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How often does sync sync?

  • 11 replies
  • 3 have this problem
  • 1777 views
  • Last reply by FredMcD

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I set up sync with 4 user profiles on one user account on my computer. Firefox 57, 54, ESR, and Waterfox. Because of the compatibility issues, I only sync passwords, history, and bookmarks.

Everything synced when I first set this up. But since then, nothing. How often does sync sync? Is there a manual way to trigger it?

Chosen solution

As you can see in the first errorlog, there are a lot of error.login.reason.no_username errors in the log, so it seems that your Sync login data is corrupted.


Is the Firefox Password Manager enabled and working properly?

Can you log in to the Sync account via this page?

In case of issues with Sync you can try this:

Disconnect from Sync and Reconnect to Sync again. You can disconnect from Sync by clicking the e-mail address in the "3-bar" Firefox menu button drop-down list or go to "Options/Preferences > Sync". Delete the signedInUser.json file in the Firefox profile folder and delete the Weave folder (Sync was formerly named Weave). Remove an existing chrome://FirefoxAccounts entry in the Firefox Password Manager. If that isn't enough then delete the prefs.js files to reset all prefs and maybe also delete the compatibility.ini file to reinitialize the profile.

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All Replies (11)

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You should see a Sync icon appear in the "3-bar" menu button drop-down list if you hover the Sync e-mail line that you can click to Sync manually (this replaced the Sync Now icon that was available as a toolbar button in the Customize palette). There is also a tooltip that shows the last Sync time.

I don't know if this works the same way in Firefox 57+ with the redesigned "3-bar" menu list, but in Firefox 54 this should work.

You can of course open about:sync-log via the location bar to check if there are recent error logs available.

You can toggle this pref temporarily to true to get a Sync log in case of success to test whether Sync is working properly.

  • services.sync.log.appender.file.logOnSuccess = true

DO NOT forget to reset services.sync.log.appender.file.logOnSuccess after you are done testing.

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cor-el said

You can of course open about:sync-log via the location bar to check if there are recent error logs available.

I found two reports. One of them is; error-sync-1503773285106.txt 13 KB 8/26/17 2:48:05 PM

https://pastebin.mozilla.org/9074818

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Keep in mind that 8/26/17 is not recent (Aug 26, 2017), so it probably not of much value. If there aren't any recent reports then nothing went wrong.

Did you hover the email address in the drop-down list?

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Sorry. Didn't notice the date. I tried to do sync manually via Menu > Tools > Sync Now This is what I got (v54)

error-sync-1513558688883.txt 18 KB 12/17/17 7:58:08 PM https://pastebin.mozilla.org/9074845

I found this on v57;

error-sync-1512864418631.txt 22 KB 12/9/2017 7:06:58 PM https://pastebin.mozilla.org/9074848


The two error reports I had before are gone. Do those things time out?

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Chosen Solution

As you can see in the first errorlog, there are a lot of error.login.reason.no_username errors in the log, so it seems that your Sync login data is corrupted.


Is the Firefox Password Manager enabled and working properly?

Can you log in to the Sync account via this page?

In case of issues with Sync you can try this:

Disconnect from Sync and Reconnect to Sync again. You can disconnect from Sync by clicking the e-mail address in the "3-bar" Firefox menu button drop-down list or go to "Options/Preferences > Sync". Delete the signedInUser.json file in the Firefox profile folder and delete the Weave folder (Sync was formerly named Weave). Remove an existing chrome://FirefoxAccounts entry in the Firefox Password Manager. If that isn't enough then delete the prefs.js files to reset all prefs and maybe also delete the compatibility.ini file to reinitialize the profile.

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Everything is online with Firefox accounts. I will disconnect for a while and see what happens.

Many thanks.

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I re-connected v54, v57, and Waterfox. History did sync. Now will see if it will continue to do so.

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To answer - How often does sync sync?

Whenever Firefox is launched it will contact the Sync server to look for changes to the data you have selected to "sync" on that device. You don't have to have all the same data types selected on every device, but only the selected data will "sync" on each device.

Then as you save (say) a new bookmark on one device, that "change" will be immediately sent to the Sync server; and then immediately sent to any devices that are also running that that time; which includes the Firefox Profiles on the device you are using, if those Profiles are running simultaneously.

I have watched with separate Profiles running simultaneously tiled on the screen; save a new bookmark in Profile A and almost instantaneously the new bookmark appeared in Profile B. So fast that I had to "look" at Profile B before I released the mouse button to save the new bookmark in Profile A - so I could watch as the new bookmark appeared in the correct location in Profile B. Ah, the wonders of computer science and a fast internet connection as data transverses the internet at the speed of light!

Then when you are rearranging bookmarks or saving new bookmarks very quickly, Sync will or may switch to a "batch mode", where changes aren't sent one at a time but delayed and sent in a batch to the Sync server. No idea what the threshold is, but I have triggered the "batch mode" a few times when I was playing with Sync in an attempt to "break it". As I vaguely recall, the delay was maybe 5 seconds at the most - but that was quite a few years ago when I was "more into" Sync and wanted to learn more about how it worked.

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Thank you, the-edmeister That is very helpful.

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cor-el said

As you can see in the first errorlog, there are a lot of error.login.reason.no_username errors in the log, so it seems that your Sync login data is corrupted.

Thank you both for your help.

I shut down sync for several hours. Then logged back in again. So far, everything is working properly.

cor-el said

Remove an existing chrome://FirefoxAccounts entry in the Firefox Password Manager.

I did find several chrome listings and removed them from the Password Manager. So far so good.

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It has been some time, and no problems. Thank you both.