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How do I prevent Firefox from updating automatically?

Posted

In order to avoid updates at unexpected times, I have tried everything, from turning updates off in the options window to setting to false everything with the word update in it in the about:config, to uninstalling the Mozilla Maintenance service, but Firefox still surprises me periodically with a pop up window that says Firefox or the computer need to be restarted to finish an upgrade.

How do I prevent it from updating automatically once and for all?

Modified by rhe13

Chosen solution

Well I finally did solve it, using AppGuard to forbid Mozilla launches other than the browser. Now I can update when I want and not when Mozilla does.

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Additional System Details

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0) AppleWebKit/537.31 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/26.0.1410.64 Safari/537.31

More Information

Firefox 22.0, Windows XP Pro

Tyler Downer
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1164 solutions 6629 answers

Well first off, Firefox updates don't ever require your computer to be restarted. Firefox will need to restart, yes (it saves all your open windows and tabs) but never your computer.

Second, you don't want to fully disable updates as you are then at risk for some serious security risks. Just ignore the warnings until you reach a point where you can take 20 seconds to restart Firefox, then continue what you are doing.

cor-el
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10738 solutions 96600 answers

If you need to restart the computer then it is likely that some files in the Firefox program folder were in use by other software (possibly security software) or otherwise locked, so Firefox couldn't update then properly.

John99
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622 solutions 7997 answers

It is not recommended to turn off upgrades. Some of the changes are security fixes and are then made public and so can be exploited.

There is no need to immediately restart Firefox to complete the upgrade when you see a popup.

It should be possible to prevent upgrades by clearing the URL used, and although I can not recommend that see /questions/929483?page=2#answer-345675

Question owner

Really?

Question owner

I know about upgrades and vulnerabilities. I do upgrade it, but I want to be able to control when to do it. As for clearing the value in the app.update.url, it was already done, and yet FF keeps updating!

Modified by rhe13

Tyler Downer
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1164 solutions 6629 answers

It looks like you keep ignoring updates, which continually doing so on top of other updates causes the computer to need to be restarted. If you keep up with the updates (they are released every 6 weeks so you should be able to find 20 seconds during that 6 week interval to restart Firefox) you shouldn't have to restart your computer. Update to Firefox 23, and just keep up with updates from then on.

philipp
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2042 solutions 8887 answers

are there different user accounts on the computer? the settings in the user profile will only take effect for the current user, but a an update performed by one user will affect the whole machine, since firefox is installed in the program directory...

Question owner

No, only 1 user account in the computer.

Question owner

So that's it? That's all you guys got?

ideato
  • Top 25 Contributor
616 solutions 4258 answers

Hello,

try a clean re-install (the message.....computer need to be restarted to finish an upgrade... probably will stop)

Clean re-install means that you remove Firefox program files and then reinstall Firefox. Please follow these steps:

Note: You might want to print these steps or view them in another browser.

  1. Download the latest Desktop version of Firefox from http://www.mozilla.org and save the setup file to your computer.
  2. After the download finishes, close all Firefox windows (click Exit from the Firefox or File menu).
  3. Delete the Firefox installation folder, which is located in one of these locations, by default:

for Windows:

  • C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox

Now, go ahead and reinstall Firefox:

  1. Double-click the downloaded installation file and go through the steps of the installation wizard.
  2. Once the wizard is finished, choose to directly open Firefox after clicking the Finish button.

Please report back to see if this helped you!

Thank you.

John99
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622 solutions 7997 answers

It really would be wise to use XP in a none admin account for day-today work. If you already do that then remember you will have more than one account. That in turn implies more than one Firefox profile exists.

Question owner

I tried the clean re-install and then reset all the update options at the GUI as well as at the about:config page. Now I'll have to wait until the next update to see if that worked in terms of not updating automatically.

Question owner

Well, it did it again. Unless somebody has an actual solution, migrating over to Chrome...

John99
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As I said you may well have an admin and an none admin account.

Even if you change the update url note Firefox will still update IF you use the Help option and check for updates, but otherwise it should not update. Note also even at this stage you should be able to prevent the update taking effect.


Also use Windows own Safe Mode (from the F8 button @ startup) if necessary to make sure the admin account profile pref has the update url removed.

Question owner

There's only 1 administrator in that machine, in fact only 1 user (other than THE administrator user, which is not used or visible.

I already tried deleting manually all folders left when firefox is uninstalled, which includes the location that contain the files updates.xml and active-update.xml.

John99
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622 solutions 7997 answers

I am not saying deleting those files always prevents updates. I am saying if you inadvertently download the update, then if you delete those files it should prevent Firefox from running that particular update. (Otherwise the update takes place on restarting).

Question owner

Well thanks, but that's far from what I am trying to accomplish.

ideato
  • Top 25 Contributor
616 solutions 4258 answers

Helpful Reply

see if the next is helpful : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/969693#answer-474353

thanks

John99
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622 solutions 7997 answers

Helpful Reply

  • You said on the 29th
Well, it did it again. Unless somebody has an actual solution, migrating over to Chrome... 
  • I guess you did not follow the advice from Tyler posted on the 12th:
It looks like you keep ignoring updates, which continually doing so on top of other updates causes the computer to need to be restarted. If you keep up with the updates (they are released every 6 weeks so you should be able to find 20 seconds during that 6 week interval to restart Firefox) you shouldn't have to restart your computer. Update to Firefox 23, and just keep up with updates from then on. 

Question owner

Thanks ideato, I'm trying that and will post whether or not it succeeds.

john99, please stop "helping" me. Thanks.