Disable Updates in Firefox 63 and above

Starting in Firefox 63, it is not possible to disable updates of the browser. Developers have removed the appropriate option from the browser's settings. Here is a solution you can apply.

Firefox 63 About

Firefox 63 represents the branch built with the new Quantum engine. It comes with a refined user interface, codenamed "Photon". The browser now comes without support for XUL-based add-ons, so all of the classic add-ons are deprecated and incompatible. See

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Must have add-ons for Firefox Quantum

Starting in version 63, Firefox no longer includes the option to completely disable updates. The option "Never check for updates" has been removed from the Preferences\General section. The options you can set now are:

  • Automatically install updates(recommended)
  • Check for updates but let you choose to install them

Firefox 63 No Disable Updates Option

Developers have added a special policy to Firefox that administrators can apply to stop Firefox from updating.

To disable Updates in Firefox 63 and above, do the following.

  1. Close Firefox.
  2. Open the Registry Editor app.
  3. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  4. Create a new subkey here named Mozilla. You will get the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Mozilla.
  5. Under the Mozilla key, create a new subkey Firefox. You will get the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox.
  6. On the right, create a new 32-Bit DWORD value DisableAppUpdate.
    Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
    Set its value to 1.Firefox 63 Disable Updates
  7. You can open Firefox. The updates are now disabled.

Before:

Firefox 63 No Disable Updates Option

After:

Firefox 63 Updates Disabled

To undo the change, remove the DisableAppUpdate 32-bit DWORD value you have created, then restart Firefox.

To save your time, you can download the following ready-to-use Registry files:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.

Alterivate Solution

There is an alternative solution suggested by our reader EP. You can create a policies.json file and store that file into the ‘C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\distribution’ folder. Create a ‘distribution’ folder in \Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\ folder and place that policies.json file into that folder with the following contents:

{
"policies": 
   {
     "DisableAppUpdate": true
    }
}

That's it.

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47 thoughts on “Disable Updates in Firefox 63 and above

  1. Phil

    I hate it when Mozilla changes in Firefox!!! :(

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I am also not happy with such changes.

      Reply
  2. Nobody

    thanks for this guide!

    Reply
  3. Sebastian

    ….next… like win10?

    Reply
  4. TomH

    Here is the source of the removal: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1420514

    Please leave feedback there if you believe “Never check for updates” is not a bug and should be brought back.

    Reply
  5. D

    Well we can ‘Never check for updates’ or we can have ‘Never install Firefox again’. Your move Mozilla.

    Reply
  6. EP

    this registry trick may no longer work, Sergey.

    a better solution is to create a policies.json file and store that file into the ‘C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\distribution’ folder. Create a ‘distribution’ folder in \Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\ folder and place that policies.json file into that folder that has the following code:

    {
    “policies”: {
    “DisableAppUpdate”: true
    }
    }

    source:
    forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3041932

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thank you very much. I’ll add this to the article.

      Reply
    2. Rainy

      Tried policies.json hack. Did not work Jan 2020.

      Registry hack did. Now Firefox effectively says Updates disabled by your administrator.

      Reply
      1. romaneve

        This no longer works with firefox 73.0. I believe anything newer than 70.0 no longer respects policies.json.

        Reply
        1. straffin

          policies.json is not working in 68.4.2esr either

          Reply
  7. NotCrazy

    The registry trick seems to still work. And it’s a better solution for scripting or dealing with multiple computers that have Firefox installed. It appears that the developers at Firefox have lost their minds, and decided to play IT Nazi with their own users. The main problem that most people have is the insane nag pop-up that keeps occurring if they don’t select automatic updates. Users should have the freedom to choose when they update Firefox. It would have been vastly smarter for Mozilla to give a choice, like check every 2 weeks or once a month, and then a nag screen would appear requesting an update.

    Having a nag pop-up every time a user opens Firefox because they refuse automatic updates is plain dumb. The only thing Mozilla will succeed in doing is help convert Firefox users over to Chrome, Edge, or some other browser. Furthermore, Firefox updates also can break various Add-ons, because the authors haven’t updated to the new version of Firefox yet. This creates an additional headaches to users, if they choose automatic updates. Going full IT Nazi on users is not the way to go.

    Reply
  8. Phylis Sophical

    EP’s solution worked for me in FF v.66.0.3 No nag screens for the last four days. Thxs!

