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How do I get by custom URLs back?

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I used to have FireFox set up so that a large number of tabs would open automatically whenever I start the program. Before exiting Firefox I would go to "Tools > Options > Home > New Windows and Tabs > Homepage and new windows > Custom URLs... > Use Current Page" to make sure all my latest tabs are set to re-open the next time I start FireFox. But today none of those tabs opened when I started FireFox. Instead I only got a single tab - the FireFox welcome screen - and the window at "Tools > Options > Home" that usually contains lots of URLs was empty. I've been having problems installing the latest Windows updates, and that may have something to do with it.

How do I get the tabs back? If it's any help, I back up my computer every night, so it would be easy for me to recover a file that may have gotten corrupted or deleted. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Norman

I used to have FireFox set up so that a large number of tabs would open automatically whenever I start the program. Before exiting Firefox I would go to "Tools > Options > Home > New Windows and Tabs > Homepage and new windows > Custom URLs... > Use Current Page" to make sure all my latest tabs are set to re-open the next time I start FireFox. But today none of those tabs opened when I started FireFox. Instead I only got a single tab - the FireFox welcome screen - and the window at "Tools > Options > Home" that usually contains lots of URLs was empty. I've been having problems installing the latest Windows updates, and that may have something to do with it. How do I get the tabs back? If it's any help, I back up my computer every night, so it would be easy for me to recover a file that may have gotten corrupted or deleted. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Norman

Chosen solution

Did your computer have an unexpected shutdown such as a power cut or blue screen crash, while Firefox was open?

Did you lose any other customizations at the same time, such as toolbar button layout, or pinned tabs on the built-in new tab page? Home page(s) and those preferences are stored in a file named prefs.js in your profile folder. If you have a recent backup of prefs.js, you could try swapping it for the current one (while Firefox is closed).

I suggest changing these Windows settings to aid in the process:

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:67.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/67.0

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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
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17344 solutions 156782 answers

If you lost personal data then it is possible that a new default-release profile folder has been created. See "Determine if Firefox has created a new profile":

You can open the about:profiles page via the location bar to check whether multiple profiles are present and what profile Firefox currently is using.

Firefox 67 and later can use a dedicated profile for each of the Firefox update channels and will lock the profile, so it can only be used by Firefox in a specific installation folder. For Release versions this profile would be a xxxxxxxx.default-release profile, profiles used in older Firefox versions usually used a xxxxxxxx.default profile (a refresh adds a time stamp).

If you lost personal data then it is possible that a new default-release profile folder has been created. See "Determine if Firefox has created a new profile": *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recover-lost-or-missing-bookmarks You can open the <b>about:profiles</b> page via the location bar to check whether multiple profiles are present and what profile Firefox currently is using. *Do NOT click any Remove button on this page. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles Firefox 67 and later can use a dedicated profile for each of the Firefox update channels and will lock the profile, so it can only be used by Firefox in a specific installation folder. For Release versions this profile would be a xxxxxxxx.default-release profile, profiles used in older Firefox versions usually used a xxxxxxxx.default profile (a refresh adds a time stamp). *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/dedicated-profiles-firefox-installation
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Question owner

Thanks, cor-el, but I apparently only have one profile, so that may be a dead end. Do you have any other suggestions?

If possible, it might be best for me to go into my backup from a couple of days ago and pull out one or more appropriate files and replace those on my computer, but I don't know if that's even possible, or if it is possible then what file(s) I need to pull out. Another possibility might be to restore the computer to its state two days ago. What do you think?

BTW, the caption of my post contains a typo. It should be "my custom URLs", not "by custom URLs." I don't know if there's a way to fix that.

Norman

Thanks, cor-el, but I apparently only have one profile, so that may be a dead end. Do you have any other suggestions? If possible, it might be best for me to go into my backup from a couple of days ago and pull out one or more appropriate files and replace those on my computer, but I don't know if that's even possible, or if it is possible then what file(s) I need to pull out. Another possibility might be to restore the computer to its state two days ago. What do you think? BTW, the caption of my post contains a typo. It should be "my custom URLs", not "by custom URLs." I don't know if there's a way to fix that. Norman
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8578 solutions 70134 answers

Chosen Solution

Did your computer have an unexpected shutdown such as a power cut or blue screen crash, while Firefox was open?

Did you lose any other customizations at the same time, such as toolbar button layout, or pinned tabs on the built-in new tab page? Home page(s) and those preferences are stored in a file named prefs.js in your profile folder. If you have a recent backup of prefs.js, you could try swapping it for the current one (while Firefox is closed).

I suggest changing these Windows settings to aid in the process:

Did your computer have an unexpected shutdown such as a power cut or blue screen crash, while Firefox was open? Did you lose any other customizations at the same time, such as toolbar button layout, or pinned tabs on the built-in new tab page? Home page(s) and those preferences are stored in a file named '''prefs.js''' in your profile folder. If you have a recent backup of prefs.js, you could try swapping it for the current one (while Firefox is closed). I suggest changing these Windows settings to aid in the process: * Show hidden files and folders: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14201/windows-show-hidden-files * Show all file extensions: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-show-file-extensions-in-windows/
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Question owner

Thanks, jscher2000, that did the trick. And yes, the power went out yesterday while I was using FireFox. I have a UPS, which kicked in and let me save files, but I guess the prefs.js file must have gotten corrupted somehow anyway. And yes, I'd lost other customizations as well, and those are back now too.

Thanks!

Norman

Thanks, jscher2000, that did the trick. And yes, the power went out yesterday while I was using FireFox. I have a UPS, which kicked in and let me save files, but I guess the prefs.js file must have gotten corrupted somehow anyway. And yes, I'd lost other customizations as well, and those are back now too. Thanks! Norman
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8578 solutions 70134 answers

Firefox 67 settings files were more fragile in power-out crashes for some reason. That may be partially fixed in Firefox 68 and hopefully will get better in the future. If you hadn't had a backup, you could look for a file named prefs.js-corrupted or prefs.js.corrupted as a possible source for old settings.

Firefox 67 settings files were more fragile in power-out crashes for some reason. That may be partially fixed in Firefox 68 and hopefully will get better in the future. If you hadn't had a backup, you could look for a file named prefs.js-corrupted or prefs.js.corrupted as a possible source for old settings.
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