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How do I, once and for all, never, ever to return, completely disable Firefox auto-updates?

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In the admin account and all user accoutns, I had Firefox > Options > Advanced > NO UPDATES and turned OFF "Use a background service to install updates."

I created a new account on this computer. The VERY FIRST THING I did was go to Firefox > Options > Advanced > NO UPDATES and turned OFF "Use a background service to install updates."

Guess what. It updated. It updated for all accounts.

I've easily lost four work days of time in the first 8 months of 2019 because of FIrefox updates. I need a way to stop updates. ALL updates. FOREVER. ALL UPDATES UNCONDITIONALLY BLOCKED. No leakage. I do not want them with a goat. I do not want them on a boat. I do not want them here or there. I do not want them anywhere. Is there any remaining ambiguity?

The ways described above don't cut it. So let's think unconventionally. Is there a file I can set the protections on, so Firefox's update balks and gives up? Can I create a file that has a name that Firefox update expects, and give that file some content or property so that Firefox update fails?

In the admin account and all user accoutns, I had Firefox > Options > Advanced > NO UPDATES and turned OFF "Use a background service to install updates." I created a new account on this computer. The VERY FIRST THING I did was go to Firefox > Options > Advanced > NO UPDATES and turned OFF "Use a background service to install updates." Guess what. It updated. It updated for all accounts. I've easily lost four work days of time in the first 8 months of 2019 because of FIrefox updates. I need a way to stop updates. ALL updates. FOREVER. ALL UPDATES UNCONDITIONALLY BLOCKED. No leakage. I do not want them with a goat. I do not want them on a boat. I do not want them here or there. I do not want them anywhere. Is there any remaining ambiguity? The ways described above don't cut it. So let's think unconventionally. Is there a file I can set the protections on, so Firefox's update balks and gives up? Can I create a file that has a name that Firefox update expects, and give that file some content or property so that Firefox update fails?
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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0
  • I used to have Adobe Acrobat plugin, but that broke because of an update. I've spent days trying to get this back, and I give up. I NEVER EVER WANT ANOTHER UPDATE.

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4254 solutions 59575 answers

The current Firefox versions no longer have the option to Never Check For Updates. Also, users that select Check for updates, but let you choose whether to install them have been reporting the browser updates without consent.


How do you completely turn off update checks in Firefox v64? You can use a policies.json file to disable updates for all users. https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md or https://winaero.com/blog/disable-updates-firefox-63-above/

The current Firefox versions no longer have the option to '''Never Check For Updates. ''' Also, users that select '''Check for updates, but let you choose whether to install them''' have been reporting the browser updates without consent. How do you completely turn off update checks in Firefox v64? You can use a policies.json file to disable updates for all users. https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md or https://winaero.com/blog/disable-updates-firefox-63-above/
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Question owner

I had (and still have) the registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox\DisableAppUpdate DWORD=1

It updated anyway. I think the problem is that I created a new account on this computer. Somehow the first run of Firefox in that account bypassed the registry key, and it ran as admin, and updated everything.

I don't think there's an appreciation on the part of your volunteer coders of the following -- from other questions, I see I am not unique:

1. Better is not better. Reliability is better. Many of us are trying to run businesses using Firefox. For any business, time is the most important resource. Down time is not acceptable. Changes to user interface aren't worth it. Saving me two seconds per instance of something can't make up for five minutes trying to find out how to use it or work around it (e.g., hiding bookmarks in a different place in the menu hierarchy), let alone make up for an hour loss if something breaks.

2. I am a lawyer. I have deadlines. Those deadlines do not move. They are set by law. If I miss them, then my client loses, and I have to have a long talk with my malpractice carrier.

3. Every time Firefox updates, I have a huge risk: when I used to let it update, one time in six, something would break. I lose between two and twenty hours trying to fix it or find a workaround or change the way I do things or find the CD to reinstall Acrobat or whatever.

I CANNOT AFFORD FIREFOX UPDATES. My career is at risk. I MUST be able to shut them off. PERMANENTLY. RELIABLY. NO EXCEPTIONS.

So --

Step 1 is to roll back to an ESR version that has "Never update." What version is that?