    Reply
  9. Barrie

    Thank you so much!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Nelda

    But now I can’t update manually either. I’m not sure which is worse!!

    Reply
  11. Ahmad Moualla

    I swear i stopped using Firefox because of this annoying problem. You should really worry about your customers!

    Reply
  12. intermediate

    registry method works in November 2019.

    Reply
  13. Firefox 70+ user

    Tried registry mode as of January 2020, works perfectly.
    Went ahead and did the policies.json file in user created “distribution” folder for good measure. We’ll see if they screw this up somehow, too.

    Reply
  14. TDV

    Who is using an old version of Firefox, which he finds reliable?

    The bad news is, that in the world of browers, Firefox is the one that is the least bad. But most certainly their updates are becoming more and more unacceptable.
    I have decided to return to an older version and now want to find people with experience in that….

    Reply
  15. jhildreth

    It seems every time I take the updates there is a new update trying to come through the next day. The reason it is annoying is because the “update” destroys all my settings and often replaces everything (bookmarks etc) without informing me. AND IT ALWAYS HAPPENS WHEN I ACTUALLY NEED TO DO SOMETHING.

    There is a huge market for an os and browser that is fast, streamlined, ultra secure and not concerned with stealing your personal data.

    Reply
  16. Dave

    Thunderbird recently got rid of the the option to never check for updates. When it is time for an update it will nag you daily. If you create a Mozilla/Thunderbird registry key as per this article it also stops the updating.

    Reply
  17. Inservio

    I use several different versions of FF, so I prefer using the flags in about:config
    If you only have one version installed, the regkey above is by far the simpler solution

    Reply
  18. Rajani Rosette

    Disabling Firefox update based on IP is not feasible, as it is using DNS for IP lookup, whileas the Mozilla-leased servers may be changing all the time. You have to use host name based rules to block it. Assuming you have Raspberry-pi like front end as router and firewall, and assuming eth0 is for incoming Internet traffic, eth1 is for LAN outgoing, you may use something like following to effectively block all FF home-pinging traffic. Notification pop-up still exists, but these iptable rules protect you from forcing updates in the middle of uninterruptable work. If Mozilla starts using any new domain name later, people will easily detect it by tcpdump and add it into the iptables.

    iptables -A FORWARD -i eth1 -p udp –dport 53 -m string –hex-string “mozilla|03|org” –algo bm -j DROP
    iptables -A FORWARD -i eth1 -p udp –dport 53 -m string –hex-string “firefox|03|com” –algo bm -j DROP
    iptables -A FORWARD -i eth1 -p udp –dport 53 -m string –hex-string “mozaws|03|net” –algo bm -j DROP

    This may be extreme, but so is Mozilla’s heavy-handed.

    Download the standalone old version (e.g. < V:63) of Firefox from Intenert somewhere, fresh install it in your PC. Before launch it the first time, enable the above iptable rules beforehand (!VERY IMPORTANT!). Otherwise Firefox will automatically update its version in its first launch that gives the opportunity to call its home. After launch, then go to settings to disable "Automatic Update" with these iptable rules enabled at any time.

    Reply
    1. FukknFunkinGoTogether

      OR just disable networking, run it, disable automatic updates, etc, then re-enable networking. But yeah, it’ll phone home. Mozilla are BROKE and desperate for money AND for efficiency. Automatic metrics gathering DOES have a legitimate use-case scenario for the latter, but informed consent is what trust is all about. OR it can be like the sheep using closed-source spyware – about blind delusion, and incidentally, let’s not spread yet more delusion in the world, eh?

      Reply
  19. DarkRaver

    Dear and respected Winaero,

    Thank you for all of your help and windows tweaks so far, but please be kind and help me on this one because neither the json file hack or registry edit one are giving results ??? I am using FF v 73

    Thank you very much

    Reply
    1. PhilipAb

      Same for me with Firefox 74. Any solution? Thanks!!!

      Reply
      1. Harry

        I suggest installing ver 68.0 It allows far more tweaks and is far superior to the later versions. I kept installing backwards from the most recent versions till I found a good one. One should never have to go through that mumbo jumbo! :-( I am sticking with 68.0 until they allow the tweaks that used to be.

        Reply
  20. firefox 75 user

    been at this for days stupid nag box in the right hand top corner still pops up!

