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during an update alot of my profile folder was put into a desktop folder marked old data. how do i restore this data file

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  • Last reply by scrapper

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During an update ,windows automatic update started and and some how a lot of my profile data was removed and stored in a file on the desktop. Is there a simple easy way to restore this folder to the current firefox?

Chosen solution

You can use the contents of the Old Firefox Data folder to "roll back" the Refresh, but it does involve several steps. It's still probably faster than recovering individual files and loading those into your new profile.

Check inside the "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":

Overview

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 completely, and then start up in the Profile Manager by pasting the following into the Windows search box, or the 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?

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All Replies (12)

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Assuming that the folder only contains your profile files and the names have not been changed, you should be able to simply copy and paste the contents of this desktop folder into your current profile folder. This should overwrite the existing files with the old data.

For more information on your profile folder and how to locate it, please refer to these Mozilla support articles:

Warning: To prevent data loss, it is highly recommended that you backup your current profile before attempting to merge the profiles. Please backup your data (article bolded above)

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Well said.

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 backups of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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My thanks to Fred for in the future. My thanks t o Wesley also but transferring files did not work. I think the files must be corrupted. Is there another way to retrieve my bookmarks cookies etc.

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What files did you try to recover?

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


Do you have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop?

You can copy files like these from the "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop to the current Firefox profile folder to recover specific data.

  • bookmarks and history: places.sqlite
  • bookmark backups: JSON backups in the bookmarkbackups folder
  • 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
  • cert8.db for stored intermediate certificates (Certificate Manager)
  • persdict.dat for words you added to the spelling checker dictionary
  • permissions.sqlite and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for Permissions and Site Preferences
  • sessionstore.js for open tabs and pinned tabs and tab groups
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I tried to recover "OLD FIREFOX DATA ". It didn;t work. When i double checked none of the files will open and can't be read. i guess thats why they didn't transfer. I need to know of another way to get all the important files back.

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Do Not open these files.

Follow the instructions above to open your current Firefox profile. Then Close Firefox. Now open a second file manager in the Old Firefox folder. Copy the files listed above to the current profile. If you get an alert about overwriting files, allow this.

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Thanks to all but this isn;t working. I;ve opened the current profile folder in firefox,closed firefox, opened the profile in the old data file on the desktop, then copied and pasted to the current folder. I;ve done this twice and both times the transfer box came on the screen and showed the transfer but i got nothing.

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Try to copy one file at a time.

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If you double-click a file in Windows File Explorer then this most likely won't work because Windows doesn't know about Firefox files and likely shows some error message. You would have to copy the files to the current profile folder to see what data is recovered.

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cor-el. Please read my last post at 5:05 today. I;m not in explorer.I'm not getting errors.Theres nothing to look at.

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Chosen Solution

You can use the contents of the Old Firefox Data folder to "roll back" the Refresh, but it does involve several steps. It's still probably faster than recovering individual files and loading those into your new profile.

Check inside the "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":

Overview

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 completely, and then start up in the Profile Manager by pasting the following into the Windows search box, or the 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?

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Thank you Jscher 2000. I had about given up.