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refreshed firefox lost all passwords

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I was suddenly having problems viewing YouTube videos (black screen) and Firefox support suggested refreshing Firefox (version 42), which I did. What a mistake. None of my add-ons, bookmarks, passwords, etc migrated. So I followed instructions how to copy paste those files from my previous profile in to the new one via ?, troubleshoot, view profile. The problem is, the current profile shows all the files associated with my passwords (key?db and logins.json) are there, but when I go to "options>privacy>passwords" NONE of them appear. I had the profile from the day before I refreshed, so I'm sure that's the most up-to-date....SO, I copied that logins.json file and pasted it into the current profile, and still NO PASSWORDS. I figured out how recover all my bookmarks, but I NEED my passwords. Can anybody help? I still can't figure out why Youtube videos suddenly won't play, when they did last week! Of COURSE, I have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed: been there done that. I'm at my wits end as I've been at Firefox support pages for 2 days straight and nothing has worked that's been suggested.

I was suddenly having problems viewing YouTube videos (black screen) and Firefox support suggested refreshing Firefox (version 42), which I did. What a mistake. None of my add-ons, bookmarks, passwords, etc migrated. So I followed instructions how to copy paste those files from my previous profile in to the new one via ?, troubleshoot, view profile. The problem is, the current profile shows all the files associated with my passwords (key?db and logins.json) are there, but when I go to "options>privacy>passwords" NONE of them appear. I had the profile from the day before I refreshed, so I'm sure that's the most up-to-date....SO, I copied that logins.json file and pasted it into the current profile, and still NO PASSWORDS. I figured out how recover all my bookmarks, but I NEED my passwords. Can anybody help? I still can't figure out why Youtube videos suddenly won't play, when they did last week! Of COURSE, I have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed: been there done that. I'm at my wits end as I've been at Firefox support pages for 2 days straight and nothing has worked that's been suggested.

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cor-el
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17589 solutions 159105 answers

Helpful Reply

You can try to disable hardware acceleration in Firefox.

  • Tools > Options > Advanced > General > Browsing: "Use hardware acceleration when available"

You need to close and restart Firefox after toggling this setting.

You can check if there is an update for your graphics display driver and check for hardware acceleration related issues.


When you Refresh/Reset Firefox then a new profile is created and some personal data (bookmarks, history, cookies, passwords, form data) is automatically imported. The current profile folder will be moved to an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop. Installed extensions and other customizations (toolbars, prefs) that you have made are lost and need to be redone.

You can copy/transfer files like these to your current Firefox profile folder.

  • bookmarks/history: backups in the bookmarkbackups folder and possibly places.sqlite if you really need the history
  • other SQLite files like cookies.sqlite (cookies) and formhistory.sqlite (saved form data)
  • logins.json and key3.db (decryption key) for Passwords saved in the Password Manager
  • permissions.sqlite and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for Permissions and Site Preferences
  • cert8.db for stored intermediate certificates (Certificate Manager)
  • sessionstore.js for open tabs and pinned tabs and tab groups

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

See also:

You can try to disable hardware acceleration in Firefox. *Tools > Options > Advanced > General > Browsing: "Use hardware acceleration when available" You need to close and restart Firefox after toggling this setting. *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Troubleshooting+extensions+and+themes You can check if there is an update for your graphics display driver and check for hardware acceleration related issues. *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/upgrade-graphics-drivers-use-hardware-acceleration ---- When you Refresh/Reset Firefox then a new profile is created and some personal data (bookmarks, history, cookies, passwords, form data) is automatically imported. The current profile folder will be moved to an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop. Installed extensions and other customizations (toolbars, prefs) that you have made are lost and need to be redone. You can copy/transfer files like these to your current Firefox profile folder. * bookmarks/history: backups in the bookmarkbackups folder and possibly places.sqlite if you really need the history * other SQLite files like cookies.sqlite (cookies) and formhistory.sqlite (saved form data) * logins.json and key3.db (decryption key) for Passwords saved in the Password Manager * permissions.sqlite and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for Permissions and Site Preferences * cert8.db for stored intermediate certificates (Certificate Manager) * sessionstore.js for open tabs and pinned tabs and tab groups You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder: *Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder) *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Recovering+important+data+from+an+old+profile
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4272 solutions 59928 answers

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

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 '''[https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/febe/ 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. '''[https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/opie/ OPIE]''' {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

