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Master password cannot be changed or removed

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In short: when I try to change my master password, I get "Unable to change Master Password." error. When I try to remove it, nothing happens.

I've tried numerous "fixes" already, alas none solved the issue. I suspect the logins.json is corrupted in some way or it might contain lines that bug Firefox out somehow. At this point I am only trying to figure out a way to export my passwords and import them back again to Firefox.

Do let me know if you can think of any reliable way to do so as I am all out of ideas. Yes I am aware that I could just manually enter everything again but I'd rather not do that with hundreds if not thousands of websites.

Basic things I tried so far: 1. Reinstalling Firefox.

2. Clearing cache and removing cookies.

3. Disabling plugins and addons.

4. Removing/renaming specific files in the profile folder like pkcs11.txt that was mentioned as a solution for similar issues.

5. Trying safe mode.

6. Creating a new profile and copying over just the aforementioned two files (fresh profile works like a charm but the password files bug Firefox out).

7. Using old key4.db, as I have some backups.

8. Usual malware, virus, windows integrity checks and basic troubleshooting was all done.

In short: when I try to change my master password, I get "Unable to change Master Password." error. When I try to remove it, nothing happens. I've tried numerous "fixes" already, alas none solved the issue. I suspect the logins.json is corrupted in some way or it might contain lines that bug Firefox out somehow. At this point I am only trying to figure out a way to export my passwords and import them back again to Firefox. Do let me know if you can think of any reliable way to do so as I am all out of ideas. Yes I am aware that I could just manually enter everything again but I'd rather not do that with hundreds if not thousands of websites. Basic things I tried so far: 1. Reinstalling Firefox. 2. Clearing cache and removing cookies. 3. Disabling plugins and addons. 4. Removing/renaming specific files in the profile folder like pkcs11.txt that was mentioned as a solution for similar issues. 5. Trying safe mode. 6. Creating a new profile and copying over just the aforementioned two files (fresh profile works like a charm but the password files bug Firefox out). 7. Using old key4.db, as I have some backups. 8. Usual malware, virus, windows integrity checks and basic troubleshooting was all done.
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Problem still persists, would appreciate any suggestions. Let me know if you have any ideas for a work around!

Problem still persists, would appreciate any suggestions. Let me know if you have any ideas for a work around!
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cor-el
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Note that this is more likely a problem with key4.db or possibly pkcs11.txt.

You can try to change the MP in the security device manager.

  • Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security
    Certificates: Security Devices

In the left panel select "Software Security Device" There you can find a "Change Password" in the very right panel (you may have to switch to Full Screen mode or Zoom out the page)

You can first try to remove pkcs11.txt and secmode.db to see if that has effect. If this still doesn't work then you will have to remove logins.json and key4.db and a possible key3.db file. You lose all passwords stored in logins.json. Note that Firefox must be closed when you make these changes.

You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

Note that this is more likely a problem with key4.db or possibly pkcs11.txt. You can try to change the MP in the security device manager. *Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security<br>Certificates: Security Devices In the left panel select "Software Security Device" There you can find a "Change Password" in the very right panel (you may have to switch to Full Screen mode or Zoom out the page) You can first try to remove pkcs11.txt and secmode.db to see if that has effect. If this still doesn't work then you will have to remove logins.json and key4.db and a possible key3.db file. You lose all passwords stored in logins.json. Note that Firefox must be closed when you make these changes. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the <b>about:profiles</b> page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:<br>Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Profiles
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cor-el said

Note that this is more likely a problem with key4.db or possibly pkcs11.txt. You can try to change the MP in the security device manager.
  • Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security
    Certificates: Security Devices
In the left panel select "Software Security Device" There you can find a "Change Password" in the very right panel (you may have to switch to Full Screen mode or Zoom out the page) You can first try to remove pkcs11.txt and secmode.db to see if that has effect. If this still doesn't work then you will have to remove logins.json and key4.db and a possible key3.db file. You lose all passwords stored in logins.json. Note that Firefox must be closed when you make these changes. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

Thank you for the suggestions and indeed I was aware of this but in fact I am not trying to solve the bug here (removing the files obviously "fixes" it), I am trying to salvage the passwords somehow.

I saw some methods to extract the passwords from the files, what I couldn't find however is a way to package them back.

