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Why does Firefox ask for my master password on my laptop but not on my desktop?

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  • Seneste svar af jscher2000

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I use a master password for my Firefox account. My desktop Firefox account only required me to enter my master password once and I have never, in the year or more since, had to enter it again. However on my laptop, I am constantly nagged to enter the master password each and ever time I open Firefox. And if I don't enter it and press cancel, it will eventually nag me a few seconds to a a few minutes later.

I've searched support and none of the suggestions have resolved the issue. I don't use AVG or Eset Internet Security. I followed the steps in the guide anyway but did not resolve the issue.

Thank you for your consideration.

My laptop: Microsoft Surface 6 i7-8650U, 8Gb RAM Windows 10 Home 64-bit version 1903 Firefox version 73.0.1

All Replies (16)

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Happens to me when I log in on my PC and then go somewhere with the laptop and try to use FF again. All I can think of its an additional device that needs authentication.

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If you use Sync then Firefox will ask at startup for the MP. If you cancel the MP prompt then Firefox will ask again for the master password when you access a page for which you have saved a password or when Firefox needs to access the Password Manager (Lockwise) for other reasons. If I cancel the MP prompt because I do not want or need to connect to Sync then I'm no longer asked to enter the MP.

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cor-el said

If you use Sync then Firefox will ask at startup for the MP. If you cancel the MP prompt then Firefox will ask again for the master password when you access a page for which you have saved a password or when Firefox needs to access the Password Manager (Lockwise) for other reasons. If I cancel the MP prompt because I do not want or need to connect to Sync then I'm no longer asked to enter the MP.

That may help the original OP but I minimize data exchange between my machines and any software vendor... I don't want any information going to/from any vendor if at all possible.

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cor-el said

If you use Sync then Firefox will ask at startup for the MP. If you cancel the MP prompt then Firefox will ask again for the master password when you access a page for which you have saved a password or when Firefox needs to access the Password Manager (Lockwise) for other reasons. If I cancel the MP prompt because I do not want or need to connect to Sync then I'm no longer asked to enter the MP.

What you say makes sense, except how does firefox know which computer to nag me for my master password? If I enter my master password on my laptop and use it for any length of time, then why does Firefox not ask for my master password on my desktop computer?

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abejg said

cor-el said
If you use Sync then Firefox will ask at startup for the MP.

What you say makes sense, except how does firefox know which computer to nag me for my master password? If I enter my master password on my laptop and use it for any length of time, then why does Firefox not ask for my master password on my desktop computer?

The Master Password is a purely local, installation-specific setting that secures locally saved logins. The Master Password does not and cannot sync from one installation to another. I think you need to set up a master password on your desktop computer.

Ref. Use a Master Password to protect stored logins and passwords

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JoeJupa said

That may help the original OP but I minimize data exchange between my machines and any software vendor... I don't want any information going to/from any vendor if at all possible.

If the Q&A in this thread doesn't fit your problem, please start a new question of your own. You can use the following link, and scroll down past article suggestions to continue with the new questions form.

https://support.mozilla.org/questions/new/desktop/privacy-and-security

Ændret af jscher2000 den

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jscher2000 said

abejg said
cor-el said
If you use Sync then Firefox will ask at startup for the MP.

What you say makes sense, except how does firefox know which computer to nag me for my master password? If I enter my master password on my laptop and use it for any length of time, then why does Firefox not ask for my master password on my desktop computer?

The Master Password is a purely local, installation-specific setting that secures locally saved logins. The Master Password does not and cannot sync from one installation to another. I think you need to set up a master password on your desktop computer.

Ref. Use a Master Password to protect stored logins and passwords

Well that's the peculiar thing (in my opinion), is that the master password is setup on my desktop.

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When you are connected to Sync and you have set a master password on a device then Firefox would normally prompt for the MP after a few seconds to be able to reconnect to Sync.

Are you sure you have setup a master password for the Firefox Password Manager ? That should give you a MP prompt then you open Lockwise (about:logins).

  • Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security: Logins and Passwords: "Saved Logins"
  • "3-bar" Firefox menu button -> Logins and Passwords

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cor-el said

When you are connected to Sync and you have set a master password on a device then Firefox would normally prompt for the MP after a few seconds to be able to reconnect to Sync. Are you sure you have setup a master password for the Firefox Password Manager ? That should give you a MP prompt then you open Lockwise (about:logins).
  • Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security: Logins and Passwords: "Saved Logins"
  • "3-bar" Firefox menu button -> Logins and Passwords

Confirmed. I do have a master password for Firefox Password Manager for both desktop and laptop PCs. Desktop automatically logs in. Laptop does not.

If I knew how this is happening then I could have more control across my devices. For example: If I leave my desktop for the weekend and will be exclusively using my laptop, then I want it to be configured to automatically login each time I open Firefox. Does that make sense?

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Hi abejg, if you go to the Lockwise page using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > Logins and Passwords
  • type or paste about:logins in the address bar and press Enter

On the first access, Firefox usually will ask you to enter your Master Password. If the Master Password has already been entered earlier in the session you won't be prompted to view the page but if you click the eye icon next to a password to view it, or if you click a "Copy" button, Firefox should prompt you for the Master Password before completing either of those actions.

Does Firefox prompt to view or copy the password?

Note: if you cancel the Master Password dialog, access to saved logins is revoked and Firefox won't auto-login again until you successfully enter the Master Password.

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Thank you jscher2000. Indeed, on my laptop, when I view about:logins I am presented with the master password prompt. After entering the password if I click the eye, I am again presented with the master password prompt.

However, this is not the case for my desktop. I can view about:logins and click the eye without any master password prompt.

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Did you try refreshing?

The Refresh feature (called "Reset" in older Firefox versions) can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your bookmarks, history, passwords, cookies, and other essential information.

Note: When you use this feature, you will lose any extensions, toolbar customizations, and some preferences. See the Refresh Firefox - reset add-ons and settings article for more information.

To Refresh Firefox:

  1. Open the Troubleshooting Information page using one of these methods:
    • Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click help Help-29 and select Troubleshooting Information. A new tab containing your troubleshooting information should open.
    • If you're unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting Information page.
  2. At the top right corner of the page, you should see a button that says "Refresh Firefox" ("Reset Firefox" in older Firefox versions). Click on it.
  3. Firefox will close. After the refresh process is completed, Firefox will show a window with the information that is imported.
  4. Click Finish and Firefox will reopen.

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Hi abejg, I don't know why your Master Password is not working. Could you try updating the password and see whether Firefox starts enforcing it again:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/use-master-password-protect-stored-logins#w_change-the-master-password

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Thanks for the suggestion, jscher2000. I used my laptop to change the password, which was successful. However the situation remains the same as it was: master password prompt each time Firefox opens, and in about:logins

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abejg said

Thanks for the suggestion, jscher2000. I used my laptop to change the password, which was successful. However the situation remains the same as it was: master password prompt each time Firefox opens, and in about:logins

Now I'm confused.

On your laptop, you had Master Password behavior before and you have it now after the change.

But the problem was on your desktop where you did not have Master Password behavior and you wanted it.

Did I misunderstand the problem?

The Master Password is per-profile, so you cannot change or set a Master Password on the desktop by making changes on your laptop.

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Just to be clear, when I say "Master Password behavior" I mean getting this prompt before Firefox will use your saved logins for any purpose, whether it is connecting to your Firefox Account or filling a login on a website:

Ref. Use a Master Password to protect stored logins and passwords

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