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How can I force my bookmarks to upload to cloud sync?

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tl;dr Firefox sync is constantly synchronising an old set of bookmarks and, potentially passwords etc despite me wanting to upload my changed set. I need to know how to force my current local copy to overwrite whatever is stored in the cloud to avoid having to restore my bookmarks every few hours. How can I do that? The only other option is to disable bookmark sync entirely. This is on Windows 10 running Firefox 59.0.2 (64-bit).

Long version if anyone cares. I like to be thorough.

For the longest time I've used XMarks to handle my bookmarks across multiple computers and browsers and had no issues with it until the past few months. It started failing to sync or would partially sync and I didn't notice because it never gave me any error messages or pop-up warnings. I only found out when I had to format and reinstall because the most recent backup was from so long ago that I temporarily lost a lot of important bookmarks. Luckily, as I used multiple computers I had another computer I could pull them from and did that.

From that point on I've been using Firefox sync as much as possible. However, Firefox has started pulling a set of bookmarks to my computer from the server that is missing a lot of what I use frequently and one of those changes involves overwriting my Bookmarks Toolbar. It literally just happened again as I was typing this out. I can and have restored from a backup file I am now maintaining but every day it will sync and I have to restore from the old backup and it's driving me crazy. How can I force my local set onto the cloud sync so they're matching?

Thanks!

tl;dr Firefox sync is constantly synchronising an old set of bookmarks and, potentially passwords etc despite me wanting to upload my changed set. I need to know how to force my current local copy to overwrite whatever is stored in the cloud to avoid having to restore my bookmarks every few hours. How can I do that? The only other option is to disable bookmark sync entirely. This is on Windows 10 running Firefox 59.0.2 (64-bit). Long version if anyone cares. I like to be thorough. For the longest time I've used XMarks to handle my bookmarks across multiple computers and browsers and had no issues with it until the past few months. It started failing to sync or would partially sync and I didn't notice because it never gave me any error messages or pop-up warnings. I only found out when I had to format and reinstall because the most recent backup was from so long ago that I temporarily lost a lot of important bookmarks. Luckily, as I used multiple computers I had another computer I could pull them from and did that. From that point on I've been using Firefox sync as much as possible. However, Firefox has started pulling a set of bookmarks to my computer from the server that is missing a lot of what I use frequently and one of those changes involves overwriting my Bookmarks Toolbar. It literally just happened again as I was typing this out. I can and have restored from a backup file I am now maintaining but every day it will sync and I have to restore from the old backup and it's driving me crazy. How can I force my local set onto the cloud sync so they're matching? Thanks!

Chosen solution

For what it's worth, another reliable way to remove all data from the server is to visit about:preferences#sync, disable one of the data-types (say, bookmarks) and perform a manual sync - all bookmarks will then be removed from the server. Re-enabling and re-syncing will re-upload all your local bookmarks.

You might also find https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/about-sync/ useful - that will let you see exactly what is on the server for your account.

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Application

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the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
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5309 solutions 39394 answers

Disconnect from Sync on all devices, Then reset your Firefox Account Password to clear ALL your data from the Sync server.

Connect to Sync again with a Firefox installation that has the correct bookmarks.

Beyond that, when you connect the other devices delete all your bookmarks before you connect back to Sync, to get a fresh load of the "correct" set of bookmarks. Otherwise you could end up with a mix of old and new bookmarks, that will probably include a massive amount of duplicates.

Disconnect from Sync on all devices, Then reset your Firefox Account Password to clear ALL your data from the Sync server. Connect to Sync again with a Firefox installation that has the correct bookmarks. Beyond that, when you connect the other devices delete all your bookmarks before you connect back to Sync, to get a fresh load of the "correct" set of bookmarks. ''Otherwise you could end up with a mix of old and new bookmarks, that will probably include a massive amount of duplicates.''
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Question owner

Unfortunately that didn't work. I changed password, signed back in with the bookmarks I want to use and it's just changed them to the set with virtually nothing in again. One of the reasons I stuck with XMarks so long is you could force the server to take your bookmarks or force your computer to use the server's version. In Firefox there is no option I can see to do this so I'm probably going to have to disable bookmark sync.

