Firefox, Firefox! Why do you update so often?!

Firefox, I’ve loved you well since since the day we first met back in 2003.  I’ve been a loyal lover, too, and content to overlook your minor flaws. I’ve proclaimed your praises far and wide.  So, why oh why do you insist on trying so hard to improve yourself?  Your frequent upgrades are driving me mad!!!

[CAUTION:  This post is a rant! There is eventually helpful advice here, but I have some frustration to get off my chest first.]


Firefox is my preferred browser because I believe it to be the browser that offers more to make the Internet accessible to all users than any other browser.  This is the result of numerous built-in features and addons–especially addons.  I’ve written about some of these addons in numerous posts, as you’ll see if you type Firefox into the search bar at the top of this page.  There’s no disputing that I’m really a very big Firefox fan.

At the moment, I’m a frustrated Firefox fan!  That’s because Firefox has updated to a new version–AGAIN!  This means that some of the addons that I most appreciate won’t work with the latest version.  That, in turn, is because the good people who develop the addons, often out of the kindness of their hearts, have to spend time updating their addons to make them compatible with the updated Firefox.  This is a process that has been repeated too many times for me to keep track of.

At the moment, three of my favorite addons won’t work with the latest version–CLiCk,Speak, HyperWords, and the IE Tab.  This is particularly annoying to me because one of “my” school districts is finally willing to begin making Firefox available to learners.

The good news is that the incompatibility situation is only temporary.  In time, the addons will almost certainly be updated and made compatible.  There’s also a temporary solution to tide us over.  We do not need to install the latest version of Firefox.

If we’ve installed the latest version of Firefox and our addons won’t work, we can uninstall it.  (We won’t lose our bookmarks or other personalized data.)  Then we can go to to download a previous version of Firefox and install that.

There!  Now that I’ve got all that off my chest, I feel much better.

7 thoughts on “Firefox, Firefox! Why do you update so often?!

  1. Hey Paul,

    No need for the rant warning, when I did the automatic update to 3.6 I spent the next day wondering about my sanity. on two separate occasions within the space of an hour I went to fire up some rarely used add-ons. Failing to find them on the toolbar I was almost spare until the penny finally dropped. Frustrating though it did cause me to seek alternate means of performing the same task via non-FF means which ultimately is to the detriment of FF I guess.

  2. I hear you– I always wait for 2 or 3 updates to come out before I update. Most of the time when I look at the info on what has been updated, it is nothing that I needed anyway.

  3. Nightly tester Tools is an add-on I’ve used for some time. It will overwrite compatibility for your add-ons (extensions). That is, I think it changes the date on each add-on so FF thinks it is compatible. Many of the add-ons I’ve sued for awhile really don’t need updating; they work fine but just need their “version” corrected.

    I would override each extension individually, just to be sure they don’t themselves need updating. After awhile you’ll probably know which extension is basic and only needs version number change and which do “things” and need updated programming.

  4. I currently have THIRTY ONE extensions installed, the only one that flat out wont work is the one that my printer software installed locally and I don’t need it any ways. Apart from that GreaseFire is the only one out of version range but Firefox applies a compability update to it any time you check for updates.

    Disabling updates and making your browsers security weaker and weaker via it being outdated for the sake of an addon or two is STUPID. With that kind of mentality you might as well go back to using Internet Exploder.

    mpb’s idea of modifying the version compatibility or having firefox disable version compatibility for addons is a MUCH better idea then not updating Firefox.

    People like this with such lazy, whiney, attitudes and no knowledge or care at all for computer security are why things such as botnets exist.

    And as for Christine, an update having “nothing that you needed anyway”? I seriously doubt that out of every fixed UI bug or security exploit patch made in ANY update of Firefox that NOT ONE of them affects your system.

  5. it’s been a year and a half since this original complaint, but i am currently experiencing an over abundance of firefox updates. each time i log on it continually tells me to update firefox until i do. sometimes it hangs up or messes up my being logged on and I have to shut down. Please make it stop!

  6. Hey Anonymous, real nice post (I’m being sarcastic in case you can’t tell): “people like this with such lazy, whiney, attitudes,” “stupid,” “that kind of mentality,” etc. Thanks for the insults and name-calling Anonymous – very helpful.

    “I currently have THIRTY ONE extensions installed.” That’s special – did anyone ask you? No, because nobody cares what you think. We’re not all big computer geniuses like you.

    Why do jerks come on the internet and spam us with their insults and their know-it-all attitudes? If you don’t have anything productive to post, don’t bother. I, for one, agree with Paul and the others. Firefox updates way too often, and it seriously needs to stop. It really is maddening!

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