Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular open-source browsers on the web and the reason is that it offers both privacy and user security. That is why it has acquired a big fan base and the fact that it is a not-for-profit company simply adds to its charm. The Firefox browser is now adding support for a useful feature from Google Chrome, that will allow it to automatically upgrade itself in the background – even when it is not running.
Why is this important? Browsers like Google Chrome can automatically update in the background, but this was not possible for Firefox on Windows – until now. This means that it would only update when a user opened the app. It also meant that users would have to manually tap a button to “approve” the installation, which users can also cancel by accident.
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On the latest version of Mozilla Firefox for Windows, a new Background Update feature has been added that can silently download and install the update without any interaction from the user, according to a report by Bleeping Computer. Users will also not be forced to “restart” their browser due to software updates. This was compulsory after an update had been installed, which meant that users workflow would be interrupted.
In order to implement this feature, Mozilla Firefox will add a scheduled update task that will check for updates every 7 hours in the background when Firefox is not running. This will not require any action from the user, which will silently install the update and make sure the browser is always up to date and ready for use.
Mozilla Firefox users will also not be presented with any reminders or requests to update the browser after the feature is enabled – since the browser will silently update in the background, there is no need to check for new updates while the browser is running. This means that users will theoretically never see another prompt to restart their browser to complete an update.
The new Background Update feature is rolling out to Windows users in the form of a staged rollout to users on the latest Firefox Beta users on version 90. It is likely to show up for users on Mozilla Firefox over the next few months, and can be turned off manually for now by visiting the about:preferences page. However, there is no word from Mozilla on whether such a feature will be added to macOS – while it is unlikely to arrive on Linux as the browser is usually distributed via the system package manager.