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Can I maually check for updates but prevent them from being automatically installed if it turns out one is available?


Can I maually check for updates but prevent them from being automatically installed if it turns out one is available?

Background: In options I have "check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them" ticked. This works fine, in that I periodically receive a notice of an available update, and it will ask me whether I want to I want to install it.

But there are certain times -- for reasons I won't go into here (unless requested as part of seeking a solution) -- where I want to manually check for new versions, but RETAIN the ability to decide whether or not to install it. But if I click Help/About Firefox/Check for Updates, and it finds an update, it will immediately proceed to install it without asking for permission. While that seems quite inconsistent with my update preferences in Options, it is apparently normal behavior as described in https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/update-firefox-latest-version#w_how-do-i-manually-check-for-updates.

So is there any way I can manually check for new-update availability but then refuse the update if I so choose? Once an unwanted install begins, I'm concerned that if I click cancel I could end up with a partial installation or some "messed up," duplicated or corrupted FF files (e.g., multiple versions appended with (1), (2) etc, similar to what sometimes confusingly happens when I do an XP System Restore).


Modified by Rick216

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0

More Information

  • Top 25 Contributor
616 solutions 4260 answers

Hello Rick216, i'm afraid the way :

So is there any way I can manually check for new-update availability but then refuse the update if I so choose?

it is not possible at that time, as you correct said if you set "check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them" and click the "Check for Updates" box and if an update exist, it will immediately proceed to install it without asking for permission.

see the RapidRelease/Calendar for the well known updates, but if you see only that, maybe you missed other (smallest) but critical updates.

thank you

finitarry 157 solutions 2175 answers

That behaviour was changed. That button also ignores your settings and downloads the update whether you have permitted that or not. I have not used that button since the change because I can no longer trust it.

Question owner

Thanks for the responses, ideato and finitarry.

Unfortunately now I'm totally confused because I just went to my other computer, which is identically configured to the one referenced in my question. I clicked Help/About Firefox/Check for Updates, and -- similar to what had happened to the first computer -- it told me I had version 18.02 and downloaded the new version. However, this time -- instead of automatically proceeding with the install -- it came up with an "apply" button after the download, i.e. it *did* give me the option to refuse it by closing out.

Other than the unlikely possibility that I had zoned with the first computer and had actually hit "apply" without thinking, that means I got two different results with two identically configured computers. Strange, especially given that both responses so far agreed with me that checking though Help/About results in a no-choice-allowed update if one is available.

Could there somehow be a corruption in my installation on the second computer that is ironically retaining the behavior I *want* -- i.e. the ability to refuse an update manually identified through Help/About? Note that about a month ago (for reasons I won't go into here) I *did* reinstall FF 16 on top of 17, but later updated to 17 and then 18.

Again, very confusing...


Modified by Rick216

  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10747 solutions 96724 answers

If you get an apply button then the update has been downloaded and will always be installed after closing and restarting Firefox. The silent update in the background does this automatically.

  • Tools > Options > Advanced > Update:
    "Automatically install updates"
    "Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them"
    "Use a background service to install updates"

You can visit the Mozilla site to see which version is current and compare that to the installed version.
If you check the Help > About window then this only work if checking for updates is disabled.

Alternatively you can check the Help > Troubleshooting Information page to see which version you have.

See also the browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID (20130215130331) pref on that page or on the about:config page.

Question owner

Thanks for the responses, ideato, finitarry and cor-el. They give me a lot to keep in mind for future updates.


I wonder if maybe, in previous recent cases, the reason I have been offered the option of whether or not to apply updates downloaded by Help/About is that FF identified add-on(s) incompatible with new version.

In fact I just went to an identically-configured computer and used Help/About/Check for New Versions, and this time after downloading it left me with another button that said "Apply Update" (i,e,, it *was* giving me a choice). I went ahead and said Apply, and it came up with a notice that one of my add-ons is incompatible with the new version and offered me the opportunity to cancel out, so I did.

Modified by Rick216

tremault 0 solutions 3 answers

Helpful Reply

I think what needs to be made very clear here is that when a user clicks on "check for updates" the software should bloody well CHECK for updates and most certainly SHOULD NOT proceed to download and apply any updates. this is misleading and intrusive. I just wanted to check if there was an updated version but I DID NOT want to actually update at that moment. the software downloaded data, costing me money and tried to apply the update which could have potentially messed up my settings if I had not checked everything was ok first. I actually discovered how to prevent the update by searching through windows and manually deleting the files but why should anyone have to go to such lengths? the software should simply do as it is asked, not do things that have most certainly not been asked.

TwoTankAmin 0 solutions 29 answers

Helpful Reply

I agree, Over the years Mozilla has seemed to think less about the users and more about whatever else compels them to treat us like children. I have had to do a lot of work in recent times to prevent things from happening rather than working to make things happen in Firefox.

I will DL apps to work around or change stuff in FireFox. These may be things that Mozilla has suggested one not use. If you don't want them used, do not make them necessary to use.

I have done more deleting of updates and down loading older versions of Firefox than I have done upgrades over the years. Often by refusing the update and waiting, somebody will come up with an app that works around some of the stuff done to Firefox that some of us don't seem to want.

Why does Mozilla feel the need to lie to us? I do not understand. Check means check, download means download. Perhaps the programmers need to go back to school to learn the meaning of English?

You guys spent time designing smart history, something I consider invasive, I spent 2 minutes getting the app to override this function. You have no run button for downloading software, I replaced it with an app. that allows me to do this.

But the result of this sort of thinking and functionality is it damages the credibility of the product and the organization. For example, I just checked the status of my add-ons. It said two things needed to be updated. One was the Mozilla Troubleshooter 1.1a update. No way I DL that one as I distrust what it might do. I distrust that when Mozilla states something it really is the truth. That check for button is the direct reason. It lied to me which means Mozilla lied to me and that means Mozilla can not be trusted. Do you people really not understand this?

Edited to report not only did I not update the troubleshooter, I just removed it from my system.

Modified by TwoTankAmin

finitarry 157 solutions 2175 answers

What is this Mozilla Troubleshooter? I certainly have no such extension or application. As for that Check for Updates button, why did the developers not change the label when they changed the function? If the label is unchanged, one expects the function to be unchanged, and if it is changed, that simply serves to annoy. How would one hide that button? I presume there would be some code that could be added to userChrome.css to make that button simply disappear from sight.

Question owner

I haven't used anything but FF for years (except for occasionally turning to IE when a site can't function properly in FF).

For those who have experience with other browsers like Chrome and IE, do they also pull these kinds of stunts? Make changes that catch you off guard, including saying a command is doing one thing ("checking for updates") when it is actually doing something very different ("checking and installing")?