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User profile is "missing" but I can see 16 of them in the Profiles folder

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After I restarted my laptop (Mac OS 10.15.7, Firefox 109), Firefox suddenly refused to open, saying, "Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible."

I read the "How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible" page. It implied that I had moved or deleted profiles--I had not. I hadn't even been aware that Firefox had profiles.

I followed the instructions and found my Firefox profiles folder, and was confused to find 15 separate folders in it. I was unclear whether they were profiles or something else. They have names like "2sb6poj9.default" or "gya9gghh.default-release". Most of them contain something called "times.json" but one of them has a whole bunch of stuff in there, so maybe it's the real profile?

I also followed some other instructions and was able to bring up what another website called the old Firefox Profile Manager. The space where it should be showing profiles was, unsurprisingly, empty. I tried creating a new profile and it let me but then told me it hadn't saved it, and the space remained blank. However, I went back to the actual profiles folder to check out of curiosity, and the new profile was there. So creating new profiles is clearly not the answer, because it will just refuse to recognize them too.

I also tried opening Firefox in troubleshooting mode by holding down option and clicking the icon--it didn't work. However, I just checked the Profiles folder after another attempt and even making this attempt seems to create a new folder! Is that normal?

I have no idea what to do at this point.

After I restarted my laptop (Mac OS 10.15.7, Firefox 109), Firefox suddenly refused to open, saying, "Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible." I read the "How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible" page. It implied that I had moved or deleted profiles--I had not. I hadn't even been aware that Firefox had profiles. I followed the instructions and found my Firefox profiles folder, and was confused to find 15 separate folders in it. I was unclear whether they were profiles or something else. They have names like "2sb6poj9.default" or "gya9gghh.default-release". Most of them contain something called "times.json" but one of them has a whole bunch of stuff in there, so maybe it's the real profile? I also followed some other instructions and was able to bring up what another website called the old Firefox Profile Manager. The space where it should be showing profiles was, unsurprisingly, empty. I tried creating a new profile and it let me but then told me it hadn't saved it, and the space remained blank. However, I went back to the actual profiles folder to check out of curiosity, and the new profile was there. So creating new profiles is clearly not the answer, because it will just refuse to recognize them too. I also tried opening Firefox in troubleshooting mode by holding down option and clicking the icon--it didn't work. However, I just checked the Profiles folder after another attempt and even making this attempt seems to create a new folder! Is that normal? I have no idea what to do at this point.

Všetky odpovede (5)

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Make sure you install Firefox properly and that you do not launch Firefox from the DMG (Disk Image) file.

Open the Firefox Disk Image file and drag the Firefox application to the Applications folder on your hard drive. You shouldn't double-click the Firefox application to run it from the Disk Image, but instead drag it out of the DMG folder.

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I'm confused...why are you telling me how to install Firefox? I didn't download it today--I've been using it for years. It's already in my Applications folder. I've been opening it from the toolbar.

Are you saying I need to uninstall it and download it all over again?

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It is likely that something is wrong with the profiles.ini file. This file registers all profiles and only profiles registered in this file appear in the Profile Manager (-P command-line switch). Also the warning that the "Profile is missing" is caused by problem with profiles.ini, but in this case the profile that is registered as the default profile doesn't exist on the hard drive.

Check the read/write permissions and ownership of files and folders in both main/root and cache locations and possibly remove or rename the Firefox folder.

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

You can find the profiles.ini file in a hidden location:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/
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You can try to do some maintenance.

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Check the read/write permissions and ownership of files and folders in both main/root and cache locations and possibly remove or rename the Firefox folder.

~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/ ~/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/ You can find the profiles.ini file in a hidden location:

Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/

There was no Firefox folder in Application Support, just a Mozilla folder. I tried renaming it to Firefox. All that's inside it is an Extensions folder--I didn't see any profiles.ini file. There is no Firefox folder in the Caches folder.

I did also follow the other link you provided and have been working through its suggestions. I created a separate admin account and found that Firefox worked in that account. I tried using Terminal to verify and repair permissions but it will not complete that operation--it just pretends to keep working on it endlessly (I left it on overnight and then stopped it and tried it again).

I also asked someone else about it and she said I could have a damaged disk, corrupted software, or something wrong with the hard drive (I have also been having problems with storage space suddenly being eaten up by the Other category and have been getting warnings about it being full despite the fact that I keep deleting things). So it's possible that this may be a "my laptop is dying" problem rather than a Firefox problem, as I thought at first.