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Upgrading your computer and moving your Firefox data

asafko
Employee
Employee

Hello, Connect community!

Our team at Mozilla is trying to understand how we can make the transition from one computer to another easier for Firefox users who upgrade their devices. We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. 

What worked for you, and what has proved to be a challenge or annoyance when upgrading your computer and transferring your Firefox data (bookmarks, passwords, and browsing history)? 

Did you create a Firefox account to sync your bookmarks, passwords, and browsing history? Or did you export your bookmarks manually? 

What would be the most seamless way for you to move Firefox data from a previous computer to a new one? 

62 REPLIES 62

Roo
Making moves

I just upgraded to Windows 11 using a clean install. I keep my Thunderbird profile and other profiles on a separate d: drive. It's silly that i needed to change my profile folder name, create a new profile using the old name, close Thunderbird, change my old profile back to the old name, and then i was able to reopen Thunderbird to continue with everything the same as before upgrading Windows. What should have happened instead, is that i should have only needed to click one button in Thunderbird to choose my old existing profile folder.

ljm
Making moves

I copy and paste the different profiles from the old computer to the new computer. I also have back-up of those folders, which I try to save every month, just in case my computer fails, to quickly reinstall them on another computer.

smuch
Making moves

It's not an issue for me. Firefox on multiple computers with different OS's the syncing works good for me. 

mozillian
Making moves

I believe everything should have the option to be transferred between device switches and even just between devices concurrently used, and the most amount of options should be given when doing so.

Options are in settings for sync, they are satisfactory.

jericho_mozilla
Making moves

I didn't know were to reply this... this new version that I have installed is gorgeous! Beautiful overall presentation!!! Congratulations!

Ran_Talbott
Making moves

@asafko wrote:

What would be the most seamless way for you to move Firefox data from a previous computer to a new one? 


The most seamless way would be to just let me make a copy of the old profile and install it on the new machine. If there are things like extensions that don't work with the new version, let it flag and ignore them.

I tried something like that after giving in to the constant pestering and installing the newer version of Firefox. I wanted to retain the ability to run the older version in case I had problems with the new version, co I made a copy of the old profile tree under a new name and told the new version to use that.

It was a disaster: no saved logins. No bookmarks. No toolbars. No settings. The instructions I found on your website for migrating don't work: they're obsolete, and tell me to copy files that no longer exist from the old profile to the new one.

If you can't come up with a simple and safe way of installing new versions, at least give us a checkbox to stop the pestering.

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, agree.

Things like this need to 'just work'; I could envisage:

  • User clicks a button in their 'old' Firefox, a .ZIP file or some sort of archive file is generated on their Desktop or wherever,
  • This file can be copied by whatever means the user likes to use to a location accessible to their 'new' Firefox,
  • In their 'new' Firefox, user clicks a button, selects the archive file, magic happens and everything (data, configurations, passwords you name it) are now on their 'new' Firefox.

ReggieA
Making moves

I had to install a new Firefox, then find my "bookmarks, etc." file and bring that over, then switch from the fresh bookmarks file to my old one. A simple [pack] / [unpack] function would make the move easier. [Pack] your old Firefox installation (copy to a zip file?), move that, then [unpack] it into a working installation.

Henrymamar
Making moves

Hi Mozilla Connect community!

When upgrading devices, Firefox Sync has been a game-changer for seamless transitions. Syncing bookmarks, passwords, and browsing history through a Firefox account ensures a hassle-free experience. However, offering an option for manual export/import for those who prefer more control could enhance user flexibility. Looking forward to seeing how you further simplify the process for a smoother Firefox transition!

FFiG
Making moves

Firefox Portable for Linux - Distribution independent!

or better Multi-OS Firefox Portable!

FFiG
Making moves

or better - a Firefox Portable OS - a portable Firefox extended to Mini-Linux with graphical interface

with copy and paste function

and save function for interesting Data!

 

 

 

syntobu
Making moves

I'd like the option to have ALL settings sync. There are a few things I always need to go in and set in about:config after a new install. I get that keeping old settings could cause issues, so maybe just a "sync this setting" option would be nice, or even an about:config setting that lists which settings to sync.

 

Agentvirtuel
Contributor

lumino
Making moves

Greetings from Ukraine!
Recently I've noticed my Sync settings were gone. Presumably it happened when I updated FF to v. 121 on one of my devices. So the other device left unchanged.

I had a list exceptions for sites which I allow to save cookie. Now it is absent, and any try to make another list simply fizzle out.

