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Locating Old Versions of Software Packages

By October 12, 2010 January 3rd, 2011 Recommendations, Tips & Tricks

Ever wished you could go back to an old version of a particular application? Often times, as software companies release new versions, they remove the ability to download older versions. They may also choose to drop support for such versions, in the long run. Usually, upgrading software is a good idea: more bugs are fixed, new features are introduced, all of that fun stuff. In some cases, however, features are unexpectedly removed, or there are performance problems that result from the update. In these scenarios, I consider it valid to seek out older versions. Whenever I found myself in these situations in the past, I would search for websites that offered the old version. I didn’t always succeed, particularly because my freestyle approach depended on luck.

About a year ago, I discovered a site that solved the issue, most of the time. Meet FileHippo, a mammal so obsessed with software that it consistently stores away older versions, and keeps them available for download. Here’s the page for Firefox, as an example. The old versions are listed on the right side of the page.

FileHippo page for Firefox. Numerous old versions are listed.

Despite being able to see the old versions on the first page, don’t be deceived. There are actually many more available if you click the “view more” link. In fact, I can even go so far back that I can get Firefox 1.0, or any of the minor releases that followed it.¬†As if that wasn’t enough, they also seem to store technical information, as well as the change logs for most old versions they keep.