Goodbye old Firefox profile

My firefox was getting a bit sluggish, which sucks.. because it's still my favourite browser. Today was just a disaster. The entire browser would just hang for seconds at a time, slow startup times.. etc.

I realized that firefox was running on a profile I made 4 years ago. It has seen Firefox 2.0 up until 3.6, as well as some beta and minefield builds. Dozens of add-ons have been installed, updated, removed and installed again and it has been migrated to 3 different computers. This couldn't be good for performance. Who knows what kind of settings, files and data is left hanging here and there.

So I went ahead today and created a new firefox profile. This is simply done by starting firefox with the --profilemanager argument.

I needed my bookmarks, history and saved passwords though. To get these 3 items, copy the following files from your old, to your new profile (while firefox is not running!).

  • places.sqlite - Contains history and bookmarks.
  • signon.sqlite - Contains all your saved passwords.
  • key3.db - Contains the encryption keys to decode your passwords.

After that, it was just a matter of installing Firebug, Firecookie and noscript again.

Right now the browser feels like new again. If you're seeing similar problems, I can highly recommend it.. but I can't be help responsible for losing any of your valuable data.. make backups! Your new profile will also have none of the customizations you've ever made.

Some links