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Impossible to find recovery key

  • 18 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by Moses

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I first downloaded Firefox Syn to my iPhone a couple of years ago and now I have an iPad and I'm trying to set it up for that I remembered why I never managed to set it up on my phone. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE! I just go round and round in this idiotic circle for pairing a device. First it took a long time to just get my iPad to give me the option of entering the numbers from my laptop, for the longest time all I could get it to do was give me another set of numbers to enter on my laptop (useless since that same page on my laptop was giving me numbers to enter on my iPad. Huh?) After I finally managed to get my iPad to allow me to enter the pairing numbers from my laptop, it then asks for the recovery key. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND! I have no "manage account" option under preferences on my laptop. All I have on my Mac under Firefox/Preferences/Sync is set up or pair a device. When I set up it asks me "create an account" or "have an account". Every time I chose have an account it takes me back to pair a device. I tried "create an account" but when I entered my email address it tells me I already have an account (I have a password as well). I'm just going round and round in circles and this is just the MOST IDIOTIC SET UP EVER. And judging by the hours I've spent trawling all the help forums and myriad postings on this I'm not the only one in this position.

How the hell do I get my recovery key?

How on earth do I get to the "manage accounts" option?

FYI I have the same problem with my iPhone. The only option I have there is "send me instructions" or "I have a sync account". When I select that I have an account it just gives me the 3 sets of numbers to enter on my other device and tells me to select "add a device" on the other device. But on the other device (my Mac) I I can't get past pair a device. There is no add a device option. There is no manage accounts option. Nothing but this endless circular hell that has me wanting to smash something. I'm not dumb, I'm relatively tech savvy, but I'm stumped.

I'm on a Mac OS X, Firefox 27. Both iPhone and iPad are on iOS7. Using Firefox Virtual Browser on the iPad, Firefox Home on the iPhone.

All Replies (18)

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Oh and under Sync options. . . still no "manage accounts" or anything that gets me to my recovery key. (Surely the "pair a device" numbers should be sufficient anyway? Isn't the recovery key overkill since I have to have both devices in front of me to sync anyway?)

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hello superclio, firefox sync or firefox home for ios at is was called has long been retired by mozilla:

edit: the screenshots you've provided show that the firefox in question isn't linked to a sync account currently, so it is not possible to retrieve the recovery key this way...

Modified by philipp

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Well then I'm still baffled. How am I able to get to the steps on my iPad where I enter the numbers from my laptop and it tells me to enter my recovery key??? And I have an account, I've entered the email and password for it.

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If you have the name and password and recovery key then you can enter those setting on another device (computer) to connect to that account.

Enter all details like the account name (email address) and password and the 26-character Sync key manually to connect to an existing sync account if pairing isn't possible.

  1. open "Firefox > Set Up Sync..." or "Tools > Options > Sync > Set Up Firefox Sync"
  2. click "I Have an Account"
  • click "I don't have the device with me" at the bottom of the "Pair a Device" window to enter the account settings (email, password, sync key) manually.
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OK, I feel like I'm going crazy here. That solves nothing, I'm running back into the recovery key problem. If I go to Firefox > Set Up Sync..." and select "I Have an Account", then per your instructions select "I don't have the device with me" it takes me to this page which ask for my user name and password and .... MY RECOVERY KEY! iPad is doing the same thing, doesn't matter which why round I try to do this I can't get past the need to enter a recovery key and I'm finding it impossible to find a recovery key.

And the Bookmarks app you helpfully showed me puts me back in the endless loop on my iPad. After downloading it and opening it, it gives me on option only: "I have a Sync Accountant". Once I select that (it's that or close the app) it gives me the passcode to enter. . . which then takes me back to asking for a Recovery Key.

I'm losing my mind. (If Chrome hadn't lost my data so many times I'd give up on Firefox right about now.)

