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When I updated to v. 74.0.1 Firefox stopped recognizing my master password. What to do?

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I just updated the latest version or patch. Suddenly master password stopped working. After Firefox restarted it will not recognize the password I have used for years.

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I hope that somebody can answer this. I am using Apple OS 10.14.6. If I cannot get a fix for this I will have to painstakingly switch manually into Safari and leave Firefox, which I have been using since it was invented.

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On Ubuntu 18.04.4 with update to firefox74.0 it seems that it has lost my password database. I wasn't asked for my master password when I'm on a login page. If I open the passwords store, my master password was asked, but the store seems empty. I did a lot of things, reset firefox, recover backup ... non seems to work. After a while, my passwords where back again. Now 74.0.1 the same trouble again!

(I don't like my passwords in the cloud, I was only forced to make a firefox account because of this severe bug.)

Please tell me, how to recover the password store after an firefox Update below 74.

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I just had this happen myself (I am the poster above). I updated from 74.0.0 to 74.0.01, and that is when it happened to me. Hopefully somebody knows a fix or Firefox/Mozilla can issue a fix, but if not we are all going to have to change to another browser and try to get new passwords one by one. I will shift to Safari.

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Do you still see login data in logins.json in the profile folder if you check the content of this file ?

If Firefox doesn't recognize the MP then there might have been a problem with the key4.db file.

Do you possibly have a key3.db file in the profile folder ?

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

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I am not sure how to "check the content of this file". I have used the "about:profiles" command to see the profiles page. I do not see "logins.json". Would that be in the vertical blue highlighted list that I can see? If so, it is not there. I have tried searching for this term in the search window ("logins.json") and it doesn't appear that there is a file on the computer somewhere with this name. I can see, by selecting Show in Finder in the category "Profiles Folder", a file called "key4.db".

Unfortunately, I am not a programmer so a lot of this is opaque to me. I could post what I see.

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This is Troubleshooting Information page.

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The logins.json stores the encrypt logins (usernames and passwords) and key4.db stores the encryption key needed to decrypt the logins. If you do not have the logins.json file in the profile folder then it looks that this file is lost or you have switched to another profile.

The Firefox profile folder is in a hidden location, so make sure in the Finder that you include hidden files and folders.

You can possibly use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the root location and go up one level to see if there are more profiles with a random name (xxxxxxxx.default-release) present.

  • ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/

See also "Determine if Firefox has created a new profile":

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only the 271 (now ~275 because I've added some recently used logins I had documented on paper, logins.json starts with: {"nextId":277, last id is: ,{"id":276, despite that Lockwise told: 275 Zugangsdaten)

direct after the update, there was no request for master pw on a login-webpage. If I open the Zugangsdaten und Passwörter I was asked for master pw and ended in an empty Lockwise page. After a long time, the Lockwise page filled (but only with the unexpected small number of pw ~271)

there is no key3.db file.

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I found the logins.json, that did not turn up in a search. It is in the same folder as is the key4.db I do not have any profiles, as far as I know. I am attaching a screen shot of the profiles window where I found the foregoing. I am also attaching a screen shot of About Profiles. For further insight, if it helps, I was already logged into Firefox this morning when it told me it had an update. I figured it was only a tiny update, like a patch, because the version went from 74.0.0 to 74.0.1. I often fear bigger updates but not these. I think my problem might be different from that of 0771.

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on the old system, which had updated now to 74.0.1, too, now I have a logins.json starting with {"nextId":429,

so on the new system I, would expect about 500 login password combinations. If they all are in the logins.json file, maybe I could combine the old with the last part of the new, adjusting the ids? In this case I've only lost an unknown part in-between?

(by the way, I had experimented with firefox sync for passwords and though the documentation says, if I set a master pw, the passwords would be synct encrypted, this is not true. I had set up a second firefox with my test-account and before I set my master pw on this second instance, I was able to read my passwords on the second firefox in clear! Therefore firefox password sync isn't an option for backup real passwords, at least every one with access to your firefox account could steal your passwords and my be, the sync service operator, too.)

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You appear to have an older (09x0oefz) profile that was last used in 2016 as shown in the screenshot above your current profile folder.

You can open logins.json in a Firefox tab and use the builtin JSON viewer to inspect the file.


Maybe it is a good time to start with a new profile because the first screenshot shows that this is a profile from 2014 (1411927930913 = Sep 28, 2014) and still has no longer used files like localstore.rdf and mimeTypes.rdf and cert8.db from 2017 that Firefox might still try to use as fallback in case of issues.

See "Creating a profile":

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.

You can copy files like these with Firefox closed to the current profile folder to recover specific data.

  • bookmarks and history: places.sqlite
  • bookmark backups: compressed .jsonlz4 JSON backups in the bookmarkbackups folder
  • cookies.sqlite for the Cookies
  • formhistory.sqlite for saved autocomplete Form Data
  • logins.json (passwords) and key4.db (58+) or key3.db (57 and older) (decryption key) for Passwords saved in the Password Manager
    if you only have key3.db then make sure to remove an existing key4.db
  • cert9.db (58+) for (intermediate) certificates stored in the Certificate Manager
  • persdict.dat for words you added to the spelling checker dictionary
  • permissions.sqlite for Permissions and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for other website specific data (Site Preferences)
  • sessionstore.jsonlz4 for open tabs and pinned tabs (see also the sessionstore-backups folder)

See also:

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yes, my profile has been migrated since netscape times, keeping passwords and smime certificates was my main argument to stay on with firefox. Before I did the reset-firefox, after the first trouble with 74.0, I had a cert8.db alongside with cert9.db, which is now gone (only stored in the Old Firefox Data folder on my Desktop with a logins.json.corrupt of 0 B size).

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Before I go through this, I would like to check something. I assume cor-el's references above to "you" refers to me, the original poster, because I posted the images of the Profiles and About Profiles web pages.

Your comment is that it appears that my 2014 profile is out of date in certain respects and probably ought to be updated (or actually created anew) because it uses files that Firefox does not use anymore. Of course, all of this has happened without me doing anything more than updating (like I just did) versions. Apparently no such updates remove such out-of-date files and as a user, I would have no idea.

The "Profile Manager - Create, remove, or switch Firefox profiles" page to which you referred me sends me to a page entitled "Refresh Firefox - reset add-ons and settings". It suggests refreshing Firefox instead of creating a new profile if I am having trouble but am not interested in having multiple profiles (that makes sense to me). It implies that this is the most conservative solution. That page, in turn, refers me to another page entitled "Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode". I am not sure that this extra step makes sense but I am just reading all of this. Again, I am reasonably literate and use a lot of computer technology, but working under the hood of that technology is not my strength.

Finally, I want to make sure you understand that I appreciate this help! I live on my computer and with things malfunctioning in Firefox, I am pretty paralyzed right now. At least I don't have COVID-19, as far as I know!

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BTW, while apparently I am using this old profile that somehow dates back to 2014, I have been using Firefox for as long as it has existed and did not knowingly introduce a new profile back then. This is all invisible to me.

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Tried Refresh Firefox and that did not work. I guess I am going to try to build a new profile and follow these detailed instructions. It also occurs to me that I can try to go back into Time Machine and restore the version of Firefox I had before this one, although that result is also pretty uncertain, given the complexity of Firefox.

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I just got a message to update Firefox to v. 75, and I went ahead and updated. That did not work either. I have not had time to build that new profile or try to retrieve an earlier version of Firefox. Maybe I will have some time to do this on Wednesday.

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