How to install and run multiple versions of Firefox

If you’re shrewd fox, a web developer or just a sweeping tech enthusiast that wants to run many Firefox versions – here’s how you do it [these directions were tested on Windows 7, but should work for other versions of Windows as well]:

1)      Go to our Firefox page and download your favorite version.

2)      Open the setup file and when the installation prompts you, select “Custom.” You are after all, an experienced user – right? ;)

3)      Change the destination folder to reflect the version of Firefox you are installing. For example, if you’re installing 3.01 have it install to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox 3.01 — the goal here is to install each version of Firefox in its own standalone directory.

4)      Check the box that asks you if you want to have a shortcut on your desktop and don’t run the program when it’s done installing.

5)      Next, we want to set up a separate user profile for this version of Firefox that you just installed. To do this, go into the Start-Run prompt (hit Windows key +R ) and type in the following jibber-jabber:

“C:\\Program Files\\PUTDIRECTORYOFTHEINSTALLATION HERE\\firefox” -profilemanager -no-remote

Make sure you actually put the directory of the installation in the above notice. For instance, if you installed Firefox 4.01 in C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox 4.01 the above notice will be:

"C:\\Program Files\\Mozilla Firefox 4.01\\firefox" -profilemanager -no-remote

So, modify it accordingly. You should see a box like this:

Except, yours probably only has the default profile at the moment. What we want to do now is create a profile for every version of Firefox you’re going to run. Let’s start with the version you just installed.

1)      Simply click “Create Profile” and follow the simple steps. I suggest calling the profile the same as the version you just installed.

2)      You’re almost finished. What we want to do now is modify the shortcut to let Windows know that you want to use that specific Firefox profile with that version, so right click on the shortcut on your desktop (or wherever it is) and in target, input the following:

“”C:\Program Files\Change2Dir\firefox.exe” -P ProfileName -no-remote”

3)      That’s it – repeat all these steps for all the different versions of Firefox you plan to install J!

Generally, for our lay-audience we recommend uninstalling the new version before installing the older version. In fact, for most of the more ‘evil’ companies (yes, I judge a company as evil based on the version-control it wants to have), it won’t even let you install the older versions over a newer one (Skype). Luckily for you, the reader – Mozilla isn’t an evil company and allows you to have multiple installations at once.

If you want to debate with me on what makes a company evil or have any general comments or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below.


Firefox Download

Travis Dane is an internet entrepreneur with a love for web design, software and anything unusual and unique.

5 Comments on "How to install and run multiple versions of Firefox"

  1. Raj says:

    Hi Travis,
    This article was really helpful to me. Also very to the point and well written. Thanks for taking your time to do that.


  2. Vivek says:

    Thanks … It just works!

  3. j says:

    Cut and pasted command directly from this page to RUN and changed version # to 6.0.2 and got error message “Windows could not find…..” Also typed it in twice with same result.


  4. Andy Carloff says:

    Running “firefox.exe -p” starts firefox normally. Same thing with “-no-remote”. What OS are you using?

  5. Mary says:

    Firefox is extremely evil. I’ve uninstalled 4 times now and tried installing 4 older versions (one at a time, uninstalling each time) of firefox to get my real player plugin to work and the menu to look like something I can use. But each time, no matter which old version I install, instead of installing the old version, it installs the same crappy new version that I don’t want. How do I get an old version to install (I even am using the old installation program that it downloaded to my computer originally a year or so ago but it won’t work! I HATE FIREFOX!!! THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe you could just suggest a different web browswer and I can ditch them entirely. Thanks!

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