versions of firefox and so any possibility you are using the wrong profile or sharing a profile.

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I stated earlier in the thread- "there is only one user profile set in my installation. Is it possible that somehow there may be more than one? I did the installation myself and no one else ever touches my PC. Is there a way to find out how many profiles have been set up?" And no one came back with any useful info.

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Try clearing the URL for the Firefox update system from preferences.

Type about:config in the URL bar and hit Enter.
If you see the warning, you can confirm that you want to access that page.

Pref = app.update.url

Right-click that pref and select Modify - then clear the URL from the dialog box which appears.

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I would be happy to have a go as per your instructions but when I hit Enter, nothing happens.

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This does seem to be overriding the users choice.

I have 3.6 on a Windows 7 computer now, and am not very familiar witth Windows 7 (directory structure, search feature etc differs slightly from XP) but it does seem to be both giving me nag screens and trying to update to Firefox 12.

Firefox 3.6 does have its own profile, and it is set to not upgrade. (Maybe if left alone it will download fx12 but not install it)

Any other ideas or suggestions ed ?

Not sure yet if the-edmeisters advice works modifying the URL to something invalid does not seem to stop downloads once they start. I am busy tonight and working tomorrow but I will look back at this again next week. I am not too concerned about actually having to re-install, it is onnly used for test/comparison purposes, the profile contains nothing of significance.

I am just rather surprised that it seems to ignore a user set preference.

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Chosen Solution

Gentlemen, I have finally managed to get into the about:config (registry?) area. I managed to wreak a bit of havoc amonst the auto update entries. I deleted three urls and switched app auto update to "false". I will report back if it seems to be doing the trick.

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This is not something I am expecting to spend time on but just thought I would add a couple of tips.

  1. To prevent Updates completing
    Delete or rename the update folder. This is only a temporary measure as it will be replaced, but if you go offline &/or closedown Firefox it gives you chance to stop the update that has started to download.
  2. Quick re-installs
    Just in case I do loose this [fx 3.6.28] to an upgrade I have downloaded the installer and put it somewhere safe, outside firefox related paths. Re-installing only takes seconds on my system, and I can now do that offline and even with no browser available. (I have multiple firefox versions and other browsers available so having no browser is unlikely)
  3. And at your own risk
    (I can not see it doing harm, but have not tested this properly to see if it works)
    • I disabled updater.exe for 3.6 because even with the
      Pref = app.update.url
      having a null value firefox seemed to try to update.
    • It may well be worth trying setting
      Pref =
      Value = default
      It appears that the intention of that preference is to lockdown Firefox when no update channel is available. (I wonder if a blank/Null value works)
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As promised, I called the radio show to express all of your grips with the latest update. Well, I tried to advocate for the user but Leo offered no solution plus he hung up on me before I can ask him for his one and last recommendation. Funny he says the reason for the update is because of a security patch. I have no such problems. If anything else, it's freezing and crashing that's the big headache. These "experts" don't know what they are talking about.

So if any of you get a chance to call in this weekend (Saturday or Sunday), call this number and carry on the fight:

1-888-ASK-LEO (Sat & Sun: 2pm EST/11am PST)

Hear my rant at 01:21:00 of podcast (move bar 3/4 in)

Modified by chipmalee

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I think your radio rant mentioned not being able to use the Firefox search bar. Firefox 13 still has a multiple search bar available, if you have problems with that maybe start a new thread but it is still available in Firefox 13:

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