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Firefox Updates

Friday, September 29th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I use Firefox for my Web browser and I have it set to check for automatic updates for my extensions along with the browser. But, every time I do an update, it doesn’t seem like my extensions change at all. What could be causing this?

A:
This is an excellent question and I’m very glad you asked. This topic has been brought up a few times lately in other e-mails I’ve gotten from readers too, so this is a perfect time to cover it! First, I want to go over how you can set Firefox up to automatically check for updates for the actual browser and for any extensions you may have along with it.

To do this, open up your browser and go to Tools, Options and click on the Advanced icon. From there, choose the Updates tab and checkmark the boxes you prefer. You can choose the Firefox browser, your installed extensions and themes and even your search engine if you want. Within this box, you can also choose whether you want the updates to go through right away without you even knowing or if you want Firefox to ask you what to do before it proceeds. Click OK when you’re finished. Now, if you have an older version of Firefox, you’ll go to Tools, Options and click on the Advanced icon. From there, look for the Software Update section and checkmark what you want to be checked. You also have the option of checking for updates right then and there. Just click on the Check Now button to do that.

Okay, now back to the question at hand. Every time you run an update on your Firefox browser, it is automatically renewed, but your extensions are not. Firefox is just not set up to update the extensions too. So, if you have several extensions that need to be fresh and newly updated, you’ll have to do it manually.

When your browser is going through the update process, you may see a list of your extensions along with it. Next to those, you’ll probably see a box that says “Install Now.” You can click on any of those to do an update right away. You can either update all of them or you can pick and choose. Maybe some aren’t as important as others, so you’ll want to install the updates for the most used ones.

If that doesn’t suit your needs, you can always go to the Firefox Add Ons Web site and search for your extensions that way. This site has the official list of all the updates available for Firefox. They are grouped into “Recently Updated” and “Top Extensions.” The top ones are the most popular, but not necessarily the newest. If you don’t find your add ons in either of those lists, you can click on any category along the left hand side of the page. Yours will be in there somewhere. You can also update any plug-ins, search engines or themes you may have while you’re there. Just click on the appropriate tab located at the top of the page to do so.

Once you find the ones you want, just click on them and then click on Install Now for an immediate download. While you’re waiting, you can read the version notes and the developer comments. You can also add your own comment later if you’d like. All in all, it’s a pretty easy process to have the most recent extensions for Firefox. Although it’s not done automatically for you, it’s still nice to have them available, right?!

~ Erin

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