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

  • do you have your firefox synced in some other machine too ?
    – Shekhar
    Apr 26, 2011 at 9:50
  • Since you've been using sync in the first place - do you have another machine synced up with your account? Apr 26, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 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, 2011 at 20:28
  • @andyface The pleasure is all mine! =D May 28, 2011 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. Jul 22, 2012 at 13:40
  • The 64-bits version has FOUR of 62 virus alerts The 32-bits has 23 (count 'em, TWENTY THREE!)* alert more than one-third Nirsofer hisself says this about it: "Known Problems False Alert Problems: Some Antivirus programs detect PasswordFox utility as infected with Trojan/Virus" 64-bits: virustotal.com/#/file/… 32-bits: virustotal.com/#/file/… 4 is way too much, but 23? Just ridiculous. Community score -36!! Oct 14, 2017 at 20:13

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.

  • unfortunately, step 2 doesn't work. Oct 14, 2017 at 8:00

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