Unfortunately that didn't work. I changed password, signed back in with the bookmarks I want to use and it's just changed them to the set with virtually nothing in again. One of the reasons I stuck with XMarks so long is you could force the server to take your bookmarks or force your computer to use the server's version. In Firefox there is no option I can see to do this so I'm probably going to have to disable bookmark sync.

Modified by PaulR79

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JohnMK 0 solutions 2 answers

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Hi Paul, I am not an expert and probably know much less than you do. A practical option could be to download your places.sqlite file to a stick so it can easily be transferred to whichever server you are working from. I had to physically move the original places.sqlite after renaming it to eg, my nameplaces,sqlite. Then insert the places.sqlite file from your memory stick in the same folder where the original was removed from. I hope it makes sense.

Hi Paul, I am not an expert and probably know much less than you do. A practical option could be to download your places.sqlite file to a stick so it can easily be transferred to whichever server you are working from. I had to physically move the original places.sqlite after renaming it to eg, my nameplaces,sqlite. Then insert the places.sqlite file from your memory stick in the same folder where the original was removed from. I hope it makes sense.
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Pkshadow
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1056 solutions 14618 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi, It appears from your question, that you are using Firefox Sync as a back up service. This is not what Sync is designed to do. The Firefox Sync service takes a copy of the data you wish to include and transfers it to a second device (typically a mobile device such as a tablet or a telephone) running a copy of Firefox. The storage in between all attached devices is both temporary and fragile and is not stable enough to be (and is not designed as) a reliable backup service.

If you have a copy of your Firefox profile for desktop Firefox, you may be able to recover your bookmarks and other data. Please have a read of these article.

If you have a copy of your data on a mobile version of Firefox, please follow these instructions to connect it to Firefox Sync to copy your data.

Hi, It appears from your question, that you are using Firefox Sync as a back up service. This is not what Sync is designed to do. The Firefox Sync service takes a copy of the data you wish to include and transfers it to a second device (typically a mobile device such as a tablet or a telephone) running a copy of Firefox. The storage in between all attached devices is both temporary and fragile and is not stable enough to be (and is not designed as) a reliable backup service. If you have a copy of your Firefox profile for desktop Firefox, you may be able to recover your bookmarks and other data. Please have a read of these article. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-firefox-bookmarks-to-backup-or-transfer If you have a copy of your data on a mobile version of Firefox, please follow these instructions to connect it to Firefox Sync to copy your data. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-do-i-set-sync-my-computer#w_connect-additional-devices-to-sync_
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Pkshadow said

Hi, It appears from your question, that you are using Firefox Sync as a back up service. This is not what Sync is designed to do. The Firefox Sync service takes a copy of the data you wish to include and transfers it to a second device (typically a mobile device such as a tablet or a telephone) running a copy of Firefox. The storage in between all attached devices is both temporary and fragile and is not stable enough to be (and is not designed as) a reliable backup service. <snip>

I was so sure you were wrong as I went to look up information on Firefox Sync. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was wrong. I can't help but feel that this is partly a fault of Mozilla for not making it a lot more clear. Then again I'm not sure of that and I may have skimmed past it.

Regardless of all of that there is still a server somewhere hosting a bad set of bookmarks, among other things, that I cannot overwrite or delete meaning that I can't use sync without worrying I'll lose data. If it's simply that Mozilla didn't think of this and it isn't possible then I'd be annoyed but accept it. Until then I will keep looking and waiting for a solution.

