Guide to Configuring the Update Settings in Mozilla Firefox

Automatically get the latest updates for Firefox

This tutorial is only intended for users running the Firefox Web browser on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows operating systems.

It is very important to keep your Firefox browser updated to the latest and greatest version available. There are two main reasons for this, and they involve security and functionality. First, many browser updates are released to correct security flaws found within the previous version or versions. It is imperative that you maintain the latest update of Firefox to minimize exposure to possibly harmful vulnerabilities. Second, some browser updates include new or enhanced features that you want to take full advantage of.

How to Configure Update Settings in Mozilla Firefox

Firefox has its integrated update mechanism, and its settings can be configured to your liking. Update configuration can be achieved in a few easy steps, and this tutorial will teach you how it is done.

  1. First, select the Firefox main menu represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window.

    A screenshot of Firefox with the More menu highlighted
  2. When the pop-out menu appears, select ​​ Options or Preferences. Firefox's Options/Preferences interface should now be displayed in a new tab.

    A screenshot of Firefox with the Preferences option highlighted
  3. Remain on the General tab, and scroll down until you see Firefox Updates. Use the available options under Firefox Updates to configure Firefox to handle updates however you like. By default, Firefox will automatically check for and install updates.

    Firefox update options

Two Options

The second, and main, section in the Update section, labeled Firefox updates, contains two options each accompanied by a radio button. They are as follows.

  • Automatically install updates: Enabled by default, this setting ensures that Firefox remains up-to-date without any manual intervention required. If any of your existing add-ons will be disabled by a browser update, you will be warned beforehand. If you would like to disable said warnings, remove the checkmark next to Warn me if this will disable any of my add-ons by clicking on it once.
  • Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them: When enabled, Firefox will always check to see if a browser update is available. However, it will not install these updates unless you specifically allow it.

Located directly above these options is a button labeled Show Update History. Clicking this button will display detailed information on all the major updates that have been applied to your browser in the past. There's another option there to manually Check for updates.

Background Service

On Windows, the final section on this screen, labeled Use a background service to install updates, allows the browser to start up a new service in the background to handle automatic updates. This makes it so that you don't need to manually approve the update each time one's installed. To enable the background service, simply place a checkmark next to it by selecting the box once. To configure the opposite behavior, remove the accompanying checkmark.

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