Regarding privacy-centric browsers, it’s no secret that Mozilla Firefox stands at the top. Some of its noteworthy features are the ability to block trackers, the presence of anti-malware and anti-phishing tools, fingerprint, and ad blocking. Moreover, the browser also gets blessed with updates regularly.
While you aren’t going to witness the addition of new features with each update, however, there are always some bug fixes and patching of the underlying issues. As a result, it is often recommended to be on the latest build. However, sometimes things might not go accordingly as planned.
There have been a few instances where users wish to downgrade to an earlier version. For example, a user recently updated his browser from version 44 to 49.0.1, but on doing so, issues began to pop up with the Selenium Firefox web driver. Likewise, some users complained that on updating Firefox, they ended up with its Quantum build, which they never opted for in the first place.
These are just some reasons one would prefer reverting to an earlier build. If you echo these thoughts and wish to carry out the task above, this guide shall help you. Here are the detailed instructions to downgrade and install an older version of Firefox.
Before you proceed ahead, do keep in mind that lowering down to an earlier build might make your browser more prone to risks. Only do so if it is of paramount importance and the browser is nearly non-functional in its latest update.
Keeping all that in mind, here are the required downgrade instructions.
Download Older Build
Mozilla Firefox automatically archives the order builds or releases in its repository that we can download for free. We can browse through the build number to download the required version.
Here are the steps to download the older Firefox build:
- Open the Firefox directory listings on the web browser.
It hosts older browser builds, some dating from 5-6 years old.
- Please scroll to the version of your choice and select it.
You should now see various builds of Firefox corresponding to your OS.
- Choose the directory per your system configuration. (say, Windows)
Furthermore, under Windows, you will see two different architectures*, 32-bit and 64-bit.
- Select the one that matches your CPU architecture.
- Select your language and region. As for this guide, we are choosing English US, so it translates to en-US.
- Finally, download the .exe file corresponding to your selected version.
* If you aren’t sure about system architecture, tap on the More menu at the extreme right of Firefox. Then go to Help > About Firefox, and you should find the architecture mentioned there.
Install the Older Version
Now that the older version has been downloaded to local storage. We can proceed to install and overwrite the older version.
Here are the steps to install the older version of Firefox:
- Double-click on the downloaded .exe file to launch the setup file.
- Click on the
If you aren’t sure if the same, then go ahead with the Standard one. in the welcome screen and select the setup type, out of Standard or Custom.
- It will now scan for the installation directory and bring up the location where the existing version is stored.
- You must hit the
button and wait for the process to complete.
That’s it. You have successfully downgraded to an earlier build of Firefox. There’s just one thing left to do- disable its Auto-Updates feature.
Disable Automatic Updates
By default, Firefox checks for the latest updates and, if found, will download and install it automatically. At the same time, it may come in handy in the general scenario, but not so under the current circumstance where you have manually downgraded to an earlier build.
Here are the steps to disable the Automatics updates in Firefox:
- Launch the Firefox Browser on the computer.
- Click on the More menu button situated at the extreme right.
- Select Options from the menu list.
This will open the General section in Firefox.
- Please scroll to the Firefox Updates section and select Check for Update but let you choose to install them.
This will disable the automatic updates on the Firefox browser. Though this will check for the newer version, it won’t install unless you manually confirm to update.
It’s not recommended to stay on the older version for a long; successive versions can have the fix or patch release for the issue you are facing. Hence, keeping your Firefox browser up to date is highly recommended.
Bottom Line: Firefox Downgrade to Older Version
So this was all from this guide on how to downgrade and install an older version of the Firefox browser. While the general rule of thumb states that you should always be on the latest build, you might have to deviate from this route in some instances.
Sometime back, I updated the browser from v56 to v57 Quantum build. But in doing so, all the extensions started behaving rather unexpectedly. So I had to revert to the earlier version, and the issue got rectified.
On that note, we conclude this guide on downgrading Firefox to the older version. Please let us know in the comments section below if you have any queries.
The new Firefox Version of 89.0 doesn’t meet my expectations. So, I’ll downgrade to an older version.
Hello Dr. Manfred, may I know what you didn’t like about the new Firefox update?
Totally trashed searching from FirefoxBlank page, insisting the search prase I type is sent to the address bar as a url. If I press the setting icon in the bar theeen I can say “search with Google” or whatever search engine I want. Sites are now displayed on the new tab as The 1st letter of the sitename, not helpful having to look through 5 or 6 “S” names to find the one I want. Used to be able to easily locate by the site icon. Off to downgrade now.
The open tabs look like Shite in the Ver 89. Can hardly see what is the active tab. Doesn’t matter what theme I use. Bad update.
I just despise all these new versions. used to be able to pull the current “cookies and data’ window off to the side, and watch all the stuff load, then cancel/delete things I didn’t want tracking me. Now its hidden in the preferences section, making it a chore to go see what is there, and delete.
Is there a way to STOP the stupid picture in picture dropdowns and autoplay of commercials??? Freeze the idiot dancing gifs. silence the autoplay audio unless you choose volume? etc.
Every new version seems to LOSE FREEDOM to choose. I don’t WANT a pile of apps updating in the background, playing banners, shouting commercials at me unless I click on them.
Or is there a simple browser somewhere that is totally customizable, that isn’t a snooping tool selling me
continuously to anyone they can find??
sadly the answer is still no, but older versions of ff are much better
as you well know
You did not comment on if I need to delete firefox first?
Yes, you need to uninstall and clear the data of Firefox in order to install the previous version.
A big help. Thanks a lot!