Step 2. What more can I do? Can I add a URL to my virus checker? Does update run as a separate process that I can delete out of the Firefox directory? Can I set permissions on a file to "read only" or something so it can't be deleted, and that will block the update process?

Thank you.

I had (and still have) the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox\DisableAppUpdate DWORD=1 It updated anyway. I think the problem is that I created a new account on this computer. Somehow the first run of Firefox in that account bypassed the registry key, and it ran as admin, and updated everything. I don't think there's an appreciation on the part of your volunteer coders of the following -- from other questions, I see I am not unique: 1. Better is not better. Reliability is better. Many of us are trying to run businesses using Firefox. For any business, time is the most important resource. Down time is not acceptable. Changes to user interface aren't worth it. Saving me two seconds per instance of something can't make up for five minutes trying to find out how to use it or work around it (e.g., hiding bookmarks in a different place in the menu hierarchy), let alone make up for an hour loss if something breaks. 2. I am a lawyer. I have deadlines. Those deadlines <i><b>do not move</i></b>. They are set by law. If I miss them, then my client loses, and I have to have a long talk with my malpractice carrier. 3. Every time Firefox updates, I have a huge risk: when I used to let it update, one time in six, something would break. I lose between two and twenty hours trying to fix it or find a workaround or change the way I do things or find the CD to reinstall Acrobat or whatever. I CANNOT AFFORD FIREFOX UPDATES. My career is at risk. I MUST be able to shut them off. PERMANENTLY. RELIABLY. NO EXCEPTIONS. So -- Step 1 is to roll back to an ESR version that has "Never update." What version is that? Step 2. What more can I do? Can I add a URL to my virus checker? Does update run as a separate process that I can delete out of the Firefox directory? Can I set permissions on a file to "read only" or something so it can't be deleted, and that will block the update process? Thank you.
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FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4254 solutions 59575 answers

I was dissatisfied in the way the browser was heading, so I stopped updating the browser.

One thing you could do is to install an older version that works for you. There is also an ESR version and 3rd party version that installs on a thumb drive.

What would you like to try?

I was dissatisfied in the way the browser was heading, so I stopped updating the browser. One thing you could do is to install an older version that works for you. There is also an ESR version and 3rd party version that installs on a thumb drive. What would you like to try?
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Question owner

My first career, I was an engineer. (I was a damn good engineer -- I was invited to give lectures on my niche at MIT.) WHen I was in my 20s, I was sure I knew how my software ought to work, and that my users would love it.

I changed careers in my late 30s. By age 40, I fully undestood how users feel about reliability, and consistency.

The gratuitous changes to the Firefox user interface are just bad, and symptomatic of how poorly your developers understand what we users want from our software. Why do bookmarks have to move around in the menu hierarchy every two or three releases? Why was "Never update" removed? These two suggest to me that your developers have too much hubris in their own thought processes, and not enough understanding of the needs of users.

I do not want updates. They are EXTREMELY costly for me.

Thank you.

My first career, I was an engineer. (I was a damn good engineer -- I was invited to give lectures on my niche at MIT.) WHen I was in my 20s, I was sure I knew how my software ought to work, and that my users would love it. I changed careers in my late 30s. By age 40, I fully undestood how users feel about reliability, and consistency. The gratuitous changes to the Firefox user interface are just bad, and symptomatic of how poorly your developers understand what we users want from our software. Why do bookmarks have to move around in the menu hierarchy every two or three releases? Why was "Never update" removed? These two suggest to me that your developers have too much hubris in their own thought processes, and not enough understanding of the needs of users. I do not want updates. They are EXTREMELY costly for me. Thank you.
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Question owner

Dear FedMcD --

Thank you.

1. You recommend "install an older version>" What ESD has "Never update?" When was that removed?

2. You ask "What would you like to try?" I will try just about anything that makes sense. I used to be a very sophisticated OS and compiler engineer; I am pretty fearless about trying stuff.

Thank you.

