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I've recently reformatted my mac and while I've kept a backup of my whole system from before the wipe, I neglected to save my firefox sync key in a sensible way, mostly because I didn't realise I couldn't just login and recover it.

Is it possible to find the sync key from the files I have backed up?

I've looked through the files in Application Support associated with Firefox and Weave, but can't see anything obvious that contains the sync key, but then I'm no expert at finding things like that.

Obviously I can just reset the key, but that entirely defeats the point, as I'd lose all the data, which is what I'm after.

Any help would be great

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do you have your firefox synced in some other machine too ? – Shekhar Apr 26 '11 at 9:50
Since you've been using sync in the first place - do you have another machine synced up with your account? – Tobias Plutat Apr 26 '11 at 9:56
@Shark @Tobias unfortunately not - I use one machine for both home and work and didn't set up Firefox Home on my mobile as I didn't need it (or thought I didn't). I essentially need to find out if the key is stored locally somewhere and can be accessed or if it's a lost cause. Thanks for the responses. – andyface Apr 26 '11 at 10:49
as far as i know the key is used to encrypt your data ,so it wouldn't be stored anywhere – Shekhar Apr 26 '11 at 10:56
but then would it not have to be referenced somewhere so that it can be decrypted or new data encrypted? – andyface Apr 26 '11 at 14:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'd recommend you go through your 'Profile' folder. What I did once in a similar case was use the 'Profile' folder in Appdata and copied it into the Profile folder in a portable version of firefox. Then, when I ran the portable version it automatically started with my existing profile (albeit, in an erratic way). The startup was enough for me to dig through the settings and get my key.

Or you could use Password Fox and harvest all the passwords. The key is stored in the same database.

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You Sir (or Madam) are a genius! Hadn't thought to copy my old profile info into the current setup. Worked well, managed to get my sync key and have now saved it to a safe place for future use. All back up and running with my hundreds of bookmarks, thanks for the help. Incidentally, Password Fox is PC only, so not much help to me, but maybe for others. – andyface May 27 '11 at 20:28
@andyface The pleasure is all mine! =D – MyPreciousss May 28 '11 at 8:04
The Password Fox method is great if you don't want to go through the hassle of copying over your profile folder! I have confirmed that it works. Navigate Password Fox to the folder of your old profile, and look for two password entries for site "chrome://weave". Both have the same username string. The password of one is the one you chose yourself for Firefox Sync, the other one is the sync key. Just copy that string to the sync dialogue. – Daniel Saner Jul 22 '12 at 13:40

Like this:

  1. Install firefox on your Mac.

  2. Log into your sync account.

  3. Do what this link describes:

    1. Firefox / Tools -> Options -> Sync -> Manage Account

    2. Read out My Recovery Key.

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