Firefox 3.6 Support To end On April 24, 2012

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 5, 2012
Updated • Jan 5, 2012

We all knew that the day would come eventually when Mozilla would pull the plug on Firefox 3.6. According to new information posted on the Firefox Extended Support page, that day will be April 24, 2012. This is directly connected to the announcement that Firefox 10 will be the company's first Extended Support Release (ESR).

Let me put this into perspective. The change to the rapid release process earlier last year made it nearly impossible for companies and organizations to keep up with the testing and deployment of new versions of the browser. With new versions released every six weeks, companies had to use more man-hours to test and deploy new browser versions. Not updating to the latest version of the browser was out of the question, as security and stability updates were only released for the latest version and not previous versions.

Companies until now were able to use Firefox 3.6 which still received support by Mozilla. An idea was proposed to extend support for some versions of the browser on a regular basis to give companies breathing space. It was not clear at the time of writing if Firefox 10, 11 or another version would be the initial ESR version of the browser.

Mozilla at a meeting earlier today made the upcoming Firefox 10 Stable release the first Extended Support Release of the browser.


The ESR will follow the rapid release process, but instead of increasing a major version every six week, a minor version is pushed instead. The Firefox 10 ESR release will be updated to Firefox 10.0.1 when Firefox 11 gets released, and Firefox 10.0.6 with Firefox 16.

ESR releases will be supported for eight release cycles. Firefox 10 ESR support for instance ends in February 2013 while Firefox 17 ESR support will end in December of the same year.

A new ESR is pushed out in the sevenths release cycle giving companies a total of 12 weeks to distribute the update.

ESRs will receive security updates for critical or high severity vulnerabilities. The company notes however that updates may not be provided in some cases if "a backport cannot be applied with reasonable effort". Other updates may be provided as well at Mozilla's discretion. How will companies and organizations react to this? It is to early to tell but the prospect of not receiving security updates make ESRs quite unreliable.

Firefox 3.6 users will receive update notifications in April offered through the browser's internal updating service that will update the version to the latest stable build of the browser.

Some users have deliberately chosen not to upgrade from Firefox 3.6 to a newer version, most to protest against features and design changes that Mozilla made to more recent versions of the browser.

If you are one of them, what will you do when April comes? (Thanks FX for the tip!)


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  1. kalmly said on January 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I’m among those who still have version 3.6 installed. I didn’t like the changes and I hate the idea of rapid release.

    I switched to the Opera browser but still sometimes use FF. I guess I’ll be uninstalling it in April. I’ll be sorry to lose it but not sorry enough to put up with constant changes (many not for the better) to keep it. :(

    1. Midnight said on January 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      But…many, if not most are for the Better!!!
      Seriously!! :)

  2. Finvana said on January 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I am one of those who didn’t downgrade to firefox 4 and I won’t do anything about it. They want me to use a newer firefox? fine, they just need to clean up their browser. I neither need nor want their sync/panorama/lack of real status bar bloatware.

    1. Guest said on January 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Sync and Panorama? Completely optional, you don’t have to use it.

      Statusbar? Status-4-Evar add-on, completely revives the status bar (and grants you some tweakable options for it as well).

      Again, there will be an extended support release for Firefox 10 (will means you don’t worry about upgrading for a longer period of time).

      Firefox 10 and up will also default any existing add-ons to compatible without breaking them (unless there’s something seriously wrong).

      Check any of the existing changes for Firefox before you claim you don’t like them.

    2. Bob said on January 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Well, as a webmaster, I wish you good luck. I’ll have little sympathy when sites break for you though.

  3. SpragueD said on January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I stayed with 3.6 because I use Google Toolbar and they stopped supporting versions of FF after that. When 3.6 reaches EOL I’ll try the long-term support release and if I don’t like it spend more time with IE9/10.

    1. Midnight said on January 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      I guess you’re not aware of the “dangers” of using Toolbars, huh?
      They’re a source of Spyware/Malware and other nasties!

      Totally unnecessary, to say the least!

      When some programs attempt to install Toolbars on my system, they get blocked or deleted, real quick!

  4. Midnight said on January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Good! That’s an antique Browser which served it’s purpose quite nicely!
    Anybody who hasn’t updated to the latest stable release, being 9.01 doesn’t know what they’re missing!

    I went beyond that to the Nightly, UX release and it’s a great Browser, to say the last! :)

    1. Midnight said on January 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      To say the least!
      Gawd, I should proof read before clicking on Submit Comment! LOL!!

  5. BobbyPhoenix said on January 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I’ve been using Nightly, and it is awesome. No crashes, no issues at all with any extensions. I know when they moved to 4 there were many issues, but once everything settled down, all extensions or any kind of issues went away. Each new release may have a very tiny hiccup here or there, but not like when it went from 3.6 to 4.0. I can see it now. 3.6 will be the new IE6. It will keep living on for years after then end of support. All because people are “comfy” and don’t want to learn a new method of using the browser which will almost always turn out to be better than what they were using. If they give an honest effort, and try the new browser for at least a release cycle (6 weeks), I bet they would find what they need plus more, and not want to go back.

