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I reinstalled Firefox, following the advice found on this support page, but have lost everything. Can anyone help me recover what I lost?

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After the most recent Firefox updates, I wasn't able to load Facebook anymore, so I looked up whether I could reinstall Firefox without losing all my bookmarks and settings. I followed the advice given on this support page by renaming the folder "OldFirefox" and then reinstalling Firefox, but everything has been lost (or at least seems to be). What I don't understand is when I right click over the new Firefox icon (after the reinstall) and look at the properties, instead of pointing to the folder ...Mozilla/Firefox.exe, it's pointing to ....OldFirefox/Firefox.exe. It's as if the install didn't create a new Mozilla folder in the directory, even though it was supposed to during the install. Is there a way to get back what I lost? I feel like I'm going to throw up right now. I had an enormous amount of things bookmarked and saved. Thanks for any help.

All Replies (20)

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Hi Ana, sorry to hear about this problem.

Let's briefly retrace your steps:

(1) You renamed the program folder in

C:\Program Files

or

C:\Program Files (x86)

from either

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

or

C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox

to

C:\Program Files\OldFirefox

or

C:\Program Files (x86)\OldFirefox

Is that correct?

(2) You downloaded and ran the Firefox installer and it installed back into the 64-bit program folder:

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

This part I'm not sure worked correctly, if Firefox reinstalled into a renamed folder. ???


As you may know, Firefox stores individual profile folders with your important browsing 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 profile has two folders and one or more buttons. Do not use any Remove buttons!)

The profile that Firefox is currently using will have this:

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

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?

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Thank you. Yes, what you described I did and I just came across the directions you gave regarding resetting the profile (probably while you were probably responding, LOL), so I'm able to put everything back as it was before. Thank you so much!! I really thought I was going to be starting from scratch!

I did think it was strange that the reinstall installed it into a previously renamed folder (instead of a newly created Mozilla folder), but I'm glad everything is working properly now. Do you think I should go back in and rename the folder back to Mozilla Firefox instead of OldFirefox? It never created a new folder (so there isn't even a folder named Mozilla Firefox right now). Or should I leave well enough alone?

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Hi Ana, at this point, I think you should keep the strange name. If we rename the folder, it might break some paths. However, if you notice any strange symptoms, then renaming the folder could be worth a try to see whether it helps.

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Just as an addendum to the above: for some reason now I can't log into Firefox to get back to this page (I'm on Chrome right now). It keeps saying cookies aren't enabled, but they are. I've cleared the cache and tried accessing the page both under the Standard privacy setting and under a custom setting with everything unchecked, but it's not recognizing that cookies are allowed. I'm wondering if this is what is wrong with Facebook and why it won't load.

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If you haven't already, could you close out of Firefox and restart Windows? We should make sure there isn't a problem with file locks or deferred updates that are creating problems with your profile.

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Closed everything out and restarted Windows. Still am not able to log in to Mozilla (this support page) because it is telling me I am not allowing cookies (have everything open as far as security right now).

I've also determined that I'm not able to log into Gmail either (it just sits there after entering my login name - doesn't send me to the next screen which is the password).

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This article describes how to check that your cookie settings are liberal enough to accept most cookies: Websites say cookies are blocked - Unblock them.

If you already have good settings, it's possible the cookies.sqlite database somehow became locked or corrupted.

Modified by jscher2000

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I followed the instructions on the website page but no change. I searched for cookies.sqlite and found two versions of the file, both within my documents folder but under different subfolders. One is within a folder named Email Profile and one within the folder Old Firefox Data and then within a subfolder of that, 0v32wwtm.default (which I think is named after the profile I chose to make default - the profile which contained all my lost bookmarks).

Is it normal for that file to be listed under the folder Email Profile?

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I don't think your search found your currently "live" profile because it's normally under the hidden AppData folder:

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

You can find the path of your currently live profile either on the Troubleshooting Information page or on the about:profiles page (where it is the "Root" folder), and use the Open Folder button there to launch it into Windows Explorer.

Naturally, you would want to fully exit Firefox before actually removing or renaming the cookies.sqlite file.

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If I were to move the cookies.sqlite file, where would I move it to (and should I be renaming it)?

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I was thinking you could hide it by renaming it to cookiesOLD.sqlite and then not have to move it anywhere.

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Ok, I found the cookies.sqlite under the right directory. Should I delete it to see if it will reset everything?

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Or rename that one too (as well as the ones found elsewhere)?

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Hi Ana, unless there is an extremely previous cookie without which you'll never be able to get back into a particular site, it's fine to delete it. If you're not sure, you could rename it.

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Ok, made the change to all 3 of them (renamed them). Issue still there unfortunately (unable to log into Facebook, Gmail, and Mozilla Support is telling me Cookies and Local Storage are required, even though I have all the settings wide open). Also determined that one of my banking pages won't load either. :( Any possibility this is something to do with the update and that it might be a bug they will fix? I don't know what else to try at this point.

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One possibility is that there is some serious breakage in your profile. Do you want to try a Refresh? That should move your existing profile into that Old Firefox Data folder and migrate just key data. You also could go back to the new profile from a bit earlier today and import in key information like bookmarks.

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I'd be willing to try it. The only thing I did notice though is that when I was under the new profile from earlier today (before I was able to bring the bookmarks back), I was still unable to log into Facebook, so I'm not sure if it will help, but I don't mind trying.

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Perhaps this is all related to the folder renaming issue. You could try renaming OldFirefox back to Mozilla Firefox.

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Ok. I think I will try that first. I just created a backup of the profile folder just to be safe.

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I also made a backup of the program folder too.

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