''Pkshadow [[#answer-1098132|said]]'' <blockquote> Hi, It appears from your question, that you are using Firefox Sync as a back up service. This is not what Sync is designed to do. The Firefox Sync service takes a copy of the data you wish to include and transfers it to a second device (typically a mobile device such as a tablet or a telephone) running a copy of Firefox. The storage in between all attached devices is both temporary and fragile and is not stable enough to be (and is not designed as) a reliable backup service. <snip> </blockquote> I was so sure you were wrong as I went to look up information on Firefox Sync. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was wrong. I can't help but feel that this is partly a fault of Mozilla for not making it a lot more clear. Then again I'm not sure of that and I may have skimmed past it. Regardless of all of that there is still a server somewhere hosting a bad set of bookmarks, among other things, that I cannot overwrite or delete meaning that I can't use sync without worrying I'll lose data. If it's simply that Mozilla didn't think of this and it isn't possible then I'd be annoyed but accept it. Until then I will keep looking and waiting for a solution.
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Pkshadow
  • Top 10 Contributor
1056 solutions 14618 answers

Hi, there is no cure. As said you are using something that is made for Syncing devices (plural). If you keep attempting to use it you will end up loosing your bookmarks. Stop using it please for your bookmarks will end up gone as others have before.

Always :

Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.

Hi, there is no cure. As said you are using something that is made for Syncing devices (plural). If you keep attempting to use it you will end up loosing your bookmarks. Stop using it please for your bookmarks will end up gone as others have before. Always : *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-firefox-bookmarks-to-backup-or-transfer Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.
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the-edmeister
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5309 solutions 39394 answers

PaulR79 said

Regardless of all of that there is still a server somewhere hosting a bad set of bookmarks, among other things, that I cannot overwrite or delete meaning that I can't use sync without worrying I'll lose data.

Changing your Sync password will clear all your Firefox data from the Sync server. So if your bookmarks are wrong after your re-connect the first device back to the Sync server, then those bookmarks are most likely corrupt which is a situation that the Sync server can't fix; the "fix" is in each Firefox installation by scanning / fixing the Places database.

In Help > Troubleshooting Information, way down on that about:support page see the Places Database item and see the Places -> Verify Integrity button and use that button to run the integrity check / fix routine. Do that on each device with each device dis-connected from Sync, after your change the Firefox Account password.

''PaulR79 [[#answer-1098251|said]]'' <blockquote> Regardless of all of that there is still a server somewhere hosting a bad set of bookmarks, among other things, that I cannot overwrite or delete meaning that I can't use sync without worrying I'll lose data. </blockquote> Changing your Sync password '''''will'' clear''' all your Firefox data from the Sync server. So if your bookmarks are wrong after your re-connect the first device back to the Sync server, then those bookmarks are most likely corrupt which is a situation that the Sync server can't fix; the "fix" is in each Firefox installation by scanning / fixing the Places database. In '''Help > Troubleshooting Information''', way down on that about:support page see the '''Places Database''' item and see the '''Places -> Verify Integrity''' button and use that button to run the integrity check / fix routine. Do that on each device with each device dis-connected from Sync, after your change the Firefox Account password.
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markhammond 6 solutions 30 answers

the-edmeister said

Changing your Sync password will clear all your Firefox data from the Sync server.

To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, resetting your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not.

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1098513|said]]'' <blockquote> Changing your Sync password '''''will'' clear''' all your Firefox data from the Sync server. </blockquote> To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, '''resetting''' your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not.

Modified by markhammond

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the-edmeister said

Changing your Sync password will clear all your Firefox data from the Sync server. So if your bookmarks are wrong after your re-connect the first device back to the Sync server, then those bookmarks are most likely corrupt which is a situation that the Sync server can't fix; the "fix" is in each Firefox installation by scanning / fixing the Places database.

Then there is a problem with markhammond said

the-edmeister said
Changing your Sync password will clear all your Firefox data from the Sync server.

To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, resetting your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not.

Then there must be a problem. I removed both devices from Sync, reset my password and still it pulled in a set of bookmarks that are *not* the right ones and did *not* upload what I am currently using. I have already veified my Places as mentioned above. Something is amiss and it isn't on my end.

