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Firefox Sync only partially syncing history between two installs (only synced 1% in 3 days)

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I've got Firefox 72.0.2 on two systems, one old (10,000+ history items) and one new (200 history items). Both are logged in with the same Firefox account. I've enabled history sync on both and clicked "Sync Now".

The new Firefox install is not getting, at any usable rate, the history from the old Firefox install.

What I've already tried:

1. Log out of my Firefox account on both systems and log in again on both systems. 2. Restart both systems. 3. Disconnect & reconnect from their network connections (obviously, both are browsing the internet just fine) 4. Repeatedly click "Sync Now" in Firefox Options.

System Details:

1. Both are Firefox 72.0.2 and Windows 10 x64 1909 (build 18363) 2. Both are connected to high-speed internet (100 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload) 3. Both have zero extensions enabled except Bitwarden (password manager).

What is wrong with Firefox Sync here and why is it not syncing any data?

I've got Firefox 72.0.2 on two systems, one old (10,000+ history items) and one new (200 history items). Both are logged in with the same Firefox account. I've enabled history sync on both and clicked "Sync Now". The new Firefox install is not getting, at any usable rate, the history from the old Firefox install. What I've already tried: 1. Log out of my Firefox account on both systems and log in again on both systems. 2. Restart both systems. 3. Disconnect & reconnect from their network connections (obviously, both are browsing the internet just fine) 4. Repeatedly click "Sync Now" in Firefox Options. System Details: 1. Both are Firefox 72.0.2 and Windows 10 x64 1909 (build 18363) 2. Both are connected to high-speed internet (100 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload) 3. Both have zero extensions enabled except Bitwarden (password manager). What is wrong with Firefox Sync here and why is it not syncing any data?

Chosen solution

I'm not sure that the limit has ever been included in any of the Mozilla documentation on this website. I don't think it has, but I may be wrong.

Also, I've made a correction to my above post. It appears that the 60 day limit is for data being sent from Firefox Sync to a browser. The limit for data being sent from a browser to Firefox Sync is actually 30 days.

So, Firefox Sync can keep history data for up to 60 days on the servers, but browsers can only send it the most recent 30 days of history.

My answer is based off of a bug report (see bug 985930) filed in 2014. Although the bug is a bit on the older side, I don't see any indication that the system has changed since that time.

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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc. Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc.

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/80.0.3987.87 Safari/537.36

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Wesley Branton
  • Top 25 Contributor
718 solutions 5649 answers

Helpful Reply

To cut down on the data being sent through Firefox Sync, there are some limitations when it comes to syncing history. Firefox Sync can only sync up to 5000 history items and it will not sync history items that are older than 60 days 30 days.

CORRECTION ABOVE: Firefox will not send history items to Firefox Sync if they are older than 30 days. Similarly, Firefox will not receive items from the Firefox Sync system if they are older than 60 days. For example, if a history item is sent and stored on Firefox Sync and you add a new device to Firefox Sync after the 60 days, that item will not be sent to the new device, even if it is in the Firefox Sync storage.

Given that you have more than 10,000 items to sync, which you have said are "old", it's entirely possible that not all of the items will sync.

If you do happen to need all of the previous history items on another computer, your best bet is to make a local backup of your Firefox Profile folder and transfer it to the other computer.

Hope this helps.

To cut down on the data being sent through Firefox Sync, there are some limitations when it comes to syncing history. Firefox Sync can only sync up to 5000 history items and it will not sync history items that are older than <strike>60 days</strike> 30 days. CORRECTION ABOVE: ''Firefox will not send history items to Firefox Sync if they are older than 30 days. Similarly, Firefox will not receive items from the Firefox Sync system if they are older than 60 days. For example, if a history item is sent and stored on Firefox Sync and you add a new device to Firefox Sync after the 60 days, that item will not be sent to the new device, even if it is in the Firefox Sync storage.'' Given that you have more than 10,000 items to sync, which you have said are "old", it's entirely possible that not all of the items will sync. If you do happen to need all of the previous history items on another computer, your best bet is to [[Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles|make a local backup of your Firefox Profile folder]] and transfer it to the other computer. Hope this helps.

