I recently upgraded one of my Firefox installs from version 32 to 72.0.1 due to the recent critical exploit (see https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2020/01/09/us-government-confirms-critical-security-warning-for-firefox-users/ ).

After downloading and installing, the new version said it created a new profile and I would have to create a Firefox account to sync profile information that's already on my computer.

I do not want to do this, for privacy reasons.

So I looked for any way to import an old profile to a new version and found instructions on using about:profile (Profile manager). I set up my old profile as the default.

Except all the browsing history is gone. As far as I know, only the addons were saved and even those were disabled on load for incompatibility.

How do I import everything without a Firefox account?

  • That's all you did? Set the old profile as the default one? Because that's all it took for me when migrating some 20+ users and nothing was lost ... If you didn't change the files, double check you set the old profile as default (Firefox might have created another one by the name default but that is not it). Jan 15, 2020 at 20:26
  • Forbes has an unacceptable cookie policy [pretty sure a court could rule it illegal in the EU] do you have a better reference?
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 15, 2020 at 20:28
  • 2
    Better reference: us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/01/08/…
    – MC10
    Jan 15, 2020 at 20:50
  • 1
    Have you tried incrementally upgrading, stepping through a few major versions?
    – JMY1000
    Jan 15, 2020 at 22:58
  • JMY1000: I wanted to incrementally upgrade but the auto-updater was broken. Wouldn't connect. So I had to download the latest version. Eduardo Trapani: I double-checked and verified that my addons/configs were intact, although my browser history is gone. Jan 16, 2020 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


Since Firefox 67, dedicated profiles are used for each new Firefox version.

What profile changes were made in Firefox 67?

Some users have multiple installations of Firefox, each in separate program folders. These separate Firefox installations previously shared a single profile by default. Starting with Firefox version 67, Firefox uses a dedicated profile for each installation of Firefox (including Nightly, Beta, Developer Edition, and ESR installations). This makes Firefox more stable when switching between installations on the same computer and also allows you to run different Firefox installations at the same time.

Tip: To see what Firefox version you're on, see Find what version of Firefox you are using.

You will not lose any personal data or customizations. Any previous profile data is saved and associated with the first Firefox installation that was opened after this change.


Do you have a backup of your profile? The browsing history, etc. probably isn't gone but just incompatible with the current version of Firefox. I can't test for sure since I don't have such an old profile.

I would recommend incrementally upgrading like JMY1000 mentioned in the comments. If you're starting with Firefox 32 that's a quite while back.

Download the previous versions from here: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/

If this is for Windows, you'll want to go into the version you want -> win32 -> en-US to find the setup .exe's (e.g. https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/32.0/win32/en-US/).

I'm not sure how much you can jump between rapid releases but you could follow the sections that are broken down here to be safe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_version_history#Rapid_releases. Once you get to 67 you may need to upgrade the version one by one due to the dedicated profiles.

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