My computer (well, Windows XP) failed. I got everything off the HD, including my Firefox profile, which I especially wanted because I had lots of open unsaved tabs in my current session (yes, I know that's bad practice!), but also to rescue bookmarks etc.

I've now got Windows 7, and reinstalled Firefox. I've read the instructions on the Firefox website about creating new profiles, and I'm not sure they're very intuitive. It says that you can copy all the contents from an old profile into a new 'default' one, which I have done (http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-Firefox-profiles). However, when I open Firefox, the data from this profile isn't being used and Firefox doesn't seem to recognise the data that's there. What am I doing wrong?!

  • did you make sure the profile.ini file in the %appdata%\mozilla\firefox location points to your copied profile? also make sure the profile has the correct permissions on the folder and subdirectories and files
    – Phillip R.
    Sep 8, 2012 at 16:31
  • @PhillipR. Yeh - the ini file has got the correct path and the permissions are fine!
    – ChrisW
    Sep 8, 2012 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


Try Start -> Run (Win + R), and type in firefox -ProfileManager. In Profile Manager, create a profile in the directory where your old profile is. Then start Firefox with your "newly created" profile. I always use this when installing Windows, and it works pretty well for me.

  • Thanks very much - this worked! I'm probably a little bit too excited that all my old tabs are back!
    – ChrisW
    Sep 15, 2012 at 11:46

Two options:

  1. Start firefox -profilemanager, and create a new profile. Set it as default and exit out of Firefox. In the backup, go to \Documents & Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Mozilla\... folder. There is a profile folder with a random name. Copy the contents of that folder to the contents of the Users\USERNAME\AppData\local\Mozilla\...\new profile\ folder. Then copy the \Documents & Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\... folder to the Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla.. folder

  2. You should be able to use the febe extension to import the profile. I haven't had to try that yet so I'm not sure about it for sure, but it appears to be able to do that as well as make backups.

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