Question owner

My problem is, when I refreshed Firefox my personal data WASN'T imported. And the screwy thing is, when I look up my current profile via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder, places.sqlite, logins.json and key3.db, permissions.sqlite, content-prefs.sqlite, cert8.db, and sessionstore.js are all listed! So the files are there but not working. I had to manually go through BOOKMARKS>SHOW ALL>IMPORT/EXPORT to get Firefox to "see" those bookmarks, so that's fixed. It's my PASSWORDS that just aren't being "recognized", even though all the files associated with them are listed in the new profile. I've had Firefox for 4 years and NEVER had so many problems! By the way, as a last resort I totally uninstalled Adobe Flash, and added "Youtube Flash Video Player" as an add-on, and Voila, I can now watch Youtube videos again if I enable HTML5 instead of Flash Video Player. I really don't get it...because I've NEVER had problems with Adobe Flash.

My problem is, when I refreshed Firefox my personal data WASN'T imported. And the screwy thing is, when I look up my current profile via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder, places.sqlite, logins.json and key3.db, permissions.sqlite, content-prefs.sqlite, cert8.db, and sessionstore.js are all listed! So the files are there but not working. I had to manually go through BOOKMARKS>SHOW ALL>IMPORT/EXPORT to get Firefox to "see" those bookmarks, so that's fixed. It's my PASSWORDS that just aren't being "recognized", even though all the files associated with them are listed in the new profile. I've had Firefox for 4 years and NEVER had so many problems! By the way, as a last resort I totally uninstalled Adobe Flash, and added "Youtube Flash Video Player" as an add-on, and Voila, I can now watch Youtube videos again if I enable HTML5 instead of Flash Video Player. I really don't get it...because I've NEVER had problems with Adobe Flash.

Helpful Reply

I just want/need my passwords back, so how do I do that? when the files associtaed with them are all there. I'm scared to hit "REFRESH" again. I got desperate and am now using iExplorer as my browser because I'm just sick to my stomach about Firefox right now. Luckily, I wrote down 90% of my passwords, but it's the principal of the thing: REFRESHING SHOULDN'T CAUSE THESE PROBLEMS: (

I just want/need my passwords back, so how do I do that? when the files associtaed with them are all there. I'm scared to hit "REFRESH" again. I got desperate and am now using iExplorer as my browser because I'm just sick to my stomach about Firefox right now. Luckily, I wrote down 90% of my passwords, but it's the principal of the thing: REFRESHING SHOULDN'T CAUSE THESE PROBLEMS: (
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4272 solutions 59928 answers

Look on your desktop. Do you see a folder called; Old Firefox?

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles


In the event that the passwords information is lost, you should record all information in a separate text file somewhere else on your hard drive, or written down. You can easily copy and paste if you need to do so. If you are concerned about someone else looking at that file, you can compress it using a password.

Look on your desktop. Do you see a folder called; '''Old Firefox?''' '''https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile''' '''https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles''' ------------ In the event that the passwords information is lost, you should record all information in a separate text file somewhere else on your hard drive, or written down. You can easily copy and paste if you need to do so. If you are concerned about someone else looking at that file, you can compress it using a password.

Question owner

Fred, as I said yesterday, 1. when i look at my current profile (after the refresh) via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory, the PASSWORD files (in fact ALL files, including Bookmarks) are all there, 2. AND, I do have the "Old Firefox" files on my desktop, AND I copy pasted the password files from there to the current profile...which I shouldn't have had to do because they are already there, AND YET none of my passwords are showing up (my bookmarls weren't displaying either, so I had to "import" them from Old Profile). It's just the damnedest thing! What started all this trouble in the first place was that I couldn't watch Youtube videos on Youtube or on Facebook using Firefox (but I could on IE), and THAT issue had been going on for about a month. Firefox forums suggested REFRESHING FIREFOX, which didn't solve the "flash" problem. I even uninstalled/reinstalled Firefox 42: nothing. Then lo and behold I read several articles that pointed to some serious issues with Adobe Flash, SO I uninstalled it, and guess what: I can now watch YouTube videos on YouTube AND Facebook using Firefox, AND I can watch videos (like I used to be able to) on PBS, which I haven't been able to do for a year! All signs point to Adobe Flash. HOWEVER, I'm still stuck with NO PASSWORDS. Being a realist, I wrote down 90% of my passwords. I'm still on the fence about hitting REFRESH again, to see what happens...but I've already wasted too many days messing around with Firefox: ( I'm just frustrated because I've NEVER had problems like this with Firefox....