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1098513|said]]'' <blockquote> Changing your Sync password '''''will'' clear''' all your Firefox data from the Sync server. So if your bookmarks are wrong after your re-connect the first device back to the Sync server, then those bookmarks are most likely corrupt which is a situation that the Sync server can't fix; the "fix" is in each Firefox installation by scanning / fixing the Places database. </blockquote> Then there is a problem with ''markhammond [[#answer-1098889|said]]'' <blockquote> ''the-edmeister [[#answer-1098513|said]]'' <blockquote> Changing your Sync password '''''will'' clear''' all your Firefox data from the Sync server. </blockquote> To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, '''resetting''' your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not. </blockquote> Then there must be a problem. I removed both devices from Sync, reset my password and still it pulled in a set of bookmarks that are *not* the right ones and did *not* upload what I am currently using. I have already veified my Places as mentioned above. Something is amiss and it isn't on my end.
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JohnMK 0 solutions 2 answers

Are you on WhatsApp? Maybe that is where it hails from. This is just a guess. I would also suspect Facebook. If you consider uninstalling Firefox, be sure to make a backup, of your data in an easily accessible place. Maybe uninstalling Sync also, and then starting from scratch. To restore your data is the easy part.

Are you on WhatsApp? Maybe that is where it hails from. This is just a guess. I would also suspect Facebook. If you consider uninstalling Firefox, be sure to make a backup, of your data in an easily accessible place. Maybe uninstalling Sync also, and then starting from scratch. To restore your data is the easy part.
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the-edmeister
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markhammond said

the-edmeister said
Changing your Sync password will clear all your Firefox data from the Sync server.

To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, resetting your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not.

Are you saying that changing the Firefox Account password won't clear the data on the Sync server?

Pray tell, where did you come up with that pile of meadow muffins?

Are you even using Sync? https://accounts.firefox.com/ "Change" is the same as "reset" on that page.


The Firefox Account Password is used to algorithmically create dual "keys" (kA & kB - look in the Logins Manager to see them if you are actually using Sync) for Sync login and data encryption, with each "key" being 65 alpha/numeric characters.

This is what those "kA" and "kB" keys look like in the Logins Manager > Password field:

{"version":1,"accountData":{"kA":"B8b02f83306f5f0e038c14b3ed82f585b38a40af1f30c75e75c9d95fcc4446e4","kB":"C7961085aab9766b95eac3cfe85319902fc991958cbdf33259276f645a9ce009"}}

edited to obfuscate my actual "keys" for Sync services

One change, regardless of how small, makes the original "keys" worthless; the user can't login to the Sync server AND the saved data can't be decrypted - period. So, that data is deleted from the Sync server as being worthless. Only the new "keys" will work with that account going forward, and a fresh data load is needed to populate the Sync server with data.


With the original Weave / Sync 1.0 and 1.1 versions 1,1 came with Firefox 4.0 when Sync became a built-in feature rather than an add-on which was available as Weave with Firefox 3.5 & 3.6 versions) if the user wanted a "fresh start" with Sync they had to create a new Sync account with yet another different email address. I went thru 9 email addresses within the first 3 or 4 years of using / testing Weave / Sync.

With Firefox 29 and Sync 1.5 came that feature to clear the saved Sync data when the password was changed, along with the dual kA & kB "keys" and eliminating the randomly generated 28 character "Recovery Key" that few users ever bothered to save / print-out when prompted to at the conclusion of the Sync setup process. Without that "Recovery Key" those users couldn't get back into their Sync account, and most weren't smart enough to look for that "Recovery Key" on a different device that they were using with Firefox & Sync. Data was lost and the user needed to use a different email address to create a new Sync account to be able to keep using Sync; although I suspect most users gave up on using Sync altogether after a debacle such as losing their data. Along with too many users misusing Sync as a "backup medium" rather than to synchronize their Firefox data among multiple devices which is its intended purpose.

