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The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

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The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

Well, I got the impression from your original instructions that I would be able to set my own "secret phrase", but the screen pictured in the instructions page never appeared. I got instead another screen with a "Firefox Sync Key" which I was required to print or save.

Is this key the same as the secret phrase you mentioned? If so, can I change it? If not, how do I get to create a secret phrase?

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Support Forum Moderator

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

Yep, same thing. They changed the name of that feature very recently and the support articles haven't been updated to reflect that change in nomenclature.

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Support Forum Moderator

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

Yep, same thing. They changed the name of that feature very recently and the support articles haven't been updated to reflect that change in nomenclature.

New Contributor

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

Thanks for this help. Will we eventually be able to set our own phrase again,or will the system-set 20-character key now be the only choice?

New Contributor

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

I have agree with JArcher. There's no way I'll remember a key with 16 random letters. So when I'm on a new computer and need my bookmarks I'll be stuck. Give us the option to create our own key.

Site Moderator

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

AFAIK then you can replace that automatically generated key with your own phrase. The Sync Key that you see is only a suggestion.

See also http://blog.mozilla.com/services/2010/10/06/firefox-sync-1-5-now-available/

New Contributor

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

Not that simple. I use Sync to sync 2 desktops and a laptop (all running W7). After upgrading to FF 3.6 (now at 3.6.12) , I began getting an error message "! Error while signing in. Please try again" and when I clicked on it, the explanation "Sync encountered an error while connecting: Wrong Sync Key" appeared along with a link to "Preferences" - clicking on this link took me to Sync Preferences > Manage Account. Click on the tab "Sync Key" and the key on that computer is shown - but, you can't change the Sync Key there (except by generating a new one, which resets the entire account with a new random-generated key, which is not helpful as your other computers can't generate the same key). How to get all three computers on the same Key? It turns out you have to print the sync key from one of your computers, then trigger the error message on each other computer having a different key. On each other computer, click on Preferences > Manage Account as before, but don't click on the Sync Key tab; instead click on "Connect" next to your account name. Now you will receive another error message saying "Wrong Sync Key" in red - and beside that, links to "update" and "reset". Click "update." ("Reset" merely sends you to generate a new random key.) "Update" takes you to a text box with a blank inviting you to enter a new key: enter the one you copied from the other computer. This box is pre-configured to accept only an alpha-numeric key in blocks of 1-5-5-5-5-5 characters - you cannot enter your choice of text, only a key already generated on another computer. When finished, you should get the message "Your sync keywas successfully changed!" None of this is from FF Help; just trial and error.

New Contributor

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

THIS is the 2nd time it, Sync, has lost or stopped recognizing my key or phrase or whatever they are now calling it. I used sync as a convenience to keep a few computers in order, however the sync is far less reliable than my memory had been for keeping things close on the different computers. I have just uninstalled the whole thing in all computers. makes no sense to spend time trying to put a key, password, secret phrase when they keep changing the rules without letting me know. It is crazy . i have wasted more time trying to put in a phrase i know is correct , only to find that it had been altered without my knowledge . i wrote my secret phrase down after the first time all the sync data got hidden behind a phrase they wouldnt recognize. this is my 3rd attempt and it got so crazy with the self generated 1-5-5-5- whatever thing it came up with.....i just took the thing out. my memory and a piece of paper is better and much more reliable. i still have the correct key/phrases written down but fox fire lost it. been hitting the mad dog ,old fox fire has.

New Contributor

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

When did the rules for the sync key change and why didn't anyone think to tell users about it?

To suddenly change from a user specified sync key/pass-phrase to an automatically generated one without informing the users is inexcusable, to automatically change everyone's existing sync key without telling them is beyond inexcusable! By all means have an auto-generate *option* for sync keys, but it should never be compulsory, and existing keys should always be preserved.

Frankly Firefox Sync has been a pain in the rear since it was first released, it's unreliable, loses bookmarks every now and then for no apparent reason and is very poorly documented. And now I find out that the sync key's value and the rules governing it can change without warning at any time...

The name of the product changes, the terminology relating to it also ('pass-phrase' was a much more logical and comprehensible name than the confusing and meaningless 'sync key'). How is anyone supposed to use this feature if nothing about it is ever settled?

Site Moderator

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

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

  • Click on the Manage Account button to display more options, then click on the "My Sync Key" link. to backup the current sync key.
  • Click on the Manage Account button to display more options, then click on "Connect" to change the Sync key.
New Contributor

Re: The article mentions a "secret phrase" but I got a "Firefox Sync Key" instead. Is this the same thing?

That's all very nice and correct, cor-el, but what do you do if none of your computers is connected to Sync anymore and it won't accept your "old" Sync Key? How do you get the changed "new" one?