''cor-el [[#answer-1254843|said]]'' <blockquote> Note that this is more likely a problem with key4.db or possibly pkcs11.txt. You can try to change the MP in the security device manager. *Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security<br>Certificates: Security Devices In the left panel select "Software Security Device" There you can find a "Change Password" in the very right panel (you may have to switch to Full Screen mode or Zoom out the page) You can first try to remove pkcs11.txt and secmode.db to see if that has effect. If this still doesn't work then you will have to remove logins.json and key4.db and a possible key3.db file. You lose all passwords stored in logins.json. Note that Firefox must be closed when you make these changes. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the <b>about:profiles</b> page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:<br>Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Profiles </blockquote> Thank you for the suggestions and indeed I was aware of this but in fact I am not trying to solve the bug here (removing the files obviously "fixes" it), I am trying to salvage the passwords somehow. I saw some methods to extract the passwords from the files, what I couldn't find however is a way to package them back.
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cor-el
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Did you ever used special characters in the MP ?

You can still try to rename only pkcs11.txt if you haven't tried this. This file is a text file that stores data including an absolute path to the current profile folder and you can open the file in an editor to verify this, so if you ever restored this file you can have a problem with the Password Manager.

If the key file is corrupted or is not a version that matches the logins.json file then you are out of luck with recovering the passwords.

You can try to browse System Restore point to see if you can locate a matching pair of logins.json and key4.db.

Did you ever used special characters in the MP ? You can still try to rename only pkcs11.txt if you haven't tried this. This file is a text file that stores data including an absolute path to the current profile folder and you can open the file in an editor to verify this, so if you ever restored this file you can have a problem with the Password Manager. If the key file is corrupted or is not a version that matches the logins.json file then you are out of luck with recovering the passwords. You can try to browse System Restore point to see if you can locate a matching pair of logins.json and key4.db. *https://www.nicbedford.co.uk/software/systemrestoreexplorer/ *https:/www.shadowexplorer.com/
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cor-el said

Did you ever used special characters in the MP ? You can still try to rename only pkcs11.txt if you haven't tried this. This file is a text file that stores data including an absolute path to the current profile folder and you can open the file in an editor to verify this, so if you ever restored this file you can have a problem with the Password Manager. If the key file is corrupted or is not a version that matches the logins.json file then you are out of luck with recovering the passwords. You can try to browse System Restore point to see if you can locate a matching pair of logins.json and key4.db.

Yes I did try that.

Let me just clarify that the passwords are still accessible and I have no problem exporting them.

The issue is the Firefox somehow is not able to change the master password anymore so I am stuck with the old one.

Now if there was a way for me to import the passwords again or to convert an unencrypted list into a key4.db file my problem would cease to exist.

To sum it up my current options are: 1. Keep the old master password forever and pray that at some point it fixes itself or a Firefox update magically addressed the problem. 2. Manually enter all bazillion passwords in a new profile. 3. Find a work around to create a password file.

As of now, I would like to go with the third option but I have no idea how to achieve it.

''cor-el [[#answer-1255114|said]]'' <blockquote> Did you ever used special characters in the MP ? You can still try to rename only pkcs11.txt if you haven't tried this. This file is a text file that stores data including an absolute path to the current profile folder and you can open the file in an editor to verify this, so if you ever restored this file you can have a problem with the Password Manager. If the key file is corrupted or is not a version that matches the logins.json file then you are out of luck with recovering the passwords. You can try to browse System Restore point to see if you can locate a matching pair of logins.json and key4.db. *https://www.nicbedford.co.uk/software/systemrestoreexplorer/ *https:/www.shadowexplorer.com/ </blockquote> Yes I did try that. Let me just clarify that the passwords are still accessible and I have no problem exporting them. The issue is the Firefox somehow is not able to change the master password anymore so I am stuck with the old one. Now if there was a way for me to import the passwords again or to convert an unencrypted list into a key4.db file my problem would cease to exist. To sum it up my current options are: 1. Keep the old master password forever and pray that at some point it fixes itself or a Firefox update magically addressed the problem. 2. Manually enter all bazillion passwords in a new profile. 3. Find a work around to create a password file. As of now, I would like to go with the third option but I have no idea how to achieve it.
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cor-el
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You didn't confirm whether you tried my suggestions about pkcs11.txt to see whether that allows to change the MP. Do you still have a key3.db file in your currently used profile folder?


You can use Sync to save the logins to a Firefox Sync Account and use Firefox Lockwise to access this data in another profile to check if that creates as working logins.json and key4.db pair.

