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Requirement to sign in to Firefox a couple of days ago without any warning.

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  • Last reply by cor-el

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Odd. I have been a dedicated user Firefox browser for years, and one day it comes to a grinding halt. Not sure how or why this happened. Did someone have a bad day, and decided that that was the day that every Firefox user had to have a password to use the software? I lost all my bookmarks because apparently my password (which I did not have) was the only way to access them and resetting my password meant of course they are gone. Really sad, as the Chrome browser is a pig - why does EVERY web site you ever accessed have to stay open?? Weird!! Is there a description somewhere of how to navigate the new Firefox. I have tried to get somewhere using the 3 boxes that open in the initial screen but they are dead ends. Odd but then most of the stuff I see is "Intuitive". I will be 75 in a week, so I don't do intuitive!! Help. Jim

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Modified by Chris Ilias

Chosen solution

Well, first off, happy early birthday to you, Jim!

Did this issue first happen after some kind of update to Firefox?

It sounds like maybe you were asked to sign into Firefox Sync, which is a service that can be used to share your bookmarks, passwords and other settings between more than one device. This service is entirely optional, so it's not something that you need to sign into in order to use Firefox.

What it sounds like is that maybe Firefox updated to a new version on your computer and this caused Firefox to misplace your bookmarks and other settings. When a user first installs Firefox, they get a popup to create a Firefox Sync account, which is probably what you saw. It's not entirely uncommon to see this happen and, usually, it's pretty easy to fix.

Often what happens is that, when Firefox updates to a new version (typically if it hasn't been updated in a while), it thinks that it's now the first time that you are using Firefox for the first time. This causes it to create a new profile on your computer. A profile on Firefox is just the folder that your bookmarks and settings are stored in.

Fortunately, Firefox doesn't usually delete the old profile folder from your computer. It just sets the new one as the default one to use with Firefox.

What you can do, to check if Firefox does indeed still have your old profile folder, is go to the about:profiles page in Firefox. This can be done by typing that into the Firefox address bar at the top of the screen. That page will list all of the profile folders that Firefox can see on your computer.

If you see more than one listed there, it's likely that what I've described above is exactly what happened in your case. One of the profiles will be labelled as "in use". That's the one that you are currently using. If you press the Launch profile in new browser button, that will open a new browser window and you can check in there to see if it has your bookmarks and passwords and other data.

If it does, go back to the original browser window and press the Set as default profile button. Then, once you close Firefox, it should have all of your bookmarks and other data when you open it up again.


As for the rest of your question, it sounds like perhaps you have some questions or issues using the Firefox layout. It's potentially different from your old layout, especially if you were previously using a very old version of Firefox.

If you are able to recover your old profile using the information above, but the layout still looks unfamiliar to you, let us know what features you are having issues using or finding and I'm sure either myself or someone else here in the community will be able to help you out or even help you to customize Firefox the way you want it.

Hope all of this helps. If you need anything explained further or need additional help, please feel free to reply to this thread.

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Chosen Solution

Well, first off, happy early birthday to you, Jim!

Did this issue first happen after some kind of update to Firefox?

It sounds like maybe you were asked to sign into Firefox Sync, which is a service that can be used to share your bookmarks, passwords and other settings between more than one device. This service is entirely optional, so it's not something that you need to sign into in order to use Firefox.

What it sounds like is that maybe Firefox updated to a new version on your computer and this caused Firefox to misplace your bookmarks and other settings. When a user first installs Firefox, they get a popup to create a Firefox Sync account, which is probably what you saw. It's not entirely uncommon to see this happen and, usually, it's pretty easy to fix.

Often what happens is that, when Firefox updates to a new version (typically if it hasn't been updated in a while), it thinks that it's now the first time that you are using Firefox for the first time. This causes it to create a new profile on your computer. A profile on Firefox is just the folder that your bookmarks and settings are stored in.

Fortunately, Firefox doesn't usually delete the old profile folder from your computer. It just sets the new one as the default one to use with Firefox.

What you can do, to check if Firefox does indeed still have your old profile folder, is go to the about:profiles page in Firefox. This can be done by typing that into the Firefox address bar at the top of the screen. That page will list all of the profile folders that Firefox can see on your computer.

If you see more than one listed there, it's likely that what I've described above is exactly what happened in your case. One of the profiles will be labelled as "in use". That's the one that you are currently using. If you press the Launch profile in new browser button, that will open a new browser window and you can check in there to see if it has your bookmarks and passwords and other data.

If it does, go back to the original browser window and press the Set as default profile button. Then, once you close Firefox, it should have all of your bookmarks and other data when you open it up again.


As for the rest of your question, it sounds like perhaps you have some questions or issues using the Firefox layout. It's potentially different from your old layout, especially if you were previously using a very old version of Firefox.

If you are able to recover your old profile using the information above, but the layout still looks unfamiliar to you, let us know what features you are having issues using or finding and I'm sure either myself or someone else here in the community will be able to help you out or even help you to customize Firefox the way you want it.

Hope all of this helps. If you need anything explained further or need additional help, please feel free to reply to this thread.

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Sorry that you aren't happy with Firefox any longer, but I don't know how I can even start to try to help you, but I'll try.

I am 70 yo, so that might help a bit. I am not a computer or IT person, just someone who began using PC's for his business back in 1984 to help "modernize" my 3 person automobile repair shop business, in those days an "early adopter" with PC's in an office environment that small. Over the years it became a hobby for me.
BTW, my mother was able to learn how to use Firefox back when she was in her mid-80's. Surely it was a struggle (for both of us), but she was able to actually use Firefox almost as well as WordPerfect for "word processing", which she had been using for many years when working PT long after she first "retired".


As far as losing your Bookmarks goes, am I correct in assuming that you were using the Firefox Sync service?
And that "password reset" had to do with Sync and a Firefox Account?

If so, that is an optional service and not necessary to use in order to actually use Firefox. I do have to say that Firefox is "marketed" in such a manner that to a user that is not an option, but make it sound mandatory for everyone to be using. IMO, marketing hype. What Mozilla fails to mention is that for Sync to be used properly two separate devices are needed for "synchronizing Firefox user data". One device alone would be like "clapping at air with one hand", good arm / wrist exercise and the two hands produce the audible noise: IOW, there's nothing to synchronize with - it takes 2 (or more) devices for real "synchronization". And Sync was never intended to be a "backup medium" for a solitary device, The manner with which the Password is used to encrypt user data for "off of the device security, is a primary feature that few users ever read about or realize. And that is why "merely" forgetting the Password for a Firefox Account and resetting setting the Password results in the user losing their data.

Unfortunately, that is "fatal" for your data, it's gone. And without a backup file that would have been made before hand, there really isn't any way of getting them back.

Please start here to learn about Firefox and learn how to use it.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/products/firefox/get-started
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/get-started-firefox-overview-main-features

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See also "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.