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Backup and Restore Firefox Profiles Easily

Transferring a Firefox profile from one computer to another can be a pain if you have to do it manually. Sure, you can locate the firefox profile directory and then copy it to the new machine, but then it doesn’t automatically show up in the list, etc.

A much easier method for backing up and restoring profiles is to just use the MozBackup application to backup and restore the profiles to a single backup file.

When you launch the application, you can choose to either backup or restore the profile. You can choose which profile to back up, and what file to save it as.

You can restore the profile on another computer by simply launching the MozBackup application on that computer, and then selecting the profile to restore to, and chosing the backup file that you copied from the first computer:

It’s really as simple as that.

Download MozBackup

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/7/07

Comments (10)

  1. Alex Leonard

    MozBackup is a legend piece of software. I constantly switch between laptop and desktop and have found MozBackup to be indispensable for my needs. Quick, simple, and I don’t think I’ve ever had an error with it.

  2. Jason

    Sounds awesome. Thanks. Does the profile backup include extensions?

  3. Ryan

    Hi people

    i have recently ‘for some reson’ lost all of my bookmarks
    i have tried loads of things but none worked
    can someone tell me how to get them back
    i have even done a sytem restore

    E-mail me on ryan.blah.56@googlemail.com with your anwers

  4. NetDisruptor

    Just do a search for bookmarks.html
    You might find a few of them, just open them and see what one they are.
    Then replace the one in your Profile folder with the one you want.

    Profiles are here
    C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\

  5. thrashnbash

    I have never heard of this application. Of course I will Google it, but is this nothing more than a Firefox extension? I use the Firefox extension FEBE which works like a champ. As long as my system is up and running at the time I have FEBE scheduled to run, it just works. It was worked wonders for me when needing to restore my extensions, bookmarks, saved passwords, form information, etc… I really love it.

  6. icopus

    I’ve lost ALL my passwords. My passwords are BLANK.

  7. AestheticQuietus

    Icopus, are you sure they are blank? Go to Tools>Options>Security>Saved Passwords.
    If that list is blank, and you haven’t backed them up at some point [either by using this method or " http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/internet/firefox/backup-and-restore-firefox-passwords-list/ "], then I’m afraid you are royally screwed.
    If their is a list however, the your passwords are still saved, click on the Show Passwords button, and it’ll show them, if they are visible, then your problem lays elsewhere, and I can’t help you.

    [Almost 20 days later, I doubt the information would still be saved, but prehaps if you haven't touched it since you could try " http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080110110708AA03xiU "* or if you have FEBE installed, it would have backed them up automatically(don't know how to restore that for you though, sorry).]

    *This requires the use of 3rd party software, and/or methods, and I claim no responsibility for any damage caused to you, or anybody else’s computer when you try this. Be warned that some software that look through your historical data(which is what that method requires, you can use this method to un-delete deleted program files, documents, etc, etc), are actually incredibly malicious, play safe, use Anti-viruses and Firewalls and Anti-spyware[I had one that shut my Defenses down, and destroyed my XP Installation, that was alot worse than just loosing the program I had been doing for my school project, and would be alot worse than just loosing your passwords].

    These instructions were designed for Firefox 3.0.6

  8. Matt

    I tried using MozBackup a few times. However, it simply doesn’t always work correctly all the time. Especially when the FireFox and Thunderbird versions differ… Perhaps it’s due to something simple, perhaps it’s a program error, or perhaps the quantity of data the two have is simply to much for the application (+/- 1,5GB). What’s worse, if you backed up with one version of MozBackup, a different version always fails to restore 100% of the backed up profiles.

    The way I resolve this, is I backup the profile completely. When I install the software new, I locate the new profile data it created (you must start the application 1 time to have a generic profile data created), then update it to point to a totally different location (default for FF is: C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ and TB is: C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\ (on Vista the same paths are available however, not as obvious or as simple to find as several of the XP directories are sym links on Vista, replacing the C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\ with C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local should give you the same location)).

    You can change the location of both of these to a different drive and directory. In my case I use D:\mozilla\firefox and D:\mozilla\thunderbird. I change the profile data file to point to the specific location, then I run a backup of D:\mozilla when needed, and have a complete back of my FF and TB profiles, in one sweep. When I restore, I restore, without the applications running, update the profile data files (if needed), and everything returns to what it was, including all open tabs, installed plug-ins, browser history, bookmarks, even my saved passwords (MozBackup never restored my saved passwords, not once). Added to this, I can access and use the same profile from different operating systems on the same computer (or different computer), simply by editing the profile data file to point to where I save the information.

    Added benefits, I can backup my profile and install the latest version of FF or TB. If it turns out that the new version doesn’t work correctly, I can uninstall it, install the older version that I was using, and restore the backup profile, and all is as it was. (Example, moving from FF2 to FF3 caused several add-ons to be disabled due to incompatibility, and down grading was not possible).

    Refer to the Mozilla ‘manual backup and restore’ and ‘changing your profile location’ pages (http://www.mozilla.org/support/) for complete details. The first time is the most difficult. After that, its easy. In fact you can save the altered profile data file and place in the correct position whenever you restore or reinstall. Restoring my FF and TB backup and getting a new installation of FF and TB to use the old profiles, takes me less the 1 min (excluding the time to copy the actual profile in place, if I have to).

    Not all will agree with doing it like this, but once you loose data, you’ll look for an alternative solution to MozBackup, as I did.

  9. cad blog

    I’m having a problem restoring my passwords. Before I can restore it without any problems but when I enabled the master password on my firefox browser, now I can’t restore it.

  10. Peter

    Latest version of MozBackup is rejected by Norton as suspicious cloud download. When restored, won’t install or run.

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