remove firefox ubuntu

Firefox is the default browser on Ubuntu, and a lot of users are not a fan of the fact that it’s packaged as a snap. 

Even if you try to remove it, it automatically gets reinstalled due to Snap’s auto-updates. And the .deb package in the Ubuntu repo is only a transitional package to the Firefox snap which further adds to the discontent. 

If you’re unhappy with this as well, you can follow the steps from this article to completely remove the Firefox snap from Ubuntu.

Remove Installed Firefox Versions

First, backup any user data you want to keep such as bookmarks. Then, remove any Firefox versions currently installed on your system.

To remove Firefox with apt,

sudo apt purge firefox

To remove the Firefox snap, disable the snap if required, then purge it.

snap disable firefox
sudo snap remove --purge firefox

Prevent Firefox Snap from Reinstalling

One way to ensure that Firefox doesn’t get reinstalled is to remove Snap entirely from Ubuntu

But if you don’t want such a destructive method and only want to remove the Firefox snap, you can create an apt preference file and set the Firefox snap to negative priority. With this configuration, snap won’t automatically reinstall Firefox.

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/firefox-snap-pref

Use the following config to set the Ubuntu* releases to -1.

Package: firefox*
Pin: release o=Ubuntu*
Pin-Priority: -1

(Optional) Install Firefox with Apt

After removing Firefox, you could switch to a different browser like Chrome or Brave. Or if your issue was only with Snap, then you could also install Firefox with apt.

As mentioned, the Firefox package in the official repo is only a dummy package that links to the Firefox snap. So, you’ll have to get Firefox from a different source. The best option here is the official MozillaTeam PPA.

Add this PPA using the add-apt-repository script.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa

Then, create another apt preference file to ensure the PPA is at a higher priority than the snap.

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/firefox-ppa-pref

Use the following configuration:

Package: firefox*
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-mozillateam
Pin-Priority: 501

Finally, update your package index to make the packages from the PPA available, then install Firefox.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install firefox
Anup Thapa

Senior Writer

Anup Thapa is a Linux enthusiast with an extensive background in computer hardware and networking. His goal is to effectively communicate technical concepts in a simplified form understandable by new Linux users. To this end, he mainly writes beginner-friendly tutorials and troubleshooting guides. Outside of work, he enjoys reading up on a range of topics, traveling, working out, and MOBAs.