  6. Rahul said on January 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Currently i am using FF 9.0.1 and according to my opinion is good for us. It was painful indeed to update from 3.6 to 4 but seriously FF is improving and i have adjusted quite well
    1. I only use those addons which are active on development and favourites. I thoroughly use add on and if it is not useful un-install. Atleast incompatibility issues were gone. FF10 will release feature for incompatible addons fixes and FF11 for syncing add ons, so no troubles
    2. If there are any critical issues, it needs to get fixed, no way i am going to use old FF, even if its for addons. Security is more important than features
    3. Keep Back up of bookmarks, adblock filters or any of your data
    4. Compatibility with HTML 5 and CSS3, for non technical it dosent matter but many website developers have started using HTML 5 and CSS3 standards. so will your old FF work??
    5. FF team is continuosly improving responsiveness and memory usage reduction, though dont compare it with chrome, but its doing well

    So who else is in FF IE6…If you are a fan of google toolbar, go and use chrome, you’ll be much happy because you will be using latest version of chrome and google features

  7. AC said on January 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Versions 4, 5 and 6 were not good and they gave the rapid release cycle a bad name. Since Version 7 was released on September 27th 2011 things have been getting better better.

    My advice to people that are wary of upgrading is to wait until 3.6 support stops because version 12 that will be released by then will be a very strong browser that will be tough for the haters to pick holes in, although the Chrome fanboys inevitably will.

  8. Nebulus said on January 6, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I will do nothing. I am using 3.6 on Windows and I plan to do so even after it reaches end of life. As for the newer versions, I am using the latest stable on Linux, and I don’t see any major improvements over 3.6…

  9. david be said on January 6, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Heh.. fans of the new browser who apparently like every new gadget are trying to convince current users of 3.6 that newer is better? Seriously?

    Those people stay on an old version of something they like becauseit does what they want, how they want. The don’t want OR need the newer bigger, bloatier versions. Better to you is NOT better to them. More power to them.

    If computer software does what you need, how you like it.. well you’re way happier then most of the people touting the newer better stuff.

    1. Guest said on January 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      I could understand refusing to upgrade an OS like Windows to the newest version because of too many different changes to the very core of your device.

      I could understand refusing to change because of additional costs that cause problems with budgets.

      But refusing to change/upgrade free software? Come on now…

      Moving to a completely different browser would require more adjustments/changes to get used to than upgrading the same one you’ve been using the whole time.

      And if we’re talking about moving to Opera or Chrome, you’d just be moving to the rapid release cycle of another browser (which means moving in the first place would be pointless).

      Screaming “I HATE FIREFOX BECAUSE IT’S SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT NOW!” is worse than just using 1 or 2 add-ons to reverse those small changes. And we’re talking about changes that haven’t gotten a fair chance to understand.

  10. Eric said on January 6, 2012 at 2:34 am

    The source of this on says the April 24 date is a draft proposal. Where does it say this is the new agreed upon date? The Firefox 3.6 site still does not have a date for EOL.

  11. smaragdus said on January 6, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I just switched to SeaMonkey which looks better, works better and is more customizable. The SeaMonkey developers do more testing and do not release versions with serious bugs, they haven’t change the version numbering scheme so there are no updates in a rash. The status bar and the RSS icon have not been removed, the GUI hasn’t been destroyed and overall although based on the same Gecko engine SeaMonkey is incomparably better than Firefox. The only problem is that many but not all Firefox add-ons work with SeaMonkey.

  12. Bork Bork said on January 6, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Someone please fork it.

    I have a dream, of a browser that doesn’t suck.

  13. Sully said on January 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    They can keep FF so, used to be great.

  14. Paul said on January 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    “If you are one of them, what will you do when April comes?”

    1. Nothing.
    2. Move permanently to Opera.

  15. SFdude said on January 7, 2012 at 4:15 am

    All my critical extensions
    work fine under FF 3.6.25, thank you very much.

    I tested with the same extensions
    in FF 9.0.1 PORTABLE,
    using the excellent “Compatibility Reporter” extension.

    Some extensions failed…enough said.
    I don’t need new problems,
    I need solutions = my current extensions working.

  16. FX said on January 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    It’s official now, good riddance to 3.6, a browser thats becoming like IE6 and all the Luddite laggards that don’t update their browsers causing more headaches for the Web and developers that cannot deploy the latest HTML5 technologies.

  17. VD said on January 11, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Well I will probably switch to Firefox 10 and cross my fingers that all my add-ons will work. I`ve been using Firefox for quite some time as a portable variant in order to access my bookmarks and add-ons on several computers more easily. The portable options is especially practical at work or at friend`s PCs when you don`t have admin rights. With “drive-by-attacks” increasing rapidly using a browser without up to date security updates is unfortunately out of the question.

  18. MS said on January 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    But why Firefox won’t implements an auto-update system (as a service) that does not requires admin rights, like Chrome or IE 10 (shortly)?

  19. chris said on February 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    As someone said, I need something that works not more problems. Someone else called me a luddite, I call them a bling-loving latest-fashion victim. Whatever.
    A browser is a tool, I want something that works, with *my current extensions* supported, without having to re-learn the GUI every year.
    I was called a luddite too when Vista came out, Ah!
    And then W7, which improves on XP in some respects, but regresses in others. And don’t get me started with Ubuntu.
    STOP BREAKING MY TOOLS! is my message to the morons who change things for sake of changing. Ribbon anyone?

  20. chris said on February 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Comparing FF3 to IE6 is just dumb.
    Plus FF3 was still the only FF version less than a year ago. Hardly legacy is it?
    IE6 broke the web. It was total mayhem and it only understood its own broken syntax. It went like this:
    – MS releases a crap non-standard browser
    – developers and corporartions respectively like the development tools, obey MS blindly, and develop for IE6
    – MS walks away
    Well done, all of you, congrats all round.
    On the other hand FF3 is standards-compliant. Just not the latest standards. I know web designers always want to develop for the latest platform, but tough… Deal with it. Life isn’t fair, etc.

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