    *have a fully customized policy.json installed and running properly.
    * have turned off updates in all the NEW! registry locations mozilla trying to sneak into your system!
    *using a user.js file to keep my settings so i can block all the crap firefox sends back home plus my broser is faster without all that bloatware like synch, pockets, background screen saver.
    *erased maintinence service.exe, updaters.exe
    *disabled the service snaky firefox installs in windows services

    Reply
  21. firefox 75 user

    Firefox update, doorhanger, popup box, nag screens ect are just taking the piss now!
    even while writing this the stupid thing just decided to pop back up!

    My 25 years on computer systems, hardware and software side should vouch for something.
    So i have included some of what i have done to get rid of this annoying and unwanted forced updates, even when you install a fresh copy its telling you to reinstall a new one right away!

    *have a fully customized policy.json installed and running properly.
    * have turned off updates in all the NEW! registry locations mozilla trying to sneak into your system!
    * using a user.js file to keep my settings so i can block all the crap firefox sends back home plus my browser is faster and safer without all that bloatware like synch, pockets, background screen saver.
    * erased maintenance service.exe, updaters.exe
    * disabled the service snaky firefox installs in windows services.
    * locked the firefox folders that are used for updates after erasing the files.
    * have a host file blocking firefox connections
    *changed the settings in the options menu to stop all this nonsense.

    ————— NOTHING WORKS! NOTHING AT ALL! ————————

    Firefox was supposed to be for open source technology, for the people, for freedom, not for profit, NOT to collect telemetry send back info on users force updates and spy on the same people who made it what it is.
    Over the years its become opposite to everything opensource stands for.

    All the connections that it makes to google to amazon to facebook, the installed useless crap that comes with it from its paymasters at mega corps the recommended bloatware, nag screens, amazon search, wiki search goolgle crap it comes installed with is astounding.

    The average user dont even understand all this, let alone has the time and patience to even figure out what all the settings in about:config actually do let alone look for them.

    Now one of the Devs is crying how they will lock down firefox even more from stopping users installing the user.js file because only 3% of users use it, they got the 3% number from spying and collecting data on us!

    Bottom line is looks like firefox sold out to the mega corporations and has just become another google chrome with is prism agenda, the things we actually used it for have gone out the window time to look for alternatives or downgrade.

    If you down grade make sure you have your user.js and policy.json file in place and have set your telemetry and other options from the menu, erased the exe files and set your registry before you even turn on your internet connection again! or everything you do will all be useless as the first thing firefox does is call home report telemetry while asking for updates.

    All to much for you then use these alternatives.

    *waterfox
    ^Does not collect telemetry on users, apart from a few basics like what operating system your running.

    *Pale Moon
    ^old school firefox, with a new underlying engine based on Goanna is extremely customizable.

    *Opera
    ^Uses a free VPN comes with Add Blocker built in well made and well supported.

    Everyone of us has to give mozilla feedback that what its done to firefox is not acceptable.
    https://qsurvey.mozilla.com/s3/FirefoxInput/

    we as the users should have the only say, if they dont play, we shall go away!

    Just my two cents post below i shall come back to check.

    Reply
    1. TrippsyTripTrip

      Opera? You’re tripping, son. Opera was good now is Chinese spyware, and the VPN is NOT a VPN it is a cheap, spied-upon proxy, IIRC. I only used it ever for geolocation workarounds and testing, and even then… it was not strong. Pretty good for free, but HARDLY the antidote to Mozilla’s tendencies, be fair to Mozilla.
      Incidentally, Mozilla is not-so-coincidentally like this AFTER Brendan Eich was ousted, isn’t this the case? Relevant or not, I don’t know…

      Reply
  22. Harry

    Sergey, you ROCK! Thank you! I manually edited the registry and voila!, magically it got disabled! I am applying this to all my machines. Firefox is behaving high-highhandedly not offering users the customization browsers, such as Vivaldi does, and removing previously-working tweaks at will, for no logically apparent purpose. :-(

    Reply
  23. Ronny Ponny

    6th June 2020…
    Thank You Very Much Sergey ,
    . I Just Did the REG EDIT on Firefox 74.0 64bit…. with the 32Bit DWord ‘DisableAppUpdate (1)…
    Rebooted Firefox and There it is ….
    ” Now Firefox effectively says Updates disabled by your administrator”.
    …..
    For Years I have had to Do without Add-Ons that worked in the Previous Version that wouldn’t work in the Auto installed Updates.
    For Months now…1/2 Dozen times a day.. I’d Have the POP-UP ” Do You want to Install Update ?”
    A Few months ago I think I went into the Profiles and Made Adjustments on Reccomendations from another Forum … That Failed.

