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i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

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New Contributor

i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

after I received the error message, i uninstalled and then re-installed mozilla firefox. my desktop now has a mozilla firefox icon and a separate folder entitled: old firefox data. i tried a solution posted at the site: go to start. run. in the run dialogue box type in: firefox.exe -p

this brought up the same message: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" my os is vista.

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Site Moderator

Re: i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

Try to delete the profiles.ini file to force Firefox to create a new default profile.


If you reset Firefox then a new profile is created and some of your data (bookmarks, passwords, cookies, form data) is automatically imported and your current profile will be moved to the desktop (Old Firefox Data).

You can recover more data from the old profile (be cautious with doing that).

New Contributor

Re: i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

i don't understand the first solution. i need a more simple (please tell me what to do and how to get there) step by step approach. please don't assume i know much about going into files. the second solution i can't use at all because i can't open firefox and that means i can't get to the help button.

Legendary Contributor

Re: i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

Hello poestirs3

press Windows key + R to open the Run box of windows Vista, then type %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox (or copied from here) and click "OK" to quickly open the appropriate folder,

then find profiles.ini file (see the screenshot how possible looks like) and rename it (right-click on mouse and select rename) to profiles.iniOLD , then when you start firefox again, a new default profile folder will be created and only a single profile, the new "default", will be listed in the Profile Manager.

This new "default" profile doesn't contain any of the profile data or settings stored in your old "default" profile folder, which still exists but is no longer accessible from the Profile Manager.

Your existing Firefox user profile data, which includes bookmarks, passwords, cookies, preference settings and added extensions, will no longer appear in the new profile but you can transfer the data from the old profile folder to the new default profile folder.

see also : Recovering important data from an old profile


thank you

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New Contributor

Re: i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

i followed your instructions but there was no profiles.ini. file. i tried renaming a file that started with the letter f, but that didn't work either. thank you very much for trying to help us.

Site Moderator

Re: i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

Did you manage to go to this folder?

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\

The "Application Data" folder in XP/Win2K and the "AppData" folder in Windows Vista and later Windows 7+ versions are hidden folders.

New Contributor

Re: i cannot open firefox. i receive an error message instead: " your firefox profile cannot be loaded. It is missing or inaccessible" help

thank you once again, but i can't find the appdata folder. i must be doing something wrong. thank you again for trying to help.