''markhammond [[#answer-1098889|said]]'' <blockquote> ''the-edmeister [[#answer-1098513|said]]'' <blockquote> Changing your Sync password '''''will'' clear''' all your Firefox data from the Sync server. </blockquote> To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, '''resetting''' your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not. </blockquote> Are you saying that changing the Firefox Account password '''''won't''' clear the data on the Sync server? Pray tell, where did you come up with that pile of meadow muffins? Are you even using Sync? https://accounts.firefox.com/ "Change" is the same as "reset" on that page. ----------------------- The Firefox Account Password is used to algorithmically create dual "keys" ''(kA & kB - look in the Logins Manager to see them if you are actually using Sync)'' for Sync login and data encryption, with each "key" being 65 alpha/numeric characters. This is what those "kA" and "kB" keys look like in the Logins Manager > Password field: <blockquote><pre><nowiki>{"version":1,"accountData":{"kA":"B8b02f83306f5f0e038c14b3ed82f585b38a40af1f30c75e75c9d95fcc4446e4","kB":"C7961085aab9766b95eac3cfe85319902fc991958cbdf33259276f645a9ce009"}} </nowiki></pre></blockquote> ''edited to obfuscate my actual "keys" for Sync services'' One change, regardless of how small, makes the original "keys" worthless; the user can't login to the Sync server AND the saved data can't be decrypted - period. So, that data is deleted from the Sync server as being worthless. Only the new "keys" will work with that account going forward, and a fresh data load is needed to populate the Sync server with data. With the original Weave / Sync 1.0 and 1.1 versions ''1,1 came with Firefox 4.0 when Sync became a built-in feature rather than an add-on which was available as Weave with Firefox 3.5 & 3.6 versions)'' if the user wanted a "fresh start" with Sync they had to create a new Sync account with yet another different email address. I went thru 9 email addresses within the first 3 or 4 years of using / testing Weave / Sync. With Firefox 29 and Sync 1.5 came that feature to clear the saved Sync data when the password was changed, along with the dual kA & kB "keys" and eliminating the randomly generated 28 character "Recovery Key" that few users ever bothered to save / print-out when prompted to at the conclusion of the Sync setup process. Without that "Recovery Key" those users couldn't get back into their Sync account, and most weren't smart enough to look for that "Recovery Key" on a different device that they were using with Firefox & Sync. Data was lost and the user needed to use a different email address to create a new Sync account to be able to keep using Sync; although I suspect most users gave up on using Sync altogether after a debacle such as losing their data. Along with too many users misusing Sync as a "backup medium" rather than to synchronize their Firefox data among multiple devices which is its intended purpose.
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the-edmeister
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PaulR79 said

Unfortunately that didn't work. I changed password, signed back in with the bookmarks I want to use and it's just changed them to the set with virtually nothing in again. One of the reasons I stuck with XMarks so long is you could force the server to take your bookmarks or force your computer to use the server's version. In Firefox there is no option I can see to do this so I'm probably going to have to disable bookmark sync.

Quite possibly using Xmarks has corrupted your Profile in ways that Sync can't handle and Firefox can't fix. We have seen issues with Xmarks and Sync for many years now but usually when they were both used together or at alternating times.

Or maybe your aren't giving Sync enough time for everything to get "synchronized" completely. I have heard from users in this forum that it took a few days for everything to get fully synchronized, especially when major changes were made to a large number of bookmarks by the user when they were attempting to "fix" issues with Sync. The worse thing you can do with Sync is to have the device remain connected to the Sync server when you are rearranging bookmarks in a big way; the "system" will immediately send a few changes in real time to the Sync server and then switch to (what I call a) "batch mode" and then send those changes in "spurts" or "dribbles" throughout the rest of that online session. Best to disconnect from Sync before rearranging many bookmarks and then reconnect and let Sync "digest" those changes all at once.

Overall, my advice is to create a new Profile for Firefox and move forward from there.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-firefox-stores-user-data https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles

Don't delete your current Profile just yet, you may be able to transfer some data from the older Profile into the new Profile. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles


As far as Sync not having the same features that Xmarks has; Foxmarks existed already (first name for Xmarks, before they moved to handing data from browsers in addition to Firefox) when Weave was being developed and Mozilla decided to not have the same feature-set that Foxmarks offered. First was the "web access" where the user could view their bookmarks from any browser they might be using at the time; Mozilla decision was for Weave to have better security than Foxmarks offered and "web access" didn't fit into their plans. Foxmarks didn't offer username/passwords (logins) "synchronization" yet and logins sync was a primary feature in Mozilla plans for Weave.


