Mozilla is developing services and trying to enhance the browsing and searching experience of the users on Firefox. Firefox is compatible with all devices including PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other handheld devices. Firefox has developed a Profile Manager feature for making your experience on Firefox even better and more personalized.

What is the Profile Manager

Profile Manager is similar to a saving locker for your information including bookmarks, passwords, and user preferences. All this information is stored on Firefox browser in a set of files which is your profile. Firefox allows every user to make multiple profiles with different titles. You can also create, rename, remove and switch profiles while using the Firefox Profile Manager. Using this feature, you can have multiple profiles for instance for your home and work with different set of bookmarks, extensions and even browser history and cache.

Do I need the Profile Manager

The Profile Manager comes in handy when you want to save your vital information while troubleshooting some specific problem on your Firefox. In such cases, your information gets lost while the diagnosis takes place and you often need to begin from scratch. By saving all the information on a profile, you can use the Refresh Firefox feature and reset Firefox to its default settings while all your information is safe in the profile.

How can I use the Profile Manager

Before you can start using the Profile Manager, you need to know how to use it. In these following points, we will teach you how to run the profile manager, how to create, rename, rename and retrieve information from old profiles. The first step is to start a Profile Manager. If Firefox browser is already open, go to the menu icon and click exit. Once you have closed the browser, press the Windows key along with the R key. The Run dialog-box will open. Type in firefox.exe –P. You can also use -P, -p or –ProfileManager options as well. All of these options are equivalent. Now click on ‘OK’ and the Firefox Profile Manager will open. Another way to start the Profile Manager is from the Search box in the Windows Start menu. Close Firefox (if it is open), press Windows button and type firefox.exe. If your Profile Manager windows do not open, recheck for open Firefox windows. If it is still running, you need to close all Firefox instances and try again.

Examples:

  1. Windows (32-bit): "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P
  2. Windows (64-bit ): "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P
  3. Mac: /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -P
  4. Linux: firefox -P # asumming firefox is in your PATH environment

Create a new Profile

Once you start the Profile Manager, click the “Create Profile” button. This will start the Create Profile Wizard. The second step is to click the “Next” tab and enter the name of your profile. Enter a descriptive name such as your own name or the purpose of this profile. (privacy note) The profile name is not displayed on the INTERNET.

After you have named your profile, select the location on your computer where you want to store this profile. Click the “Choose Folder” tab. Choose the folder on your computer where you want to store your profile. Remember that the folder you choose should be safe and if you delete that folder, your profile will also be deleted.
Click “Finish” tab to complete creating your profile. When you click the “Finish” tab, the system will take you back to the Profile Manager where you can either open Firefox again or exit the Profile Manager. From here on, all the information you will put in your profile will be saved in the folder that you have saved the profile in.

Removing an old or unused Profile

If you feel the need to remove a profile for any reason, open the Profile Manager as instructed in the first step. Select the profile that you wish to remove and then click the “Delete Profile” tab.
A dialog-box will open which will tell you that if you delete the profile, you will also be deleting all the information you have stored in it including bookmarks, passwords, certificates, settings and other user related data. You will also have the three following options to explore before you delete your profile permanently.

Don’t Delete Files - This tab gives you the option to keep the data files safe in the folder on your system where you saved the profile. If you click this tab, the profile will be removed from the Firefox browser but the files that you have saved in a folder on your system will remain safe and undeleted.

Delete Files - If you are sure that you want to delete the profile and the files that you have saved in the folder, click this tab. Your profile and the files in the folder will all be deleted and the profile will be completely removed from your computer or device.

Cancel - If you think that you need time before deleting the profile, just click “Cancel”, reconsider and if you still think you need to delete the profile, reopen the Profile Manager and repeat the process.

Renaming an already created Profile

If you wish to rename your profile, open the Profile Manager and select the profile you wish to rename. Click the “Rename Profile” tab. Enter the new name of your profile and click “OK”. Your profile will have the new name you have assigned it.
Note that the profile you have renamed will display the new name in the Firefox search but the name of the folder you have saved will not change. In this case, you can save the folder with its new name in the same folder and delete the folder with your old name.

Options for Using Profile Manager

Firefox Profile Manager gives you options to operate the profiles on your system. These options include:

Working Offline

You can choose this option for working offline on your profile. When you choose this option, you can open your profiles without being online and experiment with them, change them, and save them.

Start Up Option

If you select this option, Firefox will automatically load and display the selected profile at startup if there is no open window. In order to set a different profile for startup, you can choose the other profile from Profile Manager. If you uncheck the startup option, your browser will show you the Profile Manager every time you start Firefox and ask you to select a profile. You can choose the profile you want to work with and proceed.

Moving a Profile

If you are changing systems and you want to copy all of your Firefox data and settings to Firefox installation on your new system, you need to make a backup of your Firefox profile, then restore it at your new location.

Recovering Information

If you want to recover information from an old profile into a new one, you can simply copy the passwords, bookmarks and other information files and paste them in the new profile.

We hope that this article has been helpful in understanding how to use the Firefox Profile Manager and make your browsing experience better and more efficient.

References:

  1. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles

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