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I backed up and restored Firefox but my passwords will not restore

  • 11 replies
  • 4 have this problem
  • 77 views
  • Last reply by cor-el

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I have followed the instructions on how to back up and restore my Firefox profile (which I had to do after a full system restore), however, my passwords have not been restored. My bookmarks are all there, but the "saved passwords" area is totally empty. Is there any way I can restore them?

Chosen solution

Try to create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problem. Copy the logins.json and key3.db to that profile to see if that works.


See "Creating a profile":

If the new profile works then you can transfer files from a previously used profile to the new profile, but be cautious not to copy corrupted files to avoid carrying over problems.

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All Replies (11)

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Hi leece, did your backup include these files:

  • logins.json (current file format)
  • signons.sqlite (older file format)
  • key3.db (needed if you set a master password in all cases)

Modified by jscher2000

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Hi, jscher2000. Yes. Those files were transferred with the profile.

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From what Firefox version was that backup?

Did you include prefs.js as well (not really recommended)?

logins.json and key3.db need to be there. signons.sqlite can be used instead of logins.json, but logins.json should not be present to use the signons.sqlite file and the signon.importedFromSqlite pref should not be present.

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Current Firefox version. I copied and replaced the entire old profile folder contents and pasted into the profile folder that was included in the new Firefox install, overwriting those files, per Firefox instructions.

Prefs.js is one of those files, as is key3.db, signons.sqlite and logins.json.

I don't see signon.importedFromSqlite in there, however.

Should I delete either the logins.json or signons.sqlite?

This is Windows 7, I forgot to mention.

Modified by leece

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It is best to remove the signons.sqlite file and restore logins.json and key3.db another time from the backup. That should work and give you the most recent passwords from the logins.json file.

Modified by cor-el

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Unfortunately, that did not work. Any other suggestions?

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Was there an Master Password previously set?

If that is the case then the MP box should have a checkmark and Firefox should ask for the Master Password. If that is not working properly then there can be a problem with the key3.db file and the passwords might be lost.


If you still have access to a computer (setup) where those passwords show in the Password Manager then use this extension to export them.


You can force Firefox to reimport the passwords from the signons.sqlite file and rebuild the logins.json file with these steps:

  • 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.

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There was no master password set.

I reset the signon.importedFromSqlite to default, closed Firefox, deleted logins.json file, restarted Firefox, rechecked the about.config and the signon.importedFromSqlite is no longer there. And the passwords aren't there either.

One other thing maybe worth mentioning (?) is that before doing that, I signed into a website with a password, and Firefox did not pop up with message to ask if I wanted to save the password. I'm not exactly sure what that may mean, if anything.

Thank you for your help and your attention. I really appreciate it!

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Chosen Solution

Try to create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problem. Copy the logins.json and key3.db to that profile to see if that works.


See "Creating a profile":

If the new profile works then you can transfer files from a previously used profile to the new profile, but be cautious not to copy corrupted files to avoid carrying over problems.

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Okay, I created the new profile, and copy/pasted logins.json and key3.db into it, opened up Firefox and BOOM! all my saved passwords were there. Yippee!

Okay, now, before my brain turns to complete mush, I'm going to attempt to read thru that last page you linked and see if I can get this new profile working with all of my original profile files. Crossing my fingers... and toes... and eyes, but that's just happening naturally after staring at this computer all day.

A bazillion thanks, cor-el! :)

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It is probably best to leave out at least the prefs.js file and only copy sqlite and json files that you need and a view others like cert8.db (the file date might be a lead).

There are likely files in the old profile that you no longer need because they have been replaced like localstore.rdf that is replaced by xulstore.json, so just be cautious and read the descriptions.