Stop Firefox auto-updating (and breaking your CI build)

If you run regular automated WebDriver tests using Firefox then chances are you’ve encountered the problem where Firefox updates itself and your WebDriver bindings don’t support that version which causes all your tests to fail. It’s really annoying, so I suggest you set your Firefox install to never automatically update as below to avoid this happening.

Stop Firefox auto updating


As Alex points out below, you can do this programmatically for a server you don’t actually launch Firefox on, ie. a headless machine.

profile =
 # disable autoupdate
 profile[''] = false
 profile['app.update.enabled'] = false

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is a Software Quality Engineer from Brisbane, Australia.

4 thoughts on “Stop Firefox auto-updating (and breaking your CI build)”

  1. In case you’re running Firefox on headless server (e.g. with Xvfb), you can try to disable auto-update using profile:

    profile =
    # disable autoupdate
    profile[‘’] = false
    profile[‘app.update.enabled’] = false

  2. If you are running it on windows changing this option is not enough, you also need to disable the windows silent update service, If you dont do this firefox will auto update when the machine gets rebooted at start up, even if you do set the “never auto update” option. Has caused me many mornings screaming at the server and then at the firefox developers.

    1. What if I still get updates sometimes even when the service is disabled.
      It’s weird because I have everything disabled including the Mozilla Maintenance Service. Yet yesterday I barely glimpsed at a notification that ff25 is available. I ignored it, but today at startup it upgraded.
      Didn’t get an UAC prompt but the service is STILL DISABLED.
      What the hell?

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