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Why can't I get Firefox Sync to Sync from one computer to another when I press Sync Now in the Tool Menue?

  • 3 replies
  • 9 have this problem
  • Last reply by guigs

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I set up a sync account a long time ago to sync the bookmarks from my desktop to my laptop. When I first set it up, it worked fine, but I haven't used it in a long time. However, today when I tried to to sync my machines, it didn't work properly. Everything seems to be ok with the desktop. When I tried to access the account from the laptop, I found that it was not recognized. I went through the procedure to add a new machine, and it seemed to work fine. I got a message that said "Your data is now being encrypted and uploaded in the background. You can close this tab and continue using Firefox." What looked like a "completion bar" appeared under it. I never saw anything appear to show that the uploading was happening, and I finally closed the window.

I went to the Tools menu on each, opened it, and clicked on Sync Now. When I clicked on it, the window closed, but nothing apparently happened, and my bookmarks did not change. I tried doing this several times (I even rebooted both machines) and tried again, but nothing happens.

I am running XP on the desktop and Win 7 on the laptop. I made sure Firefox is current on both machines.

Am I doing something wrong? I would appreciate any help I can get.

All Replies (3)

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Hi TexasNative,

Thank you for contacting support. When you set up the second machine which option did you select out of the following bellow:

  • Merge this computer's data with my Sync data (default; recommended)
  • Replace all data on this computer with my Sync data
  • Replace all other devices with this computer's data

This would determine if the data from the first computer is there. Please let us know, we are happy to help.

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Hello Guigs2,

Thanks for your response. I used the first (default) option.

There has been an additional development. Yesterday when I booted up my desktop, I found that my bookmarks had indeed been altered (synced??). However, I am not sure just how. For example, I had a Folder called Vendors on the Toolbar. I had a similar folder named Vend (to save banner space) on the Laptop. Now my desktop has the folder named Vend (rather than Vendor) and I am not sure whether it is strictly the one from my laptop or whether it contains the files from Vendor as well. I have a lot of bookmarks in these folders, and it will not be easy to tell if they are all the same or not.

I also had a Folder on both machines Called BPC (for Build PC) where I was storing information about components for a new desktop that I am going to build. I had a lot of information (including a number of sub-folders in that one. The laptop only had a half-dozen bookmarks, as I have not done much of the research on that machine. However, my desktop BPC folder now contains the bookmarks from the laptop, but nothing else. After doing a lot of manual searching, I found the sub-folders from the original BCP folder on my desktop listed under the Unsorted Bookmarks folder, which I manually transferred to BCP folder on my desktop toolbar. That is about all I have had time to check out. I do not relish the idea of having to go manually through all of the bookmark folders and compare them to the laptop folders.

I tried using the Search function to find folders in the Library, but that does not work. Any ideas there?

Also, if you could explain a little about how this works. As I noted, now that the laptop is recognized again, if I click on Sync Now in the Tools, the window simply closes. Is it syncing, or am I supposed to get some other message? Does this mean that it is simply transferring my bookmark information to Mozilla to be available for sync, or is it a two way street? If I do the same with the laptop, I get the same result. Also, is it supposed to be such a long process for the sync to be delivered to the machines, and what if one machine is not on?

Thanks again for your help.

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Forgive me if I missed anything, there was a reload of the page before I could post the elaborate response that I failed to save in my clipboard. - I have Lazarus the add on now for form recovery. :-)

Hi TexasNative,

I am happy to clarify. The first option you chose when you synced the second computer takes all of the bookmarks on that computer and adds them to the list from the last sync of the first computer that you set sync up on.

To answer your questions to the best of my knowledge

  • If the folders are not listed then they were merged.
  • When you click Sync Now the current items being sync sync up and overwrite the data of the last sync if anything was changed.
  • Currently there is no message when the sync has completed, but because it is such a small amount of data the sync is pretty fast. Each user is limited to a maximum of 25MB of data.
  • If the machine is not on then Firefox will not sync until the computer is turned on and fetched the most current sync from the cloud profile. In other words, in the browser there are set intervals of how often the data is synced, and currently on start up the sync will start after 90 seconds. The value in the about config page for the automatic interval for sync is "services.sync.syncinterval"

Note: There are two folders that populate if you have an Mobile device synced. All of these items will be in a Mobile Bookmark folder, with the option you have selected to merge data. However since there are two computers that sync any new bookmarks. To find out more about how sync works Firefox Sync troubleshooting and tips and How do I choose what type of information to sync on Firefox? are helpful knowledge base articles that will have more information.