How to Correctly Install and Run Mozilla Firefox Metro on Windows 8

The Windows 8 Firefox preview won’t work for most users

By on October 5th, 2012 22:01 GMT

Mozilla today released a Metro preview of its popular browser Firefox, obviously aimed at Windows 8 users who enjoy Microsoft’s brand new Modern Apps technology.

Truth is, the Nightly Firefox is only a preview, so it’s not recommended to set it as you default browser, but Windows 8 early adopters may want to have a look at the latest flavor of an otherwise excellent application.

Downloading the preview and running it on a Windows 8 machine should be enough, but we’ve received reports that some users can’t make the browser work. What’s more,

some of the workstations here at the Softpedia labs could not run the Metro Firefox for Windows 8 at all.


The problem is always the same: it seems to install fine, it even places a shortcut in the Windows 8 Start Screen, but whenever you click its icon, you’re instantly switched to the Start Screen. Instead of the Metro version, the shortcut launches the standard desktop version.

Because we’ve heard that so many people encounter problems when trying to run the Metro Firefox, we’ve created this tutorial to lend you a hand and thus help all Windows 8 fans get a taste of the new browser before its official debut. Mozilla hasn’t said anything about the final version of Firefox for Windows 8, so keep in mind that this is an incomplete, unstable and sometimes very slow build.
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The "install" folder holds all the files you will need to successfully configure Mozilla Firefox on Windows 8.

Step 1: Download the Nightly build of Metro Firefox and extract all files on the desktop. The package is also available on Softpedia, so click here to get it (keep in mind that it’s version 18.0a1 Nightly that we need).

Step 2: Go over to the extracted files and browse to Firefox\metro\install.

Step 3: Double click “zipbuildsetup” and click “Run” to allow the process to launch. You will see a “Command Prompt” window that will automatically close after a few seconds.

Step 4: The same “install” folder holds a file called “registerbrowser.” Launch it and wait. It will modify the Windows 8 registry, so if you have any app that could block this change, make sure you disable it. A confirmation message should appear when the process is completed.

Step 5: Once again, in the “install” folder you shall find another file called “createshortcut.” This one will add the Firefox Nightly shortcut in the Start Screen and will allow you to launch the browser in Metro mode. Double-click it and wait for a few seconds. Some Windows 8 workstations may need a separate file called “msvcr110.dll,” so in case the file asks you for it, use Google and download it.
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Keep in mind that the Nightly build of Mozilla Firefox isn't quite stable, so it's not recommended to use it as your everyday browser. It sometimes crashes all of a sudden, so it's only good for testing.And… that’s all. Remember that in order to run Firefox in Metro mode, you need to set the Nightly build as your default browser. There’s no need to uninstall the stable release of Mozilla Firefox because the Nightly version installs in a different location, so it’s enough to launch it and use the “Set as default” option.
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In order to make the Metro Firefox launch on Windows 8, you need to set it as your default browser. Otherwise, the browser may fail to load, so you'll have to launch the desktop version and make the aforementioned adjustment.While the Metro Firefox comes with no customization options, it’s still a good way to use a different browser in Metro mode, other than the built-in Internet Explorer. Firefox Nightly is sometimes slow and fails to respond properly, so give it some time before it loads a specific page. If you wish to remove it, simply go to “Add/Remove Programs” and uninstall it completely. Afterwards, set the stable Firefox or whatever browser you are using as the default app to handle online surfing.

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