Steps to Recover Mozilla Firefox Data from an Old Backup

Often users need to move Firefox profile from one computer to another. A complete browser data backup needs to be taken that can be transferred over to the new system. This includes the important files such as places.sqlite file and the key3.db file. This post describes easy and efficient ways for recovering Mozilla Firefox data. It explains all the steps necessary to manually move browser profile to a new Windows, Mac, Unix or Linux system. An effective automated solution is also discussed at the end.

Reasons for Recovering Mozilla Firefox Data

Following are some of the causes that require backing up old Firefox data and restoring it to another computer:

  • Frequent bugs and issues that make normal working impossible.
  • Moving Firefox profile to a new computer requires backing up a profile.
  • Migrating from Windows to Unix, Linux, Mac or vice-a-versa.
  • Corruption/damage or infection in the old PC or hard drive.

Manual Method to Recover Old Firefox Data

Following are the necessary steps involved in migrating old Mozilla profile and recovering browser data:

Step 1: Create Firefox Backup of Data

  • First, start the Mozilla Firefox and click on the controls menu. This is represented by the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner.
  • Next, select the question mark icon to open the Help menu.
  • Then, select the Troubleshooting information option to backup Firefox profile.
  • From the Troubleshooting Information tab, select Refresh Firefox under ‘Give Firefox a tune up’.
  • Next, confirm the dialogue box that appears by clicking on Refresh Firefox
  • Now, this will reset all the settings and changes made to the browser and set it to default values.
  • A Firefox profile backup folder will be created on the desktop.
  • This will contain all the old browser history, preferences, bookmarks, passwords, forms etc.
  • Upon the next browser visit, a new profile is created with default values.

Step 2: Recover Firefox Data

  • If moving to a new computer, copy the profile folder over to the new machine.
  • Then, launch the Mozilla Firefox application and open the control menu.
  • Again from the Help section, select Troubleshoot Information option.
  • From the Application Basics tab, click on the Show Folder button to open Firefox profile folder.
  • Move files from the old profile directory to this folder one at a time to avoid corruption.Make sure to move the places.sqlite file for history, bookmarks and download logs.
  • Also, move the key3.db and logins.json to recover Firefox passwords.
  • Transfer the permissions.sqlite file to recover browser settings and preferences.

Advantages of Manual Process

  • Free of Cost: There is no additional cost to company or user in recovering Firefox profile manually.
  • Universal Approach: This method can work when moving cross platforms to Windows, Mac, Unix or Linux machines.
  • Completely Restore Firefox: The entire browser profile including history, settings, preferences, passwords are moved to the new computer.

Limitations of Manual Process

  • Firefox Data Recovery Not Ensured: This is not a guaranteed solution for removing bugs and errors from the browser.
  • Permanent Data Deletion: Any misstep can lead to deletion of complete profile and saved password from Firefox.
  • Confusing Steps: The Firefox data recovery method is too technical for a home or a student user.

Restore Firefox Profile Without Backup

There is an optimal, easy and direct way to move complete browser profile and data to a new Windows computer. This is a third-party tool that is a professional way to recover Firefox profile without data loss. A Sqlite Database Recovery software is compatible with all versions of Windows 10, 8, 7, XP or Vista. It works with the places.sqlite file to restore Firefox profile, browser history, bookmarks and download logs. It can repair any corruptions in the SQLite file and remove any bugs and issue. It can restore Firefox data in a healthy format to the new computer.

Advantages of Automated Solution

  • Recover DB File: The tool can even recover corrupt key3.db file to recover Firefox password from old hard drive.
  • Repairs any Type Of Corruption: The tool is designed to remove any problems or errors affecting browser performance.
  • Recover Firefox data: The software can recover old browser data and restore it to a healthy condition on the new computer.


The manual solution is not entirely a professional way of recovering Mozilla Firefox data. It is at most an easy fix to move profile data between computers. Many companies and organizations look for workaround solution to repair frequent errors and to apply bug fixes. They use the third-party tools that make Firefox data recovery much easier and direct. Both, a perfect manual solution and a reliable tool have been discussed in this post.