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Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.

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My Firefox will not open no matter what I try because it continuously tells me, "Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible."

This error started happening because my Firefox originally wasn't saving the add-ons that I was trying to add. If I closed my browser and opened another one it would be gone. I tried refreshing the browser but that didn't help. I eventually tried reinstalling to see if that would fix the issue and then this error popped up and now I cannot stop it.

I tried reinstalling. I tried deleting the profile out of appdata, etc in hopes it would make a fresh one. I tried making a new profile by running it without opening the browser only to be given an error that doesn't save it. I'm at a loss on how to get my Firefox working again. It is my favorite browser and this is the first time I've ever really had a severe problem with it. Help!

Chosen solution

Sorry to hear about this problem. If you haven't already, I suggest doing a regular shutdown and restart of Windows to release file locks, complete any pending updates, and resolve any transient privilege issues that may be preventing normal file access.

This error message usually indicates that the files Firefox uses to identify your default profile point to a nonexistent folder. How that got out of sync is a bit of a mystery, but if you deleted anything from

\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

that could explain it. Do you want to go into the Windows Recycle Bin and restore what you deleted from the AppData\Roaming folder? (No need to restore anything from AppData\Local, it's not important for this issue.)

If there's nothing to restore or that doesn't help, you could try removing the following two files in

  • \AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\installs.ini => rename to installsOLD.ini
  • \AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles.ini => rename to profilesOLD.ini

Note: if your Windows isn't set to show file extensions like .ini, see: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-show-file-extensions-in-windows/

Firefox should create a new profile so you can at least get up and running, and then we can turn our attention to data recovery.

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Chosen Solution

Sorry to hear about this problem. If you haven't already, I suggest doing a regular shutdown and restart of Windows to release file locks, complete any pending updates, and resolve any transient privilege issues that may be preventing normal file access.

This error message usually indicates that the files Firefox uses to identify your default profile point to a nonexistent folder. How that got out of sync is a bit of a mystery, but if you deleted anything from

\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

that could explain it. Do you want to go into the Windows Recycle Bin and restore what you deleted from the AppData\Roaming folder? (No need to restore anything from AppData\Local, it's not important for this issue.)

If there's nothing to restore or that doesn't help, you could try removing the following two files in

  • \AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\installs.ini => rename to installsOLD.ini
  • \AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles.ini => rename to profilesOLD.ini

Note: if your Windows isn't set to show file extensions like .ini, see: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-show-file-extensions-in-windows/

Firefox should create a new profile so you can at least get up and running, and then we can turn our attention to data recovery.

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Deleting the installs.ini did it! I was able to open my firefox! Thank you!

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