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Extensions go "invisible" after using backed up profile

  • 7 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 3 views
  • Last reply by cor-el

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When I create a new profile and paste my backed up profile files inside the new profile folder everything seems to work except my add-ons. My add-ons would sometimes be invisible in the toolbar and replaced with empty slots which give me an error saying "Access to file denied - May have been removed, moved, or file permissions may be preventing access" if I try clicking on them. Other times they would be completely gone, not in the toolbar or customization menu. In either case, when I go check what add-ons I have installed, it shows that they're all still there, I just can't seem to see or use them. I'd end up having to uninstall and then reinstall each add-on. (sorry I couldn't get a screenshot of the error, it disappears when I try)

Interestingly the add-ons remember their set place, some remember their previous settings, others don't. For example, NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere remember their settings, but uBlock Origin and Bitwarden don't.

Modified by hailhammies

All Replies (7)

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Possibly, it's this, which I first heard about last year some time on Reddit, I think:

The extensions.json file contains the complete path (hardcoded) to your locally installed extensions. What this means is, when you copy that file to a new profile, it points to the extensions installed in the old profile.

I don't know the best/safest/fastest way to repair that.

You could open extensions.json in a text editor (one that doesn't insert formatting codes to convert to "rich text") and correct the paths by hand. That would be a bit arduous, but may involve the least risk of data loss.

Another possibility is to remove the extensions.json file and let Firefox generate a new one at startup. Since this may assign new local IDs, this may cause complete loss of data for those extensions. The following might prevent that, but since you are working with the copy at this point, I don't know whether it will:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste uuid and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the extensions.webextensions.keepUuidOnUninstall preference to switch the value from false to true

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Did you check the permissions for each of the files and folders and make sure that you are the owner ?

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jscher2000 said

Possibly, it's this, which I first heard about last year some time on Reddit, I think: The extensions.json file contains the complete path (hardcoded) to your locally installed extensions. What this means is, when you copy that file to a new profile, it points to the extensions installed in the old profile. I don't know the best/safest/fastest way to repair that. You could open extensions.json in a text editor (one that doesn't insert formatting codes to convert to "rich text") and correct the paths by hand. That would be a bit arduous, but may involve the least risk of data loss. Another possibility is to remove the extensions.json file and let Firefox generate a new one at startup. Since this may assign new local IDs, this may cause complete loss of data for those extensions. The following might prevent that, but since you are working with the copy at this point, I don't know whether it will: (1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk. (2) In the search box above the list, type or paste uuid and pause while the list is filtered (3) Double-click the extensions.webextensions.keepUuidOnUninstall preference to switch the value from false to true

I tried your suggested setting for about:config but unfortunately it didn't seem to work. Got the same result, add-ons disappeared but FF shows they're still installed.

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cor-el said

Did you check the permissions for each of the files and folders and make sure that you are the owner ?

Could you elaborate? Exactly how would I check that I'm the owner? Sorry, I'm a bit of a noob.

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You can use the 'ls -l' command in a terminal window.

Modified by cor-el

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cor-el said

You can use the 'ls -l' command in a terminal window.

In a newly created Linux Mint user account I went in the Downloads directory (where I saved my profile file) and here's the response from the ls -l command.

"total 4 drwx------ 11 root root 4096 Feb 7 20:30 random.general"

I'm still not sure exactly what I'm looking for though.

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That means that this folder is owned by User: root; Group: root. If you copy files from this folder to your user account then it is likely that these files are owned by root as well although you may have read permissions.

To include sub directories you can use : ls -l -R

Personally, I find it easiest to use a file manager with a graphical user interface (e.g. Nautilus/Files) and inspect folder content in list view. You can usually right-click the header bar to select what columns to display.