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11 November 2008 @ 17:02
Backup Your Mozilla Profiles  

Recently I was asked by some of the readers at LifeHacker if I knew of a program or way to backup and restore the profiles for their Mozilla Firefox installs. The first program that came to mind was MozBackup. This is a program that I would highly recommend for anyone who needs to backup their Mozilla product profiles.

There are two versions available at the moment...the Stable Version (1.4.8) and a new Alpha Version (1.4.9) that was released on October 28, 2008.

Note: The Alpha Version supports the latest developer versions of Firefox 3.1 and Thunderbird 3.0.

I used the Stable Version for this article and would recommend using it rather than the Alpha Version for the moment (to give the Alpha Version a little more time to get smoothed out...).

Note: MozBackup works with Windows only.

UPDATE: The website Support/FAQ page only lists that there is not a version for Linux. There is no version of MozBackup for Mac either. :( My apologies to everyone for the error in the article.

Programs That MozBackup Is Compatible With

Firefox (1.0 - 3.0), Thunderbird (1.0 - 3.0 Alpha 1), Sunbird (0.3 - 0.8), Flock (1.0 - 1.1), SeaMonkey (1.0a - 1.1), Mozilla Suite (1.7 - 1.7.x), Spicebird (0.4), and Netscape (7.x, 9.x). Both versions (1.4.8 & 1.4.9) will also work with Portable Firefox and are able to do automatic backups.

Note: MozBackup did detect the profile for my Spicebird 0.7 install.

Things That MozBackup Creates Backups Of

General settings, e-mails, address books, bookmarks, history, sidebars, user styles, extensions, saved passwords, cookies, saved form details, downloaded file lists, certificates, and the cache

Note: While I could not find a listing for themes, MozBackup did a wonderful job of adding mine to the backup file.

Weblinks For MozBackup

  ♦ MozBackup Homepage

  ♦ MozBackup Support/FAQ Page

  ♦ MozBackup Download Page

  ♦ PDF Instructions For MozBackup (2006 - For MozBackup 1.4.5) *Still very up-to-date for use with version 1.4.8*

Since I had been planning to do a complete uninstall of my default Firefox and go back with a clean reinstall, it was a perfect opportunity to run this program and share the results with you. Since I noticed on the homepage that MozBackup now works with Portable Firefox installs, I decided to use a portable for the restore part of this test.

Note: The portable install used for this article was a fresh install without tweaks or changes of any kind.

Here are the results from when I used MozBackup...

Differences I Noticed Between My Portable And Default Installs

  ♦ Copied all of my themes as well as all of the extensions

  ♦ My Stylish scripts carried over without problems

  ♦ All of my plugins were copied over to my portable

  ♦ All my about:config tweaks were transferred

  ♦ The extensions that I had that were for older versions of Firefox (4 in all) showed the non-compatibility symbol in my portable install (easy to make compatible with the Mr. Tech Toolkit extension though)

  ♦ The Free Download Manager extension was disabled in my default install, but was enabled in the portable install

  ♦ Did not backup any of my search engines

I was extremely pleased with the final result after restoring my profile to the new portable install on my computer. Except for a few minor differences, I had a literal clone of my original default install. Depending on the number of extensions, themes, etc., your backup file will vary in size. Mine was 80.2 MB...but I also had 60+ extensions as part of my default install.

I have included screenshots below of each step of the backup as well as the restore processes for when I used MozBackup on my computer.

