Recovering important data from an old profile
A Firefox profile stores all of your important data, such as your bookmarks, history, cookies, and passwords. This article explains how to copy the files to a new profile, lists important files in the profile and describes what information is stored in these files.
If you are having a problem with Firefox then sometimes, rather than trying to find and fix the exact cause of the problem, it is easier just to make a new Firefox profile and copy your most important data over to it. Making a new Firefox profile and then copying over certain files gives you a fresh start while retaining your important personal data.
If you are having a problem with Firefox then sometimes, rather than trying to find and fix the exact cause of the problem, it is easier just to make a new Firefox profile and copy your most important data over to it. The Reset Firefox feature will do this for you automatically.
Table of Contents
- 1 Back up your current profile
- 2 Create a new Firefox profile
- 3 Copying files between profile folders
- 4 Your important data and their files
Back up your current profile
Before starting it is recommended that you make a complete backup of your existing Firefox profile in case something goes wrong. Please read the Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles article for instructions on how to do this.
Create a new Firefox profile
For information on how to create a brand new Firefox profile, please read the Use the Profile Manager to create and remove Firefox profiles article, paying specific attention to the Creating a profile section.
Copying files between profile folders
Open your profile folder:
At the top of the Firefox window, click on the button, go over to the menuOn the menu bar, click on the menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the and select menu . The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.
- Under the Application Basics section, click on filesfolder will open. . A window with your profile
- At the top of the Firefox window, click on the button and then select At the top of the Firefox window, click on the menu and then select On the menu bar, click on the menu and select At the top of the Firefox window, click on the menu and select
- Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click on a file you want to copy and choose .
- Open the new Firefox profile folder.
- Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click inside the profile folder and choose .
Repeat steps 2-5 for each file you wish to transfer over to your new profile folder.
While copying your personal data from an old Firefox profile to a new Firefox profile, it is possible that you could copy over the file that is causing the problem you are trying to get rid of! The more files you copy over, the greater the chance of this happening. It is therefore recommended that:
- You copy over only the minimal amount of files that contain your most important data that you simply can't live without.
- You copy over a few files at a time, and then check that the problem you are trying to get rid of hasn't returned.
Your important data and their files
Bookmarks and Browsing History
This file contains all your Firefox bookmarks and the list of websites you have previously visited. For more information see How to use bookmarks to save and organize your favorite websites.
Your passwords are stored in two different files, both of which are required:
- key3.db - This file stores your key database for your passwords. To transfer saved passwords, you must copy this file along with the following file.
- signons.sqlite - Saved passwords.
For more information see Password manager - Remember, delete and change saved passwords in Firefox.
This file stores many of your Firefox permissions that are decided on a per-site basis. For example, it stores which sites are allowed to, or blocked from setting cookies, installing extensions, showing images, displaying popups, etc.
- \searchplugins\ folder
If you have installed any extra search engines then they will be in the \searchplugins\ folder. The search.sqlite file stores the order that your search engines appear in Firefox. For more information see Search bar - Easily choose your favorite search engine.
This file stores any custom words you have added to Firefox's dictionary. If you have never added a custom word to the Firefox dictionary, then you will not have this file. For more information see How do I use the Firefox spell checker?.
This file remembers what you have searched for in the Firefox search bar and what information you have entered into forms on websites. For more information see Control whether Firefox automatically fills in forms with your information.
Cookies are used by websites for a variety of reasons, some of which include keeping you logged in to a website you have previously logged in to, remembering any preferences a website has allowed you to set, authenticating you as a person who has visited a specific website before, etc.
Security certificate settings
This file stores all your security certificate settings and any SSL certificates you have imported into Firefox.
File types and download actions
This file stores your preferences with respect to what Firefox does when it comes across known file types, such as whether you want to save a file or open it with a specific application. For more information see Change what Firefox does when you click on or download a file.
This file stores information about the files you've downloaded. For more information, see Find and manage downloaded files.
Based on information from Transferring data to a new profile - Firefox (mozillaZine KB)
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