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Cannot open Firefox because "Firefox Profile Missing or Unavailable." But I did find it in my Library. Using MacBook Pro, High Sierra

  • 14 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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Suddenly! Cannot open Firefox because of the error message: "Firefox profile missing or unavailable."

I found the profile in my Library.

Looked for internet advertised "Firefox profile manager," but could not find it. Only one I could find was obsolete.

Thank you.

Attached screenshots

Modified by Rob

All Replies (14)

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These suggestions have not solved the problem for me. The Mozilla instructions are confusing for me, to say the least. I'm reluctant to mess with Terminal, and I cannot find a current profile manager wizard. Is there any current profile manager that can be downloaded? I am using High Sierra on a Mac, OS 10.13.6.

I have found a profile in the library. But where to go from there? When I click on Firefox, all I get is the window saying profile missing or unavailable.


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I called for more help.

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Thanks Fred! :)

I could just delete the whole thing but then I'd probably lose my bookmarks, etc. The profile is there in my Library, but how do I get it back into Firefox, when Firefox "opens" (sort of) and just flashes that window at me. I can't even access "About Firefox" when it "opens."

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I did uninstall Firefox completely, using AppCleaner. Then I downloaded latest Firefox for Mac.

When I tried to open it after installation, I got SAME WINDOW: PROFILE MISSING OR UNAVAILABLE. So it seems I cannot use Firefox anymore!

I ran a virus check using Avast. Nothing. Safari is unaffected & I can use it.

I really like Firefox & would like to use it again, but even though I was willing (reluctantly) to sacrifice all my bookmarks, I still cannot use it.

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did firefox every worked on your system, perhaps an older version?

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This message means that the profile listed in profiles.ini that is set as the default profile no longer exists. You can create a new profile and see if you can recover personal data from another profile.

See "Creating a profile":

See also:

If the new profile works then you can transfer files from a previously used profile to the new profile, but be cautious not to copy corrupted files to avoid carrying over problems.

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Hi, thanks for your efforts! I followed instructions and went into terminal to try to find my profile and was told it no longer exists.

Next set? Create a new profile?

The Firefox Help instructions say:

"CREATING A PROFILE - "After starting the Profile Manager as explained above...." BUT, I CANNOT  start the profile manager because the only thing I get after going into terminal is "Profile Missing." 

Can't go any further from that,. If after using terminal (/Application/ -P) the only thing that happens is a window saying "Profile Missing," where do I go from there???

I already tried downloading a new Firefox but after trying to pen it I get same message, and it does not function. TIRED! Almost ready to give up on having Firefox as a browser, which is sad because I really liked it. I cannot get a new version to function even if I am willing to give up my bookmarks, etc.

The only thing I can think of is wiping my drive and restoring from a back up. That's a heavy price to pay. Also, this crash happened only after trying to install the new version. So I'd be reluctant in future to upgrade any further.

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i dont think you should wipe the disk just to create a profile.

i would suggest to just be patient and lets examine this situation.

in meantime, continue to use the other browsers you have, like safari and chrome.

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HI, still no joy. Tried all of the above suggestions a few times and Firefox still flashes same message that profile is missing and then it cannot load. Of course I tried re-downloading Firefox several times but same issue. Checked my library and there actually is no profile there under application support. Cannot find any trace of profile except rudimentary in library: attaching a screenshot.

I have basically given up on every using Firefox again. I have no idea what happened after I downloaded the update. It just purged everything out of my computer. (Using Mac, OS 10.13.6 (High Sierra).

If anyone has any other ideas..... THANKS!!!

One sort of primitive idea I have is pasting the library folder in my ccc backup, which has a working firefox app (I had done my last backup just before the crash) and copying it over to my internal drive to see what might happen....?

The screenshot shows 2 folders in my Library. Neither one of them contains anything. There is nothing else.

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That last screenshot seems to show the Crash Reports folder and not the main profile folder. A Firefox profile folder usually has an eight character random name for the first part and default or default-release for the last part (xxxxxxxx.default-release). There should be a profiles.ini file present that point to a profile that no longer exists.

You can find the profiles.ini file in a hidden location:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/profiles.ini

Location used for the main profile that keeps your personal data (Root Directory on about:profiles).

  • ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/<profile>

In Mac OS X v10.7 and later, the "~/Library" folder in the Home directory is a hidden folder.

See also:

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Thanks Cor-El.

I have successfully copied over my Application Support folder for Firefox, including profile, from my external HD (which is unaffected by the problem) into the library of my internal HD>

I then tried again open Firefox but again received the message that Profile was missing.

Please see screen shot attached for what is now in my Internal HD Library.


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In your screenshot: profiles.ini and installs.ini tell Firefox what to look for in the Profiles folder, so there is a mismatch between what is in the .ini files and what is in the Profiles folder.

Or it's also possible that is not the folder Firefox is actually looking at, but instead it is looking in a profiles.ini/installs.ini file somewhere else your system.

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We can't see the full path of where you copied these files to, but make sure you copied to the primary location "~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/" in your home directory and not to the global /Library/ folder ("~/Library/" is hidden).

Location used for the main profile that keeps your personal data (Root Directory on about:profiles).

  • ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/<profile>