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Firefox won't read my password file

  • 16 replies
  • 4 have this problem
  • 490 views
  • Last reply by FredMcD

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I don't know why - possibly after a firefox update to 49.0.2? But Firefox on Windows 10 is no longer saving or using my saved passwords. When I try to display saved logins, there are none showing. However, I do have intact key3.db and logins.json files, and I can see in logins.json that there are lots of logins stored in there. So I'm sure the data are there, but just not being read.

Uninstalling and reinstalling didn't help. Refresh didn't help. Synch seems to connect, but doesn't help. Isn't there some command to force the browser to read the saved logins file?

Chosen solution

I have solved the problem by uninstalling the current version and installing 48.0.2.

ALSO, that was made more difficult by firefox installing itself with automatic updates enabled. Really, please. Stop it. I installed 48.0.2 and before I could get to the setting for auto updates the damned thing had updated itself. So I had to disconnect from networks before installing, turn off automatic updates, enable network access, log in to synch, and bookmarks AND passwords came back.

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All Replies (16)

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Start Firefox in Safe Mode {web Link} by holding down the <Shift>
(Mac=Options)
key, and then starting Firefox. A small dialog should appear. Click Start In Safe Mode (not Refresh).

Is the problem still there?

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No difference.

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Yes. I've tried several variations on fooling with key3.db and logins.json -- Tried deleting them from the active profile and then running synch, hoping it might pull them from the cloud and recreate them. It didn't. -- tried overwriting the ones in the active profile with the ones in the old data file. no help. -- and as stated in my original post, refreshing didn't work. Uninstalling, reinstalling and running synch didn't work -- after reinstall and synch, bookmarks remain but neither password file is in the active profile. HOWEVER, the reinstall did find the old profile so it probably just used it rather than recreating anything.

I'm wondering if I should rename the existing profile after uninstall and then try reinstalling, hoping it will create a brand new clean profile, and THEN run synch to see if it will pull info from the cloud. -- NOPE. No difference: I renamed C:\Users\myusername\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla to C:\Users\myusername\AppData\Roaming\MozillaOld , and that seems to have fooled it, but I also renamed C:\Users\myusername\Desktop\Old Firefox Data to C:\Users\myusername\Desktop\Old Firefox Datazzz and it still offered to refresh or whatever from the old installation when the new one came up.

Still, you would think that connecting to Synch would go get the saved passwords from the cloud. It DID go get the old bookmarks, but just ignores passwords. AND, even though I have the box checked to save passwords, it no longer asks to save them and no longer writes anything to those two login files. nothing. If I remove them, it won't recreate new ones, and if I put the old ones in the profile folder, it just ignores them.

Modified by sdsteve

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key3.db and logins.json : These are the Password files. Copy Both !

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Right. I did copy both.

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Have you tried going to the other device on the sync and copying its files?

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I ran firefox on my home computer last night, and it's remembering new passwords and the saved ones are intact. I just now copied the two files from that home computer, logins.json and key3.db, to this work computer, and I still have the same problem. No saved logins display, and firefox isn't offering to store logins when I log in to a site. And it keeps logging out of synch. It will log in to synch and synch bookmarks, but ignores passwords.

I don't know if it's related, but the list of devices keeps growing with duplicates. The only devices that actually synch is my home computer Windows 7 (Steve's Firefox on Steve-X4), home computer Ubuntu (Firefox 45, Ubuntu), and and work laptop. But as you can see from this snapshot, the home and work computers keep cloning themselves in the list, and i don't know what Firefox 41, Windows is.

Modified by sdsteve

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Chosen Solution

I have solved the problem by uninstalling the current version and installing 48.0.2.

ALSO, that was made more difficult by firefox installing itself with automatic updates enabled. Really, please. Stop it. I installed 48.0.2 and before I could get to the setting for auto updates the damned thing had updated itself. So I had to disconnect from networks before installing, turn off automatic updates, enable network access, log in to synch, and bookmarks AND passwords came back.

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That was very good work. Well done.

I will let others know about this.

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Thanks for your help Fred! I need to double check what version I have on the home computer. I have a suspicion that one updated to 490.2 and is still able to read passwords, so it may have something to do with this work computer being windows 10 or some other issue than just the firefox version. I would think you'd have the forums swarming with questions if it broke everyone's password memory.

While I have your attention, do you know why Chrome is able to install and go grab all my logins and passwords out of the firefox profile without so much as asking for any password? That happened maybe 6 months ago when I installed Chrome and told it to import things from Firefox, and I was very surprised that it was able to go grab all of those passwords.

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Win 10 last update also gives Firefox issues.

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Sorry for all this trouble Steve!

I encountered this problem just a few weeks ago with someone else and we could not get the passwords to show up just by copying the 2 files of key3.db & logins.json. I was starting to get really worried as this always gets the job done. Then I remembered he mentioned he uses a master password. This is a password that has to be entered before you can access Firefox on startup. So I asked him to also copy over his cert8.db file and that fixed the problem!

Still, you would think that connecting to Synch would go get the saved passwords from the cloud. It DID go get the old bookmarks, but just ignores passwords. AND, even though I have the box checked to save passwords, it no longer asks to save them and no longer writes anything to those two login files. nothing. If I remove them, it won't recreate new ones, and if I put the old ones in the profile folder, it just ignores them.

So I'm very hopeful that this will work in your case too. But after reading about your adventure in the profile area, I'm back to being worried. :P

Good thinking on the duplicated devices in the Sync Devices list. But I think those might be harmless. I'll check with a dev to be sure though. I also know a Firefox password dev who might be willing to test why your key3.db and logins.json files aren't working.

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I don't use a master password.

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My home computer is Windows 7, and Firefox is at version 47.0.1 and says it's up to date. No problems with password saving on that computer.

My work computer is Windows 10, and I had to revert from 49.0.2 to 48.0.2 to get password saving to work. That's what this thread is about. Does that sound right to you?

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If it works, Great. Wait until a fix is announced before upgrading back to 49.