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Firefox deleted all of my passwords and log in names, how do I get them back?

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So I have just discovered that firefox has completely erased all of my passwords and names for log in, on everything. I don't know when it happened because most thing that I use are set to just remember me all the time without the need to log in again and again.

I managed to recover an email address and then to get synch to work as that wanted me to access email, therefor to need a password int eh first place to access y saved passwords, though upon synching it has none of my password information either. It's blank! This is so frustrating. I have been using firefox for years, and only used to have this problem if I'd migrated to a new P.C, even then I could write passwords and log in names down.

I have never told firefox to forget passwords or anything because I have so many all over the place that they are beyond my ability to physically remember, and yet they are all gone now.

So, how do I get them back? How do I access everything again?

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Hmm, I don't think Spybot S&D would remove logins saved in Firefox's Password Manager without being really clear about what it was doing. Cookies, on the other hand, it might be happy to flush away.

Firefox doesn't keep a backup of old cookies, but every time Windows updates, it may take a snapshot, so you might be able to roll your cookies back to earlier this month. Here's how to check for that:

Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Show Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.

Cookies Database

Scroll down to cookies.sqlite and right-click it, choose Properties, then the Previous Versions tab. This will show what Windows has stashed in restore points and you can make a judgment about whether you want to roll back to one of those earlier dates.

Note: before actually restoring an old file, exit out of Firefox completely and allow it 30 seconds to close the file.

Logins File

Along the same lines, you could check for previous versions of logins.json which is the file which stores your logins. This will not have your new Sync account set up in it, but perhaps at this point that account isn't very useful anyway, so it's okay if you need to log into that one again.

(And if you discover the secret to remembering all our way too many passwords, let me know!)

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Hi ruthcookie, sorry to hear about this difficulty.

There are two built-in ways you might have been getting into sites automatically:

(1) The site set a "persistent" cookie. Once a site sets a cookie in Firefox, Firefox will send it back to the site with future requests. So it's possible this problem was caused by cookies getting cleared.

(2) You saved your login in Firefox's Password Manager. This is the little panel that drops from the address bar. This article describes how it works: Password Manager - Remember, delete and edit logins and passwords in Firefox. Does that sound like what you were using?

There also are add-on password managers from many companies, from Norton to LastPass. If you were using one of those and it stopped working, it might need to be updated.

Do any of those sound like the place we need to focus?

Also, could you check your Windows desktop for a folder named Old Firefox Data? If you have that folder and it has recently modified files inside, we could describe how to recover missing data from that folder.

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Ty for your post but I don't ever access any other manager outside of the default password manager dialogue as you've described. I wasn't aware they existed until you just mentioned them :)

I don't have any firefox folders anywhere other than where it puts them by default, with none on my desktop.

I'm wondering if it was the cookies problem as I recently ran a spybot S&D sweep for the first time in a few years, and it came up with quite a lot of results.

The one thing that's a little bit of a problem with restoring things now is that I have had to make some new passwords since trying to recover from blankness, so if they are restored then I would need to integrate the newer updated passwords into the previous, so would hope there's a way to amalgamate them.

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Hmm, I don't think Spybot S&D would remove logins saved in Firefox's Password Manager without being really clear about what it was doing. Cookies, on the other hand, it might be happy to flush away.

Firefox doesn't keep a backup of old cookies, but every time Windows updates, it may take a snapshot, so you might be able to roll your cookies back to earlier this month. Here's how to check for that:

Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Show Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.

Cookies Database

Scroll down to cookies.sqlite and right-click it, choose Properties, then the Previous Versions tab. This will show what Windows has stashed in restore points and you can make a judgment about whether you want to roll back to one of those earlier dates.

Note: before actually restoring an old file, exit out of Firefox completely and allow it 30 seconds to close the file.

Logins File

Along the same lines, you could check for previous versions of logins.json which is the file which stores your logins. This will not have your new Sync account set up in it, but perhaps at this point that account isn't very useful anyway, so it's okay if you need to log into that one again.

(And if you discover the secret to remembering all our way too many passwords, let me know!)

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tbh I gave up trying to remember password when I reached 13 email addresses. I even lost one or two because of my inability to rememebr all of them.

With the synch thing it logged in to what was previously there, I didn't have to create a new one, it was just email accounts I eneded access to, because it sent the log in confirmation to the email account that I couldn't access to allow a synch which should have held my passwords so I could access my email to allow synch to ... omg..

I did a roll back, and that seems to have fixed it, ty. I just have to change email passwords to get firefox up to date on those now :le sigh:..

Ty for your help, hope you have a great end of year celebration and all that. :)

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In the event that the passwords information is lost, you should record all information in a separate text file somewhere else on your hard drive, or written down. You can easily copy and paste if you need to do so. If you are concerned about someone else looking at that file, you can compress it using a password.


These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backups of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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Note that you can backup the logins.json (encrypted user names and passwords) and key3.db (encryption key and master password) files to have a backup of your passwords. Then you can copy theses files to a Firefox profile and inspect them in the Password Manager. Note that if you do not use a master password then placing these files in a Firefox profile is sufficient to have access to all the passwords in the file because then they are only encrypted with a seed (hash) stored in the key3.db file. This means that any problem like corruption or loss of key3.db means that you lose access to the passwords even if the logins.json file is still OK.