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How to update Firefox

Browser security is making headlines. Google’s new annual report shows that attacks on major browsers and operating systems are growing rapidly. You can read my Chrome Update Guide here, but for Firefox users, here’s what you need to know to stay safe.

be proactive

Do you want to stay ahead of the crowd? The most diligent way is to follow the Firefox release page. Mozilla logs each new version, and the list of fixes and patches can even be useful to casual surfers who simply want to know more about their browser.

what to look for

Prefer to skip Firefox blogs? Understandable. The most reactive method is to listen for indications from Firefox itself that an update is available. These will appear in the top right corner next to the three-line icon (the “More” overflow menu) and if possible, don’t dismiss the notification, even if it appears at an inconvenient time.

Why? Because, like Google Chrome, Firefox updates are rolled out in stages to its user base. This means that you may see your update notification days or even weeks after it appeared for early adopters. So if you are prompted, there is no time to waste. But the good news is that you can also skip the queue.

How to manually update Firefox

  1. Click the ‘More’ overflow menu icon in the top right corner of Chrome (see image above)
  2. Click Help > About Firefox
  3. An interstitial window will open and Firefox will be forced to manually check for updates.

The benefit of doing this is that if an update is available, it jumps to the front of the queue and Firefox will immediately start downloading any updates that are available. How often you check is a personal decision, but morning and night is a good strategy and can get you updates before Mozilla has announced them.

remember to restart

Unlike many other browsers (Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, etc.), Firefox is not based on Chromium but, like Chromium, it still needs to be restarted after the update to be protected. This is true for Firefox on all platforms, including macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Note: your tabs will never be lost when you reboot as long as you check the correct settings: More > Settings > Home: Open previous windows and tabs.

Stay safe. Check Firefox for updates now.

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