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Need help getting off beta channel


I....Like so many other people I've been reading about, somehow ended up on the beta channel with an update I do not want. I was running version 16 (my choice) and ended up with version 20. I want to get off the beta channel and stay off so that I can update when I choose to do so and not when Mozilla wants me to. So any instructions on how to go about doing that would be greatly appreciated. I do see other posts with the same issue and I guess I can follow those instructions but I figured maybe the instructions for my specific situation or OS I'm running or whatever the case may be might make the steps required to do this different from other posts I've been reading. Part of the solution I see others posting about is to uninstall and do a clean reinstall of a release version. My big concern in doing this is add-ons. I have a ton. Ad-Block, Auto Pager, milewideback, Stylish, etc., etc., etc. Are these going to all be there and still be installed and configured the same way after I uninstall and reinstall? I'm hoping that because they reside in the profiles folder as opposed to the program folder that the answer is "yes". Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I'm running Windows Vista SP2

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  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
437 solutions 3156 answers

Two ways.

One is to install Firefox 19.0 release from www.mozilla.org to get on the Release channel.

Another is to edit the channel-prefs.js and change the channel from beta to release. http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2280605

Extensions you get from say addons.mozilla.org host are not installed in program folder but a separate Profile.


Note that the app.update.channel in about config has no effect so do not bother to try toggling this preference.

Modified by James

Question owner

James...thank you for replying but I'm still not clear on the answers to the questions I asked. First I wanted to know if there was a way to go back to version 16. I know it's an old version but I did install 19 at one point and alot of my add-ons weren't compatible. So when this happens I choose to stay with an older version until they catch up. They eventually do and I've been doing this for quite a while and never had any problems with running an older version. It's a method that has worked fine until mozilla decided out of the clear blue to throw me on something called a beta channel that until now I had no idea existed. And yes...I understand that the add-ons are in a separate folder from the program folder but I just wanted to know simply put if they are all going to be intact after uninstalling. Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly but it doesn't seem to me that you answered that in your solution. Maybe I'm just not reading it correctly. I'm not much of a tech type. For instance...i have no idea what you meant by " Note that the app.update.channel in about config has no effect so do not bother to try toggling this preference." I have no idea what "about config" is to begin with or why you would even suggest that. I was just looking for a simple "not too technical" explanation and answer about whether or not my add-ons would be intact after an uninstall and reinstall. Sorry...but I'm a typical user that doesn't get too much into the technical side of things. This is all a HUGE pain in the butt. I have no clue why Mozilla would force me to use an update I didn't want OR ask for let alone a BETA. It's kind of crazy. And now am I forever "stuck" on this so called "beta channel"??? What are those of us who AREN'T computer geeks supposed to do? No offense to anyone. I just want to use my browser the way I want with the add-ons I want. Funny how Mozilla advertises how easy firefox is to use and how the add-ons are supposed to make life more convenient and it's all SOOOO easy to use but this is all anything BUT easy or convenient. I'm by no means stupid or illiterate but I have NO IDEA what is going on here and I really don't want to be messing with "configs" and "update channels" and all this other technical garbage that they conveniently don't tell you about when they're making all those web pages that tell you how GREAT their product is that I see every time I restart after I get an unwanted update and half of my add-ons are no longer compatible with the new version that I just had FORCED onto my computer. Which seems to happen VERY often. I'm finally going to take the advice all my friends have been giving me for a long time now and just switch over to Chrome. Thanks for your time James. NICE GOIN' MOZILLA!

Tyler Downer
  • Administrator
  • Moderator
1165 solutions 6639 answers

addons that are compatible in 16 are compatible with 19. Running an out of date version like 16 is very unwise. Please download and install 19 from www.getfirefox.com.

JillianP 1 solutions 6 answers

Helpful Reply

Just want to echo these sentiments! I'm a longtime FF fan but it's getting so I spend more time trying to make it act the way I want than just browsing! If I didn't hate Chrome so much I'd be gone too :-(

  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
437 solutions 3156 answers

The only reason why you are on Beta channel and was updated to Firefox 20.0 Beta1 was because the Firefox 19.0 you installed at the time was one of the six Beta builds and not the Firefox 19.0 that was released on February 19.

The Firefox 19.0 on www.mozilla.org is a Release and not a Beta.

Modified by James

Question owner

I've gone ahead and installed Chrome so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully I won't be dealing with this kind of nonsense anymore. At least not on the level that I have been with Firefox. And just for the record James. You said "because the Firefox 19.0 you installed at the time was one of the six Beta builds and not the Firefox 19.0 that was released on February 19. " But i didn't install anything. The only reason I had version 19 was because my Firefox updated ITSELF one day. And no....I didn't have it set to download and install updates automatically. Enclosed is a screenshot of the settings I had in Tools>Options>Advanced>Update. It's that kind of stuff that has me pulling my hair out over here and got me to try Chrome because believe me....I was the lone holdout among all my friends still using Firefox and the way i defended it I'm going thru quite a bit of verbal abuse for now having made the switch. I was reluctant to say the least. Anyway....Thanks to you. and to everyone else, who took time to help me out here. Rob

  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
437 solutions 3156 answers

Look in Help->About Firefox as it will state the channel you are on which is likely Beta and not Release due to having installed a Beta build and updated since then.