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A bad sync overwrote my profile with the wrong information. How can I recover?

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  • 2 have this problem
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  • Last reply by ben.harding

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I turned on sync on my home computer without realizing that I'd set up a sync account for my work computer. The two computers have _very_ different bookmarks and login/password data. Before I realized it, my home computer profile was overwritten with my work profile. My bad for not backing up my profile, but here I am. I will lose physical access to this computer for four months on 10/23, so I'm trying to get back to the old state. How can I do this? I'm leery of trying a reset, given how I just messed up my system.

My original goal was to have two profiles on my work computer, one for home, one for work, and both synced according to the device name.

Many thanks to anyone who can help.

Ben

Chosen solution

Normally data would be merged among the connected devices.

You should be able to restore the bookmarks from a JSON (.json or compressed .jsonlz4) backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

If you lost the passwords then try see if you still have the signons.sqlite (and key3.db) in the Firefox profile folder to see if you can make Firefox reimport the bookmarks from that file.


Firefox 32 and later builds store the passwords in the logins.json file in the profile folder and no longer use the signons.sqlite file. If you still have the signons.sqlite file that was used in Firefox 31 and older then you could try to recover the passwords saved in that file (you will lose passwords saved in Firefox 32). You can force Firefox to reimport the passwords from the signons.sqlite file and rebuild the logins.json file.

  • reset the signon.importedFromSqlite pref on the about:config page to the default value via the right-click context menu
  • delete the logins.json file in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed

When you restart Firefox then you should have the signon.importedFromSqlite pref with the value set to true and you should have the passwords imported in the Password Manager unless there may have been errors.

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

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder)
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Chosen Solution

Normally data would be merged among the connected devices.

You should be able to restore the bookmarks from a JSON (.json or compressed .jsonlz4) backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

If you lost the passwords then try see if you still have the signons.sqlite (and key3.db) in the Firefox profile folder to see if you can make Firefox reimport the bookmarks from that file.


Firefox 32 and later builds store the passwords in the logins.json file in the profile folder and no longer use the signons.sqlite file. If you still have the signons.sqlite file that was used in Firefox 31 and older then you could try to recover the passwords saved in that file (you will lose passwords saved in Firefox 32). You can force Firefox to reimport the passwords from the signons.sqlite file and rebuild the logins.json file.

  • reset the signon.importedFromSqlite pref on the about:config page to the default value via the right-click context menu
  • delete the logins.json file in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed

When you restart Firefox then you should have the signon.importedFromSqlite pref with the value set to true and you should have the passwords imported in the Password Manager unless there may have been errors.

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

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder)
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Brilliant!!! Totally brilliant.

I had gotten the bookmarks back by using one of the backup files, but I didn't have my logins. My signons.sqlite was only a month old (I'm not an early adopter) and that is plenty good enough--the ones I need the most are the ones I use rarely.

Now I am going to make some backups and experiment with this sync thing and managing two profiles.

Thanks.

Ben

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These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backup of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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Thanks. These sound useful. Far better than doing this manually.

Ben