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Latest update removed logins, bookmarks. "old firefox" not present

  • 16 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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As above. FF installed the update despite the checked option to NOT install automatically. NO "old firefox" folder was created-anywhere. No other profile is present that has the old data. My adult daughter's grad school laptop. Years of bookmarks, logins and I do not know what all ARE GONE!! I allowed FF to download but NOT INSTALL-since it was not my machine and I wanted to avert any disaster (I, in fact, looked at the options first, to make sure) NOW WHAT?? Is that is a bug?? Why was there no "old FF" created? Why did it install regardless of instructions to the contrary. Is there some other place to look? She does not seem to have any automatic backups for FF profiles.

All Replies (16)

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Hi patty_r, sorry to hear about this problem, but please do not panic.

If you haven't already, could you close out of Firefox and do a normal Windows shutdown and restart to complete any pending updates and release any file locks.

If Firefox again starts up without your data, could you check whether your stuff is available in a different profile, as follows:

Profile Manager Page

Inside Firefox, type or paste about:profiles in the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it.

This page should list at least one profile and could list many. Each will show links to a pair of folders; please ignore those for now.

The profile that Firefox is currently using will have this:

This is the profile in use and it cannot be deleted.

Anyway, please do not delete anything here -- don't use any Remove buttons.

Do you have another profile named default or default-longnumber listed on this page? If so, you can check whether it is the one you were using recently by clicking its Launch profile in new browser button.

If it isn't what you want, simply close that new window.

If it IS what you want, back on the about:profiles page, click the Set as default profile button for that profile so Firefox uses it automatically at the next startup.

Any progress so far, or do we need to keep looking for your data in some other places?

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Also, Firefox has separate profiles folders for different Windows users. Are you logged in to Windows 10 under your daughter's account or under a different account?

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Gentlemen-thanks to you both. I am logged in as my daughter. Yes, I did all that, previously and now again as per your instructions. No, neither of the two profiles, .default and .default-release are the one I needed. I think these were created with the update. Or one was and the other may have been when i was screwing around with this the first time. .default-release contains the couple of logins I have made subsequently. I also found these via the command line as well as the profile manager. Any more ideas? Thanks. Out to feed the farm animals now.

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It sounds as though you already check the contents of the Profiles folder on disk as well, and did not find any additional files there?

In that case, this is the next thing I suggest:

Finding/Using Shadow Copies

You can use a utility program to search inside restore points to try to locate an old file that's usable. (Please do NOT try to use the built-in Windows System Restore for this because you probably would lose data.) Here are the steps:

(1) Set Windows to show hidden files and folders:

(2) Download and run one of these two programs:

Within the most recent restore point shown in the program, you can explore along this path to see whether you can find a shadow copy of your profile:


(3) Check in the bookmarkbackups folder of each profile for older backups. You can export interesting files to a convenient location such as your currently live desktop.

This article lists the names of the most useful files you are looking for: Recovering important data from an old profile.

Any luck?

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I have the same problem. The new version of Firefox appears to have either tossed, or lost, my previous bookmarks and login information. I've been slogging along rebuilding some things from my laptop but a few links were never on that machine. This is incredibly frustrating and potentially damaging.

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There is no such folder present. I do not recall having a previous profile so most of those links have proven to be fruitless, just turning up the current profile's information. I can import information from my laptop but, as previously mentioned, some of my links were not there (such as banking, certain business accounts, and research sites).

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Do you guys have anything else?

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Sometimes what happens is a new profile is created. But information from the old profile is not imported.

That is why we tell people to check the profile folder for other profiles. Have you done this?

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Yes, I have. There's no sign of any other profiles. Did this update just wipe away years of my bookmarks?

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Let's take a look.

Firefox automatically makes backups of the bookmarks. These are stored in the bookmarkbackups folder.

Open the Bookmarks Manager; Press the Alt or F10 key to bring up the toolbar, and select Bookmarks. Hot key is <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> B.

Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled Import and Backup. Select Restore. From the list, pick the file you want and click it.

The backups are stored in a jsonlz4 file named something like this; bookmarks-2016-06-29_1424_enD1GTH ya0JmicnYWg4V4g==.jsonlz4

In this example; 2016-06-29 = date created, 1424 = number of entries.

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Hi shurato, did you already do a normal shutdown and restart of your computer to free up locked files and complete pending updates?

From your previous posts, I see you have checked:

  • Old Firefox Data on desktop? No
  • Additional profiles listed on about:profiles? No

Did you check whether Firefox has any bookmark backups available to restore? This article has the details: Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer. On the Restore menu, each backup shows a date and item count, so if you only see newer backups with small items counts, that probably means Firefox didn't find any old backups in this profile.

What OS are you running? If you run Windows:

Deleted File Recovery

A tool like Recuva can recover some erased files. This could be useful to track down old bookmark backups or an older logins.json file storing your passwords. Make sure Windows is set to show hidden files and folders:

The files names for bookmark backup files look like this (in this example, the number of items in the file is 2500):


Shadow Copies

Please see my reply earlier in the thread about tools to search old restore points for copies of files. Do not use System Restore -- that typically causes greater data loss -- unless everything else fails and you back up what you have now.

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The only backup that appears is one dated today which was not there previously. I suspect that will be unhelpful. Anything else I'll have to hunt for blind unless one of you guys can throw me a folder location to start in. I'm currently running Windows 10.

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Hi shurato, Firefox consistently stores profile data under the same path:


AppData is a hidden folder, so please see the earlier link about setting Windows to show hidden files and folders.

Also, please refer to the earlier post about how to use tools to look for shadow copies of files from that folder that you could copy out.