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update to 72.0.2 would not open, said profile was missing or inaccessible, but it WAS NOT

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  • Letzte Antwort von cor-el

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I just downloaded and installed Firefox 72.0.2 for my Mac. I had been using 67, which had become problematic with screen freezes requiring Force Quit. The 72.0.2 appeared to install, showing the new icon in the Dock. I opened it and updated Shockwave Flash to the latest, which asked for a restart of the browser. Once restarted, I tried to open Firefox a pop-up claimed the profile was missing or inaccessible, but I could find it easily in its normal place.

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See:

On Mac, this can have several reasons. The first reason is a problem with the profiles.ini file that registers profiles and can't find the specified folder. Second reason can be a problem with read/write or owner permissions to files and folders. This can also be a problem with the secondary location used for temporary files (~/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/).

Did you check the content of profiles.ini to see if the Default=1 profile still exists or that your profile is still listed in profiles.ini ?

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Thank you for the quick reply cor-el

Responding to the link above, my profile was not "moved, renamed, or deleted"

To cope with the failed install, I deleted FF 72.0.2 from Applications and was able to install Firefox 65 from an older dmg I had saved. All bookmarks and history remain, as well as the very many tweaks I've put in about:config over my years of using Firefox.

I found the profiles.ini in Library/Application Support/Firefox -- nothing in the temp profiles folder.

Contents of profiles.ini shown list below, of which the 3w9, deowji5k, ouam, and qw1 appear in the Application Support/Profiles folder. The deow one [Profile0] is the one in use.

[Install7404EFE997F45820] Default=Profiles/yz9yh92j.default-release-2 Locked=1

[Profile3] Name=default-release-2 IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/qw1zdus7.default-release-2-1562616953243

[Install270BE4E41A5EBC13] Default=Profiles/ouamydm5.default-release-3 Locked=1

[Profile2] Name=default-release-1 IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/u1a1ca34.default-release-1

[Profile1] Name=default-release IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/mbfygsi0.default-release

[Profile0] Name=default-1426975673098 IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/deowji5k.default-1426975673098 Default=1

[Install917BFD5634348BC1] Default=Profiles/3w9r2fww.default-release-4 Locked=1

[General] StartWithLastProfile=1 Version=2

[Profile4] Name=default-release-3 IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/ouamydm5.default-release-3

[Install9A05178B8D8F6D0E] Default=Profiles/u1a1ca34.default-release-1 Locked=1

[Install34B3709774A8E302] Default=Profiles/deowji5k.default-1426975673098 Locked=1

[Profile5] Name=default-release-4 IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/3w9r2fww.default-release-4

[Install2656FF1E876E9973] Default=Profiles/mbfygsi0.default-release Locked=1

Perhaps this list will help you figure out why 72.0.2 failed. TIA

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You appear to have quite a few profiles present, some old and possibly created via a refresh (profiles with a timestamp in the name) and some recently created (release-3 and release-4).

You did install Firefox always properly and didn't run Firefox from within the DMG file as that can cause such issues ? Do you have security software on your Mac that might be causing profile issues ?

These profiles are still present on the hard drive if I read your reply correctly ?

  • 3w9r2fww.default-release-4
  • deowji5k.default-1426975673098 : created via refresh in March 2015 (marked as default; weird that this is your currently used profile)
  • ouamydm5.default-release-3
  • qw1zdus7.default-release-2-1562616953243 : created via refresh in July 2019

It seems weird that deowji5k.default-1426975673098 from March 2015 is marked as default unless you selected this profile recently in the Profile Manager.

Missing (deleted) profiles still present in profiles.ini.

  • yz9yh92j.default-release-2 (profile likely moved to the desktop (Old Firefox Data)
  • u1a1ca34.default-release-1
  • mbfygsi0.default-release (first dedicated profile)

What profiles are present in the other location in "~/Library/Caches/" ? "~/Library" is a hidden folder and you can use the button on the about:profiles page.

Firefox uses two locations for the Firefox profile folder, so make sure to look in the correct location. Location used for the main profile that keeps your personal data (Root Directory on about:profiles).

  • ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/<profile>/

Location used for the disk cache and other temporary files (Local Directory on about:profiles).

  • ~/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/

You can consider to rename profiles.ini to make Firefox create a new default-release profile and transfer valuable personal data from the last used profile (check the timestamps of files in each of the default-release folders) to this new profile and remove the no longer used profile in both root and local locations to cleanup your hard drive. You can keep profile(s) that have most recent data for a while in case you need to recover some data.


You can copy files like these with Firefox closed to the current profile folder to recover specific data.

  • bookmarks and history: places.sqlite
  • bookmark backups: compressed .jsonlz4 JSON backups in the bookmarkbackups folder
  • cookies.sqlite for the Cookies
  • formhistory.sqlite for saved autocomplete Form Data
  • logins.json (passwords) and key4.db (58+) or key3.db (57 and older) (decryption key) for Passwords saved in the Password Manager
    if you only have key3.db then make sure to remove an existing key4.db
  • cert9.db (58+) or cert8.db (57 and older) for (intermediate) certificates stored in the Certificate Manager
    if you only have cert8.db then make sure to remove an existing cert9.db
  • persdict.dat for words you added to the spelling checker dictionary
  • permissions.sqlite for Permissions and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for other website specific data (Site Preferences)
  • sessionstore.jsonlz4 for open tabs and pinned tabs (see also the sessionstore-backups folder)

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Yikes. So many questions. We will need to slow down for me to process.


You mention "profiles with a timestamp in the name" You also said "check the timestamps of files in each of the default-release folders" I don't see any profile with a timestamp in the name, nor do I know how to "check timestamps" in the folders as you suggest. Please elaborate.


I don't believe I've installed FF from within the dmg, but my records are apparently incomplete. Only Little Snitch as security.


Yes, the 4 profiles I previously listed are in ~Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles


I think I have saved the deow profile in the past and used it after a faulty install.


You asked What profiles are present in the other location in "~/Library/Caches/" ? deowji5k.default-1426975673098 also, hidden there: 3w9r, deowj, mbfygs, ouamy, qw1z, and u1a1


Please continue helping me, I do appreciate it.

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A timestamp is a long number that represents the date and time as the number of (milli)seconds after 1-1-1970. These are examples of a profile with a timestamp:

  • Path=Profiles/qw1zdus7.default-release-2-1562616953243
  • Path=Profiles/deowji5k.default-1426975673098

You appear to have a lot of profiles in both locations created at various dates in the past, so you might want to cleanup these profiles and only keep the most recent one(s) like I posted above in the second part of my reply once you have created and copied file to this new profile to setup this new profile.

  • You can consider to rename profiles.ini to make Firefox create a new default-release profile ....

Did you already looked in the profiles in the main location to see how recent these profiles are ?

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