Modified by Wesley Branton

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Question owner

Wesley Branton said

To cut down on the data being sent through Firefox Sync, there are some limitations when it comes to syncing history. Firefox Sync can only sync up to 5000 history items and it will not sync history items that are older than 60 days. Given that you have more than 10,000 items to sync, which you have said are "old", it's entirely possible that not all of the items will sync. If you do happen to need all of the previous history items on another computer, your best bet is to make a local backup of your Firefox Profile folder and transfer it to the other computer. Hope this helps.

Thank you for the reply. Has this limit been scrapped / removed from support.mozilla.org's main Q&A system?

At the moment, only Firefox For Android says bookmarks cannot exceed 5000 bookmarks. Source here.

If you have more than 5,000 bookmarks in your Firefox profile, Firefox for Android won't sync them. Some limitations in Android and Sync itself make larger quantities of bookmarks unreliable, so this limit is there to protect your data.

This 2011 Mozilla post claims there is a 25 MB Sync limit & 60 days in comment 100, but also states we should be seeing warnings in the Sync UI. No warnings have appeared.

If this is true, I'm sad to hear it. There was no warning in the Sync UI, there is negligible to zero documentation, and I've already built up a history on both systems from over 60 days, so the profile copy is not possible. And, as far as I can see, there's no clean way to merge two history files from two Firefox installs.

I would've gladly paid for the extra storage space & bandwidth costs, but that request link is already 404 (it is from 2011, after all).

Thank you for confirming the nail in the coffin here. Much appreciated, Wesley.

''Wesley Branton [[#answer-1288007|said]]'' <blockquote> To cut down on the data being sent through Firefox Sync, there are some limitations when it comes to syncing history. Firefox Sync can only sync up to 5000 history items and it will not sync history items that are older than 60 days. Given that you have more than 10,000 items to sync, which you have said are "old", it's entirely possible that not all of the items will sync. If you do happen to need all of the previous history items on another computer, your best bet is to [[Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles|make a local backup of your Firefox Profile folder]] and transfer it to the other computer. Hope this helps. </blockquote> Thank you for the reply. Has this limit been scrapped / removed from support.mozilla.org's main Q&A system? At the moment, only Firefox For Android says bookmarks cannot exceed 5000 bookmarks. '''[https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-sync-troubleshooting-and-tips Source here.] ''If you have more than 5,000 bookmarks in your Firefox profile, Firefox for Android won't sync them. Some limitations in Android and Sync itself make larger quantities of bookmarks unreliable, so this limit is there to protect your data.'' This [https://blog.mozilla.org/services/2011/06/15/enabling-quotas-for-firefox-sync/ 2011 Mozilla post] claims there is a 25 MB Sync limit & 60 days in comment 100, but also states we should be seeing warnings in the Sync UI. No warnings have appeared. If this is true, I'm sad to hear it. There was no warning in the Sync UI, there is negligible to zero documentation, and I've already built up a history on both systems from over 60 days, so the profile copy is not possible. And, as far as I can see, there's no clean way to merge two history files from two Firefox installs. I would've gladly paid for the extra storage space & bandwidth costs, but that request link is already 404 (it is from 2011, after all). Thank you for confirming the nail in the coffin here. Much appreciated, Wesley.

Modified by ikjadoon

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Wesley Branton
  • Top 25 Contributor
718 solutions 5649 answers

Chosen Solution

I'm not sure that the limit has ever been included in any of the Mozilla documentation on this website. I don't think it has, but I may be wrong.

Also, I've made a correction to my above post. It appears that the 60 day limit is for data being sent from Firefox Sync to a browser. The limit for data being sent from a browser to Firefox Sync is actually 30 days.

So, Firefox Sync can keep history data for up to 60 days on the servers, but browsers can only send it the most recent 30 days of history.

My answer is based off of a bug report (see bug 985930) filed in 2014. Although the bug is a bit on the older side, I don't see any indication that the system has changed since that time.

I'm not sure that the limit has ever been included in any of the Mozilla documentation on this website. I don't think it has, but I may be wrong. Also, I've made a correction to my above post. It appears that the 60 day limit is for data being sent from Firefox Sync to a browser. The limit for data being sent from a browser to Firefox Sync is actually 30 days. So, Firefox Sync can keep history data for up to 60 days on the servers, but browsers can only send it the most recent 30 days of history. My answer is based off of a bug report (see [https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=985930 bug 985930]) filed in 2014. Although the bug is a bit on the older side, I don't see any indication that the system has changed since that time.
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cor-el
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You can copy places.sqlite from the old device to the new device with Firefox closed. Best is to avoid copying a full profile folder as this can (will) cause issues.

