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After latest update 38.0.5 I lost all my add-ons ,my skins, my homepage. I now have ads everywhere! HELP

  • 6 replies
  • 10 have this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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My window 7 laptop updated to the latest version of firefox, all of a sudden my skin was gone, my homepage changed (easy fix), but all my add-ons where gone. I've just re-downloaded adblock and pop up block etc, but they don't seem to work as I'm seeing now adds absolutley everywhere, where I wasn't even aware they would have existed. It's driving me mad! I can see an "old firefox data" folder has been created on my desktop, but how do I restore the same add-ons I had before from that folder? and will they actually work or they just don't work anymore with the new version of firefox?

I'm signed into sync, but add-ons wasn't ticked, so no luck there. I don't really care about the skins, but please get rid of all these ads!!!!

I have put heaps of them adblock add-ons for facebook, for you tube etc, but I don't know if they clash with each other or they just don't work. Whatever i have before was working a charm. I only had 2 of them and they never showed me any ads. Any idea how to have them back and make them work? Thank you so much

Chosen solution

valegombi said

Now, do I need to keep that old firefox data folder that is on my desktop?

I suggest keeping it for a week or two in case you discover anything else missing.

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What a nightmare! I think you might have a little malware problem. Let's address that, but first, please make a backup copy of the Old Firefox Data folder on some external media that won't get touched by the cleanup process.

I noticed you have a lot of extensions. Normally after a Refresh (the process that creates the Old Firefox Data folder), you hardly have any. Here's my suggested procedure for tracking down and cleaning up bad add-ons. I know it seems long, but it's not that bad.

(1) Open the Windows Control Panel, Uninstall a Program. After the list loads, click the "Installed on" column heading to group the infections, I mean, additions, by date. This can help in smoking out undisclosed bundle items that snuck in with some software you agreed to install. Be suspicious of everything you do not recognize/remember, as malware often uses important or innocent sounding names to discourage you from removing it. Take out as much trash as possible here.

(2) Open Firefox's Add-ons page using either:

  • Ctrl+Shift+a
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons
  • in the Windows "Run" dialog, type or paste
    firefox.exe "about:addons"

In the left column, click Plugins. Set nonessential and unrecognized plugins to "Never Activate".

In the left column, click Extensions. Then, if in doubt, disable (or Remove, if possible) unrecognized and unwanted extensions.

Often a link will appear above at least one disabled extension to restart Firefox. You can complete your work on the tab and click one of the links as the last step.

Any improvement?

(3) You can search for remaining issues with the scanning/cleaning tools listed in our support article: Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware. These on-demand scanners are free and take considerable time to run. If they finish quickly and especially if they require payment, you may have a serious infection. I suggest the specialized forums listed in the article in that case.


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Next, since there is no built-in way to "undo" a Refresh, I'll post the steps to do it by hand so you can revert to your old settings. You may want to print this, or have it open in a different program since you'll need to exit Firefox to follow these steps.

Check inside "Old Firefox Data" folder that Refresh adds to your desktop for a folder with a semi-randomized name. If there's only one, that probably has your old settings and add-ons. If there's more than one, you'll want to work with the one that was updated most recently.

If this is successful, you won't need the copy you made on external media. If the malware cleanup damaged this folder, you can try again using that backup copy.

Once you have identified the profile folder you want to restore, here is my suggested "old profile resurrection procedure":


These are the steps described in more details below:

  1. Create a new Firefox profile
  2. Remove everything from that new profile folder
  3. Copy in everything from the old profile folder

Create a new Firefox profile (Windows)

Exit Firefox and start up in the Profile Manager by pasting the following into the Start menu search box, or the Start > Run dialog, and pressing Enter:

firefox.exe -P

Note: Any time you want to switch profiles, exit Firefox and return to this dialog.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like OldSettings, and skip the option to change the folder location. Then select that new profile in the dialog and start Firefox.

Open the New Profile folder in Windows Explorer

Firefox in the new profile should look like a factory fresh installation. Open the Troubleshooting Information page using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • Help menu > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table, click the "Show Folder" button. Firefox will launch your brand new profile folder in Windows Explorer.

Leaving that folder open, switch back to Firefox, and Exit using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
  • (menu bar) File > Exit

When Firefox closes, the profile folder should be front and center, or you can activate it using the Task bar.

Copy Old Data in Place of New

In that new profile folder, select all the contents and delete.

Leaving that window open, open or switch over to your Old Firefox Data folder. Drill down into your old profile folder. At this level you should see a folder named bookmarkbackups among other things.

Select everything (Ctrl+a) and Copy (either right-click > Copy or Ctrl+c).

Switch to the empty new profile folder in other window and Paste (either right-click > Paste or Ctrl+v). This may take a minute since some of the files are large.

Start Firefox

Firefox should start up in that "new" profile with the resurrected old profile data. Success?

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Thank you for that, but I don't have a malware, I'm very familiar with them, I've had a few before. I don't have any pop up shaky windows with random ads. I only have the normal ads that probably most people see and are used to, on facebook, on, on youtube, etc. it's just that I'm not used to them, as my adblock add-ons have always worked before and now for some reason they are not.

I mentioned in my message that when firefox updated all my addons were gone. I had to installed them back, that's why there's many. Because I installed a few and they don't work, so Installed more. I have never had adblock specifically for facebook or youtube before. I just had one or 2, called addblock, and that worked to never show me any ads...normal, usual ads. I know that because my partner has got a Ipad and I see the ads on his, or on facebook apps. But firefox addons had always worked so well for me. I don't want to change browser. i want my old firefox back!

Could someone kindly answer my original questions on how to get them back from the old data on the folder? Or would I be able to re-install the old firefox version? Thank you

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Wow, thank you so much for that too! A lot of work, I found it very overwhelming, so going into the old firefox folder looking for what you mentioned, I saw as the first sub folder one named ad block plus. There you go! That is the one that works! none of the other addons I had downloaded worked to get rid of ads. So i uninstalled them all and just downloaded ad block plus and voila', no more ads immediately! I now will donate to them as they are awesome!

I apologize for all the work I got you to do by writing those intricate answers for me. I'm glad it was a lot more simple!

Now, do I need to keep that old firefox data folder that is on my desktop?

I really appreciate your time, thank you for your help!

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Chosen Solution

valegombi said

Now, do I need to keep that old firefox data folder that is on my desktop?

I suggest keeping it for a week or two in case you discover anything else missing.