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Instructions say go to existing pc with an account and "Click Tools and select set up sync and I have an account

However the 'Tools - Sync' menu only has the option to 'sync now', nothing about generating an existing key that I can use on the other device.

If I go into preferences (on the 'old' computer) I see my existing account, but no options to generate the key. If I go into 'pair device' I am presented with a blank password screen to enter a key, but a key is not generated here for another device.

sync code

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migrated from Jun 13 '12 at 19:16

This question came from our site for power users of web applications.

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The pairing process is a bit confusing, because it's the reverse of what most people expect. The new device generates a key, and the old device uses that key to transfer the actual credentials to the new one.

To use the pairing process, you have to start from the NEW device.

Android Phone: Settings, Preferences. Click the Connect button in the sync section Desktop: Tools -> Set up sync -> I have an account

The new device generates a temporary key. The device must be left on the screeh with the temporary key. On the OLD device, you go to the pair device and enter the code from the new device. The pairing process begins - during which the Mozilla Sync server acts as a broker between the two devices to exchange the encryption key.

You can also add devices without going through the pairing process by using your username, password, and the recovery key.

(For the curious, J-PAKE is used to mediate the key exchange during the pairing process, so that the sync server never actually gets a copy of the key.)

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