IMO, Mozilla went "overboard" with security 10 years ago, but given the current state of web security, or the lack thereof, Mozilla must have had a crystal ball to look into the future as they transitioned Weave to Sync 1.1 and then to Sync 1.5. Mozilla seems to be one step ahead of the "bad guys" with security with Sync, and additional changes are in the works to remain one step ahead.

Biggest problem with Sync is that the "average user" isn't concerned enough about their security to realize and use the features that Sync offers, at least IMHO.

''PaulR79 [[#answer-1096113|said]]'' <blockquote> Unfortunately that didn't work. I changed password, signed back in with the bookmarks I want to use and it's just changed them to the set with virtually nothing in again. One of the reasons I stuck with XMarks so long is you could force the server to take your bookmarks or force your computer to use the server's version. In Firefox there is no option I can see to do this so I'm probably going to have to disable bookmark sync. </blockquote> Quite possibly using Xmarks has corrupted your Profile in ways that Sync can't handle and Firefox can't fix. We have seen issues with Xmarks and Sync for many years now but usually when they were both used together or at alternating times. Or maybe your aren't giving Sync enough time for everything to get "synchronized" completely. I have heard from users in this forum that it took a few days for everything to get fully synchronized, especially when major changes were made to a large number of bookmarks by the user when they were attempting to "fix" issues with Sync. The worse thing you can do with Sync is to have the device remain connected to the Sync server when you are rearranging bookmarks in a big way; the "system" will immediately send a few changes in real time to the Sync server and then switch to ''(what I call a)'' "batch mode" and then send those changes in "spurts" or "dribbles" throughout the rest of that online session. Best to disconnect from Sync before rearranging many bookmarks and then reconnect and let Sync "digest" those changes all at once. Overall, my advice is to create a new Profile for Firefox and move forward from there. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-firefox-stores-user-data https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles Don't delete your current Profile just yet, you may be able to transfer some data from the older Profile into the new Profile. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles --------------------- As far as Sync not having the same features that Xmarks has; Foxmarks existed already ''(first name for Xmarks, before they moved to handing data from browsers in addition to Firefox)'' when Weave was being developed and Mozilla decided to not have the same feature-set that Foxmarks offered. First was the "web access" where the user could view their bookmarks from any browser they might be using at the time; Mozilla decision was for Weave to have better security than Foxmarks offered and "web access" didn't fit into their plans. Foxmarks didn't offer username/passwords (logins) "synchronization" yet and logins sync was a primary feature in Mozilla plans for Weave. ------------ IMO, Mozilla went "overboard" with security 10 years ago, but given the current state of web security, or the lack thereof, Mozilla must have had a crystal ball to look into the future as they transitioned Weave to Sync 1.1 and then to Sync 1.5. Mozilla seems to be one step ahead of the "bad guys" with security with Sync, and additional changes are in the works to remain one step ahead. Biggest problem with Sync is that the "average user" isn't concerned enough about their security to realize and use the features that Sync offers, at least IMHO.
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markhammond 6 solutions 30 answers

the-edmeister said

markhammond said
the-edmeister said
Changing your Sync password will clear all your Firefox data from the Sync server.

To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, resetting your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not.

Are you saying that changing the Firefox Account password won't clear the data on the Sync server?

Pray tell, where did you come up with that pile of meadow muffins?

I'm the tech lead for Sync on Firefox desktop - but thanks for your explanation of how you think things work.

Changing your password does not reset the server data - given a password change requires knowledge of your current password, new decryption keys can be derived which allows the existing data to be decrypted. A password reset creates a new unrelated key and existing data can not be decrypted.

Are you even using Sync? https://accounts.firefox.com/ "Change" is the same as "reset" on that page.

That is clearly wrong. "Change" has a field for entering your existing and new passwords. Hit "Forgot Password?" and you get a "Reset Password" form where this is explained in what we think are simple to understand words - but please let us know if you are having trouble with the explanation and we can see about fixing it.


The Firefox Account Password is used to algorithmically create dual "keys" (kA & kB - look in the Logins Manager to see them if you are actually using Sync) for Sync login and data encryption, with each "key" being 65 alpha/numeric characters. ...

Thanks, but that's not relevant.

