Update Firefox

This guide will step you through the process of updating your Firefox web browser.

Do you need to know what version of Firefox do I have?

Firefox auto-updates itself

Having an up to date web browser is vital to having a safe and fully-featured web experience and Firefox's auto-update feature facilitates this very easily.

In most cases - actually, unless you have specifically disabled it - Firefox will check for updates every couple of hours and automatically update itself.

What if Firefox is not already auto-updating?

If you are being told that Firefox is out of date (our homepage will tell you if Firefox is out of date) then in most cases you just need to wait a few hours and Firefox will auto update itself.

If this doesn't occur, it's possible that:

  • Your computer's firewall is preventing Firefox from checking if there are updates
  • Your employer has blocked Firefox from auto-updating
  • You (or someone else) has configured your Firefox to not auto-update

Fixing these issues is beyond the scope of this article; these situations are typically rare.

Updating Firefox

This guide will show you how to manually trigger Firefox to check for updates and install them if they are found.

  1. On your computer, click the menu button

    The menu button will be in the top right-hand corner of Firefox; it looks like three horizontal lines on top of each other.

    The location of the Firefox menu button

  2. Click the "Options" menu item

    After you've clicked the menu button, the Firefox menu apears; one of the items in it is Options (note: on macOS it is called Preferences). Click it!

    The location of the Options menu item in the expanded Firefox menu

    The Options screen will now appear.

  3. Scroll down to the Firefox Updates section

    Part-way down the Options/Preferences page you'll see the Firefox Updates section.

    It looks like this:

    Screenshot of the Firefox Updates section on the Options page

    Version numbers shown here are examples and will change depending on what is considered the latest version...

  4. Click the Check for updates button

    To tell Firefox to check for updates and look for the latest version, click the Check for updates button.

    Screenshot of the Check For updates button

  5. Firefox will check for updates

    Firefox will now contact the Mozilla servers and ask if there is a newer version of Firefox that you can update to.

    If this step fails, it's probably because there's a problem connecting to the Mozilla servers.

    Screenshot of Firefox checking for updates for your browser

    If Firefox finds a newer version of itself, it will download it and prepare itself to be installed.

    If it doesn't find a newer version, it will tell you that Firefox is up to date.

  6. Restart Firefox to finish updating Firefox

    Once the new version has downloaded and unpacked itself, Firefox will prompt you to restart itself.

    The Restart button

    When you are ready, you can click this button to finish installing the update - Firefox will close itself and restart with the version it just downloaded. All of your tabs should re-open (except if you had any ones in Private Browsing mode).

  7. Firefox has now been updated

    If you reopen the Firefox Updates section in Options, you'll now see the "Firefox is up to date" message!

    The Restart button

Congratulations, you have now ensured that your copy of Firefox is up to date. Confirm this by using our page to check if your browser is up to date.

Keep Firefox up to date

You may have noticed in the Firefox Updates section of the Options/Preferences page, there was also a setting to control how Firefox will handle future updates:

The Firefox update controls

You can use this setting to control how Firefox will handle new updates. You can let Firefox completely handle updating itself for you; or you can ask that it will check for updates but let you decide when they will be installed.

Update search engines

(The "update search engines" option will ensure that the "smart search" from the Address Bar will always work if search providers change some technical details. It's probably best to keep this ticked.)

Conclusion

We hope that helped you! Running an up to date browser is a big step in staying safe online; so well done!.

Looking for guides to update other web browsers?

Here are some guides to update other web browsers like Safari or Chrome.

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