Regarding privacy-centric browsers, it’s no secret that Mozilla Firefox stands at the top. Its noteworthy features include 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 complete 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, 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.
- 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, you will see two different architectures*, 32-bit and 64-bit, under Windows.
- 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 find 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 be useful 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:
- Launch the Firefox app 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 browser up to date is highly recommended.
So this was all from this guide on downgrading and installing an older Firefox browser version. 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.
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