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How do I download sync data to a new computer?

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New Contributor

How do I download sync data to a new computer?

I have had reformat this PC and I now have a new Windows 7 installation. Before that I synced FireFox data with the server. I now just want to download the sync data to the new installation. There is no option to do this. FireFox insists that I want to add a second device, which I don't. I still have the same PC, and I only want to connect it to the sync server. How do I do this?

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11 REPLIES
Support Forum Moderator

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Sync considers a new installation like that as a "new device".

Account Name, Password, and your Sync Key (or Recovery Key) are needed to connect to the Sync server when adding a "new device".

New Contributor

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Hmmm...that's what I thought. But FireFox gives me a new recovery key and then tells me it's wrong! Obviously I misunderstood how this works, or I would have saved the recovery key (which I didn't know about). How do I recover the sync key? I still have the sync password. Or are they the same?

Support Forum Moderator

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Sorry, no one has the Sync Key except for you. It is used as an encryption key for your data as it is being uploaded to the Sync server and downloaded back to your device. If you didn't save that "key" before formatting your drive, don't have another device connected to Sync, and don't have a backup of your Firefox Profile, your data is not recoverable.

When you request a new Sync Key your data is erased from the Sync server.

New Contributor

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Thanks. That's the end of my bookmarks then. It would have been good if FF had prompted me to save the sync key. It never mentioned it.

Support Forum Moderator

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Sorry for your loss. Every time I have set up sync on a "new device" a small dialog window appeared with the Sync Key telling me to save that "Key" somewhere, and suggesting that I print it for safe keeping.

Site Moderator

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Didn't you backup any data on that computer before reformatting?

New Contributor

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

OK, I'm working thru the same problem. Firefox did NOT ask me to save any key when I set up sync from my computer before I installed Win 7 (clean install). Win 7 did save a "Windows.old" folder for me. Would this key have been saved in one of the firefox folders there?

Site Moderator

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

You can inspect the "Sync Key" on the computer where you installed Sync via "Tools > Options > Sync"

  • Click the "Manage Account" button to display more options
  • Click on the "My Sync Key" link to backup the current sync key

You can find the Password of the Sync account and the Sync Key in the password manager on computers where have setup that sync account with a specific e-mail address.

  • Tools > Options > Security: Passwords: "Saved Passwords" > "Show Passwords"

Look for:

  • chrome://weave (Mozilla Services Password)
  • chrome://weave (Mozilla Services Encryption Passphrase)
New Contributor

Re: How do I download sync data to a new computer?

Well, the computer I synced from was the one I upgraded to Win 7. It saved a "Windows Old" folder. Any chance I can find what I need there?