Downgrading your Firefox browser to an older version can be a viable option in many contexts. For instance, if you want to access previous protocols or features of a certain version of the browser. Another one is when you’re having compatibility issues with your system.
If your OS is comparatively old, newer browser versions may only consume more resources and cause lagging issues. But, let’s find out if downgrading is actually possible and relatively safe.
How to Downgrade Firefox?
Firefox allows you to downgrade to its older versions on its Directory Listings. This is where you can find all the previously-released versions of Firefox.
But it’s worth noting that you can’t download just any old version. For instance, you can install and use versions from the latest to around 10.0 or a bit earlier. But, some versions that are from Firefox’s initial days don’t work anymore. When you install them, you only get a message that it’s blocked.
But, you can normally download other relatively recent versions of Firefox in this way:
- Visit Firefox’s Directory Listings.
- Select any version you’d like to download. On the new page, you can find individual versions for Linux, Mac, and Windows. So, click on your respective OS to install the previous version.
Additionally, there are also different versions for the systems of a single OS. For e.g., for Windows, there’s a 32-bit as well as a 64-bit version. You can find them as win32/ and win64/. Proceed by clicking on the version for your system.
- Now, select a version in the language you want. For e.g., if you want to install Firefox in US English, locate and click on “en-US/”.
- On the next page, click and download the first .exe file.
- Assign a location for the file and save it.
- Open and extract the new Firefox Setup file. Firefox will now ask for admin permission.
- In the Setup window, continue clicking on Next. Close your Firefox window if you have it open.
- Finally, click on Upgrade to change your current Firefox version. Then, click on Finish.
- You’ll get a popup window that warns you of the risks of using an older version of Firefox. Click on Create New Profile.
- Firefox will now automatically start.
If you want to check if the downgrade process was successful, click on the three lines at the top-right corner. Then, click on Help > About Firefox. You can see your current version in the new window. If you want to upgrade your Firefox later to the latest version, click on Restart to Update Firefox.
If you don’t want to downgrade your Firefox browser but still want to try a different version, try using Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release). It’s a unique version that acts as a previous version of the browser but still comes with its newest security and stability features.
How to Turn Off Automatic Firefox Updates?
Firefox usually automatically gets updated by default when there’s a new update available. But, if you want to keep your current Firefox intact, you can assign Firefox only to be updated manually. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Click on the Menu icon and then go to Settings.
- In the General section, navigate to Firefox Updates. Here, you’ll see some options below Allow Firefox to. Select the option that says Check for updates but let you choose to install them.
Is It Safe to Downgrade Firefox?
Downgrading to an older version of Firefox can come with potential data and security risks. This is because an older version lacks significant bug fixes, features, and improvements that come with the newer versions.
The most common risk of downgrading Firefox is getting your user profile data corrupted or lost. Another risk of downgrading to a previous version also makes your browser more prone to malicious attacks or malware. So, it’s a good idea to back up your data first if necessary.
Thankfully, Firefox has a downgrade protection method that prevents you from continuing with your current user profile on the older version. Once you install the old version, you can only resume by creating a new profile. This can protect your user data to some extent. But, Firefox itself doesn’t recommend downgrading unless it’s an emergency.