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How do I prevent Firefox from updating automatically?


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


  • 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

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622 solutions 7998 answers

rhe13, It would be useful to know what advice you have and have not tried.

By the way I do have test versions of Firefox that I have successfully locked to prevent updates, and I just checked they still run now without updating. I have also done that before on an XP although I do not actually use XP at present.

There are hundreds of others also looking at the thread and some of those may also be interested in your progress, and that is easier to follow if we know what you area and are not doing. If you did not upgrade to Firefox 23 then it is probably to be expected that you are needing to restart after the point release update to Fx 23.0.1

Question owner

Walk away john99. None of your replies in this thread are helpful. Go help someone else. Please. Thanks.

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P.S. You have already indirectly tried the the suggestion from the other thread because you have already set all prefs including the word update to false.

Yes I will try to help others but I was just trying to clarify what your current problem is. If it is the restart after updates and you are repeatedly reinstalling Firefox 22 that is the expected behaviour.

If you wish to block that update it is easily done as explained above. If necessary a short batch file could do that for you automatically on startup by substituting that for your ordinary Firefox start shortcut. That is what I would have done if in your situation, and I was unable to otherwise prevent upgrades, but as I say I am able to prevent Firefox upgrades.

No doubt you can research it yourself or someone else will explain to you how to do that. It will solve your problem.

bass528 0 solutions 2 answers

My Firefox is also updating on its own while I have this service off. The OP did not ask for security recommendations or whats right or wrong, this is a bug on Mozillas end, if a user chooses not to update and the software still insists on disregarding the users choices, its a bug. My Firefox was also updated recently and still was asked to restart, so some of the answers here are just none sense with an Authoritative tone.

Now can would anyone know why the Browser is automatically updating while we chose not to? And would anyone know how to fix this problem?

No one is asking for whats good or bad here. Thats for another topic.

Submitting a ticket to Mozzila.
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622 solutions 7998 answers

Hi bass528,

I understand what you are saying, but I feel it is important to warn of the dangers of preventing upgrades because besides the person directly asking the question there are a couple hundred others who have already viewed this thread. Other readers may not have your understanding of the dangers.

If you think you have found a bug please start a new thread about that. Please

  1. Use the special quick direct link
  2. Follow the prompts to include full troubleshooting information
  3. Post back in this thread to confirm you have done so.

Others may be interested in your progress | bug

I will discuss this further in your new thread if necessary but briefly:

If necessary a formal bug report may be filed so that it is brought to the attention of developers and with any luck fixed.

Note bug reports need to be carefully created and usually need a complete and detailed listing of the steps needed to reproduce the problem situation.

You mention

Submitting a ticket to Mozzila.

Maybe that indicates you are about to file a bug report anyway.

  • If so please let us know the number of the bug, once it is filed ?

I did quickly look and do not see any recently filed bug likely to relate to this update problem. I did find one bug but the reporter failed to provide information when asked and so there was nothing that could be done other than close the bug report. ( Bug 888488 - Forced Upgrade to New Version of Firefox Browser )

I did just now test on a very recent Firefox build myself and updates did stop when the advanced upgrades option was selected as never update, and they did start again when that was unchecked. As far as I can see Firefox works as expected.

Question owner

Then you cannot see very far. We're not making this up, it really is happening.

Anyways, now I'm using an application control program to deny launches of anything signed by Mozilla except the browser itself. Hopefully that will stop FF from updating by itself despite being set to not to.

bass528 0 solutions 2 answers

There are many reasons one might not want to update and its the owners choice, for one, you must be considerate to ones onboard memory and those who are shutting down this service to save on limited memory, some members in different parts of the world are still using the atom processor with limited ram. Two, a new version of FF might have bigger issues then the previous and the user decides to get feedback on the release before updating. Flash compatibility, for example, some youtube clips now continue to play audio after exiting a video. It is purely up to the user to control if such updates should take place Automatically or not. Fourth thing is data, perhaps some users are on limited data at certain times of the day and will update when they deem, they have sufficient time and data. Five, Firefox put this option in place for a reason as well.

The list can go on, so if we can stay on topic we would be a lot more productive.

So back to the issue, what do you think is causing this to happen? And why? I see no reason to start a new thread as this thread is fairly new and active and have the same exact issue as the OP, I think finding more members who are reporting about this issue can be of more help. Maybe its beyond the scope of this forum and the only way to get answers is by submitting a bug report.

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622 solutions 7998 answers

Hi again b528,

I see no reason to start a new thread 

It would help to start an new thread

  1. As you may wish to file a bug about an issue you have found and are able to demonstrate on your system.
  2. And to discuss your own problem, which may not be exactly the same as the OP in this thread.
  3. Because the forum guidelines say you should not post a support question in another persons thread even if it is apparently similar.
 do not re-use existing threads started by others, even if they are seemingly on the same subject. 

On this forum we will attempt to

  • Ensure users are aware if an action; or lack of action; may put personal data and systems at risk.
  • Solve users support requests
  • Even file; or assist a user in filing; a bug report where appropriate as a means of getting a solution.

I follow the logic of your argument but we do not discuss development decisions and issues or Firefox enhancement requests. We stick to assisting fellow users in problem solving.

Note also

  • The OP has apparently gone down the route of using Application Control Software. That is probably more likely to be used in a corporate environment, where Firefox standard Releases may not even be recommended.
  • This problem may not be seen by many other users.
    I am not able to reproduce it.
    I do have update locked versions of Firefox.

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.