Fred, as I said yesterday, 1. when i look at my current profile (after the refresh) via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory, the PASSWORD files (in fact ALL files, including Bookmarks) are all there, 2. AND, I do have the "Old Firefox" files on my desktop, AND I copy pasted the password files from there to the current profile...which I shouldn't have had to do because they are already there, AND YET none of my passwords are showing up (my bookmarls weren't displaying either, so I had to "import" them from Old Profile). It's just the damnedest thing! What started all this trouble in the first place was that I couldn't watch Youtube videos on Youtube or on Facebook using Firefox (but I could on IE), and THAT issue had been going on for about a month. Firefox forums suggested REFRESHING FIREFOX, which didn't solve the "flash" problem. I even uninstalled/reinstalled Firefox 42: nothing. Then lo and behold I read several articles that pointed to some serious issues with Adobe Flash, SO I uninstalled it, and guess what: I can now watch YouTube videos on YouTube AND Facebook using Firefox, AND I can watch videos (like I used to be able to) on PBS, which I haven't been able to do for a year! All signs point to Adobe Flash. HOWEVER, I'm still stuck with NO PASSWORDS. Being a realist, I wrote down 90% of my passwords. I'm still on the fence about hitting REFRESH again, to see what happens...but I've already wasted too many days messing around with Firefox: ( I'm just frustrated because I've NEVER had problems like this with Firefox....

Question owner

Here's a screenshot of (part of) my current profile via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory:

Here's a screenshot of (part of) my current profile via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory:

Question owner

Melon said

Here's a screenshot of (part of) my current profile via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory:

ALL THE PASSWORD FILES ARE THERE, BUT THEY'RE NOT SHOWING UP IN "OPTIONS>PRIVACY>SHOW PASSWORDS". WHY??

''Melon [[#answer-804191|said]]'' <blockquote> Here's a screenshot of (part of) my current profile via Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: </blockquote> ALL THE PASSWORD FILES ARE THERE, BUT THEY'RE NOT SHOWING UP IN "OPTIONS>PRIVACY>SHOW PASSWORDS". WHY??
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4272 solutions 59928 answers

It looks like the Password files, key3.db and logins.json are empty.

Open your file browser to your user folder. In the search bar, type key3.db Are there any other files like this?

It looks like the Password files, '''key3.db''' and '''logins.json''' are empty. Open your file browser to your user folder. In the search bar, type '''key3.db''' Are there any other files like this?

Question owner

I'm confused: key3.db shows 16 Kb and logins shows 104 KB of info....and 4 old profiles show the same amount of KB's in each one, and those previous profiles "worked"...meaning my passwords were fine. On 11/5 I was able to access all my passwords, bookmarks, add-ons, etc., on 11/6 I hit refresh and BANG: no passwords, bookmarks, add-ons. I can't open those key and login files because Windows and I don't know what "program" to open them in...

I'm confused: key3.db shows 16 Kb and logins shows 104 KB of info....and 4 old profiles show the same amount of KB's in each one, and those previous profiles "worked"...meaning my passwords were fine. On 11/5 I was able to access all my passwords, bookmarks, add-ons, etc., on 11/6 I hit refresh and BANG: no passwords, bookmarks, add-ons. I can't open those key and login files because Windows and I don't know what "program" to open them in...

Question owner

...what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger? we'll see!

...what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger? we'll see!

Question owner

Fred, when I did what you advised, 4 different locations (for each of key and logins) shows the same amount of "info" in them, and they descend from November 2015 profiles back to profiles from last year.

Fred, when I did what you advised, 4 different locations (for each of key and logins) shows the same amount of "info" in them, and they descend from November 2015 profiles back to profiles from last year.

Question owner

Fred: here's a screenshot of those 3 (not 4) locations.

Fred: here's a screenshot of those 3 (not 4) locations.

Question owner

...when I said "All signs point to Adobe Flash", I should have said "Firefox hates Adobe Flash", and if what I've been reading online is correct, it's because Adobe Flash has been unstable for the last 6 months like Java used to be/still is. Seems hackers have been using Adobe Flash to gain access and wreak havoc. YouTube is apparently using HTML now...so it seems to be a confluence of things...the right not knowing what the left hand is doing...too many cooks in the kitchen! and by the way, I'm flying by the seat of my pants and don't fully understand technical lingo. THANKS FRED! : )

...when I said "All signs point to Adobe Flash", I should have said "Firefox hates Adobe Flash", and if what I've been reading online is correct, it's because Adobe Flash has been unstable for the last 6 months like Java used to be/still is. Seems hackers have been using Adobe Flash to gain access and wreak havoc. YouTube is apparently using HTML now...so it seems to be a confluence of things...the right not knowing what the left hand is doing...too many cooks in the kitchen! and by the way, I'm flying by the seat of my pants and don't fully understand technical lingo. THANKS FRED! : )
cor-el
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  • Moderator
17589 solutions 159105 answers

The screenshot in this reply shows multiple numbered logins.json files.

