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istrasci
New member
Status: New idea

Please do not block my browsing session just to force me to restart!  Let me restart when I want to.  For security reasons, I'm almost always browsing in Private Mode, and as such, logins and passwords are not saved.  So when I'm forced to restart because of an update, I have to save my current tab session, reopen them after FF has restarted, and re-login to every site I was using—many of which require 2FA, so it's extra annoying.

This is bad UX!  Put a notification, or even a whole separate tab telling me I need to restart.  But don't block out everything I was doing.  Even Windows doesn't do this...

92 Comments
jscher2000
Leader

I also hate forced updates. What OS do you run? Windows and Mac users can set Firefox to prompt them when an update is available and you can either choose to download it immediately or later. When you defer the update, Firefox will usually ask again in about 12 hours.

To set that up, open the Settings/Preferences page and type update in the tiny search box near the top of the page.

For users on Linux that installed their Firefox from their package manager, the package manager usually determines when updates are installed, overriding Firefox's setting.

Screenshot: update prompt and relevant portion of the Settings/Preferences page:

Fx103-update-available-prompt-setting.png

 

Ipsrich
Making moves

I'm on Linux too, and the thing I don't understand is why Firefox needs to restart when the package manager runs an update.  I've not seen this elsewhere - if I see anything, it's a message telling me I need to restart the application if I want the latest updates.  The existing tabs all continue to work fine, so why can't I open a new tab?  This is really poor user experience.  Sometimes reloading a tab can lose loads from a long-running site.  I love just about everything else about Firefox (though I won't get started on the removal of the password manager app from Android!) so it would be lovely if this could be fixed.  Feel free to remind me on every opened tab that the browser needs to restart before the update will take effect, but please don't force it!

Cushnieent
New member

Is anyone else as frustrated as I am about the VERY frequent up-dating message and the fact that it interferes so regularly with production flow?

Surely there must be a way to 'train' Mozilla to up-date in the background during down-time!

 

janpro
New member

I'm thinking about stopping updates to FF...
Bad idea, but far better than be uppset every now and then.

Coldnwet
New member

The problem is not automated updates, the problem is the forced shutdown of a current, running, instance of FF. It was bad enough when I couldn't create a new tab without getting interrupted, but now I can't even use current tabs without it happening.

I use private browsing exclusively on Firefox (because... you know, "privacy browser"). Until recently, Firefox would interrupt my browsing, telling me that I needed to update, but not to worry, all tabs would be restored. If you use private browsing, that's a lie. Firefox will restart and not a single one of my tabs will reload. I notice that my current interruption says: "Your windows and tabs will be quickly restored, but private ones will not." I suppose that's Firefox's idea of... progress?

I understand that updating Firefox is an issue on Windows, since Windows can't install an update to software and just let the current/old version continue running. However, on Linux that's not the case at all. Linux installs updates on a new section of a hard drive and lets the current/old version keep running until it's shut down. Once it's shut down any restart of the software will load the updated version. That's how all updates to Linux software works, even updates to the kernel (which require a reboot to take effect, but still does not interrupt your usage of the current/old version). All software - except Firefox.

Please don't hand-wave and tell me package managers override Firefox settings. Nothing in a Linux package manager forces Firefox to interrupt my browsing just because an update has been installed. This is entirely a Firefox problem and it's up to Firefox to solve this problem. Either actually restore all tabs (private or not) or stop disrupting the use of Firefox. I suggest Firefox pursue the latter course.

Until Mozilla/Firefox decides to take this problem seriously, I, unfortunately, will be pushed to using Brave as my daily browser. You see, Brave doesn't interrupt my browsing just because an update has been installed, it places an orange button in the upper right hand corner that says "Update." Nothing happens unless I click that button or restart Brave.

It's a shame, really. I like Firefox better than Brave, but these forced restarts are just not acceptable.

jscher2000
Leader

@Coldnwetwrote:

I understand that updating Firefox is an issue on Windows, since Windows can't install an update to software and just let the current/old version continue running. However, on Linux that's not the case at all. Linux installs updates on a new section of a hard drive and lets the current/old version keep running until it's shut down. Once it's shut down any restart of the software will load the updated version. That's how all updates to Linux software works, even updates to the kernel (which require a reboot to take effect, but still does not interrupt your usage of the current/old version). All software - except Firefox.


