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firefox automatically updates even when set to never check for updates

  • 19 uphendule
  • 15 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu 3624PPC

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I have Firefox set to "never check for updates". I set it to that because I like to back it up before I update because almost every time it updates I have to fix everything. this afternoon, I started Firefox as usual and it had updated itself to 10.0.2 automatically. I would like to fix this issue so it never happens again, and if possible, download 8.0 like I had before.

I have Firefox set to "never check for updates". I set it to that because I like to back it up before I update because almost every time it updates I have to fix everything. this afternoon, I started Firefox as usual and it had updated itself to 10.0.2 automatically. I would like to fix this issue so it never happens again, and if possible, download 8.0 like I had before.

All Replies (19)

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What did you set or try to set. I do not think the standard UI offers an option to prevent Firefox itself from updating.

It is possible to manually find and download a copy of Firefox 8 I will pm you the correct location if necessary, but this is NOT recommended, because that version is no unsupported and not secure. Using Firefox 8 would increase the risk of damage to your personal data and your computer systems.

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Here is the option I have set, I don't really need to go back to 8, it was just annoying that it updated without asking me first or me telling it to. It seems that it updated properly this time, usually it will update and I will have to go and download all my addons again and set everything back up. If for some reason the UI doesn't have the option or that checkbox doesn't work, is there a setting in about:config that would do the same thing?

Okulungisiwe ngu Xath

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Maybe someone else will provide a quick answer to that, I need to think about it a while, I know of at least a couple of things that would block an upgrade.

With the recent changes Firefox has probably improved in how it handles these upgrades, especially in regard to popular add-ons. Most add-ons will be assumed compatible by default, and many may well have gone through a rudimentary automated checking.

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Although this is already a 2 month old thread, I'm replying anyways... and will search for more relevant topics as well....

I have this issue as well. Yes, there is an option in the stock UI to prevent updating. Tools > Options > Advanced > Update tab > "Never check for updates (not recommended: security risk)"

This has been available in my stock UI(s) for quite some time now, although I can say that I have not "always" seen it available. It comes and goes, or so it seems to me.

Regardless, I've had that option checked off, I do NOT want automatic updates, I'm tired of FF being updated every other week and then everything not working afterwards... so I disable the auto update feature.

My problem? This is the 3rd time in a row now that my FF has automatically updated itself despite all my efforts to prevent it! All day long I have been opening and closing FF like normal.... quite a few times. Nothing's popped up on my screen since... yesterday, which prompted me to choose to update or something like ignore.... which I chose to ignore. **(at that time I then double checked my settings for the auto update...and what did I see? The option to NEVER CHECK FOR UPDATES was still selected!!!... so why did FF check for updates if I told it not to?) Anywho... today rolls around and I open and close FF a few too many times, like I said already... nothing special. Then, just recently.... (today being May 3rd 2012), I open FF again and guess what happened? You guessed it... FF updated itselft WITHOUT WARNING or PROMPTS to v.12.

I'm more than just ticked off at this point because this keeps happening. How the heck did FF just update itself, without prompt or warning, if I "HAD" turned off auto updating? I went back into the options in this new v.12 (12.0), and once again I DISABLED auto update. I will post back again...and again...and again, each and every single time FF goes and does something I had explicitly told it not to!

Seriously? It's like having a pretty light just to look at to keep my busy but serves no real purpose. Why is this option there if it doesn't actually work? How's about this.... when a program does something completely opposite of what it's told to do, a program that say... downloads data against your will.... yeah, those are usually considered viruses.

So what if I chose to use FF at some point... if I try to uninstall it, is it just going to fricken up and reinstall itself when I go to bed? If FF's auto-update will NOT stay disabled "for real", then how am I to know that it's at all secure when it needs to be?

With the amount/frequency of updates as of late....(how many has that been this year alone already?) It's amazing that anyone still uses this.

(which btw, it's not nearly as "fast" and less-resource-intensive as it was just a year ago... what gives?)


