<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/DowngradeBrowser05.png”>Many 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. 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]
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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