Firefox for Windows gets a web installer

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 3, 2012

If you want to download Firefox for a supported operating system right now you head over to, click on the download button there and wait until the 20 or so Megabyte download completes. If the site gets the suggested system and language wrong, you may also need to change it before starting the download.

Mozilla is currently working on a web installer for the Windows version of the Firefox web browser that will be offered in addition to the full offline installer. The main difference here is that users only download a small installer that downloads the required components when it is executed. Firefox can only be installed on the target system if an Internet connection is available.

A web installer offers several advantages over full installers. There are also disadvantages, like the required Internet connection to install the browser, but since full installers won't go away, they can be disregarded.

Firefox users benefit from a web installer in two ways. Installers are not linked to a particular version of the web browser, which means that it will always download and install the latest available version of the browser, and not the version that was available when the web installer was downloaded.

firefox web installer

The second benefit is improved support for 64-bit versions of Windows. This only comes into play when Firefox is offered as a 64-bit version next to the 32-bit version. The installer may then pick the appropriate version for the operating system so that users do not have to make that decision.

Mozilla has more control over the download and installation process and hopes that the web installer switch will reduce the number of download failures.

Sample web installers for nightly builds are already available. These versions download the Firefox components via standard http connections right now, something that Mozilla aims to correct before they are made available officially so that all downloads use SSL connections instead.

The Windows operating system is the main target for the web installer, a Mac version is planned for the future. Additional information about the new feature are available on the Mozilla Wiki website. (via Sören)


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Mushaf said on October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I hate web installers for three reasons mainly –

    1. They are not portable. You’ll have to download the whole thing if you want to install it on another PC.

    2. They tend to install other garbage and change settings without user concern.

    3. I haven’t seen any web installer comes with pause-resume support. Any interruption in download will lead you to start the whole thing from the very beginning.

    I don’t even see the benefits mentioned in the article as real ‘benefits’. Currently when you try to download Firefox from Mozilla’s site it’s giving you the offline installer for the latest stable version available. It just seems to me that Firefox is following Chrome’s every footstep blindly, which kinda sucks.

    N.B. Don’t feed the troll.

  2. nbc said on October 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    whats needed is a official msi, not the complete different direction.

  3. Maou said on October 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    No, thanks.
    I still prefer Off-line installer.

  4. FX said on October 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    BobbyPhoenix, you are a retarded loser. Pale Moon geared for techie? BAHAHAHAHA OH GOD.

    Yeah, sticking with old, outdated 12.0 codebase until recently moving up to 15.x is real techie there.

    It’s clear that Pale Moon retarded users don’t even know whats up to date and whats for masses.

    Stick with your outdated codebase, meanwhile I’m enjoying Firefox 18.0 with IonMonkey, DLBI, lanczos Image scaling and other features that you don’t even understand crap about.

    1. BobbyPhoenix said on October 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm


      1. FX said on October 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        Cry more, BobbyPhoenix retard, I’m not the one on the retarded Dutch Moonchild’s outdated codebase browser.

        Like I said, when Moonchild the retard dev gives up compiling latest Firefox source code and he will eventually when real life takes precedence over working on Pale Moon garbage, where are you all retarded Pale Moon users gonna turn to?

    2. beadouche said on October 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

      @FX Stick with your outdated codebase, meanwhile I’m enjoying Firefox 18.0 with IonMonkey, DLBI, lanczos Image scaling and other features that you don’t even understand crap about.
      Well, aren’t you particularly special.

  5. Roman ShaRP said on October 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    As we still have connection problems in our imperfect world, I do prefer downloading offline installers with download managers . This combination is less prone to fail and-do-it-all-again and, in general, handles downloading better, I think.

    Users who have no connection problems may benefit from web installer, but I’m not that happy with connections I get.

  6. Roman ShaRP said on October 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

    FX, you are completely wrong. Pale Moon developer provided user with statusbar when Mozilla for some time removed it trying to copy Chrome, and I find Pale Moon developer more user-friendly with users in general (he asked what users do prefer on statusbar, Mozilla did not).

    You better rethink your attitude.

    1. FX said on October 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Shut up, retarded Pale Moon loser. No one asked for your opinion.

      When the Pale Moon retarded dev gives up, wonder where they’ll go to for a browser.

      Firefox will always be faster, more standards compliant and more up to date.

      1. BobbyPhoenix said on October 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

        Your words and attitude only prove that you have no idea what you are talking about. Firefox is great, but it’s for the masses. Palemoon is geared for the techie, and it has several features that make if faster, smoother, and overall a better browser for those who know whats what. It’s built on the same code Mozilla uses as it’s open source, so there is nothing missing, only better thongs added. Your flaming ignorance needs to stop, so you don’t look like a bigger idiot than you already are.

  7. boris said on October 4, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Hate web installers. Most of them used to bundle crap with free programs.

  8. FX said on October 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Pale Moon garbage is outdated and without the source code from Mozilla, Pale Moon garbage is NOTHING. Pale Moon’s retarded developer and all the Pale Moon retarded users should just kill themselves.

  9. Shatimi said on October 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Wow, finally, lookie here. Palemoon (a customized FF version) implemented this months, if not years, ago. A small web installer, downloads what’s most suitable for the user’s OS, been there, seen that. When Firefox implements a feature AFTER its fork, not BEFORE – something is terribly wrong.

    1. Solid said on October 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      I just downloaded from Palemoon right now – it does not do a Web install, so what are you talking about?

      Downloading an executable that connects to the internet to finish the download is NOT the same as what this is.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.