How to Disable Automatic Updates in Mozilla Firefox 63+

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:

Update: Windows users can use Toggle Firefox Update to quickly enable or disable automatic updates in the Mozilla Firefox browser. It works on Firefox 63.0 and above.
  1. Close all the running instances of Firefox web browser.
  2. 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\.Disable Automatic Updates in Firefox 63
  3. In the Firefox installation folder, create a sub-folder named distribution.
  4. Download and extract policies.json file into the distribution folder.Disable Automatic Updates in Firefox 63
  5. 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.

Disable Automatic Updates in Firefox 63

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.


  1. Just installed it with Firefox 78.4.0ESR. I had to create the directory “distribution” which did not exist, then copied policies.json into. It seems to work fine (updates disabled by system administrator).
    Many thanks, I just hope it will really do the job !
    Just added now : it works also with Thunderbird 68.12.1, which was my main purpose, because Thunderbird 78.6.0 (maybe all 78 versions) FAIL to retrieve POP3 messages from FREE.FR.
    Again, many thanks.

  2. Just installed it with Firefox 78.4.0ESR. I had to create the directory “distribution” which did not exist, then copied policies.json into. It seems to work fine (updates disabled by system administrator).
    Many thanks, I just hope it will really do the job !

  3. I tried the solution, create a distribution directory (it already existed) and could not find ANY file that is .zip to copy to the distro directory. Firefox 68.0b12 continues to force update with a reminder to update every time FF is launched. I refuse to update and want it stopped.

    1. I hope this solution will last a long time almost every good privacy keeping addon is almost gone from their list of so called outdated versions
      But my main reason for blocking updates is that it kills my password manager, i bought from those thieves from roboform a lifetime license. Just after about a month i bought that license the problems started version 7 was going to be replaced by version 8.
      But guess what the old licences became absolete so they wrote you can not upgrade with the lifetime license. You have to buy a new license. So many of us became very angry and they launched updates on the 7 series. They promised to keep updating version 7 for the users. But again that was a lie … even worse they removed the download links for version 7 as well. So it seems they stopped updating not only the heavy paid customers version 7 but completely made it impossible to get the last version they released online either. So basically saying screw you idiot.
      That renewal of plugins is not needed either, its all isanity going on with every developer on the net.
      It looks like they all got the command to take control of every person on the planet and if they are not willing WE WILL FORCE THEM.
      Look at windows 10 it became a monsterous OS forcing people todo and use WHAT THEY WANT.
      Well gues what wankers i am not going to allow you to force me to anything, i do not allow you to control my life so you can squeeze the last drop of money out of me poor hands YOU DARN THIEFS.
      Now i saw that the main people from mozilla want to find a way that they can force the update through other means.

  4. Thank you so much. I use Firefox 65 portable (in addition to Firefox 56) and couldn’t figure out where to put it so I created a distribution folder just about everywhere and finally I hit the right spot!

  5. Thank you for posting this fix. Every comment on the top search result (which is the Mozilla forums) has some c*nty jackass telling you there’s no reason not to update, there’s no reason to stay with XYZ version of the browser. F*** them. If it’s as simple as I don’t want the browser using the network UNLESS I TELL IT TO, then F*** your opinion, and either (A) Add the damn option to disable autosearching for updates (if AU is disabled, why the F*** is it STILL SEARCHING FOR THEM? i.e DEFEATS THE F****** PURPOSE!) OR (B) Don’t be all c**** telling me I’m a fool to not update. F*** your opinion and give me the f***** answer to my question, not an off-topic opinion. Sorry for the rant, but seriously, it’s f***** enraging to have some jackass tell you you don’t know what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. I’m about done with Mozilla.

  6. Im sick to death of this constant push to force auto updates on users. As David says above, its ok if youre ‘computer savvy’ you can always do a little googling and then kill this xxxt , but if youre not, you’ll keep have your pc slowed down by endless pointless, bloatware installing updates and then when it starts running really slow ; the nice man down PC World tells you, Ah yes you need another PC!! – Again computer savvy peeps know thats utter bollox but the vast majority of people are conned into buying a new pc they dont need, with even more bloatware carp on it.

    Mozilla you should be ashamed that youve allowed this carp to infest your browser

  7. So, computer savvy people can control their computers and **ck the ignorant they shall do as we command?

  8. Many thanks. This is a major PITA solved for me. The most recent upgrade broke spell check and the ability to to use edit commands via the context menu. It amazes me they’d release this sort of garbage.

  9. Ce genre de changements sur Mozilla PUE littéralement… On en vient à avoir affaire à un logiciel qui, comme les “Windaube native”, estiment être plus intelligents que vous et mieux savoir ce qui est bon pour vous.
    Ca CHLINGUE gravement !!

  10. This change is exactly what I’ve been dreading ever since the advent of the hated Australis interface. I always prefer to wait a while after an update comes out in order to make sure it’s not going to hose anything on my system. This policy on my part has served me well in the past. Mozilla though, thinks they know what’s better for me and using the Microsoft-like excuse that they know what’s best for me, have replaced updating with nag screens. I have the self-discipline to check for updates on a regular basis.

    In my opinion, Mozilla drank the NSA/Google Kool-Aid. I’m looking around for another browser.

  11. I just don’t want the automatic checking for an update. Still, I want to check for an update by means of the about window. The solution you’re set won’t let me check for an update within the browser. It’s still annoying.

  12. Thanks for this. It also works with version 64.
    I am an admin for a site that uses Virtual Desktops booting from non-persistent images. Users cannot update the image so it is nonsensical for them to continually get prompted to update. Plus the background download consumes the limited R/W space allocated to the non-persistent image. I update the image periodically.

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