Okulungisiwe ngu Baelydon

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I wish someone would answer this, because I've been having this problem for MONTHS. It's really annoying. I've got the setting set to never autoupdate, and it's been autoupdating to beat the band. It's up to version 12 now. The earliest update in my update history is from last September 1, to version 6, and there are about a dozen "Security Updates" since then.

I'm not worried about my security. I'm sick of having to change where I look for commonly used functionality, having to reinstall updated versions of my add-ins or do without them if they haven't kept up, etc.

Okulungisiwe ngu rprastein

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OK, in my case I may have figured out the problem - there are three users on this machine - two unprivileged users and one admin. I'm the admin, and I don't often log in here. One of the unprivileged users had FF set to autoupdate. So now, what I want to know, is why does the unprivileged user's browser settings trump mine, when I'm an admin? Looks like it's time to google how to lock this down for all uses on the PC.

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Wild guess as I am not using Windows at the moment (My windows machine needs a new PSU) and have not tried it, but does the update either only apply to the users own account, or do the users have permission to do global updates ?

Next update will be about 6th June.

Please note it is not recommended to use unsupported insecure old versions of Firefox, because that will increase risks the risks to your personal data and your System. (Unless you take precautions such as operating behind a sophisticated firewall on a private intranet, use a virtual machine, or have well rehearsed bare metal restore facilities)

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It looks like in my case (windows XP), what was happening is this:

One unprivileged user (my stepson) had autoupdate checked, but he wouldn't have the permissions to install the update. But the next time I would log on (as admin), it would go ahead and install.

Besides the question about whether to check for updates automatically or not, there is an additional checkbox for installing using a service, and apparently I had that checked on my profile, so maybe that is why it would install it without asking me first, once the stepson got the notice that an update was available and downloaded it. I've unchecked his autoupdate setting and unchecked my install using a service, and we'll see how it goes.

This machine is the "family" machine, intended for my husband and two stepsons. I usually use my laptop, and only log in over on that family machine when there is a problem of some sort (I'm the sysadmin). One stepson never logs on, as he has his own laptop. The other stepson logs on from time to time, but generally doesn't log out when he is done. He is the one that had autoupdate checked. My husband logs on a lot, but he has autoupdate unchecked.

There is nothing of great, irreplaceable importance on the family machine. I am NOT worried about security. When one of the unprivileged users catches a virus (the stepson has had this happen twice now), I research it on my laptop and log in as admin to clean it up. The damage is limited because they are not privileged users. Any problems we have had have not come from browser insecurities, but from ill-advised behavior of my users. I've got FF 3.6 on my laptop and haven't had any problems at all.

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I have just had this. I was running a Portables Apps version 9.x. This morning I clicked on a link in an IM program and an vanilla copy of Firefox opened. I use the Classic Compact theme so I am quite sure it wasn't the same as my Portable Apps Firefox.

I realised that I had no other versions of Firefox installed on this Windows 7 computer. When I restarted my Portable Apps version of Firefox it had been updated to v12. This is DESPITE me having configured Firefox to never check for updates.

Just because your software is "free" it doesn't you can dick around with other people's computer against their express wishes. That is what computer trojans and viruses are designed to do. What if I had a visual or physical disability and a forced FF update just removed an extension I rely on to run my business?


Note that there is only one copy of Firefox on this machine and only one user of this computer.

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See Portable Apps support for your issue.

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@the-edmeister Thanks for the reply.

I haven't found my issue as yet on the PA forum. However, I have now installed the current version of PA Firefox (v10) and will see if this problem appears again.

The only reason I persevere with Firefox is because of Adblock Plus and in particular Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus. However, I am getting to the stage where I might put up with annoying page elements rather than have 'silent' updates causing me problems.

Maybe it is just better to order a new quill and ink and a good supply of parchment. At least you can fix that technology yourself without wasting too much of your time ;)

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Often it is suggested users allow Firefox to upgrade and use that for day to day browsing.