One change, regardless of how small, makes the original "keys" worthless; the user can't login to the Sync server AND the saved data can't be decrypted - period. So, that data is deleted from the Sync server as being worthless. Only the new "keys" will work with that account going forward, and a fresh data load is needed to populate the Sync server with data.

That is, quite simply, incorrect.

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1099188|said]]'' <blockquote> ''markhammond [[#answer-1098889|said]]'' <blockquote> ''the-edmeister [[#answer-1098513|said]]'' <blockquote> Changing your Sync password '''''will'' clear''' all your Firefox data from the Sync server. </blockquote> To be clear, and as you correctly stated up-thread, '''resetting''' your password will clear all data on the server, but just changing it will not. </blockquote> Are you saying that changing the Firefox Account password '''''won't''' clear the data on the Sync server? Pray tell, where did you come up with that pile of meadow muffins? </blockquote> I'm the tech lead for Sync on Firefox desktop - but thanks for your explanation of how you think things work. Changing your password does not reset the server data - given a password change requires knowledge of your current password, new decryption keys can be derived which allows the existing data to be decrypted. A password reset creates a new unrelated key and existing data can not be decrypted. <blockquote> Are you even using Sync? https://accounts.firefox.com/ "Change" is the same as "reset" on that page. </blockquote> That is clearly wrong. "Change" has a field for entering your existing and new passwords. Hit "Forgot Password?" and you get a "Reset Password" form where this is explained in what we think are simple to understand words - but please let us know if you are having trouble with the explanation and we can see about fixing it. <blockquote> ----------------------- The Firefox Account Password is used to algorithmically create dual "keys" ''(kA & kB - look in the Logins Manager to see them if you are actually using Sync)'' for Sync login and data encryption, with each "key" being 65 alpha/numeric characters. ... </blockquote> Thanks, but that's not relevant. <blockquote> One change, regardless of how small, makes the original "keys" worthless; the user can't login to the Sync server AND the saved data can't be decrypted - period. So, that data is deleted from the Sync server as being worthless. Only the new "keys" will work with that account going forward, and a fresh data load is needed to populate the Sync server with data. </blockquote> That is, quite simply, incorrect.
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markhammond 6 solutions 30 answers

Chosen Solution

For what it's worth, another reliable way to remove all data from the server is to visit about:preferences#sync, disable one of the data-types (say, bookmarks) and perform a manual sync - all bookmarks will then be removed from the server. Re-enabling and re-syncing will re-upload all your local bookmarks.

You might also find https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/about-sync/ useful - that will let you see exactly what is on the server for your account.

For what it's worth, another reliable way to remove all data from the server is to visit about:preferences#sync, disable one of the data-types (say, bookmarks) and perform a manual sync - all bookmarks will then be removed from the server. Re-enabling and re-syncing will re-upload all your local bookmarks. You might also find https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/about-sync/ useful - that will let you see exactly what is on the server for your account.
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Writing this to say that mark's suggestion has worked. It seems I was getting a mixture of both old and new bookmarks even after resetting my password. I tried disabling bookmarks sync then enabled it again as I've done before but it seemed like I was still getting a mixed up version of the bookmarks. After checking carefully I saw that the important bookmarks were there but in the wrong order. I rearranged them (Bookmarks toolbar) and so far it has not gone back to the other confused mess I had before.

I don't know if it's possible but I would suggest including an option to wipe any data from the sync server. It would help avoid any issues for people that get into similar situations. Thanks for the help to anyone who offered thoughts.

Writing this to say that mark's suggestion has worked. It seems I was getting a mixture of both old and new bookmarks even after resetting my password. I tried disabling bookmarks sync then enabled it again as I've done before but it seemed like I was still getting a mixed up version of the bookmarks. After checking carefully I saw that the important bookmarks were there but in the wrong order. I rearranged them (Bookmarks toolbar) and so far it has not gone back to the other confused mess I had before. I don't know if it's possible but I would suggest including an option to wipe any data from the sync server. It would help avoid any issues for people that get into similar situations. Thanks for the help to anyone who offered thoughts.

Modified by PaulR79

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