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Basically whatever way I do it, iPad, Mac, everything takes me to the option "select manage your account on the other device to retrieve your recovery key". AHHHHHHHHH what am I missing?!

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If you do not have the recovery key, but can connect to the Sync account then your only option is to generate a new Sync key, but that will remove all data that is stored on the Sync server. An iPad or iPhone doesn't (didn't) store data on the device itself, but retrieved it from the server when required, so that data is not on those devices.

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I don't mind generating a new sync key because surely it has no data saved, since I've never synced it with another device? As long as all the windows and tabs I currently have open on my laptop aren't gone it's no problem, and I don't see how they can be since they're open right now.

Thing is I just tried getting a new key by selecting "I've lost my device" and. . . nothing happens. I've restarted Firefox, twice. Still nothing. It's as if I'm not hitting it all. I can hit the sentence before it, "Show me how" and that works, it opens up a tab with instructions. But nothing happens every time I click "I've lost my device".

This has to be the crappiest, most un-user friendly, error prone piece of software I've ever come across. Every turn I make I'm unable to proceed to the next step.

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The link to generate a new Sync key only works if you have entered the correct password for the Sync account.

If it doesn't work then see if you can access that Sync account via these pages.

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I already tried that, and I just tried again using the link from your reply. I'm signed in, and the only options are change your password, delete your account, delete sync data, request a quota increase. I'm ready to delete my account and start all over from scratch, but I have a feeling I'm going to run into a problem when I try to set up a new account using the same email address, even though by that point the previous account should have been deleted. That just seems like the next issue I'll run up against. . .

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That screenshot shows that you have logged on successfully to the Sync account AFAICT, so it shouldn't be necessary to delete that account.

Try to remove the Weave folder in the Firefox profile folder and delete the prefs.js file to reset all prefs and maybe also delete the compatibility.ini file to reinitialize the profile.

You can use this button to go to the Firefox profile folder:

Create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problems.

See "Creating a profile":

If the new profile works then you can transfer some files from an existing profile to the new profile, but be cautious not to copy corrupted files to avoid carrying over the problem.

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Yeah, see that's just it, I know I'm logged in, that's why I can't figure out why it's not showing me any way to manage my account. And that's why I was thinking maybe deleting my account and starting all over might be better because then I'll get a Recovery Key. But I don't want any issues with trying to use the same email address for the new account. So yikes, I guess I'll try that profile thing first. Wish me luck, going to try it now. . .

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OK so I deleted the weave file, pref.js and compatability.ini files. But for the next step to create a profile I see that it says I have to close Firefox. I'm scared to do that and find I reopen it and all my saved password, booksmarks, etc will be gone now I've removed the preferences / my profile. Could this happen? Is there a back up I can do to make sure I reopen FF to all the saved data that I have now?

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You do not have to create a new profile. You can do that in case deleting those files hasn't helped.

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OK I'm a little lost now. You said to create a new profile as a test. To do that I need to close FF. Before doing that I went back to preferences to see if anything changed, and went to about:home and logged in, neither have changed, I still don't have the manage my account option and hitting "I've lost my device" does nothing, so I assume I need to restart FF?

So either I'm restarting it to see if there's a change, or I'm creating a new profile, which means closing FF so either way I'm closing my browser and I want to be 100% positive that now I've deleted those three files, when I restart FF I have not lost any of my bookmarks, tabs, etc.

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HALLELUJAH! I didn't close anything yet but I tried the preferences/sync option again and this time IT GAVE ME A RECOVERY KEY!! Phew. Thank you so much for your help. Now although my iPad is paired with my laptop, and although the Bookmarks app is showing all my tabs open on my laptop, I just have to figure out how to get my Firefox Virtual Browser to open all those tabs that Bookmarks has. And I'm still nervous about closing FF after removing those files.

But thank you for all your help.

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Hi superclio, it seems your problem is solved thus I will be closing this thread. If you have any other questions, please post to /questions/new

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