What is the Mozilla Maintenance Service?

Firefox, Thunderbird Firefox, Thunderbird Last updated: 04/02/2023 65% of users voted this helpful
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Note: This article only applies to Windows.

Firefox and Thunderbird install an optional service called the Mozilla Maintenance Service which allows application updates to occur in the background, without requiring you to click Yes in the Windows User Account Control (UAC) dialog.

No UAC

How does the Mozilla Maintenance Service work?

When Firefox or Thunderbird downloads an application update, the Mozilla Maintenance Service gets permission from Windows to allow the update to be applied, without requiring you to click Yes in the Windows User Account Control (UAC) dialog. Until that time, the service doesn't run, so it doesn't use any computer resources and, once the update process begins, the service quits. For more details, see this Mozilla Wiki page.

Note: Firefox also has a feature you can enable that will automatically install updates, even when Firefox is not running. See this article for details.

Disabling the Mozilla Maintenance Service

If you'd like to be prompted to authorize updates, you can disable the Mozilla Maintenance Service as follows:

Firefox

  1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and then select Preferences or Settings, depending on your macOS version.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.
  2. Click the General panel.
  3. Scroll down to Firefox Updates. (Tip: You can also search for updates in the search box.)
  4. Uncheck the box next to Use a background service to install updates.

Thunderbird

  1. In the menu bar, click the Thunderbird menu and select Settings.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and choose Settings.
  2. In the General panel, scroll down to the Updates section.
  3. Uncheck the box next to Use a background service to install updates.

Uninstalling the Mozilla Maintenance Service

You can uninstall the Mozilla Maintenance Service from your computer if you wish.

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