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Mozilla Maintenance Service unreliable: Firefox' about window permanently shows "Restart to Update"


Firefox' about window shows "Restart to Update" every time an update is released, as many other users already reported. After restarting the same happens again. This issue is as old as Mozilla is providing the Mozilla Maintenance Service. Completely uninstalling, rebooting and reinstalling Firefox, as suggested in the KB, only works until a new update is released! This, unfortunately, already forced me to replace Firefox on all machines in my domain with Chrome half a year ago. Despite MSI deploy of Chrome, it keeps all Chrome installations up-to-date without any Admin intervention.

> This problem occurs Workgroup-PCs as well as Domain-joined-PCs on operating systems Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 and Windows 8 or the respective server equivalent.

> Sometimes, "Restart to Update" is shown when Firefox is already current, sometimes it is not current.

> The problem occurs only for ordinary Windows User Accounts (not Administrators). When logging in as Admin it says "Hooray..." and in about window it says "up to date".

> When restarting and logging in as ordinary User, it again shows "Restart to Update".

> Possibly this is caused by a permissions problem for ordinary Users to query the Mozilla Maintenance Service!?

Modified by asklucas

Additional System Details


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0

More Information

Sorry, I'm not willing to share this information publicly!

Helpful Reply

double post

Modified by asklucas

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10751 solutions 96757 answers

If the maintenance service has been installed properly and does have all needed permissions to modify files in the Firefox program folder and registry keys then there shouldn't be any problems with updating.
If more than one restart is necessary then that usually means that some files may not have been replaced, possibly they were used by other (security) software.
Also make sure that this feature is enabled in "Tools > Options > Advanced > Update" for all users.

If files already have been downloaded then remove the files in the updates and updates\0 folder. You can also delete active-update.xml and possibly updates.xml (this will clear the update history).

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox\updates
(%LOCALAPPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox)

Helpful Reply

At [Options] > [Options] > [Advanced] > [Update] these options are checked:

   [Automatically install updates...]
       [Warn me if this will disable...]
   [Use a background service...]
   [Search Engines]

Deleting any files manually is not applicable since I can't do that on all workstations every time Mozilla releases an update.

Modified by asklucas