Multiple Firefox Installs

Well, I posted an article a few weeks ago explaining how you can install multiple versions of IE at the same time.

Now, I found the need to have multiple versions of Firefox running on my PC, so I started Googling again.

I came across two good articles dealing with the subject. The first article I came across dealt specifically with installing multiple versions on a Mac. The next article, however, dealt with doing the same thing on a Windows computer.

Basically, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Close all instances of Firefox
  2. Open the Firefox Profile Manager. To do this, you will need to open Firefox from the command-line, and add the “-Profilemanager” switch to it. So, the command might look something like “”C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe” -Profilemanager”
  3. Create a new profile, and give it a name that indicates which version of Firefox you will be using that profile with. For instance, if you are getting ready to install Firefox 1.5.2, name your new profile “Firefox-1.5.2″. (You can not use spaces in the names of your profiles).
  4. Download a copy of the Firefox version you want to install
    Note: If you have trouble finding older versions of Firefox for download, you can find them at FileHippo or OldVersion.
  5. Install the new copy, but make sure that you choose a “Custom” install. Then, when you get to the point where you select which directory to install Firefox to, you want to choose a unique directory. I recommend naming the directory the same as the profile you created.
  6. Once the install is completed, create a shortcut to the version of Firefox you just installed. Then, edit the “Properties” of that shortcut and add the following to the “Target”: “ -P “Firefox-1.5″”. Be certain that you place that outside of the closing quotation mark that comes after “.exe” in the current target. Also, replace “Firefox-1.5″ with the actual name of the profile you want to use for that version of Firefox.

Once you do all that, you should have no trouble running multiple versions of Firefox. However, it is important to know that you cannot run two different versions at the same time. You will need to close your Firefox browser before attempting to open a different version of Firefox. If you are feeling extremely adventurous, and you are indeed using a Windows box, you can follow the method outlined on HiveMinds Web site.

Also, if you find that you need new Firefox icons in order to distinguish between the different versions, you should be able to find a lot of good ones by simply using Google. However, I have saved you a little bit of trouble by searching for you. Here are a few good places to find some nice icons:

Tech Tags: HTMLCenter multiple+version

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  • JanObe


  • Edwin

    Hi Curtiss,

    Thanks for a very good explanation. Works fine.

    Just one question though: I now seem to have lost all my favourits/bookmarks and my webdeveloper toolbar is gone.

    How do I get these back.

  • Edwin

    Hi Curtiss,

    Of course I should have switched back to the default profile to see my favorits/bookmarks.

    One thing that is anoying. Everytime I switch between two versions of Firefox (3.0.11 and 3.5.1) the browser checks the compatibility of add-ons.
    Is there a way to disable this ?


  • Pranav Kadam

    It works great.

    Note for users: Please do not forget to backup your bookmarks before installing a different version.

  • Pranav Kadam

    I would like to make an addition to this article:

    We can run different version of Firefox at the same time. All you need to do is a simple thing:
    Add “-no-remote” to the Target in the Properties of the created shortcut(s) of different versions of Firefox.

    e.g.: “C:\Program Files\Firefox-2.0\firefox.exe” -P “Firefox-2.0″ -no-remote

    • Curtiss

      Thanks for the update. I was not aware of that little trick.

  • Neil Kolban

    Thank you. Great tip!!


    Hey im assuming this will work for firefox 4.0 and 3.6.6??? or is there a better way

  • Benabdallah

    Thanks, great for testing in multiple version of FF

  • George Z

    You can run multiple version of Firefox at the same time with “firefox -no-remote -ProfileManager”. For simplicity just add it in step #6.

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  • Chel

    Thank you for this article.

    I was delaying my upgrade of Firefox and then I suddenly wondered if it’s possible running 2 versions at the same time… and viola, following your easy-to-understand instructions.. it’s possible!

    I’m currently running latest version FF 6.0.2 & 3.6.21 on my Win 7.

    Again, thanks! :)

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