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.

See also:

You can copy places.sqlite from the old device to the new device with Firefox closed. Best is to avoid copying a full profile folder as this can (will) cause issues. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the <b>about:profiles</b> page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Folder/Directory:<br>Windows: Open Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Profiles See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile
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Question owner

Wesley Branton said

I'm not sure that the limit has ever been included in any of the Mozilla documentation on this website. I don't think it has, but I may be wrong. Also, I've made a correction to my above post. It appears that the 60 day limit is for data being sent from Firefox Sync to a browser. The limit for data being sent from a browser to Firefox Sync is actually 30 days. So, Firefox Sync can keep history data for up to 60 days on the servers, but browsers can only send it the most recent 30 days of history. My answer is based off of a bug report (see bug 985930) filed in 2014. Although the bug is a bit on the older side, I don't see any indication that the system has changed since that time.

Thank you so much for checking this; I'm sorry to see it. However, you're right.

I only wish this was present in the UI somewhere. Hopefully, this can be added in a future update as it seems like key information.

cor-el said

You can copy places.sqlite from the old device to the new device with Firefox closed. Best is to avoid copying a full profile folder as this can (will) cause issues. 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. See also:

Thank you for the update, cor-el. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, I will lose the now ~1,000 new history items on the 2nd system. Merging two places.sqlite files is involved, if not also poorly documented.

I may need to move on and find a different system, if not browser, all together. For those reading this post later, I might look at History Search, which (for a monthly subscription) will sync your browser history to a separate, seemingly high-quality indexed private cloud database.

If there are any Mozilla employees out there, I'd love to pay more to cover the storage & bandwidth for a 50k history item list. My use case is probably unusual: I do a significant amount of research (easily 200+ URLs a day) and my memory is just good enough to remember certain details from months and months ago, but not enough for a web search.

Thank you both for your replies. Onward.

''Wesley Branton [[#answer-1288122|said]]'' <blockquote> I'm not sure that the limit has ever been included in any of the Mozilla documentation on this website. I don't think it has, but I may be wrong. Also, I've made a correction to my above post. It appears that the 60 day limit is for data being sent from Firefox Sync to a browser. The limit for data being sent from a browser to Firefox Sync is actually 30 days. So, Firefox Sync can keep history data for up to 60 days on the servers, but browsers can only send it the most recent 30 days of history. My answer is based off of a bug report (see [https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=985930 bug 985930]) filed in 2014. Although the bug is a bit on the older side, I don't see any indication that the system has changed since that time. </blockquote> Thank you so much for checking this; I'm sorry to see it. However, you're right. I only wish this was present in the UI somewhere. Hopefully, this can be added in a future update as it seems like key information. ''cor-el [[#answer-1288124|said]]'' <blockquote> You can copy places.sqlite from the old device to the new device with Firefox closed. Best is to avoid copying a full profile folder as this can (will) cause issues. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the <b>about:profiles</b> page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Folder/Directory:<br>Windows: Open Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Profiles See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile </blockquote> Thank you for the update, cor-el. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, I will lose the now ~1,000 new history items on the 2nd system. Merging two places.sqlite files is involved, if not also poorly documented. I may need to move on and find a different system, if not browser, all together. For those reading this post later, I might look at History Search, which (for a monthly subscription) will sync your browser history to a separate, seemingly high-quality indexed private cloud database. If there are any Mozilla employees out there, I'd love to pay more to cover the storage & bandwidth for a 50k history item list. My use case is probably unusual: I do a significant amount of research (easily 200+ URLs a day) and my memory is just good enough to remember certain details from months and months ago, but not enough for a web search. Thank you both for your replies. Onward.

Modified by ikjadoon

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cor-el
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You can use this Nirsoft utility to export the history or do a copy and paste form history to bookmarks in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) to have the history included in a bookmarks HTML backup. Only if you use places.sqlite you will be able to fully restore the history and this works instantly.

You can use this Nirsoft utility to export the history or do a copy and paste form history to bookmarks in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) to have the history included in a bookmarks HTML backup. Only if you use places.sqlite you will be able to fully restore the history and this works instantly. *http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/browsing_history_view.html
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