Dear FedMcD -- Thank you. 1. You recommend "install an older version>" What ESD has "Never update?" When was that removed? 2. You ask "What would you like to try?" I will try just about anything that makes sense. I used to be a very sophisticated OS and compiler engineer; I am pretty fearless about trying stuff. Thank you.
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Dkiger 0 solutions 18 answers

You can use the JSON file to disable it as already posted however Firefox has stated they would rather you use another browser than to turn off the updates. Turning off updates you are opening yourself up to be a security risk. I would think a lawyer would want to do everything possible to protect their clients information. If anything Install Firefox ESR and leave updates on, its and older version that has security updates applied. However this won't solve your issue if you don't take the time to check if the new releases of Firefox "break" you because at some point ESR will get those updates.

You can use the JSON file to disable it as already posted however Firefox has stated they would rather you use another browser than to turn off the updates. Turning off updates you are opening yourself up to be a security risk. I would think a lawyer would want to do everything possible to protect their clients information. If anything Install Firefox ESR and leave updates on, its and older version that has security updates applied. However this won't solve your issue if you don't take the time to check if the new releases of Firefox "break" you because at some point ESR will get those updates.

Modified by Dkiger

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Question owner

Dear Dkiger --

Thank you. I have two follow-on questions.

1 Does the JSON file do something that the registry key doesn't? If it's different, then I'm eager to try it.

2. The Mozilla help page I looked at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-policiesjson said to put the .json file in "the Firefox installation directory" Where is that in Windows 10? (It would help to update that help page to tell me where to find it).

I understand that the developers "would rather you use another browser than to turn off the updates." You can see from the earlier messages in this thread how much I think much of their judgment.

I have never found the "security" argument convincing -- if this were a real explanation, it wouldn't be true anymore. As far as I can tell, each new release adds nearly as many security flaws as it closes, so the net effect is that new releases are as insecure as old ones.

There are lots of ways to protect client data, and I use them. There's no way to recover from down time.

Thank you for your answer.

Dear Dkiger -- Thank you. I have two follow-on questions. 1 Does the JSON file do something that the registry key doesn't? If it's different, then I'm eager to try it. 2. The Mozilla help page I looked at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-policiesjson said to put the .json file in "the Firefox installation directory" Where is that in Windows 10? (It would help to update that help page to tell me where to find it). I understand that the developers "would rather you use another browser than to turn off the updates." You can see from the earlier messages in this thread how much I think much of their judgment. I have never found the "security" argument convincing -- if this were a real explanation, it wouldn't be true anymore. As far as I can tell, each new release adds nearly as many security flaws as it closes, so the net effect is that new releases are as insecure as old ones. There are lots of ways to protect client data, and I use them. There's no way to recover from down time. Thank you for your answer.
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Dkiger 0 solutions 18 answers

depending on the version you are running it will be installed to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox or C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox. Just curious ... what specific function do you use that gets broken by the updates?

depending on the version you are running it will be installed to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox or C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox. Just curious ... what specific function do you use that gets broken by the updates?
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Question owner

Dear Dkiger --

1 Does the JSON file do something that the registry key doesn't? If it's different, then I'm eager to try it.

2. What breaks? It's something different every time (software breakage is rarely predictable or consistent!). The one that sent me over the edge was Adobe Acrobat -- I used to have things set up so I could click on a .pdf URL, and get a new tab, with Acrobat in-tab. That broke a couple years ago. I've probably lost two full days of work time trying to get it to work again, and finally gave up. (The in-browser PDF viewer changes the rendering--it's unusable for my purposes.) So now all .pdfs have to save to disk, and then I open them in an Acrobat window.

Thank you.

Dear Dkiger -- 1 Does the JSON file do something that the registry key doesn't? If it's different, then I'm eager to try it. 2. What breaks? It's something different every time (software breakage is rarely predictable or consistent!). The one that sent me over the edge was Adobe Acrobat -- I used to have things set up so I could click on a .pdf URL, and get a new tab, with Acrobat in-tab. That broke a couple years ago. I've probably lost two full days of work time trying to get it to work again, and finally gave up. (The in-browser PDF viewer changes the rendering--it's unusable for my purposes.) So now all .pdfs have to save to disk, and then I open them in an Acrobat window. Thank you.
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Dkiger 0 solutions 18 answers

Helpful Reply

yes the JSON file does more than the key, if you want to ensure updates stay disabled do both.

yes the JSON file does more than the key, if you want to ensure updates stay disabled do both.

Modified by Dkiger

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