How-To Geek

Backup Your Mozilla-Based Software with MozBackup

Have a great setup for your Firefox browser or other Mozilla Code-Based software and need to back it up?  Now you can do so quickly and easily with MozBackup.

MozBackup is compatible with Firefox (1.0 – 3.5), Thunderbird (1.0 – 3.0 Beta 2), Sunbird (0.3 – 0.9), Flock (1.0 – 2.0), SeaMonkey (1.0a – 2.0 Alpha 3), Mozilla Suite (1.7 – 1.7.x), Spicebird (0.4 – 0.8), Songbird (1.0), Netscape (7.x, 9.x), and Portable Firefox.

Note: MozBackup does not currently support Linux or Mac.

Setup & Pre-Backup

The install process for MozBackup is quick and simple with a total of four screens to go through. The second screen is of interest…notice that the software is provided “as-is”.


Once you have finished the installation, it is time to backup your Mozilla software of choice. For our example, we are backing up a default install of Firefox. Here you can see the browser pre-backup (36 extensions, 3 themes, and 3 user styles for the Stylish extension).


Backing Up a Profile

When you are ready to backup your Mozilla software and have started MozBackup, this is the first screen that you will see. Click “Next”.


In the second window, you will be asked to choose between “Backup a profile” or “Restore a profile”. You will also need to select the particular software that you would like to backup. For our example we are backing up the profile for Mozilla Firefox 3.5 (en-GB). Click “Next” when you are finished.


In the third screen you will be asked to choose the profile that you want to backup and where to save the backup file to. Since we are backing up a default install, we have chosen “default”. Notice that there is a selection button for Portables (lovely!).

For the file name, we decided to keep it simple and short (just the software name and date). The save location chosen was the Desktop to make the backup file easy to find afterwards. Click “Next”.


Once you have clicked “Next”, you will be given the option to password protect the backup file. Choose the option that best suits your needs. For our example, we chose not to password protect the file. Afterwards, click “Next”.


For those of you who desire to password protect your backup file, here is the window that you will see. You will need to enter and then confirm the password you have chosen. Click “OK” when you are finished.


In the fourth window, you have the option to choose the parts of the Mozilla profile that you would like to have backed up. Simply click to select or deselect a particular option. Notice the button that says “Unknown files” near the bottom. This is worth a quick look if you would like to fine-tune your backup even more.

Click “Next” when you are finished selecting all of the options that you want (in just the one or both windows).

Note: Even though themes are not listed here, they are also backed up with your profile. Also, all items in the Components Selection window and Unknown Files window are selected by default.


If you click on the “Unknown files” button, you will see the following window providing you more choices on what you would like to have backed up (wonderful!). Click to select or deselect options. Click “OK” when you are finished.


Once you have clicked “Next” for the fourth window (shown above), MozBackup begins creating your new backup file. Here you can see MozBackup working…


Once MozBackup has finished, you will see this window displaying a list of what has been included in the backup file.


Restoring a Profile

Time to restore your profile! For our example we are going to restore the profile to a portable version of Firefox. Once you have started MozBackup, here is the first window that you will see. Click “Next”.

Note: If you have a fresh install of Portable Firefox, you need to run it one time to create a default profile section in your portable.


In the second window, you will once again need to choose between “Backup a profile” or “Restore a profile” and the Mozilla software that you want to install the profile backup to. For our example, we have chosen “Restore a profile” and Mozilla Firefox 3.5 (en-GB). Click “Next”.


In the third window, you will need to browse for the backup file that you created earlier (recommended to do this first), then choose the profile that you would like to restore to. Since we are restoring to a portable version in our example, we clicked the “Portable” button.


Clicking on the “Portable” button opens up a browsing window for locating a portable browser’s profile folder. In our example the portable’s home folder name was “Mobile Fox” (Mobile Fox –> Data –> profile). Click “OK”.


Once you have located the profile folder you are restoring to, you can see that “Portable profile” now appears in the list. Select the appropriate profile associated with your backup restoration. Click “Next”


In the fourth window, you once again get to choose the items that you want to restore along with the options presented in the Unknown Files window. This is a nice option to have if you have changed your mind about something and do not want to restore that particular “set of items”.

Once you have made your selections, click “Next”.

Note: All items in the Components Selection window and Unknown Files window are selected by default.


Choose the extra files that you do or do not want to have restored and click “OK”…


After you have clicked “Next” on the fourth window, you will see this message asking you if you are certain if you want to overwrite the profile folder that you have selected earlier. Once you click “Yes” the restore process will begin immediately.


Here you can see MozBackup restoring the profile in our example. The restore process seems to go much quicker than the backup process…


Once MozBackup has finished restoring the profile, you will see this window providing a list of the items that it has restored.


Attack of the Clones

Here is our default install of Firefox alongside the new portable version. Which one is which?!



MozBackup can be a life saver if you find yourself needing a quick profile backup to take with you somewhere. It can also be wonderful if you have to do a system reinstall…nothing quite like getting your favorite Mozilla software set back up in record time!


Download MozBackup (version 1.4.9)

MozBackup Homepage

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/20/09

Comments (2)

  1. Richard

    Please note that version 1.4.9 has significant issues with backing up and restoring Thunderbird.

  2. Stan

    For backing up Firefox settings, addons, themes, and the general profile, you should take a look at FEBE. (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) — best of all, you can “sync” profiles across platforms (not in the traditional, autoupdate sense thou)

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