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Where are saved passwords stored in firefox 117 on Mac OS?

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

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Recently FireFox has stopped saving changes to my saved logins/passwords. I am using a master password. When I exit FF (I have it set to resume with the same windows and tabs open) and then restart, all the saved passwords have reverted to some time in the past where they remain frozen. If I try to login to a website, FF will ask for my master password, then fill in the OLD password. I can update it (replace the auto-filled string with the correct one) -- for example, login to a site using the correct (NEW) password, and then choose "UPDATE" in the pop-up -- and those will persist until I exit. But after exiting and restarting, all the passwords have reverted to the old values. This also applies to adding and removing saved passwords, or editing them manually in the "about:logins" page. For example, I keep deleting the password for a no-longer-in-use account and it disappears until I restart Firefox, then it comes back.

This makes me think that something has changed the ownership or permissions on the file where these encrypted passwords are saved locally and so Firefox silently skips the step to write them out on exit (or update them incrementally as I change them). I do not use a FF/Mozilla account to save them in the cloud, I just keep them on the local machine, which is Mac OS X Big Sur (11.6.8).

I did find somewhere online (on mozilla.org, I *think*) that the file is "logins.json" at the top level of my active profile. But that file has not been modified since 01/15/2023 (over 8 months ago), and removing it does not seem to have had an impact on the problem, so I am guessing that wherever I found that info (that logins.json is where they are stored) was probably some out-of-date post from a past version of Firefox.

I am hoping someone can tell me which file is not being updated so I can inspect its ownership/permissions and then either fix it or delete the file. I am guessing that I can export the list to a csv file, exit Firefox, delete the storage file, then restart Firefox and import the saved csv file in order to fix it -- but I need to know which file it is.

Or, can someone tell me where to look for an error log that might contain an explanation of something going wrong while trying to update my profile on exit? NOTE: the rest of the profile seems to be OK, my windows and tabs are restored correctly on restart, they are NOT frozen in time.

Thank you for any help you can offer me.

Recently FireFox has stopped saving changes to my saved logins/passwords. I am using a master password. When I exit FF (I have it set to resume with the same windows and tabs open) and then restart, all the saved passwords have reverted to some time in the past where they remain frozen. If I try to login to a website, FF will ask for my master password, then fill in the OLD password. I can update it (replace the auto-filled string with the correct one) -- for example, login to a site using the correct (NEW) password, and then choose "UPDATE" in the pop-up -- and those will persist until I exit. But after exiting and restarting, all the passwords have reverted to the old values. This also applies to adding and removing saved passwords, or editing them manually in the "about:logins" page. For example, I keep deleting the password for a no-longer-in-use account and it disappears until I restart Firefox, then it comes back. This makes me think that something has changed the ownership or permissions on the file where these encrypted passwords are saved locally and so Firefox silently skips the step to write them out on exit (or update them incrementally as I change them). I do not use a FF/Mozilla account to save them in the cloud, I just keep them on the local machine, which is Mac OS X Big Sur (11.6.8). I did find somewhere online (on mozilla.org, I *think*) that the file is "logins.json" at the top level of my active profile. But that file has not been modified since 01/15/2023 (over 8 months ago), and removing it does not seem to have had an impact on the problem, so I am guessing that wherever I found that info (that logins.json is where they are stored) was probably some out-of-date post from a past version of Firefox. I am hoping someone can tell me which file is not being updated so I can inspect its ownership/permissions and then either fix it or delete the file. I am guessing that I can export the list to a csv file, exit Firefox, delete the storage file, then restart Firefox and import the saved csv file in order to fix it -- but I need to know which file it is. Or, can someone tell me where to look for an error log that might contain an explanation of something going wrong while trying to update my profile on exit? NOTE: the rest of the profile seems to be OK, my windows and tabs are restored correctly on restart, they are NOT frozen in time. Thank you for any help you can offer me.

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Firefox uses two files in the profile folder to store the logins. One is logins.json that stores the encrypted logins and the other is key4.db that stores the encryption key that is possibly encrypted with the Primary Password. Do you have a problem with saving other session data?

You can use the button on the "Help -> More Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page (Root directory).