ArnoldGreybeard
Making moves

Very simple here under Linux. I keep the computer name and username the same when either reinstalling from scratch on new media or installing and setting up a new computer with a similar flavour of Linux.

I copy the .mozilla folder from the "old computer" to removable media.

Before starting up Firefox on the "new computer" I copy the .mozilla folder across from the removable media to the home directory for the main user.

That usually does the trick and my "new" copy of Firefox looks just like the "old" copy did.

It seems to work for the SeaMonkey suite as well although (depending on how fast the removable media is) copying usually takes more time as the local SeaMonkey mailbox has to be copied.

Agentvirtuel
Contributor

Hello

To see, i also use, SeaMonkey https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/layout-in-the-new-thunderbird-115-is-terrible/m-p/48105/h...

Please, right-click in the screenshot, open screenshot in new tab, then click in the screenshot, thank you

Thunderbird 115 this information for those who are interested
How to replace folder icons https://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=3116701

Screenshot for reason https://forums.mozfr.org for some time a response time problem

Thunderbird on Linux
After installing Thunderbird
Retrieve content from profile folder
https://forums.mozfr.org/viewtopic.php?p=949505#p949505

Cajun
Making moves

I got a new computer and wanted to put my two profiles on that computer. I copied those profiles over.  I did everything right, just can't use profile manager to open when putting firefox.exe -p in the start menu. so I resorted to placing -p at the end of the "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" in the shortcut properties. just don't like that method. I wonder why it can't open through start menu.  I also can use about:profiles, and then setting a default profile, and change it manually from there as needed. (side note: I am still using the other two profiles on my old computer).

honey
Making moves
 
  1. Before upgrading your computer, back up your Firefox data including bookmarks, passwords, and history.
  2. Utilize Firefox Sync to seamlessly transfer your browsing data to the upgraded computer.
  3. Install Firefox on the new system, sign in with your Firefox account, and sync your data to continue browsing without interruption.
 
 
 

jaksonjohn
Making moves

If you're transitioning your Firefox data to a new computer, you can follow these steps:

  1. Install Firefox on your new computer: Begin by downloading Firefox from the Mozilla website and installing it on your new device.

  2. Locate your Firefox profile folder: Your Firefox profile folder holds all your data, including bookmarks, history, and settings. Finding it varies by operating system. You can access it by going to the Firefox menu, selecting Help > Troubleshooting Information, and clicking "Open Folder" next to "Profile Folder" in the "Application Basics" section.

  3. Copy your profile folder to the new computer: Use an external drive or cloud service to copy your entire profile folder from the old computer to the new one.

  4. Paste your profile folder into the appropriate location: On the new computer, paste the profile folder into the same location as on the old one, ensuring you replace any existing files with those from your old profile folder.

  5. Verify your data transfer: Launch Firefox on the new computer and confirm that your bookmarks, history, extensions, and settings have successfully transferred over.

Remember, if you encounter any issues during this process, you can always consult the Mozilla support website or reach out to their support team for assistance.

grt_49
Making moves

Yesterday I clicked the download button "Download the latest version of Firefox", and restarted my laptop. After this my bookmarks disappeared and my only method to retrieve them was to restore my system back to and earlier time period. Now, I'm offered that same download but NO THANK YOU. I was hoping you had fixed where Microsoft takes over Firefox, which I can fix each time this happens. Firefox should have the The US Justice Department file a blockbuster antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft just like they just brought against Apple.  Microsoft takes control of my laptop and tries to make me take Edge. They did quit changing Firefox to Edge, but I find they are still trying to get control to "guide" me where they want me to go. They took my Windows 10 and gave me Windows 11S, which originally keep me from downloading games from anywhere but the Microsoft store. When I bought the laptop about a year ago I had Bestbuys put Windows 10 to replace Windows11S where I could simply get hidden object games from whomever I preferred. I understand this is two different subjects, so how will I know when I can safely download the latest version of Firefox and keep my bookmarks.

HunterOneCan
Making moves

I use 'Edge Blocker' it works well at keeping edge out of my life. https://www.sordum.org/downloads/?st-edge-block

ArnoldGreybeard
Making moves

One thing that I would like to see is "Export profile" option that allows for saving the profile to a local removable drive such as a USB stick or drive. Together with an "Import profile" function of course.

Put in a USB device, click on "Export profile", select the device to copy to.

On the new device click on "Import profile" select the device containing the profile and copy to the new device.

This is something similar to the "Import From Another Browser" menu option under "File" in Firefox but supporting profiles saved to a local removable drive.