Try to move out the two logins.json files and the key3.db file and replace them with the logins.json and key3.db files from the most recent profile folder in the "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop.

The screenshot in this reply shows multiple numbered logins.json files. *[[/questions/1092732#answer-804191]] Try to move out the two logins.json files and the key3.db file and replace them with the logins.json and key3.db files from the most recent profile folder in the "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop.

Modified by cor-el

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4272 solutions 59928 answers

But only COPY those files. This way, you don't loose the originals.

But only '''COPY''' those files. This way, you don't loose the originals.

Question owner

Thanks cor-el and Fred. OK, before I do anything, here's a screenshot of ALL the files associated with the profile folder before I refreshed and the current profile (2 JPG's). I think I need to find out which ones are associated with passwords. What I'll do is "cut" key and logins from the current folder (after refresh) and paste them to their own folder (just in case), then "copy/paste" key, login (and any others) from the previous profile into the new one. Does that sound right? There are two files called "places" and "signons" in the old profile. Are they associated with passwords? I'm bound and determined to finish this today! : ) AND MANY THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!! : )

Thanks cor-el and Fred. OK, before I do anything, here's a screenshot of ALL the files associated with the profile folder '''before''' I refreshed and the '''current''' profile (2 JPG's). I think I need to find out which ones are associated with passwords. What I'll do is "cut" key and logins from the current folder (after refresh) and paste them to their own folder (just in case), then "copy/paste" key, login (and any others) from the previous profile into the new one. Does that sound right? There are two files called "places" and "signons" in the old profile. Are they associated with passwords? I'm bound and determined to finish this today! : ) AND MANY THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!! : )

Question owner

I guess my question is, am I only replacing 2 files (key and logins) OR are there more files I need to replace?

I guess my question is, am I only replacing 2 files (key and logins) OR are there more files I need to replace?
cor-el
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17589 solutions 159105 answers

You can possibly first try if you can make Firefox use the signons.sqlite file to restore the passwords.

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
  • rename the logins.json file(s) (logins.json.old) 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. You should have the passwords imported in the Password Manager unless there have been errors either with signons.sqlite or with key3.db.

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I'll be careful" to continue.


You need to move the "logins.json" and "logins(2).json" and key3.db and the signons.sqlite files that show in the second screenshot. You can move the files to another folder for backup. You can copy the logins.json and key3.db files that show in the first screenshot to the current profile folder.

You can possibly first try if you can make Firefox use the signons.sqlite file to restore the passwords. You can force Firefox to reimport the passwords from the signons.sqlite file and rebuild the logins.json file with these steps: * reset the <b>signon.importedFromSqlite</b> pref on the <b>about:config</b> page to the default value via the right-click context menu * rename the <b>logins.json</b> file(s) (logins.json.old) 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. You should have the passwords imported in the Password Manager unless there have been errors either with signons.sqlite or with key3.db. You can open the <b>about:config</b> page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I'll be careful" to continue. *http://kb.mozillazine.org/about:config ----- You need to move the "logins.json" and "logins(2).json" and key3.db and the signons.sqlite files that show in the second screenshot. You can move the files to another folder for backup. You can copy the logins.json and key3.db files that show in the first screenshot to the current profile folder.

Question owner

I copy/pasted "logins, logins (2), key, and signons" files to their own folder for safe keeping. 1. "You can copy the logins.json and key3.db files that show in the first screenshot to the current profile folder." Do I copy logins and key (from the first screenshot) to the current profile folder before or after I do everything in "about:config"? 2. "rename the logins.json file(s) (logins.json.old) in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed" Do I do this before about:config, and what "name" do use to rename the logins folder?

I copy/pasted "logins, logins (2), key, and signons" files to their own folder for safe keeping. 1.''' "You can copy the logins.json and key3.db files that show in the first screenshot to the current profile folder."''' Do I copy logins and key (from the first screenshot) to the current profile folder before or after I do everything in "about:config"? 2.''' "rename the logins.json file(s) (logins.json.old) in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed" '''Do I do this before about:config, and what "name" do use to rename the logins folder?