Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

I Have Really Messed Things Up and need HELP

  • 16 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by user1290480

more options

I bought a new computer. I read about how to transfer over your profile. On my old computer I located the folder, and went up one level as it said. I had 2 files there, not 1 .I saved these files. I installed firefox on my new computer and followed the same steps to locate the folder. It also had 2 files, with different names. I STUPIDLY deleted these two files and put in the two I had copied from my old compter. Turned offirefox and turned it back on. It would notopen because it said it couldnot locate my profile folder. I uninstalled Firefox, and reinstalled it. I still get the same error.

Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible. I thought uninstalling and reinstalling it would solve the first part of the program but as of now, I have no Firefox.

Any suggestions from anyone.

Chosen solution

This article describes how to create a new profile when you get the missing profile message: How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible.

Read this answer in context 👍 1

All Replies (16)

more options

On your old computer (which I'm assuming you still have access to) you want to go to the %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles folder on the computer and copy any folders that are in there. These are called your "Profiles" and they are the place that Firefox stores your data (bookmarks, passwords, etc).

Everything from this point onward is assuming that you only had one profile to copy on your old computer.

On your new computer, you will want to go to the same folder. If you've already put folders in there previously, it's probably best to delete them to start off on a clean slate. If you go up one level, you should see a file called installs.ini and a file called profiles.ini. Delete both of those as well.

Now, open Firefox. It should create a brand new blank profile folder for you. Once it does that, close Firefox again. If you go back to the folder your profiles are stored in, you should see a new one listed there that Firefox just made for you.

Paste the profile folder from your old computer into that folder (not inside the actual profile itself). Now, copy the title of the profile that Firefox created for you and delete that folder. Then, rename the profile that you copied from your old computer to the name of the profile that you just deleted.

Once you've done that, Firefox should have all of your old data back again when you open it.

Hope this helps.

more options

The problem now is I reinstalled firefox and it won't open. Is this because some files were left in when I deleted the program? I think I can follow your instructions, but I cannot get Firefox to run at all

Were these: installs.ini and a file called profiles.ini. possibly left in there, or the files that I had placed in there?

Thanks form your prompt reply


more options

Uninstalling Firefox will not remove those files, so it's likely that's what's causing the issue still.

more options


Can you tell me how to solve the problem. Is there still some Firefox files lurking somewhere that I need to delete before I can reinstall it and follow your original instructions. Or do I have to do a complete Windows reinstall to start over?



more options

Delete the profiles.ini and installs.ini file from the %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox folder and that should force Firefox to recreate that information when you start it. That will allow you to complete the steps in my original post.

more options

OK Brandon. I think I am beginning to understand. Got Firefox up and running again. Located the folder. Actually there are 2 folders there. 1 called "something"default and 1 called "something" default-release.

On my old computer 1 was called default and the other was default-1554983386095

Do I copy and rename in that order?

I really am not very tech savy and appreciate your assistance


more options

Hi Alan, now that Firefox is running, could you check here:

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 see your old profile listed here? If so:

Click the Set as default profile button for that profile so Firefox uses it automatically at the next startup.

If not... more work to do.

more options

I have not reloaded my old profile folders yet. That was my question. I know I move the 2 old profile folders to the new location. My question is do I rename the old folders in the same order as the 2 new folders appear and then delete the new folders?



more options

Hi Alan, some of the data in each folder may list the old path, so it's helpful to avoid renaming if possible.

Set Windows not to hide things from you right now during this process:

Currently, it sounds as though you have:


If you haven't already, go ahead and drop in copies of your old profiles folders alongside the new one so you have all three folders in there.

Then try the steps described by Wesley earlier -- rename

  • C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles.ini => profilesOLD.ini
  • C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\installs.ini => installsOLD.ini

On the next Firefox startup, does Firefox detect the new profile folders and ask which one you want to use?

more options

Thanking you again for your help! Okay. I am either stupid or scared. I located the folder on my new computer and copied my 2 old profile folder over to it. There are now 4 folder there. The 2 newly created ones, and the 2 I copied over.

PLEASE walk me thru step by step as to what to do now. Please be very explicit. I don't want to mess this up again. I need really detailed instructions. Getting old SUCKS!



more options

On one of the two profile folders that were already on the new computer (not the ones you copied), right click on the folder and select Rename. Then right click on the text and select Copy. Right click on the folder again and select Delete to remove the folder.

Then, on one of the folders that you copied over, right click on it and select Rename. Right click on the text that's there and select Paste.

Repeat that for the other folders.

more options

It is best not to paste full profile folder content in another profile.

You can copy the full profile folder to the AppData\Roaming location used for profiles.

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\

You can use the Profile Manager to register this copied profile. You do this by creating an a new profile and click the "Choose Folder" button and browse to the profile folder that you copied.

Note you should never use "Choose Folder" to specify a folder that already contains files and that isn't a Firefox profile folder.
Only use "Choose Folder" to recover an profile that isn't listed in the Profile Manager.

more options

Folks, I am so sorry. The last answer seemed easy but I picked a bad time to try doing it. Am lot was going on, and I messed up. I am back to square 1. I tried several things, all to no avail. I am back to a new install of Firefox and it says my profiles are missing. OK. I went to file manager and did a Mozilla search. My intent was to delete every trace of Mozilla in my new computer and start fresh. It won't let me delete anything. Says it needs administrator approval. I don't understand. How do I get myself back to the point as if I was installing Firefox for the first time, and it will load and create a new profile folder? From there, I can do what Wesley said about the moving and renaming. I do understand that. Like I said, I picked a bad time to do it, when my brain was not focused enough.

I do so appreciate all of this help. I know I am a royal pain in the a**.

more options

Chosen Solution

This article describes how to create a new profile when you get the missing profile message: How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible.

more options

Hi again Alan!

I noticed that you marked one of the replies as a solution to your question. Just wanted to follow up to make sure that you were able to get Firefox up and running again with all of your previous data.

more options

All solved. Thanks for all your help