Restoring a Profile

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Generally, a profile restoration consists of restoring the profile folder. If you are restoring a profile that didn't exist in this particular installation of Firefox, you might need to add the profile to the profiles.ini file, found in the %appdata%\mozilla\firefox folder.

A profile in this file has the following five lines (a blank line separates each profile entry):

[Profile1] Name=New IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/2qn5r34n.New Default=1 

The first line, (in this example it's [Profile1]) contains a number indicating the number of the profile. Numbering starts at 0 and continues up, incremented by one for each profile.

The second line is the name of the profile. This name is typically the same as the profile's folder name.

The third line (IsRelative=1) indicates whether the path in the following line is relative to the profiles.ini file, or absolute. If IsRelative is set to zero, be sure to include the full path name, including drive letter, for this profile.

The fourth line is the path and folder name for this profile. Because IsRelative is one, this path is relative to the folder that profiles.ini is in.

The fifth line, Default=1, indicates that Profile1 is the default profile when starting Firefox.


Why does Mozilla use random letters and numbers to name your profile folder? There could be many reasons (it worked well in Linux, it felt good, whatever…), but two simple answers are that the random letters and numbers enable Firefox to create a new profile without overwriting the existing default profile and that it provides security by preventing rogue programs from easily finding the current profile.

Let's say you want to restore your profile. You can follow these steps:


First, restore the profile's folder. This creates a subfolder with the xxxxxxxx.default filename. Let's, for the sake of argument, say the name is abcdefgh.default.


Next, if Firefox is open, close it!


Using Notepad, or whatever text editor you want, edit the profiles.ini file. This file is located in Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox.


Locate the section named [profile0] and change the path line to reflect the profile you just restored. (Alternatively, you could rename the restored profile's folder to the name contained in this line.) Figure 4.5 shows the profiles.ini file as it appears by default. Your profiles.ini file will look almost the same if you have not already modified it.

Figure 4.5. Notepad is used to edit a default profiles.ini file.


Save profiles.ini to its original location.

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    Firefox and Thunderbird. Beyond Browsing and Email
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 245

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