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Uninstalled Firefox, Reinstalled it but profile is gone, can I recover info using Sync?

  • 6 replies
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  • Last reply by Anenim

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From looking at the previous support topics, I know there is little hope (I'm posting from a separate computer). Someone else uninstalled Firefox on my PC, presumably using Control Panel. I do not know if they chose to retain user profile. Then, I unaware of the profile left behind, booted Firefox from an external drive. Then, I installed Firefox on my computer again. Between the two steps aforementioned, I made a backup of my profile (not sure if it's from the external drive or there all along after the uninstall) but after installing Firefox again, and moving the backup, it appears that it was the default profile since nothing had changed. I performed a sync once, with the computer I am currently on, but I refreshed this PC and had to reinstall, and did not sync since then. So currently, none of the info is being synced and I am not signed in on both sides (whenever I navigate to the sync panel, it asks me to pair a device and that's not my objective). I also do not have my recovery key since I only intended to sync once. And changing it and wiping the servers is besides the point. Tell me, is this situation a lost cause? Also, how long is sync data kept on Mozilla's servers (in the pathetic hope that they will change their policies in future)?

From looking at the previous support topics, I know there is little hope (I'm posting from a separate computer). Someone else uninstalled Firefox on my PC, presumably using Control Panel. I do not know if they chose to retain user profile. Then, I unaware of the profile left behind, booted Firefox from an external drive. Then, I installed Firefox on my computer again. Between the two steps aforementioned, I made a backup of my profile (not sure if it's from the external drive or there all along after the uninstall) but after installing Firefox again, and moving the backup, it appears that it was the default profile since nothing had changed. I performed a sync once, with the computer I am currently on, but I refreshed this PC and had to reinstall, and did not sync since then. So currently, none of the info is being synced and I am not signed in on both sides (whenever I navigate to the sync panel, it asks me to pair a device and that's not my objective). I also do not have my recovery key since I only intended to sync once. And changing it and wiping the servers is besides the point. Tell me, is this situation a lost cause? Also, how long is sync data kept on Mozilla's servers (in the pathetic hope that they will change their policies in future)?

Chosen solution

The weird thing is that the backup and my default folder had the same names even before restoring, except they have different things inside. I think there's no need to pursue the question any more since today, I tried to power on my old computer and it basically died on me. Sorry for being so confusing and then ending without a solution.

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I'm confused. Could you look at what profile folders are physically present, and which Firefox knows about?

From the Start menu search box, or from a Windows Explorer address bar, drill down into the Firefox data folder using this shortcut:

%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox

Here you should find a file named profiles.ini (if Windows is concealing file extensions, you can turn on display using the steps in this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/865219). You can open this file in Notepad or your favorite text editor.

Click into the Profiles folder and compare the folder names you find with what is listed in profiles.ini. If you find more profile folders than are listed in profiles.ini, for example, one you copied over by hand, you should be able to get Firefox to recognize them.

Rather than edit profiles.ini manually, you can use the profile manager to do it. I need to look up the steps, but first can you see whether you have extra profile folders?

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I do not have extra profile folders, there are only the generic folders.

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Hi Anenim, I'm not sure what you mean by "generic folders." Usually the first profile folder created when Firefox is installed contains a partially random name, then a period, then the word default. Did you find any folders with names similar to that?

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Yes, I have the default folder, but there are no other extra profile folders.

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Okay, is that the backup you restored, or is that in a different place?

In case Windows is not showing AppData, you can turn on display of hidden files and folders: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/show-hidden-files

You could do a global search of your drives for a folder named bookmarkbackups which would exist in your old profile if you have it saved somewhere. (Make sure to turn on viewing of hidden files and folders first.)

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Chosen Solution

The weird thing is that the backup and my default folder had the same names even before restoring, except they have different things inside. I think there's no need to pursue the question any more since today, I tried to power on my old computer and it basically died on me. Sorry for being so confusing and then ending without a solution.