Silent Updates Coming To Firefox After All

By | October 4, 2011 | 4 Comments

Silent Updates Coming To Firefox After AllA year after it pulled the plug on silent updates in Firefox 4, Mozilla said it will debut most of the behind-the-scenes feature by early next year. Assuming Mozilla pulls off silent upgrading this time around, it would make Firefox only the second browser to take that route. Google’s Chrome has been the poster boy for automatic updates that remove the user from the equation and can’t be switched off.

Mozilla did not say it was copying Chrome – it’s denied doing so with other features – but the chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker, acknowledged what she called “update fatigue.”

In the past we have been very careful to make sure people know something is changing with their Web browser before it changes. Today people are telling us – loudly – that the notifications are irritating and that a silent update process is important. – Mitchell Baker, head of the non profit organization that oversees the Firefox making Mozilla Corp

According to information published on the Mozilla website, the current goal for most of the multi-part project is Firefox 10, slated to ship Jan. 31, 2012. Some pieces will appear in earlier and later editions, however.

When Firefox receives the feature, the browser will download the upgrade in the background, then install it the next time Firefox is restarted. Users will be reminded to install the upgrade 12 hours later if they haven’t restarted the browser before then.

Unlike Chrome, Firefox will let users switch off silent upgrading.


About (Author Profile)


Being passionate about software, Armin joined FavBrowser.com in early 2011 and has been actively writing ever since. Having accepted the challenge, he also enjoys watching anime, indulging in good books, staying fit and healthy, and trying new things.

  • Leo

    Hmm… Since I’m on Aurora 9.a2 I actually liked checking manually and seeing there is an update available. But I suppose it’s just a habit – checking if there are some updates. And I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem to kick the habit, if it becomes “silent”. Also it can be turned off, so… no problem at all.

  • jrk

    “When Firefox receives the feature, the browser will download the upgrade
    in the background, then install it the next time Firefox is restarted.
    Users will be reminded to install the upgrade 12 hours later if they
    haven’t restarted the browser before then.”

    It seems to be the current behavior…

  • http://biblioteca.octabot.net daPhyre

    In an area that is constantly changing and improving as it is Internet, actions like this seem quite important.

    If we have problems with IE6 users for not having a descent browser, how will it be in a couple years when WebGL and WebSockets are a common standard? How many users will blame web developers that their pages “doesn’t work” because those users doesn’t use updated browsers, and how much will web developers be “afraid” of using new technologies because they thing about their users who haven’t update.

    Automatic updates are good for the most, and if someone prefers not having those auto-updates, they would be concious of that and knowing the risks. Let’s face it, most users prefer not to update their software because of laziness. Auto-updates solve that problem!

  • Przemysław Lib

    @daPhyre:disqus
    No they are not.

    Repositories solve those problems, as you can update at will and if you have multiple computers you do not have to download every single update on every computer.

    Oh and do not forget that for some internet bandwidth == cash, cause they pay for amount of MB they have downloaded.