Silent Update

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Silent Update
Stage Development
Status In progress
Release target `
Health OK
Status note Master feature page for all components that are required to deliver a "silent update" experience to users. Features currently under development.


Product manager Chris Lee
Directly Responsible Individual Lawrence Mandel
Lead engineer `
Security lead `
Privacy lead `
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead `
UX lead `
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members `

Open issues/risks


Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview

This feature falls under the Experience theme.

With the transition to the Rapid Release development model, the frequency in which we interrupt a user's workflow will be increasingly more common. With goals to offer a secure, feature-rich, and fun browsing experience, we want to ensure everyone is on the latest version of Firefox. To achieve this goal, this particular feature will breakdown the necessary pieces to deliver a silent update experience.

Silent Update is comprised of the following 6 components:

1) Remove download/update dialog when new Firefox version is available (feature page):

  • Update dialog will no longer be appropriate with Rapid Releases
  • This dialog appears during the user's current session and its purpose is only to notify the user that a download is happening in the background

2) Move bulk of update to background before shut down and remove update UI from browser start-up. (feature page):

  • Given the download is happening in the background without notifying the user based on 1), this component will shift bulk of the installation process to the user's current session before the restart
  • Updater will need to change for Windows, Mac and Linux

3) Add-on compatibility check will default to compatible (feature page):

  • Modifying how Firefox determines which Add-ons are compatible
  • This will exclude:
    • All non-binary component add-ons
    • All strict incompatible add-ons
    • All blacklisted add-ons

4) Frequency of when What's New tab appears per update will be reduced and existing/new content will gradually transition to other tools (feature page):

  • Dedicated placement in Firefox about:home page (being explored)
  • Hover panel from from somewhere on the page (being explored)
  • Brainstorm with UX/Marketing

5) Firefox updates need to bypass OS dialogs:

  • Win7 and WinVista UAC (user account control) dialogue (feature page)
  • N/A to silent update Mac OS: determine if there are issues for non-admins (feature page)

6) Update the add-on compatibility check prompt (feature page):

  • In conjunction with component (3), when the update process encounters an incompatible add-on we should prompt with a dialog providing users the options of "not now" or "remind me later".

2. Users & use cases


3. Dependencies


4. Requirements




Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification


6. User experience design


Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan


8. Reviews

Security review


Privacy review


Localization review




Quality Assurance review


Operations review


Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation


Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria


Feature details

Priority P1
Rank 1
Theme / Goal `
Roadmap Firefox Desktop
Secondary roadmap `
Feature list Desktop
Project Silent Update
Engineering team Desktop front-end

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` `
Engineering ` `
Security ` `
Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance ` `
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `