Profile Manager - Create, remove, or switch Firefox profiles

Firefox saves your personal information such as bookmarks, passwords, and user preferences in a set of files called your profile, which is stored in a separate location from the Firefox program files. You can have multiple Firefox profiles, each containing a separate set of user information. The Profile Manager allows you to create, remove, rename, and switch profiles.

  • If you have (or plan to have) multiple installations of Firefox on one computer, see Dedicated profiles per Firefox installation.
  • If you are troubleshooting a problem with Firefox: The Refresh Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its default state while saving your essential information. Consider using it before going through a lengthy troubleshooting process.

Starting the Profile Manager

Note: You can manage profiles from the About Profiles page when Firefox is open. If Firefox won't start or you need certain options, you can also start the Profile Manager when Firefox is closed.

Manage profiles when Firefox is open

Type about:profiles into the address bar and press the EnterReturn key. This will open the About Profiles page.

Fx52aboutprofiles-Win about:profiles macOS Fx52_about-profiles-linux

The following options are available:

  • Create a New Profile Click this and follow the prompts in the Create Profile Wizard (see the Creating a profile section below for details). After you finish creating the new profile, it will be listed in the Profile Manager. The new profile will become the default and will be used the next time you start Firefox.

To manage profiles, find the profile you want to change and choose from these buttons underneath that profile:

  • Rename Click this to change the name of a profile in the Profile Manager. Note: The folder containing the files for the profile is not renamed.
  • Remove Click this to delete a profile. (The profile in use cannot be deleted.) Don't Delete Files is the preferred option. See the Removing a profile section below for more information.
  • Set as default profile This option allows you to switch profiles. Click this to make Firefox use this profile by default at startup.
  • Launch profile in new browser When you click this, another Firefox window will open using that profile.

Start the Profile Manager when Firefox is closed

If you have multiple installations of Firefox, see below.
  1. If Firefox is open, close Firefox: Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu and select Exit.Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen and select Quit Firefox.Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu and select Quit.
  2. Press Windows Key +R on the keyboard. A Run dialog will open.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type in:
    firefox.exe -P
    You can use -P, -p or -ProfileManager (any of them should work).
  4. Click OK. The Firefox Profile Manager (Choose User Profile) window should open.
Fx66ProfileMgr
Note: Another way to start the Profile Manager is from the Search box in the Windows Start menu. Close Firefox (if open), press Windows Key , type firefox.exe -P and press enter.
If the above instructions do not work or if you have multiple installations of Firefox, use the following instructions instead.

Multiple Firefox installations

You can have multiple Firefox programs installed in different locations. To start the Profile Manager for a specific Firefox installation, replace firefox.exe in the above instructions with the full path to the Firefox program, enclose that line in quotes, then add a space followed by -P.

Examples:
Firefox (32-bit) on 64-bit Windows
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P

Firefox (32-bit) on 32-bit Windows (or 64-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows)
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P

  1. If Firefox is open, close Firefox: Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu and select Exit.Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen and select Quit Firefox.Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu and select Quit.
  2. Using Finder navigate to /Applications/Utilities.
  3. Open the Terminal application.
  4. In the Terminal application, enter the following:
    /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -P
    Note: If your Firefox application is in a location other than /Applications/Firefox.app/, adjust the entry.
    Important: there's a space after the path, before -P (You can use -P, -p or -ProfileManager after the path; any of them should work.)
  5. Press Return. The Firefox Profile Manager (Choose User Profile) window should open.
Firefox Profile Manager
Note: You may need to adjust these instructions if Firefox is installed in a non-default location (for example, when multiple installations exist).

If Firefox is already included in your Linux distribution or if you have installed Firefox with the package manager of your Linux distribution:

  1. If Firefox is open, close Firefox: Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu and select Exit.Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen and select Quit Firefox.Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu and select Quit.
  2. In Terminal run:
    firefox -P

The P is capitalized. Alternatively, you can use -ProfileManager instead of -P.
The Firefox Profile Manager (Choose User Profile) window should open.

Fx31ProfileManger-Lin

If the Profile Manager window still does not open, Firefox may have been running in the background, even though it was not visible. Close all instances of Firefox or restart the computer and then try again.

Creating a profile

After starting the Profile Manager as explained above, you can create a new, additional profile as follows:

  1. In the Profile Manager, click Create Profile... to start the Create Profile Wizard.
  2. Click Next and enter the name of the profile. Use a profile name that is descriptive, such as your personal name. This name is not exposed on the Internet.
    6e2d77cd857fa24e876097c4af69a4a9-1260153527-579-1.png

    Firefox Profile Manager macOS

    Fx52_creating-profile_linux
  3. Disregard the Choose Folder prompt unless you wish to choose where to store the profile on your computer.
    Warning: If you choose your own folder location for the profile, select a new or empty folder. If you choose a folder that isn't empty and you later remove the profile and choose the "Delete Files" option, everything inside that folder will be deleted.
  4. To create the new profile, click FinishDone.

You will be taken back to the Profile Manager and the new profile will be listed. When you first start Firefox with the new profile, you will be prompted to sign in to your Firefox Account so that you can sync your data with the new profile (see below).

Removing a profile

After starting the Profile Manager as explained above, you can remove an existing profile as follows:

  1. In the Profile Manager, select the profile to remove, and click Delete Profile....
  2. Confirm that you wish to delete the profile:
    6e2d77cd857fa24e876097c4af69a4a9-1260152566-432-4.png
    Delete Profile - macOS
    Fx52_removing-profile-linux
    • Don't Delete Files removes the profile from the Profile Manager yet retains the profile data files on your computer in the storage folder, so that your information is not lost. "Don't Delete Files" is the preferred option because it saves the old profile's folder and allows you to recover the files to a new profile.
    • Delete Files removes the profile and its files (including the profile bookmarks, settings, passwords, etc.). If you use the "Delete Files" option, the profile folder and files will be deleted. This action cannot be undone.
    • Cancel interrupts the profile deletion.

Renaming a profile

After starting the Profile Manager as explained above, you can rename a profile as follows:

  1. In the Profile Manager, select the profile to rename, and then click Rename Profile....
  2. Enter the new name for the profile. Type in the new profile name, and click on OK.
    • Note: The folder containing the files for the profile is not renamed.

Options

These options are only available when you start the Profile Manager when Firefox is closed.

Fx66ProfileMgr Firefox Profile Manager Fx31ProfileManger-Lin

Work Offline

Choosing this option loads the selected profile and starts Firefox without connecting to the Internet. You can view previously viewed web pages and experiment with your profile.

Use the selected profile without asking at startup

When you have multiple profiles, this option tells Firefox what to do at startup:

  • If you check this option, Firefox will automatically load the selected profile at startup. To access other profiles, you must start the Profile Manager first.
  • If you uncheck this option, Firefox will show you the Profile Manager each time you start Firefox, so that you can select a profile to use.

Use Sync with a new profile

When you first open Firefox in a new profile, a Welcome to Firefox page will open, with a space to enter your email address.

Fx71WelcomeToFirefox

Enter your email address and click Continue, to create or sign into a Firefox Account. You can then set up Sync for the new profile so that you can share the same bookmarks, browsing history, passwords and other user data with other Firefox profiles or devices.

  • If you already use Sync in another profile or device, enter the email address and password for your Firefox account so that your new profile can use those settings.
  • If you don't use Sync, don't want to sync your data with the new profile, or if you want to decide later, you can still sign into your Firefox Account and choose the Don't sync this device option (see Disable Firefox Sync for details) or you can skip this step.

See How do I set up Sync on my computer? and How do I choose what types of information to sync on Firefox? for more information.

Moving a profile

To copy all of your Firefox data and settings to another Firefox installation (e.g. when you get a new computer), you can make a backup of your Firefox profile, then restore it in your new location. For instructions, see Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles.

Recovering information from an old profile

If you have important information from an old Firefox profile, such as bookmarks, passwords, or user preferences, you can transfer that information to a new Firefox profile by copying the associated files. For instructions, see Recovering important data from an old profile. You can also switch to a previous profile to recover old profile data. See Recover user data missing after Firefox update for details.

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