If however you have a single site or application that needs an older version of Firefox then use an older version just for that purpose. The easiest method of using an additional Firefox version is to use one of the portable ones. (I note something similar is also available for Mac Users)

Readers of this thread may also be interested in the locked thread

Okulungisiwe ngu John99

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@ john Using Portable Apps version doesn't work. I had my portable apps version upgraded to v14 today. This had an unexpected effect. If I clicked on the Portable Apps firefox.exe and then entered a URL Firefox used my mozilla profile in the Portable Apps folder. If I clicked on a URL in an email Firefox started up but it ignored the mozilla profiles folder in the Portable Apps folder and started up without any of my extensions. Which was most annoying.

I have now downloaded the Portable Apps Firefox ESR version and hope that that will solve this particular problem. However, the Firefox support site now tells me I am running an insecure version of Firefox.


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Please take this discussion too the Portable Apps forum, and ask them to explain to you how Portable Firefox differs from the regular version of Firefox. Some of what you mentioned isn't possible with the Portable version, there are no Registry entries installed which are needed for sending a hyperlink from an email client to the Portable version - so you probably have an official version of Firefox installed, too, and that is what is launching from the hyperlink.

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@the-edmeister No I do not have any other copies of Firefox installed. The only copy of firefox, which lives within the PA folder is the one that auto upgraded to v14 yesterday. I checked this very carefully several times.

This 'forced official version auto upgrade' then breaks the default Portable App behaviour and ignores the profiles folder inside the PA folder structure if you click on a link that is presented outside the browser (in an IM or Email for example).

The problem is not just a Portable App one. It is 1) the Mozilla policy of forcing upgrades on users. I had do not update checked and did not get a dialogue giving me a choice in the matter. Remember, I own this computer not the Mozilla Foundation. 2) The poor planning of the transition from normal release to Chrome like releases. IF Mozilla had taken the time to create a robust rapid release system first, instead of just forging ahead blindly with rapid releases at the expense of users, then I wouldn't have had to have posted anything here at all.

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I use multiple Firefox versions, but not portable.

I am under the impression that because portable(PA) is portable, you may have everything on a memory stick: the profile, bookmarks and even cache may remain on the memory stick. So I am guessing either you are not using PA, or you are using PA but not as intended and using it with one of your other Firefox profiles. Each version of Firefox needs a unique profile to work properly.

As the-edmeister said if you are having problems with use of PA ask about that on the PA forum

If you are having problems with your ordinary install of firefox continue asking questions here.

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@John99 Standard firefox has never been installed on this machine. Any profile was created when Firefox forced and update on the version inside the PA folder structure.

The point about PA systems are that you can do what you like with them but the relevent program data stays within the PA folder structure and is not sprayed around the hard drive/registry etc.

If I had been running PA Firefox from a USB stick then it would still have been upgraded. Or does the Firefox upgrader know when you are running Firefox as a PA from from a USB stick rather than a PA on your hard drive, and not update itself if it is on a USB stick?

Okulungisiwe ngu 3624PPC

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It is probably best if you start your own thread use [/questions/new] and mention in this thread when you have done that,so others may find your question.

My initial thoughts

  • fx 9 should not be updating to fx12 if you set it not to update, although see comments upthread about multiple users
  • if your questions relate to PA why not also ask on their forum, and post a link as a cross reference
  • remember fx9 is NOT secure
    • may I ask what is your reason for using Firefox 9
    • have you considered using a current release of Firefox for day to day use and only using PA for the whatever compatibility problem you have
  • it is possible to prevent upgrades, although that is not normally recommended
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Thanks for your reply. I have decided to abandon Firefox altogether and use SeaMonkey instead. The UI is more to my liking (although not entirely without issues) and it takes much less time to get the UI looking the way I want it with SeaMonkey than with post 4.xx Firefox.

SeaMonkey also feels a bit snappier on all the machines I have installed it on, although I haven't taken any measurements.

As for Portable Apps, I'm giving up on that too. I will install a Linux on a USB pendrive and boot into that if I wish to keep things off my (work) PC.