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Get history and a restore session from a really old verson of Firefox

  • 17 uphendule
  • 2 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu John99

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Hi, I have an older version of Firefox on an older laptop. The Firefox is version 3. something (like I said old) and the laptop is windows vista home basic (again old). I want to know if there's a way to get the history and the restore session from the old one to the one I'm currently using (the most recent version on windows 7). The old one doesn't have the hardware to be able to update and add sync. So is there another way i can get the history and session from the older one to the new one? Everything I've looked at is about sync or about more recent versions or updating which isn't possible. Any ideas? Thanks in advance from the people who respond.

All Replies (17)

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I haven't used any bookmarks just the history.

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And it only says how to do this in the newer versions not the older ones.

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You can try to copy the places.sqlite file from the Firefox 3 profile to the profile folder of the current release to see if that works to get the history. Note that this will also replace the bookmarks, so you will have to restore a JSON backup to get your current bookmarks. Keep a backup of the current places.sqlite file.

You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder:

  • Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:
    Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder

I'm not sure if the sessionstore.js file used in Firefox 3 is compatible with current releases and you may have to try other Firefox versions like Firefox 17 or Firefox 24 ESR versions. You can find all Firefox releases here:

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Tried it but it just deleted the history from the current one :(.

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You can give this a try Wolf.

On Vista: I never used Vista so don't know if Vista has a roaming folder. If not then if i recall well you need documents and settings folder, then AppData, like on XP. Inside that you will find the Morzilla folder. Inside the morzilla folder you will see 2 folders extentions and firefox.

If i need to bring back an old firefox, then i simply close firefox. Rar the whole morzilla folder, without delete after rar, to have a back up of the original ! That way you can always move back to your current Firefox

Win 7 Users/username/AppData/Roaming/Morzilla

Then rar the morzilla folder you have on Vista in the same way. Then name it Morzilla Vista.rar ,put it on a usb stick and move it to the win 7 machine. Put the Morzilla Vista.rar inside C:/Users/username/AppData/Roaming Unrar to foldername , thus folder Morzilla Vista ,extract to not extract here as you renamed after rar. And there already is a folder called Morzilla inside roaming your current fox.

Then in the same folder go inside Morzilla/firefox/profiles In there you see a folder with numbers o1c76rthuds.default

That is your profile

In the Firefox Vista you also find such a folder in profiles. We saved the morzilla folder on your win7 to rar so we have a backup of your old profile. Thus now you can simply copy all that you have inside Morzilla Vista/Firefox/Profiles/o1dghhrjg.default into Morzilla/firefox/profiles/0erthds.default [on win 7]

Replace the folders that have the same name, then start firefox and you will then get the Vista settings on Win7. Get what you need from the old profile then close firefox go into roaming on Win7 and delete the morzilla folder. Unrar your backup and you will get your normal morzilla profile back again.

How to merge old files into an excisting profile i don't know, but guess then you only move some files. But with that you must experiment yourself, As long as you backup your working version before you should be fine. Cheers ;)

PS there is also a firefox addontool called FEBE. that can backup your profile and only a part of your profile thus only history as example. But i always do it this way so never worked with FEBE. FEBE will ask you to create a new profile and will then i think combine old and new into a merged new profile. So that you can give a try as well. I like the manual way more as then i got full control over what is moved ;)

Okulungisiwe ngu Passie

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What do you mean by rar?

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Rar is winrar a tool like winzip that packs your aplications or folders. You can also use Zip instead of rar. The packing you only do to backup your profile and to be able to move the passwords-favorites to a different computer ;)

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What Firefox version(s) did you try with the Firefox 3 files?

It is possible (quite likely) that you run into problems with current release (50.0.2), but it should be possible to use an older Firefox version like Firefox 10 ESR and possibly a few others to convert all profile files properly.

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I'll try an earlier version tomorrow.

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Here an easier way Wolf and links to very old versions as well. All you need i bet to fix this ;)

Testing Firefox, Backup your firefox

You got problems with an updated version of firefox and want to test if it is because of the update.

