The Haphazard Blog

Tag: password

Migrating Passwords in Firefox 3.6

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Software, Technology

I’ve been using Firefox going back to the days when they had changed the name from Firebird to Firefox. When my PC died, I had to rebuild a new one. I was backing up my Firefox profile at the time, so I only had to restore it. It took a little bit of manual work to do it, but it wasn’t a big deal. However, Firefox now took at least 20 seconds to fully exit (the window would go away, but the process was still running) and often 1 to 2 minutes. This is on top of the huge amounts of memory (physical and virtual) it eats up over prolonged usage.

I decided with my new PC, I would just discard my profile. It has been updated, upgraded and manually maintained through multiple Firefox versions. Add multiple extensions being installed and uninstalled over that time and it is time to start fresh. The one thing I did not want to lose were all my saved passwords. This turned out to be pretty straightforward. After I installed Firefox 3.6 (this method will also work with 3.5, but I’d recommend that whatever version you do this with, make sure the old one and new one are the same), I copied the key3.db and signons.sqlite files from the old profile folder to the new profile folder.

After writing the stuff above, I went to see if I could find a page describing the files that comprise a profile to link that would help people copy over other parts of their profile they want to keep while also having a clean install. You can read it here, and it points out exactly which files you need to move the passwords. There is also a guide on backing up and restoring profiles on that site as well.

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