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Firefox Starter Tutorial

Mozilla Firefox Web Browser

Firefox is the best new browser to come along in years and it's giving Internet Explorer a real run for its money. Firefox is small, very fast, and free, and that's a tough combination to beat.

In the following article, I'll cover how to upgrade to the current version, how to download and install Firefox for the first time, and I'll provide a few "starter" tips and recommendations.

Enjoy Mozilla Firefox!

How to Upgrade to the Current Version

If you already have an earlier version of Mozilla Firefox installed on your computer, you can upgrade to the current version by following these steps:

1. In Firefox, click Tools > Options > Advanced.

2. On the right side of the Options menu, scroll down and under Software Options, click the "Check Now" button, then follow the on-screen prompts.

As an alternative, you can upgrade directly from the Mozilla Web site.

How to Download and Install Firefox For the First Time

1. Go to the Mozilla Web site and click "Download Mozilla Firefox" by clicking the "Free Download" link near the top of the home page.

2. When the File Download window appears, save the Firefox setup.exe installation file to your Windows Desktop.

How to Install Firefox

1. Close any open programs, including Internet Explorer.

2. Double-click the installer (.exe) file you just downloaded to your Windows Desktop.

3. Follow the on-screen prompts during which you'll have to agree to the end-user agreement. Nobody ever reads it, so just click "Agree." You'll be asked if you want the Standard or Custom installation. I always select Custom just to see what options I have, so take a look if you're curious, otherwise choose Standard.

4. Let the excitement build as you watch Firefox install.

How to Import Favorites into Firefox

Firefox does this for you automatically. During the installation process, Firefox will open an Import Wizard and ask you if you want to import your Internet options, Bookmarks, History, Passwords, and other data from Microsoft Internet Explorer into Firefox.

Firefox will also ask you if you want it to be your default browser. My recommendation is to choose Yes, but it's strictly a personal decision. You can always select No, for now, and change it later by clicking Tools > Options > General > Default Browser.

A few Firefox Tips

1. What you knew as "Favorites" in Internet Explorer are called "Bookmarks" in Firefox.

2. The little "G" box to the right of the address bar is a Google search box. Just type in your keywords, press Enter, and up pops the Google search results for those words.

3. Press Ctrl + F or go to Edit > Find in This Page. Unlike Internet Explorer that displayed a pop-up box to search a Web page, Firefox's "Find" is located at the bottom of the browser itself. When you type in a word, the word is highlighted on the page making it extremely easy to locate, not to mention fun!

Click HERE to read about other differences between Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Now that I've installed Firefox, should I uninstall Internet Explorer?

A. In a word, no. Internet Explorer is so closely integrated into Windows, uninstalling IE it is definitely not advised. Another reason for not attempting to uninstall Internet Explorer is that some Web sites, including the Microsoft Web site, were designed to function only under Internet Explorer. Plus, Firefox doesn't support ActiveX, so there will be times you will want to view sites with Internet Explorer.

To make the switch between Firefox and IE easier, download the free IE View Firefox extension. Once installed, when you are in Firefox and encounter a page that requires Internet Explorer, you can right-click anywhere in the page and choose "View this page in IE," which will cause Internet Explorer to open and display the page.

To download and install IE View, click on the "Install Now" link on the IE View page. A pop-up menu will appear telling you that you are trying to install an unsigned item. IE View is safe, so just click on the "Install Now" button to download and install.

Note: IE View is a bit quirky. I could not get it to install on some computers, but if you're interested, give it a try and with any luck, it will install without any difficulty.

Mozilla's Firefox is definitely and up-and-comer in the browser world and one that's well worth taking a look at. I rarely use Internet Explorer anymore, and even though Firefox has a few rough edges, it's a great program and one that I highly recommend.

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