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Firefox Sync horribly designed,; not working at all

  • 5 replies
  • 19 have this problem
  • Last reply by bntabor

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This is the most horribly designed POS I've had the pleasure of using.

I want to setup sync on my mom's firefox. I have an account already, so I click that button. Now It wants me to pair a device. I have no access to the other computer that firefox sync was presumably setup on. Ok fine I click "I don't have the device with me."

Now they want me to sign in and provide a recovery key. WTF Is a recovery key and when did I ever get one? Fine, I generate one. I save it. Now I click "Sign in". Nope, still not working. It says my key is wrong. Umm. The key you just GAVE ME is wrong. Fine. I try again, and again. The next button is not working.

All I want to do is sync bookmarks with my mom's ipad. On the ipad app I'm using, it tells me to click "Add a device" on my browser. Umm, there is no such button. Both apps are giving me PAIRING keys; neither app is letting me actually enter a pairing key for the other.

This is horrible; absolutely horrible. This is why I use chrome. Mozilla you should be ashamed of this product.

All Replies (5)

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The designers of Firefox Sync obviously imagined you would be sitting in front of your PC when you set up your mobile devices. The security architecture of Firefox Sync requires that you have physical access to (or remote control of) a device already connected to the account or that you have the original recovery key provided when you created the account. The service is not designed to allow ad hoc connections with a username and user-created password. That's inconvenient in the scenario you described. I don't know whether anyone is seriously considering changing it.

On a separate note, Firefox Sync may not be the best tool for your proposed use. You might consider another method of sharing bookmarks, such as a social or private cloud service.

Out of curiosity, were you able to sync your Chrome bookmarks to your mother's iPad more easily?

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Whoa, a reply. Thank you, seriously. You've eased my frustrating a bit just by having someone to talk to.

In any case, there should be an easier way. They want me to open up 3 computers just to get sync working, in my use case. That's absurd.

But what really gets me is that the service is not working properly. I'm pressing "Next" about 1000 times and it just DOES NOT WORK. Nevermind my particular edge case. They can't even make the normal service work properly. What does that say about the software?

I guess I'll fire up my 3rd computer and see if I can get it working.

I personally use chrome but my mother is on firefox.

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Just an FYI, Sync is poorly designed from a UX point of view (though it is the best sync experience from a security standpoint) and we are currently working on replacing it with a better, more reliable, and easier to use product, code name PICL (Profile In the CLoud, pronounced Pickle). I don't have an eta for this, but do trust that we are listening and are working on making Sync much better :) Keep updating Firefox and we will release PICL as soon as it's ready :)

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This a screenshot of the final Firefox Sync Setup window. It says very specifically that your Sync Key is required for accessing Sync on other "machines". "Sync Key" is also known as the "Recovery Key" in some windows or help documentation.

You're also given a "Print" button so that your can print your username and sync key.

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I never received "that" window, every time i try to use sync, it says "Set up Sync", then pair a device or create an account. If i try to create an account, it says my email is in use. I can log into the portal, but not use sync.