I logged in to my account, but nothing is syncing. I don't have any bookmarks nor add-ons synced. What do i do?
Dear Mozilla team,
Recently i installed a Mozilla browser on a new device. I log in to my account but nothing is getting synced. I have over 500 bookmarks and several add-ons and those are information that are of utter importance to me. They contain half of my work and research.
Please provide me assistance with this case.
Warmest regards, Kenan
The first time that you log in to Firefox Sync, it may take quite a while for everything to Sync. This is just because of the volume of the data that you are sending to this device.
Sometimes, restarting Firefox may also be necessary. I've found that if you have a lot of bookmarks, sometimes Firefox will just get stuck.
Something else to check would be whether or not Firefox is currently trying to sync. If you press the menu button (the three lines) on the top right of Firefox, your sync name should be the first item in the list. If you are running the current version of Firefox, there will be a reload button on the right side of your name.
If that is spinning, Firefox is currently in the process of syncing. If the arrows are stationary, it means that Firefox has finished syncing or has not started syncing. Sometimes, simply clicking the button to manually force Firefox sync will work.
Hopefully something above helps.
I do have a final question. This is a secondary device you are connecting to Firefox Sync, correct? What I mean is, you have another device with your bookmarks and data still?
I ask because far too often people try to use Firefox Sync to backup their data. However, that's not the purpose of Firefox Sync and it's quite unreliable for that purpose.
Thank you very much for your reply and all your suggestions.
I checked for all the things that you mentioned, but i am getting a clue that somehow all my bookmarks and add-ons were removed and that is why nothing is being synced. It already says that everything is synced but my Firefox account is like a blank account with no bookmarks or any add-ons.
I think your last questions gets close to the point. I had a laptop which i sold recently and that was my primary device. In the meantime i synced my Firefox account to my work PC and everything seemed to work just fine. I had my bookmarks and add-ons imported. The problem occurred a few days ago when i got a new PC at my work. I logged in to my account, tried syncing but it seemed like everything was deleted. Is there any way that i can check what is actually saved on my Firefox Sync account, and is there any way to make a restore on a certain point, when these bookmarks and add-ons were present.
Thank you, Kenan
The data stored on the Firefox Sync Services usually isn't retained for very long and they don't keep backup points.
Unfortunately though, without access to at least one device that has your original data, it's unlikely that you will be able to recover your bookmarks and other Firefox data solely from the Firefox Sync platform.
Thank you for your support. The export option immediately occurred to me but unfortunately I do not have acces to my old PC anymore, or i would have done it already. I am interested in contacting the Firefox support team directly to check if they might have a restore point saved. The problem is that i had over a year of research saved in my bookmarks and i really need to try and get them back somehow. Is there anyway I can get in touch with them directly?
Thank you once again for your assistance.
I can talk with some of the other people here and see if there is another that could help you. However, I wouldn't hold your breath.
I'm fairly certain that the Firefox Sync service simply doesn't keep backups like that. Even if it did, it's unlikely (due to the security and privacy procedures) that anyone would be able to access that information for you.
We've run into this scenerio many times on the forums, with people who use Firefox Sync as a backup service. Mozilla has worked hard to try and make it clear that's not what it's intended for, but some people still run into this issue.
Nevertheless, I'll see if I can pass this thread along to someone who may be more help to you.
In the meantime, I'm sure it's probably something you've already thought of, but see if you have any device with the data still on it. If you are signed into a mobile device, you may still have it there. If your work computer was connected to a network at your work, your system administrator may be able to retrieve a backup of your Firefox data. At this point, anything is worth a shot.
The first to do in case of issues with Sync is to check if there are Sync error logs available.
You can open about:sync-log via the location bar to see if there is a recent log available. You can upload a recent log if the log is too big to put in a reply.
In case of issues with Sync you can try this:
Disconnect from Sync and Reconnect to Sync again. You can disconnect from Sync by clicking the e-mail address in the "3-bar" Firefox menu button drop-down list or go to "Options/Preferences > Sync".
Delete the signedInUser.json file in the Firefox profile folder and delete the Weave folder (Sync was formerly named Weave) with Firefox closed.
Remove an existing chrome://FirefoxAccounts entry in the Firefox Password Manager.
If that isn't enough then delete the prefs.js files to reset all prefs and maybe also delete the compatibility.ini file to reinitialize the profile.
Delete and re-create the Firefox account or change the Sync password. Note that changing the Sync password will wipe all data stored on the Sync server.
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.
- Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:
Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder
I checked with some other members of the Mozilla community and it doesn't appear that your data can be recovered. For security purposes, the data is encrypted by Firefox before it is sent to the Firefox Sync server. It's not possible for anyone at Mozilla to decrypt that data for you.
As much as it pains me to say it, if you don't have access to a device with the data on it and don't have backed up copies of that data, it appears that you are out of luck.
Thank your for your fast reply and your assistance.
I understand. Reason why I opened this case was to see if Firefox had these bookmarks from my account saved on it's storage servers and to check their retention period. Mostly because i already figured out that i do not have any active device with those bookmarks. It was weird for me that after deleting Firefox from my primary device and logging on a new device, all the bookmarks will be lost. It's the behavior that i didn't expect.
