I let Firefox auto update and I don't like some new feature, the new GUI, or it broke something. How do I roll back or downgrade?

NOTE: Potential duplicate questions (1, 2) did not come up in a search of SuperUser, but they did as suggested questions when I typed the title. Weird. Those other questions do not give instructions on how to downgrade Firefox, simply pointing to where you can find older versions. Such referring-only questions are no longer welcome on SuperUser.

  • 1
    Willing to give this question an upvote because of the answer. It is well articulated, and while I would rather not have meta commentary in the question, I understand it. – Ramhound Nov 16 '17 at 0:10
  • 1
    I have found that Pale Moon answers most of the problems that the latest updates have brought with them. It is forked from FF27, but it is guaranteed to continue support for NPAPI in both 32- and 64-bit versions, and most FF add-ons work in it, albeit in earlier versions. You should also keep an eye on Waterfox, though it is currently less stable than Pale Moon. – AFH Nov 16 '17 at 0:14
  • @AFH I use Palemoon, but not as much as Firefox. – YetAnotherRandomUser Nov 16 '17 at 0:18
  • 1
    +1 because the new Fiorefox sucks. Especially because the Refresh button has moved – Thomas Weller Nov 16 '17 at 21:54
  • 2
    @arjan AFAIK, that's what Firefox ESR is for. Security without other updates. mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/faq – Joe Nov 21 '17 at 4:13
up vote 9 down vote accepted

There is no built-in rollback or downgrade function within Firefox. In fact, on their support page for the subject, they strongly insist that you do not roll back.

I rolled back a longstanding, many times upgraded, Firefox 57 to the specific version and bit depth below. I did not manually uninstall Firefox, but was prepared for things to go sideways. YMMV.

If you know better and don't want to heed their warnings, then do these steps:

  1. Download an older version of Firefox here. If you are trying to back down from 57, you'll want to grab 56.0.2, (Windows US English version 32 bit exe) here. You can look at all of their 56.0.2 releases here.
  2. Wait until the download finishes.
  3. Find your profile folder. You can find where that is here. Also, this Mozilla Support article covers steps 3, 4, and 5 of this answer.
  4. Close Firefox.
  5. Back up your profile folder. You can simply copy the folder somewhere else, just in case stuff goes sideways.
  6. Find the executable you downloaded in step 1.
  7. Run it.
  8. Go through the installer, and when its complete, launch Firefox.
  9. My previous session, extensions, and settings were all as they were before the upgrade/downgrade. I was pleasantly surprised.

If your install is broken, try the usual steps to fix installation problems:

  1. Completely uninstall Firefox via Programs and Features
  2. Reboot
  3. Run a cleanup utility like CCleaner.
  4. Manually remove the leftovers and profile folder if you have to.
  5. Install from the 56.0.2 executable you downloaded.
  6. Verify it works with a new profile.
  7. Restore your backed up profile (Mozilla Support)

See also: gHacks, MozillaZine.

  • what about uninstalling the newer version? Don't you need to do that first? – Mike M Nov 16 '17 at 0:09
  • I did not manually uninstall before running the 56.0.2 installer. That's part of the reason i was surprised when it worked. – YetAnotherRandomUser Nov 16 '17 at 0:19
  • 1
    nifty :) Maybe say that explicitly in the Answer...... I'm imagining many people assume it and miss your point. – Mike M Nov 16 '17 at 0:39
  • of course, you are also going to get people who may ask if you've tested every version installer for that behavior..... uninstalling or replacing any version, higher or lower – Mike M Nov 16 '17 at 0:40
  • Installing Firefox 56 is not secure solution. Install Firefox ESR 52.5 instead. – N0rbert Dec 2 '17 at 21:32

I didn't roll back my 16.10 installation of Firefox 57, but installed Firefox-ESR alongside it.

https://launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

all my extensions seem to work fine

better yet.. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/

This answer is based on my answer on AskUbuntu - it suggests and describes howto install Firefox ESR 52.5 on Ubuntu and Mint.

I think it is better to downgrade to Firefox ESR 52 (this branch is planned to be supported until 2018-06-26 and will get security updates).

You have two options here:

  • Get Firefox ESR 52.5.0 from Jonathon F's PPA. See my answer on a similar topic. You can install the package on 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) and 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) from this repository with the following commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/firefox-esr
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install firefox-esr
    

Or

  • Get Firefox ESR 52.5.0 from Mozilla Team's PPA (the first versions were published here at 2017-10-11 as the result of discussion on the ubuntu-desktop maillist). You can install the package on 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), and 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) from this repository with the following commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install firefox-esr
    

For your information:

Debian already have official firefox-esr package.

There is no "rollback" option with Firefox. You can find old versions on oldapps(dot)com, but make sure you completely remove 57, I would use RevoUninstaller to uninstall and clean and then run CCleaner afterwards. When installing an older version I would disable your internet and disable auto-updates in Firefox upon install completion before reconnecting. I've personally switched to Cyberfox and Palemoon permanently. I'm done with Mozilla.

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, why are you done with Mozilla? – Hashim Nov 19 '17 at 22:00
  • Why go through all that length? You're treating Firefox like an infection and implying that it dials home to exfiltrate data. – YetAnotherRandomUser Nov 29 '17 at 15:15

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.