Ok here is an easy way to test. Simply get yourself the version you used before updating "as Portable". Portable Fox Newer versions

Here you can get the old versions of portable fox: Old fox portable versions

After download your fox portable is here: C:\Users\Your Account Name\Downloads\FirefoxPortable64-47.0.1

Now on your Win10 go to your installed account profile here, Win 10; C:\Users\Your Account Name\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\o65hyi78.default [You have different number]

The folder that has .default behind it is your saved logins and bookmarks. Right click copy that folder. Let's say Vista uses a different folder. Then just search Morzilla on your computer. Then you will find it in program files and a different location. That different location will have the .default folder ;)

  • IF you don't see the AppData folder then you need to go into your folder options and turn on see system files. That is turned off so fools don't think such files are junk and they throw it away haha Then the sys stops working, yep i was such a fool years back lol

Here is your portable profile folder, paste inside it, to copy your profile to it: C:\Users\Your Account Name\Downloads\FirefoxPortable64-47.0.1\FirefoxPortable64\App\DefaultData\profile\

Inside the root folder are 2 firefox links, portable and normal named firefox, still portable lol, but go to this one the portable does not have your profile: C:\Users\Your Account Name\Downloads\FirefoxPortable64-47.0.1\FirefoxPortable64\App\Firefox\firefox

Now you and created a backup of your bookmarks and saved passwords, And you can test if fox works on the old version. And you can use the portable firefox in the main root folder to start without your profile in it since that starts without your plugins on it, so then you can test ;)

Fox starts with bookmarks and menu bar off. Right click on the top of frefox to show them, for readers who may be less known with the fox ;)

PS, you can update an old version, i didn't try v3 today but 47 i think. But i have been moving my default folder for years.

I packed the complete folder inside Roaming for win10 think it was in AppData on win 7 and it was in Documents and settings on win xp. So i just zipped the whole morzilla folder, then installed morzilla firefox on my new system, went into the roaming folder and deleted the new morzilla folder version. Then unzipped the morzilla folder from my old computer.

Start morzilla , then it says your using an ancient version, you copied the whole morzilla firefox folder so it thinks your on v3, then and you don't have the problem that you can not run a program build for xp as example on Win 10. Because you only changed the roaming folder. The exe is still the new version that you installed on the new machine. So this way you work around compatibility issues. Just let it update to te new version. And there you go all old settings in an updated version ;)

Just try it with the portable version, then you don't mess up your current install since you then work on a different engine ;) Carefull with updating the portable version, so you don't install the update over your installed version. So guide update to your downloads folder not program files if it doesn't automatically finds the right folder ;)

Good luck

Okulungisiwe ngu Passie

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My younger brother said I could borrow his laptop in a couple of days. I'll put the older version of Firefox on there, import the history, update and then put it on this one. I have some custom settings and layouts that would take forever to redo on this one and all I want is the history so I'll try that first before anything else.

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Ok, so bare with me on this. My younger brother had Firefox on his laptop but wanted chrome, so I downloaded chrome, imported his stuff and uninstalled Firefox since it wont let you download a old version with a newer version on there. I then copied over the history file (cant remember the name) and the restore session. it worked but then when I tried to update it with the latest version it had no history and went back to my brothers homepage. Got any ideas why and how to fix it?

Also, I should note the laptop came with Firefox already installed new.

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Note that you may create additional Firefox profiles for test purposes. That allows you to test with a profile, or a copy of a profile and not risk damaging a needed working profile.

Firefox portable is often quite handy for instance if it is necessary to use an old version of Firefox with only one particular problem website or add-on. For anything more complex it is probably as easy to test with multiple installs & multiple profiles of Firefox. I can post further links and explanations if it helps.

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Yeah it would.

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Note that current Firefox releases have and about:profiles page that allows to manage your Firefox profiles.

You can open "about:" pages via the location/address bar

  • "about:" is a protocol to access special pages

You can see all about pages on the about:about page.

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Firefox has a new profile picker, but I am not sure it works entirely as intended as yet and is so far undocumented. It will however create and open profile folders. Key in about:profiles to use it.

The earlier alternative is the profile manager, and that opens from a commandline. It is probably good practice if working with mulltiple profiles not to delete or rename any additional profiles that are created, as mistakes may result in data loss. Our own documentation is rather limited. The two articles linked in my last post are about all there is. Mozillazine has aims at a more technically aware audience and writes good easy to read articles for instance

This article warns of the problems of installing older versions of Firefoxz, it also contains the link you will need to obtain older versions that you may wish to test with and use as intermediaries.

Unless anyone else has better specific suggestions I suggest you try initially installing Firefox 3, Fx4, Fx28, Fx33, Fx50 Then as a first experiment check the COPY of the old profile works if it is run with Firefox 3 it should do if that is what your old machine used. Follow that by trying to see if the old copy works with Fx28.

For instance try