From the period that i sold my laptop, who served as a primary device and the moment I logged in on my new device not a lot of had passed, and i was thinking that those bookmarks are still saved somewhere on the Firefox servers. I assumed when i log in to my new device it will sync all the bookmarks from the cloud. But apparently in that time window when i had no primary device somehow the bookmarks had disappeared which is something i didn't think of. Also I guess that the bookmarks are not saved on the Firefox servers or cloud, but locally on the device hence they were lost in the process. From the discussion here, I can assume that Firefox didn't delete those bookmarks, but they were lost in this process of changing devices. Again it doesn't feel as an expected behavior, but i guess not much left I can do.
I will try and find a restore point of my work PC and to see if the bookmarks have been saved there, but again it's something i don't have high hopes for.
You can look at this utility to browse System Restore points.
I attached the Sync log on the following link: https://pastebin.com/sg0KKwgT
I will now try and follow the rest of the instructions that you mentioned.
However one thing has caught my attention: "Note that changing the Sync password will wipe all data stored on the Sync server." I had a situation when i couldn't log to my account, so i had to reset my password. I think that was in the process of changing my PCs. Could it be that this has caused all the bookmarks and add-ons to dissapear?
Thank you for your time and assistance. I appreciate it a lot!
I tried following your suggestions as well as creating the new Firefox profile from your tips and from the following article: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles
Unfortunatelly i had no luck, the old bookmarks are still not there.
I am starting to suspect that the password reset functionality caused all the bookmarks to get deleted, and now whatever I do, Firefox will sync no bookmarks, as if that is the current condition on the Sync server. So now I would have to try and find a restore point on the Firefox Sync profile to the period before the password reset, or try and do a system restore from a last device that had those bookmarks.
I had a look at the 2 of the links you provided in your other reply, and will try to do a system restore on my work PC. That is something that fell on my mind in the mere beginning but unfortunately i am really skeptic about it due to our work policy. If that doesn't go well, is there any way i can access the previous states of my Firefox sync profile (for example, one from 2 weeks ago)?
Yes, if you have used a password reset then this wipes all data stored on the Sync server, so there is nothing to restore. There wasn't any data uploaded in the session of the log you posted, although there were some difficulties connecting to the Sync server.
Thank you for your answer and your assistance. I can tell you I am quite surprised at the moment. Is it really possible that a browser like Firefox loses all the sync data after a password reset? It just doesn't make sense that the logic is implemented in that way. I know it is not meant for backing up, but I've been in the IT field for quite a while and this is the first time that i hear that the stored data gets wiped after a password reset.
I know I am a bit stubborn now, but those bookmarks summed up more than a year of research, they are not some random saved pages, and I really need to try and do all I can to get them back . I went through my e-mail and check the password reset date. It is 9.5.2019. Since it 10 days ago, i guess they still could be saved somewhere on Firefox servers. I would appreciate it really much if you could provide assistance on how can i open this question to someone from the team directly. I would be willing to pay for the extraction of the data and the service.
Looking forward to your reply
The password reset has always wiped data and there has always been a warning stating so during the reset process. The reason it's wiped is because of the personal data that the servers may contain. Therefore, to protect privacy, if a password reset is ordered, everything is cleared.
This normal isn't an issue because that data is stored on your browser(s), so the data will just be rebuilt next time you sync.
As I've already said, no one at Mozilla can access Sync information because of the way that the system is designed. It would be a severe privacy risk if people could access this information. Unfortunately, no matter how important the information is, no one can help you.
The data is wiped after a password reset because that data was encrypted locally using a sync key that was derived from the password before it was uploaded to the Sync server. Only the original password can decrypt this data, so any password change makes it impossible to access this data and thus this data is wiped from the server. I think that there is an option to create (enable) a sync key (there is a checkbox on the Settings page) to allow recovery, but I do not know how/where to make use of this key and you would have to do this before resetting the password.
In addition to cor-el's last post and (unfortunately) for future reference only :
If only you had known earlier .....
Dear Wesley, cor-el, McCoy,
I would like to thank you all once again for your fast responses and your assistance for this case. I've done some reading, and thanks to your tips and links figured out exactly what happened. One thing that i value here is how Firefox implements security aspects for it's features and they found a really neat solution for that. Cor-el, regarding your last doubt, the last link that McCoy provided gives some insight. Apparently, you get an option to enter recovery key upon password reset.
Once again, thank you all for your time and patience. I will try and get a restore point from my work PC tomorrow but I am already at peace with the fact that I am screwed and will have to do everything all over again.
Sorry we weren't able to help you recover your data. I sincerely hope that you will be able to get a restore point from your work PC.
Best of luck!
Firefox Sync is pretty much worthless. No one should be told that it works. I can not determine any circumstances under which content "syncs". Turn it on if you want, and then if at some point your content syncs between two devices, consider it a miracle.
Hi jke2! Sorry to hear that you are having issues with Firefox Sync. There are tons of Firefox users that have Firefox Sync enabled without any issue (myself included).
If you are having problems, please open your own thread so that the members of this community can help you find the solution to your problem.