You didn't confirm whether you tried my suggestions about pkcs11.txt to see whether that allows to change the MP. Do you still have a key3.db file in your currently used profile folder? ---- You can use Sync to save the logins to a Firefox Sync Account and use Firefox Lockwise to access this data in another profile to check if that creates as working logins.json and key4.db pair. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/sync-logins-firefox-desktop *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/install-or-remove-firefox-lockwise-desktop *https://lockwise.firefox.com/ *https://lockwise.firefox.com/faq.html
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It is number four on my initial list and no I do not have key3.db anymore. I did pretty much every standard troubleshooting option hence my search for the work around.

Firefox lockwise sounds exactly what I needed however! I am going to check it out and report back.

It is number four on my initial list and no I do not have key3.db anymore. I did pretty much every standard troubleshooting option hence my search for the work around. Firefox lockwise sounds exactly what I needed however! I am going to check it out and report back.
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Make sure you have a backup copy of logins.json and key4.db and possibly use a separate profile for experimenting.

Make sure you have a backup copy of logins.json and key4.db and possibly use a separate profile for experimenting. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles
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cor-el said

Make sure you have a backup copy of logins.json and key4.db and possibly use a separate profile for experimenting.

Well, this almost worked! After syncing I had the passwords in new files without a master password but alas, I was not able to set up a new one.

It got me half way so I'd like to thank you for that but it seems like my journey continues.

''cor-el [[#answer-1255425|said]]'' <blockquote> Make sure you have a backup copy of logins.json and key4.db and possibly use a separate profile for experimenting. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles </blockquote> Well, this almost worked! After syncing I had the passwords in new files without a master password but alas, I was not able to set up a new one. It got me half way so I'd like to thank you for that but it seems like my journey continues.
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It is possible to disable the MP using a policy, but you didn't mention whether policies are active.

It is possible to disable the MP using a policy, but you didn't mention whether policies are active. *https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md#disablemasterpasswordcreation
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cor-el said

It is possible to disable the MP using a policy, but you didn't mention whether policies are active.

I only see ImportEnterpriseRoots as an active policy. Are you suggesting to disable said policy or just to check if it is enabled?

''cor-el [[#answer-1256731|said]]'' <blockquote> It is possible to disable the MP using a policy, but you didn't mention whether policies are active. *https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates/blob/master/README.md#disablemasterpasswordcreation </blockquote> I only see ImportEnterpriseRoots as an active policy. Are you suggesting to disable said policy or just to check if it is enabled?
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suzetesantos.m 0 løsninger 1 svar

It is ridiculously pathetic that, unless you have a Phd in sotware engeering, you cannot get a clear, succint AND effective way to reset your own MP.

Firefox, what kind of sadistic joke is this? Please sort this mess out and inform us of how to get out of this funk , which you have set up for us to suffer from. Thank you in advance.

It is ridiculously pathetic that, unless you have a Phd in sotware engeering, you cannot get a clear, succint AND effective way to reset your own MP. Firefox, what kind of sadistic joke is this? Please sort this mess out and inform us of how to get out of this funk , which you have set up for us to suffer from. Thank you in advance.

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suzetesantos.m said

It is ridiculously pathetic that, unless you have a Phd in sotware engeering, you cannot get a clear, succint AND effective way to reset your own MP. Firefox, what kind of sadistic joke is this? Please sort this mess out and inform us of how to get out of this funk , which you have set up for us to suffer from. Thank you in advance.

It has always been like that. Programmers think like programmers.

They think that comments like "Goto LoopIsNotAccessRoot=AB01X529 {GETNext {{ FF912" Makes perfect sense.

They think if you can't program in C++ in your sleep, then you should not be tinkering with your obviously nothing could possibly be wrong with your computer or software because it was written by engineers and developers so obviously the problem is you, therefore you deserve to spin forever trying to fix your own problem.

''suzetesantos.m [[#answer-1259458|said]]'' <blockquote> It is ridiculously pathetic that, unless you have a Phd in sotware engeering, you cannot get a clear, succint AND effective way to reset your own MP. Firefox, what kind of sadistic joke is this? Please sort this mess out and inform us of how to get out of this funk , which you have set up for us to suffer from. Thank you in advance. </blockquote> It has always been like that. Programmers think like programmers. They think that comments like "Goto LoopIsNotAccessRoot=AB01X529 {GETNext {{ FF912" Makes perfect sense. They think if you can't program in C++ in your sleep, then you should not be tinkering with your obviously nothing could possibly be wrong with your computer or software because it was written by engineers and developers so obviously the problem is you, therefore you deserve to spin forever trying to fix your own problem.
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