MozBackup Creating A Profile Backup Of My Default Install Of Firefox 3.0.3

*Select the program that you want to create a backup for from the list.*

*Select "default" to begin the backup process.*

*I chose not to password protect this particular backup.*

*A sample of what the Unknown Files window may look like for you when you click on it.*

MozBackup Restoring The Profile Backup To A Fresh Install Of Portable Firefox 3.0.3

*Select the program that you want to restore a profile for from the list.*

*Select "default" to begin the restore process.*

*Once you select "Next", browse to the profile directory that you want to install your profile backup in.*

*I needed to select the "Portable profile" here since I was not restoring to the "default".*

*Select "Yes" to overwrite the existing files in the profile.*

Currently Feeling: creativecreative
Caipiesalute77 on 11th November 2008 16:11 (UTC)
Thanks, Angel. :D I've been looking for something like this and the last extension I tried, I think it was FEBE(?) was kind of terrible. lol
Asian Angel: Angel 03firefox_fangirl on 11th November 2008 17:09 (UTC)
You are very welcome. ^__^

I definitely love how this program works. XDD ^__^
Caipiesalute77 on 11th November 2008 17:45 (UTC)
Oh, Angel, I meant to ask you! After the awesome "favorite about:config" post, have you considered doing a "favorite greasemonkey scripts"? It seems like something that would fit perfectly with the Lifehacker crowd, maybe they've even already done this, but it'd be cool to hear what yours are anyway! Just thought to ask after I found a script to replace youtube's default player and kill the autoplay function. <3 lol
Asian Angel: Angel 05firefox_fangirl on 11th November 2008 17:56 (UTC)
Actually, I only have a couple of extensions that already have the scripts built into them. A post about that is definitely something to keep in mind though. ^__^

At the moment I am having a LOT of fun trying out user scripts for the Stylish extension. ^__^ I am REALLY loving them too. ^__^ Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I should start trying to make my own user scripts. ^__^

Hmmm...a post about user scripts could be very good too. XD ^__^
Caipiesalute77 on 11th November 2008 19:13 (UTC)
Awesome, can't wait. :D
Asian Angel: Angel 03firefox_fangirl on 11th November 2008 19:15 (UTC)
hiqutipie on 11th November 2008 22:56 (UTC)
Nice Work Fangirl...Found it on Lifehacker...Congratulations...
Asian Angel: Angel 02firefox_fangirl on 12th November 2008 01:03 (UTC)
Thanks. ^__^
richardi7950 on 12th November 2008 13:53 (UTC)
Re: Backup Your Mozilla Profiles
Thanks for the walkthrough! I'm definitely going to have to try this.

Add me to the list of those who would like to see a list of your favorite user styles. I'd also like to see a list of the sixty extensions that you had installed. I cleared out my default install of Firefox when I reached fourteen extensions; I currently have nine. XD
Asian Angel: Angel 06firefox_fangirl on 13th November 2008 04:22 (UTC)
Just keep a watch for that user styles post. ^__^ I have a couple of other things that I have to work on first though.

Actually it was over 60 extensions. ^__^ As much as anything I usually run that many or more to try them and see what they are like. ^__^ I have had between 80 - 90 at one time...it certainly gives me an opportunity to have fun with them. ^__^

Based on the ones that I have been trying lately, I will probably make a post of the ones that I think are good recommendations sometime soon. ^__^

You asked for the list, so here it is:

Adblock Plus, Backgroundimage Saver 0.1.4, BB Mao Video Downloader 0.8.4, Better Flickr 0.3, Better Lifehacker 0.4.1, Bookmark Previews 0.7.4, BugMeNot 2.0, CacheViewer, Charset Switcher 1.0.20081017, Chinese Pera-kun 1.02, ColorfulTabs 3.6, Copy Link Text 1.3.1, CuteMenus - Crystal SVG 1.9.3, Dictionary Switcher 1.0, Digg Firefox Extension 0.6.4, DOM Inspector 2.0.1, Download Statusbar, EmotiConverter, Evernote Web Clipper, Fast Dial 1.90, Feed Sidebar 3.1.6, Firebug 1.2.1, FireFTP 1.0.2, Flagfox 3.3.4, flickrautopage 1.0.1, Forecastfox, FoxClocks 2.4.97, Free Download Manager plugin 1.3.2, HTML Ruby 4.43.6, Icelandic Dictionary 1.1, Japanese-English Dictionary for rikaichan 1.06, Java Console 6.0.10, Kamus Pengecek Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia 1.0, Locationbar2 1.0.3, lolifox - Fierr MOD, MeasureIt 0.3.8, Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant 1.0, Mikogo Extension 2.0.0, MR Tech Toolkit, Names Dictionary for rikaichan 1.06, New Tab Button on Tab Right 0.5.8, Orange Dictionary 1.1, Paste and Go 3 0.8.1, Perapera-kun 1.0, PhishTank SiteChecker 4.2.3, Professor X 0.5, Proxilla 0.4, Rainbow for Firebug 0.7, Read it Later 0.9925, Refractor for Prism 0.2.1, Show Go! 1.0.3, Show Picture 1.5, Splash, Stylish 0.5.7, Tab Mix Plus, Tab Popup 1.1, Together with Foxkeh, Toolbar Buttons, Translate to Korean 1.6.0, twirl Toolbar 0.2.4, Ubiquity 0.1.2, United States English Dictionary 3.0.3, UnPlug 1.6.06, WOT 20081020, X-Ray 0.9, XHTML Ruby Support 2.1.2008040101

Running 61 extensions now... After that test backup, I decided to do a complete start over to try some new things. ^__^ Not included now: Fast Dial (taking a temporary break from it while I decide between staying with the older version that I was using or going with the newest), Free Download Manager, Read it Later, Ubiquity, U.S. English Dictionary,

Now included: British English Dictionary (I like this one better and it is a good fit for me ^__^).
lil_ndn on 15th November 2008 03:21 (UTC)
Asian Angel, thanx for the "portable" input...
been using Moz for over a couple of years now
along with FEBE for awhile now too, but the
"portable" thing is something just dabbling
w/now, looking forward to more great input to
ponder...Ride Safe Ride Free!
Asian Angelfirefox_fangirl on 15th November 2008 06:32 (UTC)
Re: Thanx!
You are very welcome. ^__^

I have always preferred MozBackup to FEBE because with MozBackup I can keep my backup file local...

The more that I do with portables, the more that I love them. XDD It seems like I can find 1001 uses for them. ^__^
larry27517 on 5th February 2009 03:18 (UTC)
Mozbackup and Scrapbook
Using Mozbackup Version 1.4.8. Since installing the Scrapbook extension for Firefox, Mozbackup goes into an endless loop and never finishes.

Are you aware of this problem? If so, what do I do? If not, how do I troubleshoot? FYI, I am using Windows XP and am computer literate. However, I am not a developer and am unfamiliar with Firefox except as a user.
Asian Angel: Angel 04firefox_fangirl on 5th February 2009 04:58 (UTC)
Re: Mozbackup and Scrapbook
I was not aware of the conflict between the two. :( And I am very sorry to hear that there is a problem. :(

It does sound like the Scrapbook extension is definitely causing the problem since everything was fine before. Has to be some kind of coding conflict it sounds like. O__O

There are two things that you could do if you intend to keep the extension and also try to use MozBackup:

1. You could contact the developer for MozBackup or
2. You could contact the developer for the Scrapbook extension

to see if they can resolve the problem between the two.

Otherwise the only other suggestion that comes to mind is to temporarily remove the Scrapbook extension (and make certain that you have a physical copy downloaded and easily available), make your backups as needed and then reinstall the extension.

I do hope that this helps to get it all sorted out. I would be very interested to hear back on anything the developers have to say on this if you choose to contact them. ^__^

Best wishes and good luck! ^__^

P.S. I am not a developer at the moment either...little bit overwhelming that...
cattleyavns on 7th October 2010 16:23 (UTC)
Nice job, I glad that I found a Firefox's Fangirl (like me) in the Internet ; ">
Asian Angelfirefox_fangirl on 8th October 2010 03:40 (UTC)
Cool. ^__^