I think the Snap package works that way, but the older style may not.

Firefox should only show the restart required page when it tries to spin up a new process and encounters a tab crash because the executable on disk does not match the ones running in memory. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1651133

But as a Windows person, I can't test any of this.

kds72v
New member

There is no way to disable this on Ubuntu other than using a different browser.

jkister
New member

FF/win10-64 - I often don't upgrade my browser because I have lots of open windows/tabs in various states -- even when windows automatically reopen, some of the pages will load differently/be in a different state.

it would be nice to be able to upgrade firefox, leave the existing windows alone, and have any new windows run the upgraded version.

jbpoline
New member

Forcing a restart at any moment is just not an acceptable user experience - I will stop using firefox if this isn't solved.

cgerhard
New member

I honestly can't understand how this is still a thing. This is an awful bit of UI that encourages people to disable updates completely. It's like forcing people to change passwords was thought to be a good idea but the unintended consequence was people use insecure and easy to guess passwords.

555Number
New member

I love everything else about Firefox but this is seriously tempting me to switch away. It seems like there's one of these every week for months now. I'm on a modern Ubuntu version, so there isn't even an option to disable the auto-updates. Please, either let anyone switch them off, or make it so they don't lock you out and force you to lose your private tabs.

alx84
New member

This behavior of Firefox is really annoying - would like to understand it a bit more, what is actually driving it?

Recently I got this message as a tab content, while trying to open new tabs:

Restart to Keep Using Firefox
An update to Firefox started in the background. You’ll need to restart to finish the update.
Your windows and tabs will be quickly restored, but private ones will not.

My first impression was, I somehow missed some setting and allowed Firefox to autoupdate itself.

 

Spoiler

Do I need to explain, why people hate autoupdates and why it is strictly forbidden from happening to critical applications in enterprise environments? Because updating something behind users/administrators backs, usually breaks something, while leaving people blind-guessing what happened to their PCs / software. People don't like surprises, especially unexpected surprises like seeing your PCs to start living its own live, without asking you. Especially surprises in the realm of tech, which is already having high-above-the-roof of entropy

But no, none of the Firefox settings were indicating that I have any kind of automatic updates turned on.

So my question is - what is actually driving such behavior to happen?

alx84
New member

I did some researches and it looks like it's not the Mozilla Firefox, whom we should be blaming. What we see here is just a reaction of Firefox detected its own binaries has changed, while its been running, so it warns you about this kind of update already happened. And it does that in order to prevent itself from crashing, while being  running out of one set of binaries/libraries, while having already some different set of binaries/libraries on disk.

I've seen this kind of behavior is happening on Ubuntu with Firefox installed as a snap package. The thing is, snap is doing very aggressive job by default, by checking updates and actually updating all your installed snap packages like 4 times per day, without telling you a word about it. If that is the case, as an easiest option I can suggest to remove Firefox snap package and reinstall it as normal deb package. For that you will need to include Mozilla apt repository to your local apt config.

If you're experiencing the same behavior on a different OS - try to dig into that direction, like how exactly it could have happened, that Firefox binaries were updated? It could be some automatic software updates happening to your software behind your back, in your OS.

dimaor
New member

why the hell can't I open a new tab without doing restart after an update?
this is wrong and infuriating.

KellyK
Strollin' around

Agreed!

It's doubly irritating cause FireFox does a lousy job of communicating to me that I need to restart. I pin all my most frequently used tabs, so 90% of the time that's where I'm working. And everything just... stops. Refreshing doesn't work, can't navigate anywhere, no error messages.

It isn't until I open a new tab when it tells me "you need to restart to continue using firefox." 🤦‍♀️ At least be proactive in telling us what we need to do to get the browser working again. Like a dialog box or something.

(It's also frustrating that it asks me if I want to update, I tell it NO, and it does it anyway. So I'm not exactly expecting to need to restart after the update I told it NOT to do!)