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Homepage and boomarks reset to years ago. Passwords lost.

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  • 1 has this problem
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  • آخر ردّ كتبه bobemor

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So I reset firefox after it suggested it'd been running slowly, it had been, said passwords, book marks and such would all be saved so I did this, went straight back on and everything seemed fine accept that my new tab pages had been reset to new, but this seemed fine considering bookmarks and passwords were all still there. Come on today and it's applying updates to the plugins, it starts out half fill and after a few mins is still stuck at half so I close it, silly of me perhaps, then load up firefox and it works fine until my homepage is Miniclips... It hasn't been that for a good few years, my bookmarks have also returned to what they were a few years ago, potentially passwords might've as well e.g. all current passwords are lost.

الحل المُختار

That's strange, I wonder where Firefox found those older bookmarks?

Firefox's Refresh feature should have created an Old Firefox Data folder on your desktop. Can you find that? It will have a copy of your old settings folder from the time you ran the Refresh and we can use those files to recover.

But first, if you haven't tried this since the problem began, could you shut down and restart Windows? Sometimes after a Windows update there is a permissions glitch and Firefox can't load its settings correctly.


Here is a procedure to revert to your pre-Refresh data. It takes 5 minutes, but that may be faster than recovering individual files and loading those into your damaged profile.

Check inside "Old Firefox Data" folder that Refresh adds to your desktop for a folder with a semi-randomized name. If there's only one, that probably has your old settings and add-ons. If there's more than one, you'll want to work with the one that was updated most recently.

Once you have identified the profile folder you want to restore, here is my suggested "old profile resurrection procedure":

Overview

These are the steps described in more detail below:

  1. Create a new Firefox profile
  2. Remove everything from that new profile folder
  3. Copy in everything from the old profile folder

Create a new Firefox profile (Windows)

Exit Firefox and start up in the Profile Manager by pasting the following into the Start menu search box, or the Start > Run dialog, and pressing Enter:

firefox.exe -P

Note: Any time you want to switch profiles, exit Firefox and return to this dialog.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like OldSettings, and skip the option to change the folder location. Then select that new profile in the dialog and start Firefox.

Open the New Profile folder in Windows Explorer

Firefox in the new profile should look like a factory fresh installation. Open the Troubleshooting Information page using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • Help menu > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table, click the "Show Folder" button. Firefox will launch your brand new profile folder in Windows Explorer.

Leaving that folder open, switch back to Firefox, and Exit using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
  • (menu bar) File > Exit

When Firefox closes, the profile folder should be front and center, or you can activate it using the Task bar.

Copy Old Data in Place of New

In that new profile folder you just popped open -- NOT the one on your desktop -- select all the contents (you can use Ctrl+a) and delete (you can press the Delete key on the keyboard).

Leaving that window open, open or switch over to your Old Firefox Data folder. Drill down into your old profile folder. At this level you should see a folder named bookmarkbackups among other things.

Select everything (Ctrl+a) and Copy (either right-click > Copy or Ctrl+c).

Switch to the empty new profile folder in other window and Paste (either right-click > Paste or Ctrl+v). This may take a minute since some of the files are large.

Start Firefox

Firefox should start up in that "new" profile with the resurrected old profile data. Success?

You can use the profile manager to switch between profiles as needed/desired. Please don't use the Profile Manager's "delete profile" button without a backup -- it's just too easy to delete the wrong one by mistake.

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All Replies (15)

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الحل المُختار

That's strange, I wonder where Firefox found those older bookmarks?

Firefox's Refresh feature should have created an Old Firefox Data folder on your desktop. Can you find that? It will have a copy of your old settings folder from the time you ran the Refresh and we can use those files to recover.

But first, if you haven't tried this since the problem began, could you shut down and restart Windows? Sometimes after a Windows update there is a permissions glitch and Firefox can't load its settings correctly.


Here is a procedure to revert to your pre-Refresh data. It takes 5 minutes, but that may be faster than recovering individual files and loading those into your damaged profile.

Check inside "Old Firefox Data" folder that Refresh adds to your desktop for a folder with a semi-randomized name. If there's only one, that probably has your old settings and add-ons. If there's more than one, you'll want to work with the one that was updated most recently.

Once you have identified the profile folder you want to restore, here is my suggested "old profile resurrection procedure":

Overview

These are the steps described in more detail below:

  1. Create a new Firefox profile
  2. Remove everything from that new profile folder
  3. Copy in everything from the old profile folder

Create a new Firefox profile (Windows)

Exit Firefox and start up in the Profile Manager by pasting the following into the Start menu search box, or the Start > Run dialog, and pressing Enter:

firefox.exe -P

Note: Any time you want to switch profiles, exit Firefox and return to this dialog.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like OldSettings, and skip the option to change the folder location. Then select that new profile in the dialog and start Firefox.

Open the New Profile folder in Windows Explorer

Firefox in the new profile should look like a factory fresh installation. Open the Troubleshooting Information page using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • Help menu > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table, click the "Show Folder" button. Firefox will launch your brand new profile folder in Windows Explorer.

Leaving that folder open, switch back to Firefox, and Exit using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
  • (menu bar) File > Exit

When Firefox closes, the profile folder should be front and center, or you can activate it using the Task bar.

Copy Old Data in Place of New

In that new profile folder you just popped open -- NOT the one on your desktop -- select all the contents (you can use Ctrl+a) and delete (you can press the Delete key on the keyboard).

Leaving that window open, open or switch over to your Old Firefox Data folder. Drill down into your old profile folder. At this level you should see a folder named bookmarkbackups among other things.

