How To Downgrade Firefox Or Internet Explorer To A Previous Version

Tina Sieber 12-07-2011

<firstimage=”//”>downgrade firefoxMany people have been upset with recent browser upgrades. Especially Firefox which is causing serious issues on some machines, slowing it down to uselessness. While it’s not a good idea to downgrade software, sometimes it’s better than to abandon it altogether.


Before you proceed with downgrading your browser, you should be aware that this is a security liability. Older software versions receive limited support and security updates, making them vulnerable to malware from websites you visit. Please be sure to use sufficient security precautions to limit the potential damage on your computer.


If your main beef with the latest version of Firefox is that your favorite add-ons are not working, don’t downgrade! Wait it out or make your add-ons compatible with any Firefox version How To Make Any Firefox Add-on Compatible with All Versions Read More . If, however, Firefox has become a snail or freezes or crashes regularly ever since you upgraded, downgrading may be your only option other than switching to a different browser.

Before you go ahead, back up your Firefox profile to be safe. A guide on the mozillaZine shows you how to locate your profile folder.

You do not have to uninstall Firefox to downgrade. Simply vist the Mozilla FTP Server using your browser, navigate to the Firefox version you want to downgrade to, e.g. > Firefox 4.0.1 > Win32 (for Windows 32-bit), > en-US (for US English version), download the > Firefox setup 4.0.1 exe file and run it to downgrade from Firefox 5 to Firefox 4. The downgrade procedure will leave your profile untouched. You can find Firefox 3.6.18 here. [Broken URL Removed]

downgrade firefox


To remain with Firefox 4 and not upgrade to Firefox 5 automatically, you need to disable automatic browser updates. Go to the > Firefox (Tools) > Options > Advanced > Update tab and either uncheck > Firefox or under > When updates to Firefox are found: select > Ask me what I want to do.

downgrade ie

Internet Explorer 9 to 8

Rather than downgrading Internet Explorer to a previous version, I would recommend you upgrade to another browser. If you are so attached to it, however, I will show you how to do it. If you want to downgrade Internet Explorer 8 to 7, please refer to this Microsoft Support article.

Before you continue, I recommend you create a system restore point. Please refer to this article: How To Fix Your PC Using Windows Restore in XP, Vista & 7 How To Fix Your PC Using Windows Restore in XP, Vista & 7 Read More This will serve as a backup in case sometimes goes wrong during the downgrade. You can also use this Internet Explorer Backup tool. Once you have created the restore point or backed up your IE profile, you can proceed.


Go to > Start > Control Panel and under > Programs select > Uninstall a program.

On the left-hand side switch to > View installed updates.

downgrade internet explorer

In the list on the right-hand side find > Windows Internet Explorer 9, highlight it and click > Uninstall. Note that this will not install all of Internet Explorer. It will only uninstall the upgrade to IE9 and hence downgrade you to IE8.


downgrade firefox

Once the uninstall procedure has completed restart your computer and you should have Internet Explorer 8 back.

Note that Windows will attempt to upgrade you to Internet Explorer 9 again via Windows Updates. To prevent this from happening, go to > Start and type > Windows Update in the search field. From the results under > Programs select > Windows Update. In the respective window that opens, switch to > Change settings on the left-hand side. Under > Recommended updates uncheck > Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates OR under > Important updates select > Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.


If you were looking for a way to downgrade Chrome, I have to disappoint you. Other than switching between different developer channels, I am not aware of a way to downgrade to a previous stable version of Chrome.


So what is your reason for downgrading your browser? Which browser are you attempting to downgrade and which version do you want to go back to? Please share your experiences and reasons with us!

Image credits: Benjamin Haas

Related topics: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox.

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  1. Jan
    August 5, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I don't know if this is something to do with browser choises, but I have I use Internet Explorer and must say I was pleased with it until I tried another browser. If I go into i.e. a newspapers internet page I start on the frontpage of the paper. If I read an article in the paper and return to the front page the frontpage is not what I went into, but is the frontpage for the previous day or a couple of days back. I then have to press F5 to refresh. Is this my browser?

    • Tina
      August 6, 2011 at 1:45 am


      I'm not sure whether this is a problem of IE, it sounds weird. Might be a caching problem if you are frequently reading the same newspaper and your browser keeps old frontpages in the cache.

      Since you say you can fix it simply by reloading the page it sounds very much like an issue with the cache. The solution would to make the browser empty its cache whenever you close it. But I'm afraid I don't know how this is done in IE. Which version of IE are you running?

  2. 2dougmac
    July 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    So.... upgrades are not really upgrades if they cause more problem than the prior version.

    That's kind of the guide that I've always used when "upgrading" OS's, also.

    Thanks for the guide; I haven't upgraded from FF4, yet. And I don't want to confuse my wife with the changes that Firefox made in going from the last acceptable version of 3.? to 4, so she's still on that one. Eventually, I know that it will have to be changed.

  3. peter101
    July 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

    i agree with Anomaly portable apps is the way to goand for other apps you can use this // sites to go to the version of your choicei also keep the install exe in my pc in case i want to format my pc or if a friend ask me to to give him a program

  4. Manas
    July 13, 2011 at 9:05 am

    i have a sol for chrome 

    first set up google chrome sync from settings option 
    then uninstall google chrome '
    then download the chrome version you want fromm oldapps : 

    you are done .. install chrome ! Voila ! :)

    • Tina
      July 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing this solution, Manas!

  5. Cell Travis
    July 13, 2011 at 5:19 am

    So far I haven't had any issues with Firefox 5 (touch wood) but I also have the Epic browser to run add-ons that aren't yet compatible with the new version of Firefox. This separation of functions works well for me.

  6. Pelowe
    July 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Razorbacks1462: I think that would be considered an upgrade :)

  7. Razorbacks1462
    July 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I would like to get rid of Internet Explorer altogether

    • Tina
      July 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Occasionally, Microsoft will force you to have and use Internet Explorer. So it's not the best idea to entirely get rid of it.

      • Raghavender
        July 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

        I agree with Tina

    • Anomaly
      July 13, 2011 at 12:19 am

      IE9 is pretty good to be honest. Fastest browser I have and I use 6 different ones regularly. Or maybe your talking about an earlier version of IE?

    • Cell Travis
      July 13, 2011 at 5:22 am

      Instead of getting rid of IE, simply block it from accessing the Internet using firewall permissions. That way, it won't get in the way of your regular activities and you're free to use any browser of your choice.

  8. Anomaly
    July 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Firefox is screwing up big time with their moronic attempt o keep up with Google Chrome's update pace. The clown responsible for the decision should be fired. I avoid the update issues on all my browsers by using the portable versions of them. When a update comes out you simply copy the whole folder that the browser is in to another location like the desktop and than update your original. If all is well you delete the back up, if the update fails you have the original untouched and ready to go. is where you can get Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Maxthon, and some others. You can also install Opera portably from Opera's own installer. Besides the update advantages you don't mess with the registry and moving all your browsers to a new machine or even a USB key is a snap with the portable versions.

    • Tina
      July 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Anomaly!