Starting with the version 63 of Mozilla Firefox web browser, there won’t be any option to disable the automatic updates of the browser from within anywhere the browser options (through about:preferences) or the configurations editor (through about:config). In the earlier versions, users could go to the Firefox options and choose to “Never check for updates” from the settings in order to disable it from automatically downloading newer versions and installing them for you. But now this option has been removed from Firefox version 63 – you have no choice but to update to the latest version.
But Mozilla still allows disabling of the Firefox automatic updates, even though this option is available only for the system administrators (people who have admin access to the computers and can make changes to the system settings). Using the Firefox enterprise policies, you can disable automatic updates in Firefox. Here is how:
- Close all the running instances of Firefox web browser.
- Open the Firefox installation folder. In Windows 10, you can just right-click on the Firefox shortcut and choose Open file location. Usually, the installation folder is C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\.
- In the Firefox installation folder, create a sub-folder named distribution.
- Download disable-firefox63-update-policy.zip and extract policies.json file into the distribution folder.
- All done. Now Firefox won’t automatically update itself.
If you go to the Firefox options and try to find the automatic update settings, you will see the message – “Updates disabled by your system administrator” instead of any of the update related options.
If you want to enable the automatic updates at any later time, then you can simply remove the policies.json file or rename it to something else.
Preventing Mozilla Firefox from automatically updating might put your computer and your local network at risk. This method makes use of Enterprise Policies and should be used only by the system admins of various organizations to disable the updates temporarily.