    Fingers Crossed the Pop-Up it will be Gone… Will Know in a Day or So .

    Thanks Again
    From “One Happy Chappy”

    Reply
    1. Ronny Ponny

      13/6/2020
      Thank You Again,
      Not A Pop-Up in Sight.. Since I did the Rego Fix

      Much Obliged ..Ron

      Reply
  24. JuanD

    Finally, that stupid popup is gone…
    Thanks

    Reply
  25. Roger

    Thank You So Much! The constant pop-ups were driving me crazy.

    Reply
  26. Peter

    Fantastic solution. Thank you very much.
    Mindful of FF wanting to be updated as required for security reasons, occasionally FF update contains an error/issue and causes problems.
    I go back to a previous version of FF which works and then i get bugged by FF to update, which i do not want to do for a while.
    Instead of having to do this registry hack, FF should have an inbuilt option to NOT look for updates.
    Are you listening Mozilla.

    Reply
  27. Piecevcake

    Thank you for all the options – I added the policies.json in FF74 AFTER getting the “restart to update FF” message (I had blocked in UAC).
    Worked perfectly (Win 8.1). Changed app.update.interval to 7776000 (90 days).
    The notation in prefs “Your browser is being managed by your organization.” is a link which opens the custom policy setting – very helpful they do get some things right!
    When they fix the PDF/Moz pages markup issues I shall be happy with FF. (Don’t shout at them about it just keep at them – I got blocked for that!)
    When someone makes an addon to change the nag to a toolbar icon which doesn’t block the current page and get accidentally clicked, and can be pinned to overflow like the sync nag, everybody will be happier!

    Reply
  28. Nina

    Firefox ESR has a feature to block popups.
    Firefox ESR now comes pre-installed with a self-sabotaging virus which selectively defeats that popup blocking feature. The Firefox virus allows perpetual popups for its own self serving upgrade — presumably to compel users to upgrade and justify additional Mozilla funding = COMMERCIAL ADVERTISEMENT.

    Time to switch to Vivaldi. Opera has historically had better respect for their clients, than has Mozilla.

    Same mozilla attitude has resulted in a perpetual bug that drags Thunderbird to a x-snails-x scratch that, a barnacle’s pace. This is the same core ethic that for many years, allowed Mac System-7 to crash with “type 11 error” that nearly bankrupt the company. Apparently, Mozilla is on a similar course to bankruptcy, only to be resurrected as a consumer electroincs company that produces “idiot proof” products that by definition, are only useful for idiots.

    Sorry to see the end of an era at Mozilla.

    Reply
  29. Steve McFly

    Geezus! Thank you guy(s)! This has been bugging me all month. Argh! Hard enough to make v73 feel like 52, my fave FF to date. Thanks again1

    Reply
  30. James

    It’s getting so concoluted trying to get any old settings to function in Firefox that I’ve just given up on firefox and gone to another browser. Brave, Vivaldi, or any of the other Privacy focused browsers with the same rendering engine. Can’t get any worse than what Firefox has become.

    Reply
  31. A_Firefox_User

    Thanks so much for this excellent article!

    Reply
  32. Garth

    The article is not for Linux. How can I disable them in Ubuntu LInux? Mozilla has been making me very angry with its “We just need to do one little thing” message that shows and won’t let me go on when I try to load a new tab. They say that after re-starting, they’ll restore everything; but that’s a lie! Everything in my private browsing session is just gone, with no way to restore it; and in the regular session, pages that are dynamically generated don’t come up with the same thing again.

    Reply
  33. fletch

    None of these solutions work for the portable versions of Firefox. Does anyone know what domain name or ip addresses the updater uses so I can block them in my firewall?

    Reply
  34. Philip

    Doesn’t work in version 81

    Reply
  35. Xavier

    As of 2020-11-05, the policies.json method still works with Firefox 68.12.0esr(64-bit) and Windows 7 Professional.
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  36. Joe Lopuck (ESQUIRE)

    Version 76 here. Worked perfect.

    Reply

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