Stop Checking For Updates?

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JoyceAE5
Posts: 15
Joined: 10 Feb 2016

Post by JoyceAE5

I too find this annoying. I am running version 8.1 and don't want further updates. I have unchecked the 'Check for updates' option but today I got notification that version 8.4 is available for download. The 'Check for updates' option now had a check mark beside it. How can one permanently turn off checking for updates? It is becoming a real nuisance.
FKPhil
Posts: 6
Joined: 28 Aug 2016

Post by FKPhil

How about altering your firewall settings to block FFS accessing the internet?
+ffsuser+
Posts: 8
Joined: 2 Apr 2018

Post by +ffsuser+

Can someone tell me how to stop FFS from checking for updates (or phoning home in any way for that matter)...completely? I have unchecked it in the "help" section but it simply ignores my setting and checks anyway, then spams me to update and changes my setting back to default of check automatically. VERY annoying behavior. Quexos, 13 Aug 2016, 01:30
linux ffs version 10.11 portable here - problem still persists - how to disable auto-update-check completely within ffs, once and for all?

thanks
petr.kopecek
Posts: 4
Joined: 18 Mar 2016

Post by petr.kopecek

I concur with this completely.
Uncontrollable home-calling and activation requiring programs are on my blacklist for any financial support. Although I am happy to reward authors of quality programs (be it pay for license or donate, doesn't matter), this will not happen here unless FreeFileSync becomes truly portable and trustworthy program.

That the FreeFileSync bothers me with every new version, even when they are no more compatible with my system (Windows XP), is just the top of the pile of annoyances...
xCSxXenon
Posts: 520
Joined: 11 Jun 2019

Post by xCSxXenon

It's more annoying that people running XP are expecting software to still be actively supported for that antiquated OS. As for the updates, I have had no issues, along with others, with it not checking for updates when I uncheck the setting.
User avatar
kazink
Posts: 13
Joined: 19 Oct 2006

Post by kazink

I too have this problem in version 10.19 Donation. Whenever I disable the "Check for updates" option, it will enable itself after a week or two. This is really annoying and disrespectful towards the paying users, that it hasn't been fixed for so long.
dylanhhh
Posts: 2
Joined: 23 Jun 2020

Post by dylanhhh

Note: This post has been edited in response to the response from the creator of FFS. I speculated that they may be tracking "people's usage", with a unique ID. That's not correct.

Here's a hack: Use the Windows firewall to block outgoing TCP/80 connections from the program. (P.S. I just noticed FKPhil suggested the same thing)
The file is either freefilesync_x64.exe, or freefilesync_win32.exe, depending on your OS. The whole firewall has to be enabled for the particular network profile your net interface is assigned to, of course. The rule looks like this:

Rule Name: freefilesync update block
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Enabled: Yes
Direction: Out
Profiles: Domain,Private,Public
LocalIP: Any
RemoteIP: Any
Protocol: TCP
LocalPort: Any
RemotePort: 80
Program: C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\Bin\FreeFileSync_x64.exe
InterfaceTypes: Any
Action: Block

You can add the rule with the MMC GUI. Or you can use the netsh console as shown in the following example:
netsh>advfire fire

netsh advfirewall firewall>add rule "name=FreeFileSync updates" dir=out action=block "program=C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\Bin\FreeFileSync_x64.exe" profile=any remoteport=80 protocol=tcp

Ok.

netsh advfirewall firewall>exit
Apparently the creator of FFS is using the update mechanism to collect statistics to decide what OSes to support, and is passively refusing to allow us to opt out.
The update request just sends the version number, your OS version and CPU architecture, language, and country:
POST /get_latest_version_number.php HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
User-Agent: FFS-Update-Check
Host: freefilesync.org
Content-Length: 122
Cache-Control: no-cache
Cookie: __cfduid=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

ffs_version=10.1&installation_type=Local&ffs_variant=Free&os_name=Windows&os_version=6.1&os_arch=64&language=en&country=US
The cookie is part of Cloudfare, and the "cfduid" is a unique session identifier number, for DoS control mostly, that expires after thirty days. It's not tied to your particular installation of FFS.
Last edited by dylanhhh on 25 Jun 2020, 16:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Zenju
Site Admin
Posts: 5528
Joined: 9 Dec 2007

Post by Zenju

Just speculating, but I'm betting the creator of FFS is using the update mechanism to track people's usage,
[...]
It also sends a unique identification number that appears to be tied to your particular installation of FFS. dylanhhh, 23 Jun 2020, 22:06
This is (obviously) not correct:

The "__cfduid" is automatically set by Cloudflare and unrelated to FreeFileSync. Other than that, the update checks serve to provide some general info (read: non-personal) about the recent hardware and os that FFS is used on in order to make informed decisions regarding what systems to support or not.
therube
Posts: 146
Joined: 8 May 2006

Post by therube

And I'll note, that on XP, the latest version available that works on XP, 10.11, correctly reports that this version is "up to date" (as far as XP is concerned) [which is good, IMO].
dylanhhh
Posts: 2
Joined: 23 Jun 2020

Post by dylanhhh

The "__cfduid" is automatically set by Cloudflare and unrelated to FreeFileSync. Other than that, the update checks serve to provide some general info (read: non-personal) about the recent hardware and os that FFS is used on in order to make informed decisions regarding what systems to support or not. Zenju, 24 Jun 2020, 13:27
That's right. I never meant to say it was personal information.

But what about the original subject?
Miranda
Posts: 2
Joined: 30 Jul 2020

Post by Miranda

FreeFileSync * portable * version 6.2 for Windows: the solution is to edit the GlobalSettings.xml file, which is located in the FreeFileSyncPortable \ App \ FreeFileSync folder and search for the LastOnlineCheck item and put the value of -1.
The GlobalSettings.xml file sometimes disappears "magically", so you can create a copy and restore it with a BAT
gvp9000
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 Oct 2019

Post by gvp9000

This is the most annoying problem with ffs.
Ffs simply ignores your setting and check for updates whenever it likes ...
I'm wondering what is the use of this menu entry ?
Miranda
Posts: 2
Joined: 30 Jul 2020

Post by Miranda

This is the most annoying problem with ffs.
Ffs simply ignores your setting and check for updates whenever it likes ...
I'm wondering what is the use of this menu entry ? gvp9000, 09 Aug 2020, 22:33
It is not a menu item, but it is an XML file item.
In the way I explained, you permanently fix the problem (with a BAT file overwriting with the "correct" XML file every time before running FreeFileSync)