Uninstalling Firefox

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This article contains instructions to uninstall Firefox and remove it from your system. You should set another default browser if you are not going to reinstall Firefox and it is currently the default [1]. You can use the information in this article as a general guide.

Important: It is rarely necessary to remove Firefox to repair it. Usually it is sufficient to create a new profile, and it is not necessary to remove the old profile. In some cases it is also necessary to uninstall Firefox and install it in a new folder. Note that it is usually safer to rename files and folders than to delete them.

On Mac OS X

  1. Drag the Firefox application to the Trash.
  2. Firefox also has a .plist file at ~/Library/Preferences/org.mozilla.firefox.plist you may wish to remove.

If you also wish to remove your Firefox user data and settings (bookmarks, extensions, etc.) trash the "Firefox" folder, located here: ~Library/Application Support/Firefox. [2] See Removing user profile data (below) for additional information.

On Linux

Remove the firefox Installation directory, usually: /usr/lib/firefox-<version>. For example, if using Firefox 1.0 it would be: /usr/lib/firefox-1.0

On Windows

Exit Firefox completely, open the Windows Control Panel and then,

  • On Windows Vista and above, go to "Programs -> Programs and Features", select Mozilla Firefox <version> and click click Uninstall. [3] [4]
  • On Windows XP (or below), double-click "Add or Remove Programs" Select "Mozilla Firefox <version>" in the list of installed programs and click "Remove" to run the uninstaller.

Note: In Firefox 30.0 and below, the uninstaller includes the option, "Remove my Firefox personal data and customizations". This removes your Firefox user profile data (bookmarks, passwords, cookies, extensions, preferences, etc.). DO NOT select this option if you want to keep your Firefox profile data and settings. This option has been removed in Firefox 31 so, if you wish to remove your Firefox user profile data, you will need to do it manually (see below for instructions). [5]

Even if the uninstall fails, as it may in some cases, continue on with the rest of the uninstall instructions.

  • Delete the Firefox Installation directory located here, by default: C:\Program files\Mozilla Firefox or, on 64-bit Windows, C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox (Optionally make a backup copy of the "plugins" or "browser/plugins" subfolder first, since it may contain the Windows Media Player Firefox plugin and/or other plugin files, so that you can restore it later if you plan on reinstalling Firefox.)
  • If necessary, remove the "Mozilla Firefox" shortcuts in the Windows Start -> Programs menu by right-clicking and deleting the entries. This step should not be needed unless the Firefox uninstall from the Windows Control Panel failed.
  • (Optional) Delete the following additional files or folders (recommended if you are preparing for a clean reinstall):
    • Windows XP and above: Delete all C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\FIREFOX* files
    • Folders containing temporary Firefox data ( *.mfl files, Cache and Updates), which would be located here, if not removed by the uninstall process (you'll need to show hidden files and folders): Important: Make sure you delete the folder(s) under Local Settings or Local. Deleting the wrong folder will remove your user profile data!
      • Windows 2000/XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
      • Windows Vista and above: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox and C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Mozilla\updates [6] and/or C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox (if found) [7]

The Firefox uninstall will leave behind some Windows registry entries. Normally, these extra entries are harmless and it is not necessary to remove them. Note: Registry editing is a potentially hazardous undertaking. Also avoid using 3rd party uninstallers (e.g. Revo uninstaller) since these tools can sometimes do more harm than good! [8]

You may also need to manually change some Windows file associations or icons, even after setting a new default browser, as reported here.

Removing user profile data

Note: In Firefox 30 and below on Windows, you can use the Firefox uninstaller option, "Remove my Firefox personal data and customizations" (see above) instead of following these instructions.

This step is only recommended if you want to completely remove Firefox from your system, and you do not want to save any of your data. This will remove your Firefox user profile data, which includes bookmarks, passwords, cookies, preference settings and added extensions.

Rename (or delete) the Firefox folder in the default profile path (or move it to a backup location). For example, on Windows 7, press "Windows key + R" to open the Run box
(or, you can click "Start → Run..." on Windows XP). In the Run box, type in %APPDATA% and click OK, then open the "Mozilla" folder and rename the "Firefox" folder.

Caution: Make sure that you rename or delete the entire Firefox profile folder, which includes the profiles.ini file that keeps track of profiles. Do not simply rename or delete the profile folder that contains your user data, as doing so can result in a profile cannot be loaded or a "profile in use"/"already running" message when you next attempt to run Firefox (bug 278860).

See also

Related bug reports