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How to recover a deleted profile in Windows 7 after the Recycle Bin has been emptied?

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I used Recuva to recover the Recycle Bin files, most of which are recoverable as it was emptied recently, but I don't know which are Firefox files. I think .json are and a few others I recognize but it looks like there are thousands of files here and I don't want to recover everything as my hard drive will be filled.

And how do I prevent my (small) C drive from filling up in the Users area? I have the browser installed on D drive but I can't remember if I attempted to install it as a portable installation. I think that might prevent the Users area filling up on C driver or would it fill up on a portable install? I don't even know if Mozilla offers a portable install. I just hate it when software scatters files all over the place. I want everything Firefox related in one folder. Most of the time software is like a filing system where you place your carefully organized papers into a tray and its shot out spewing the contents all over the room.

I used Recuva to recover the Recycle Bin files, most of which are recoverable as it was emptied recently, but I don't know which are Firefox files. I think .json are and a few others I recognize but it looks like there are thousands of files here and I don't want to recover everything as my hard drive will be filled. And how do I prevent my (small) C drive from filling up in the Users area? I have the browser installed on D drive but I can't remember if I attempted to install it as a portable installation. I think that might prevent the Users area filling up on C driver or would it fill up on a portable install? I don't even know if Mozilla offers a portable install. I just hate it when software scatters files all over the place. I want everything Firefox related in one folder. Most of the time software is like a filing system where you place your carefully organized papers into a tray and its shot out spewing the contents all over the room.
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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/78.0.3904.108 Safari/537.36

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Wesley Branton
  • Top 10 Contributor
712 solutions 5608 answers

Helpful Reply

It would be easiest to tell which are Firefox files if you know the path that the files were stored at. Primarily, Firefox data is stored in the %appdata% folder on your computer (you need to type that into the Windows file explorer to see what the actually path is since it depends on the system).

As for a portable version of Firefox, there's no official version available. However, the version on PortableApps.com is the version that most recommend and it's a trustworthy app.

As for keeping Firefox from filling up your drive, you can try changing your history settings to have Firefox clear the cache each time you close it. This can sometimes save a lot of space.

There are also some good cleanup utilities, like CCleaner], that can usually clean a lot of data out for you. If you do install a cleaning utility, do make sure that it's a trusted and safe tool. There are, unfortunately, a lot of illegitimate programs on the internet designed to fool people.

Hope this helps.

It would be easiest to tell which are Firefox files if you know the path that the files were stored at. Primarily, Firefox data is stored in the <code>%appdata%</code> folder on your computer (you need to type that into the Windows file explorer to see what the actually path is since it depends on the system). As for a portable version of Firefox, there's no official version available. However, the [https://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable version on PortableApps.com] is the version that most recommend and it's a trustworthy app. As for keeping Firefox from filling up your drive, you can try changing your history settings to have Firefox clear the cache each time you close it. This can sometimes save a lot of space. There are also some good cleanup utilities, like [https://www.ccleaner.com/ CCleaner]], that can usually clean a lot of data out for you. If you do install a cleaning utility, do make sure that it's a trusted and safe tool. There are, unfortunately, a lot of illegitimate programs on the internet designed to fool people. Hope this helps.
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Question owner

So they use another location for settings/profile/etc in case Firefox is deleted? And when its upgraded does that erase any of these settings? And if I need to go back a version what about the settings? I think I can choose where the settings are so I can keep them separate from the program but still where I want? I just get tired of having to check C drive to see what stuff is accumulating. BTW that was a very good reply! Very informative.

So they use another location for settings/profile/etc in case Firefox is deleted? And when its upgraded does that erase any of these settings? And if I need to go back a version what about the settings? I think I can choose where the settings are so I can keep them separate from the program but still where I want? I just get tired of having to check C drive to see what stuff is accumulating. BTW that was a very good reply! Very informative.
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crankygoat
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40 solutions 471 answers

Who do you mean by "they"?

The Users folder is exactly where all programs store user settings and temporary files. They store global program settings in Progam Data. E.g., Firefox will have two folders in a user profile, one with cache, one with user settings. You can find these by going to about:profiles in the address bar.

A portable Firefox will have all of these things in one folder.

Upgrades do not change your user data, but may change some settings occasionally, and may change data formats. In that case, it is difficult to downgrade. The new version release notes should say if that is going to be an issue.

For portable apps, you need to manually upgrade them. This actually makes testing easy: Keep a copy of each until you are satisfied with the new version, just make sure they have different folder names (append a major version number to the folder name). Copy your existing profile into the new portable version to get on with your usual expectations. (Copy existing FF profile from Users/ to the portable version to get started initially.)