Select everything (Ctrl+a) and Copy (either right-click > Copy or Ctrl+c).

Switch to the empty new profile folder in other window and Paste (either right-click > Paste or Ctrl+v). This may take a minute since some of the files are large.

Start Firefox

Firefox should start up in that "new" profile with the resurrected old profile data. Success?

You can use the profile manager to switch between profiles as needed/desired. Please don't use the Profile Manager's "delete profile" button without a backup -- it's just too easy to delete the wrong one by mistake.

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It sounds that Firefox has switched to an older Firefox profile folder.

Did you use the Windows System Restore to go to an earlier restore point?

You can check the location of the main Firefox profile folder to see if there is still the last used recent profile present.

You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder:

Go up one level to the Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ folder.

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
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First off might be important: I'm on Windows 10.

I can't seem to get this option to change/create a new profile. Though I think what you're describing is very similar to what appeared when I loaded firefox today, I got a small box with two options to select I think about profiles one was default and one was default- random letters. This is the first time I have ever seen this with firefox.

I can get into the folders you both describe, and I tried to do what jscher2000 describes about deleting the files in one place and replacing them with the one from Old Profiles, I did this and now firefox won't load xD Firefox gives me a popup box saying: Profile Missing. Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible. What I think happened is I selected the wrong profile when confronted with this box that'd never appeared before.

EDIT: Restored everything I've deleted and I can now get back onto firefox, so no more using microsoft edge for the first time xD

Modified by bobemor

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bobemor said

EDIT: Restored everything I've deleted and I can now get back onto firefox, so no more using microsoft edge for the first time xD

All is good now?

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jscher2000 said

bobemor said
EDIT: Restored everything I've deleted and I can now get back onto firefox, so no more using microsoft edge for the first time xD

All is good now?

Oh no, just that I haven't done any damage since trying to fix the issue. Basically I'm back where I'm started :P

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Okay, so if you want to take a second crash at the "resurrection" procedure, you need to be careful not to modify anything outside of the "new" ("OldSettings") profile folder.

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What profiles do you see in the default profile location?

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\

Are there also profiles in the "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop?

Can you also post the content of the profiles.ini file?

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cor-el said

What profiles do you see in the default profile location?
  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
Are there also profiles in the "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop? Can you also post the content of the profiles.ini file?

I see 5 profiles, 4 made or updated today and one from April. 3 profiles in the Old Firefox Data, 2 made or updated today and one from 2nd of September.

Content of profiles.ini file: [General] StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0] Name=default IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/gs6mu94m.default

[Profile1] Name=default-1409687683425 IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/q0ddii81.default-1409687683425 Default=1


jscher2000 said

Okay, so if you want to take a second crash at the "resurrection" procedure, you need to be careful not to modify anything outside of the "new" ("OldSettings") profile folder.

I think i'm getting stuck at making a new firefox profile step, i'm pretty sure i'm doing the other steps right...

Thanks to both of you for your help so far btw, it's really appreciated! :)

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bobemor said

jscher2000 said
Okay, so if you want to take a second crash at the "resurrection" procedure, you need to be careful not to modify anything outside of the "new" ("OldSettings") profile folder.

I think i'm getting stuck at making a new firefox profile step, i'm pretty sure i'm doing the other steps right...

Hmm... the most common issue might be: the command line just launches a window with your home page. In that case, you need to exit all Firefox windows, allow a few moments for Firefox to finish shutdown, and try again.

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The currently selected default profile with Name=default-1409687683425 got created on September the 2th as the result of a refresh.

What backups do you see in the bookmarkbackups folder of that profile?

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jscher2000 said

bobemor said
jscher2000 said
Okay, so if you want to take a second crash at the "resurrection" procedure, you need to be careful not to modify anything outside of the "new" ("OldSettings") profile folder.

I think i'm getting stuck at making a new firefox profile step, i'm pretty sure i'm doing the other steps right...

Hmm... the most common issue might be: the command line just launches a window with your home page. In that case, you need to exit all Firefox windows, allow a few moments for Firefox to finish shutdown, and try again.

Aha, it worked! I see the window asking profiles and unticked the box saying don't ask me so now I see it every time I open firefox. I'll try your steps again fully now.

cor-el said

The currently selected default profile with Name=default-1409687683425 got created on September the 2th as the result of a refresh. What backups do you see in the bookmarkbackups folder of that profile?

Up a few, all created/modified in July 2014, one each day from 13th-31st. One on 7th of August 2014


EDIT: After succesfully doing jscher2000's steps with all of the profile file i could find, it seems that when I reset firefox it didn't save my current profile, or that this somehow got over written. The one last editted on the 2nd of this month seems to be from last year roughly .

Modified by bobemor

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Uh-oh, there are no profile folders with data from 2015 anywhere? One thing users have mentioned that could cause a recent folder to disappear from Old Firefox Data is using the Windows "System Restore" feature. Otherwise, it should still be in there. ??

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jscher2000 said

Uh-oh, there are no profile folders with data from 2015 anywhere? One thing users have mentioned that could cause a recent folder to disappear from Old Firefox Data is using the Windows "System Restore" feature. Otherwise, it should still be in there. ??

I used the system restore after the problem occured, perhaps I'd selected the wrong profile, system restored deleted the right one and thus I have my issue.

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I don't know whether Windows 10 has any way to undo a system restore that doesn't make the problem even worse. For older versions of Windows, this utility could help you check for files in various restore points:

http://nicbedford.co.uk/software/systemrestoreexplorer/

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Hmmm, I'll have a look but I've got lots of everything I lost back and it shouldn't be too much of a problem to find what I've lost.

So thank you very much for both of your help! :)