Sunday, February 26, 2012


Step-by-Step Instructions to Backup Firefox Profile Files And Folder

Firefox stores a user's personal information such as bookmarks, extensions, and user preferences in a unique profile. The first time you start Firefox, it will automatically create a default profile; additional profiles can be created using the Profile Manager. The settings which form a profile are stored in files within a special folder on your computer — this is the profile folder.

Finding the profile folder

The Firefox profile containing your user data and settings is not found in the installation directory but rather in a separate location on your computer. Use the information given below to find your Firefox profile folder.

Using the Help menu - Firefox 3.6 and above

In Firefox 3.6 and above, you can open your profile folder directly from the Firefox Help menu, as follows:

  • In the Firefox Button or menu bar, click "Help" and select "Troubleshooting Information". The about:support page will open.
  • Under "Application Basics", click on "Open Containing Folder" (Windows and Linux) or "Show in Finder" (Mac OS).

Note: The Firefox menu bar contains the File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools, and Help menu items. On Windows, the menu bar may be hidden. You can press the "Alt" key to temporarily show a hidden menu bar.

Navigating to the profile folder

Profile folders are placed in a common location by default but are named randomly for additional security (e.g., "xxxxxxxx.default" is the profile folder name for the "default" profile, where xxxxxxxx represents a random strung of characters). If you created a new profile and chose a custom location, see Other methods of finding a profile below.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Backup Firefox Profile Files And Folder

On Windows 2000 and above, and on Linux, the parent folder containing your profile folder is hidden by default and you will need to show hidden files and folders to navigate to the profile folder.

On Windows 2000 and Windows XP, profile folders are in this location, by default:

  • C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile folder>

The Application Data folder is a hidden folder; to show hidden folders, open Windows Explorer and choose "Tools → Folder Options → View (tab) → Show hidden files and folders".

On Windows Vista and Windows 7, profile folders are in this location, by default:

  • C:\Users\<Windows login/user name>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile folder>.

The AppData folder is a hidden folder; to show hidden folders, open a Windows Explorer window and choose "Organize → Folder and Search Options → Folder Options → View (tab) → Show hidden files and folders".

On Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7, you can also use this path to find the profile folder, even when it is hidden:

  • %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile folder>

%APPDATA% is a variable represents the C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>Application Data folder on Windows 2000/XP and the C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming folder on Windows vista and Windows 7.

To find a profile folder in the default location on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7:

  • Press "Windows key Image:Windows_Key.png + R" to open the Run box
    (or, you can click "Start → Run..." on Windows 2000/XP)
  • In the Run box, type in %APPDATA%
  • Click OK. A Windows Explorer window will appear.
  • In this window, choose Mozilla → Firefox → Profiles.

Each folder in the "Profiles" folder (e.g., "xxxxxxxx.default") is a profile on your computer.

Windows Vista and Windows 7: You can open the Run box to find the profile folder, as explained above, or you can open the Windows Start menu and use the Windows 7 "Search programs and files" box (shown here) or the Windows Vista "Start Search" box, shown below:

Step-by-Step Instructions to Backup Firefox Files And Folder
  1. Click the Start button on the Windows taskbar to open the Windows Start menu.
  2. In the "Start Search" or "Search programs and files" box, type in:
    • %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
  3. Click on any of the profiles (e.g., xxxxxxxx.default) to open it with Windows Explorer.

Files and folders in the profile

None of these files should be write-protected ("read-only" or "locked"), which might be a side effect of backing up the profile to removable media and then restoring your profile from that media. Having read-only or locked files in the profile can result in serious profile issues.

It's not recommended to edit these files directly. Instead, use their respective interfaces. The three files whose names begin with "user" are exceptions to this—they are designed to be edited directly.


Now you can backup your files on that location, and move that to any of your other PCs just following these steps.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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