Who do you mean by "they"? The Users folder is exactly where all programs store user settings and temporary files. They store global program settings in Progam Data. E.g., Firefox will have two folders in a user profile, one with cache, one with user settings. You can find these by going to about:profiles in the address bar. A portable Firefox will have all of these things in one folder. Upgrades do not change your user data, but may change some settings occasionally, and may change data formats. In that case, it is difficult to downgrade. The new version release notes should say if that is going to be an issue. For portable apps, you need to manually upgrade them. This actually makes testing easy: Keep a copy of each until you are satisfied with the new version, just make sure they have different folder names (append a major version number to the folder name). Copy your existing profile into the new portable version to get on with your usual expectations. (Copy existing FF profile from Users/ to the portable version to get started initially.)
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Wesley Branton
  • Top 10 Contributor
712 solutions 5608 answers

A good way to specify the location of your profile folder is to use the standalone profile manager. It's an outdated project but it will allow you to choose where your profile should be saved to, so you could specify a certain folder on your other drive. This would put a pointer to your profile folder in the regular place on your C drive, but the data would be somewhere else.

A good way to specify the location of your profile folder is to use the [http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/utilities/profilemanager/1.0/ standalone profile manager]. It's an outdated project but it will allow you to choose where your profile should be saved to, so you could specify a certain folder on your other drive. This would put a pointer to your profile folder in the regular place on your C drive, but the data would be somewhere else.
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Question owner

> Who do you mean by "they"? The designers of Firefox.

The cache is stored so pages that are repetitively viewed can be loaded much faster? If so, can I disable that or is it best to just delete it at the end of each day or every few days? And is the cache the only thing that tends to grow to any appreciable size with daily use? Mine was 500mb and I think I've deleted it recently. Only using a 30gb SSD drive for C and had only about 6gb free before this started. Now I have only 2gb. Not sure if that compromises a SSD's performance like it apparently does with a traditional Sata 7200 rpm drive.

And when manually upgrading portable apps what happens to the settings? Do they need to be copied to the new version? Or can this be done automatically?

> Who do you mean by "they"? The designers of Firefox. The cache is stored so pages that are repetitively viewed can be loaded much faster? If so, can I disable that or is it best to just delete it at the end of each day or every few days? And is the cache the only thing that tends to grow to any appreciable size with daily use? Mine was 500mb and I think I've deleted it recently. Only using a 30gb SSD drive for C and had only about 6gb free before this started. Now I have only 2gb. Not sure if that compromises a SSD's performance like it apparently does with a traditional Sata 7200 rpm drive. And when manually upgrading portable apps what happens to the settings? Do they need to be copied to the new version? Or can this be done automatically?
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Wesley Branton
  • Top 10 Contributor
712 solutions 5608 answers

The cache is the main thing that will grow as you use Firefox. There is some other data that can clog up your hard drive to, but the cache is the only thing I'd recommend clearing out since it has no effect on your browsing experience.

I wouldn't recommend disabling the cache entirely, since it can have some noticeable performance improvements. But, if you adjust the settings to clear the cache each time you close Firefox, that will be a good balance of saving space and keeping good performance.

And yes, you are correct about the purpose of the cache. But it's fine to clear it after Firefox closes because, in many cases, Firefox will end up having to redownload items anyway since they will be outdated.

The cache is the main thing that will grow as you use Firefox. There is some other data that can clog up your hard drive to, but the cache is the only thing I'd recommend clearing out since it has no effect on your browsing experience. I wouldn't recommend disabling the cache entirely, since it can have some noticeable performance improvements. But, if you adjust the settings to clear the cache each time you close Firefox, that will be a good balance of saving space and keeping good performance. And yes, you are correct about the purpose of the cache. But it's fine to clear it after Firefox closes because, in many cases, Firefox will end up having to redownload items anyway since they will be outdated.
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crankygoat
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40 solutions 471 answers

moz2u said

> Who do you mean by "they"? The designers of Firefox.

Yes, the designers of Firefox and most other applications, on any operating system, keep various user data, settings, and program data of various sorts separated. This is for various reasons, but yes, one reason is that your user files are safely separate, and persist beyond program uninstallation unless the uninstaller offers you to delete these and you choose to do so.

As to updating portable applications, you do not take updates the same way. Portableapps has several methods, depending on how you are using their offerings. I would assume you would be using the Standalone method. https://portableapps.com/support/portable_app#upgrading

If you are leery of the updates, you can always

Keep a copy of each until you are satisfied with the new version, just make sure they have different folder names (append a major version number to the folder name). Copy your existing profile into the new portable version to get on with your usual expectations. (Copy existing FF profile from Users/ to the portable version to get started initially.)
''moz2u [[#answer-1279322|said]]'' <blockquote> > Who do you mean by "they"? The designers of Firefox. </blockquote> Yes, the designers of Firefox and most other applications, on any operating system, keep various user data, settings, and program data of various sorts separated. This is for various reasons, but yes, one reason is that your user files are safely separate, and persist beyond program uninstallation unless the uninstaller offers you to delete these and you choose to do so. As to updating portable applications, you do not take updates the same way. Portableapps has several methods, depending on how you are using their offerings. I would assume you would be using the Standalone method. https://portableapps.com/support/portable_app#upgrading If you are leery of the updates, you can always <blockquote> Keep a copy of each until you are satisfied with the new version, just make sure they have different folder names (append a major version number to the folder name). Copy your existing profile into the new portable version to get on with your usual expectations. (Copy existing FF profile from Users/ to the portable version to get started initially.) </blockquote>
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