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How do I talk to a person about all of my bookmarks, history, et al, being gone.
How do I get it back? I had to sync to my smart phone, eschew privacy as I've known it to be and yet all of the things saved on firefox are gone? What went wrong? Am I being punished? There is no help to be found aside from this. I just want to log into some familiar sites.
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If you lost personal data then it is possible that a new default-release profile folder has been created. See "Determine if Firefox has created a new profile":
You can open the about:profiles page via the location bar to check whether multiple profiles are present and what profile Firefox currently is using.
- Do NOT click any Remove button on this page.
Firefox 67 and later can use a dedicated profile for each of the Firefox update channels and will lock the profile, so it can only be used by Firefox in a specific installation folder. For Release versions this profile would be a xxxxxxxx.default-release profile, profiles used in older Firefox versions usually used a xxxxxxxx.default profile (a refresh adds a time stamp).
You can check for problems with the places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder.
- use "Verify Integrity" button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page
In case errors are reported with "Verify Integrity" close and restart Firefox and retry.
If "Verify Integrity" cannot repair places.sqlite, rename/remove all places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder. Firefox will rebuild places.sqlite and restore the bookmarks from a recent JSON backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.
- keep a backup copy of places.sqlite in case a new places.sqlite database has to be created
You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.
- Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:
Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder
If you use Sync then best is to disconnect Sync temporarily during troubleshooting.