Manually Resetting the Automated Firefox Software Updater

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I run in Windows as a non-admin user. Whenever I need to install something and Windows prompts for credentials, I have a whole separate user account that runs admin tasks.

This appears to be a problem for the automated Firefox software update process. What I run into goes something like this:

  1. Open Firefox and get notified there’s a software update.
  2. Click the button to close Firefox and apply the update.
  3. Firefox closes and prompts me for admin credentials, which I provide.
  4. The update installs, Firefox restarts, and then notifies me there is a software update.

What seems to be happening is that Firefox downloads the update for my non-admin user account, then when I provide admin credentials it re-downloads the update under that admin user account. After the update is done, Firefox still sees a pending update for my non-admin user account and wants me to apply it.

This happens with every update to the Firefox browser. Add-ons seem to update just fine, but the browser just can’t handle it.

Of course, if I try to apply the update with my non-admin user account, Firefox closes and re-opens without applying anything. Then it sees the pending update and wants to fake-apply it again.

The solution is to manually reset the automated Firefox software updater by removing all of the pending updates from the download cache.

Per this Mozillazine article, to do this:

  1. **Close Firefox. **
  2. Open the temporary application data folder for Firefox. In Windows Vista and above, this is: C:\Users\your-username-here\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox

  3. Inside that folder, you’ll see a folder called “updates” and two files “active-update.xml” and “updates.xml” - delete the “updates” folder and the two XML files.

Aaaand… DONE. Next time you open Firefox it will do its automated check for updates and apply as necessary.

UPDATE: Here’s a batch file that does it on Windows 7 and Windows 2008.

@echo off
del "%localappdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox\active-update.xml"
del "%localappdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox\updates.xml"
rmdir /s /q "%localappdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox\updates"