Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Howto: receive Firefox betas automatically

If you don’t mind running not-quite-final Firefox code and would like to test the latest and greatest stable-ish versions of Firefox, you can alter the built-in update system so that it notifies you of new beta versions and release candidates. It’ll even let you download nightly builds if you’re really keen, though be warned that these can carry nasty bugs.
To do this, install the Update Channel Changer extension. This lets you choose one of the following options for updates:

  • Release – final, stable versions of Firefox, such as the latest This is the default.
  • Beta – beta releases, as well as release candidates. Will also deliver final versions if no beta is available.
  • Nightly – receive a new build every day. May contain major bugs so not recommended.

Right now there’s no beta available, but Firefox will be out any day now – bits of it have started appearing on Mozilla’s FTP servers. The release contains a fix to a public but as yet un-exploited security flaw.
Update: Firefox has appeared on some of the FTP servers: click here to download it.
Note that this extension will also work with Thunderbird.


  1. Thanks for that one Neil. I installed the extension and for some reason when I restarted firefox all my extensions and themes had been lost. Not a big deal, but I’d be interested to hear if this had happened to anyone else. As it happens, when I reinstalled ‘session saver’ (my ‘main’ extension) it remembered the previous decent session and reverted.
    I’ve set the update channel to beta and look forward to what may happen!

  2. Firefox appeared in the Release update channel today.