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Under Options>Settings, until I used the Refresh suggestion, I was able to have Firefox/Advanced as my home page. It has disappeared. Where is it? It's usefl

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  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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I want to use the Firefox>Advanced search option. It has disappeared from Setup. Can anyone please state where it was moved to?

This was very useful to narrow down a search to include only those that were relevant to a search. Why has this been put out of reach? That is a simple question, and perhaps there is a technical reason that it had to be removed because of Microsoft's new Windows 10 (?) but will be put back later. It's like taking 10 steps backwards anytime a browser search is undertaken. Please note that Google, for example, still has this type of browser search interface, making what Firefox has done a downgrade.

I am sorry to be so critical, but to a certain extent we have all become captive to what is presented to us as Internet Search tools. Downgrades are a BIG disappointment. I have always thought that, even what we were presented as search tools was inadequate. For example, only one phrase was allowed, which could result in 100's of results, whereas two phrases would narrow the search considerably.

Now it seems that Firefox doesn't any longer even provide one phrase, a place for words that must be included and another place for words to be excluded. How does this represent progress?

Modified by MozillaFirefoxNewbie

All Replies (7)

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When you reset the browser, everything was removed, and the settings returned to factory default. Was that an add-on you are talking about? You will have to re-install them.

Go to the Mozilla Add-ons Web Page {web link} (There’s a lot of good stuff here) and search for what you want.

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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Since a regular/advanced search page isn't a built-in feature, I think it was one of the following:

(A) You set your home page to Google advanced search instead of the standard page; or

(B) You had an extension that replaced your home page

Assuming you still have the Old Firefox Data folder on your desktop from the Refresh, here's how I suggest researching.

(1) To see your previous home page setting, open Old Firefox Data, and look for a semi-randomly-named folder. Double-click into that and find prefs.js and right-click > Edit it to open it in Notepad (or another text editor).

Please do not double-click prefs.js or other script files, as that will execute them in the Windows script interpreter with potentially unpredictable consequences.

In this file, search for the line containing browser.startup.homepage and that should list the address of your old home page. If you try that address in your new Firefox, does it load the page you want?

If not...

(2) The easiest way to see old extensions is to completely resurrect the old profile.

Here is a procedure to revert to your pre-Refresh data. It takes 5 minutes, but that's probably faster than recovering individual data files and loading those into a new profile.

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.

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 detail 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 you just popped open -- NOT the one on your desktop -- select all the contents (you can use Ctrl+a) and delete (you can press the Delete key on the keyboard).

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?

You can use the profile manager to switch between profiles as needed/desired. Please don't use the Profile Manager's "delete profile" button without a backup -- it's just too easy to delete the wrong one by mistake.

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Thanks, jscher

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Hi Fred,

Thanks for the reply. I do use FEBE and got back all my Bookmarks. However I've had trouble backing up to the *.json extension and opted instead for the *.html backup. That's why much of what was saved did not get reinstalled.

I do have an old backup, but am not sure if there is a way to get my "tags" back.

The preferences setup is what is causing me the most problems, since it has changed. There no longer seems to be a way to us a link to install as the Firefox Home Page. Previously I used I incorrectly indicated using the Firefox search engine. I've not reinstalled Startpage Advanced, but will shortly.

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Tags are not preserved in the HTML Export format.

Were you able to restore any of the automatic backups from your Old Firefox Data folder?

Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer

On the Restore menu, click Choose File... and then navigate to the Old Firefox Data folder and drill down into the bookmarkbackups folder.

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I'm sorry to those of you who took the time to answer. It was my mistake thinking that my search engine was Firefox. Actually I used Startpage. I now have it back as my Home page having gone through the Setup routine for Startpage, which is in advanced mode again. I do have backups, and wonder if I can fold the "tags" in to my current setup, which is missing the "tags". If any of you know if this will work maybe I can copy and paste the tags from my backup into the Bookmarks, which could save me quite a bit of time. Otherwise I'll either stumble and succeed or fail.

It is strange that Startpage is not on the list of available Search engines. Had I seen it initially I would not be having an issue installing my home page.

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MozillaFirefoxNewbie said

I do have backups, and wonder if I can fold the "tags" in to my current setup, which is missing the "tags". If any of you know if this will work maybe I can copy and paste the tags from my backup into the Bookmarks, which could save me quite a bit of time.

Unfortunately, no, when you use the Restore feature it totally wipes your bookmarks and replaces them with the restored backup.

Bookmarks are stored in a database, so someone could in theory extract the tags from the old places.sqlite database and insert them into the corresponding places in the new one, but... I don't know who that theoretical person actually is.