MozillaZine

Profile Folder

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

(Difference between revisions)
Revision as of 14:46, 30 April 2005
Hao2lian (Talk | contribs)

<-- Previous diff
Revision as of 15:53, 2 May 2005
Asqueella (Talk | contribs)

Next diff -->
Line 1: Line 1:
-: ''This article applies to the Mozilla Suite, Firefox, and Thunderbird.''+: ''This article applies to the Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird and some other Mozilla-based applications.''
The Mozilla Suite, Firefox, and Thunderbird each store a user's personal information such as bookmarks, home page setting, e-mail, address books, extensions, and preferences in a unique '''profile'''. The first time you start the Mozilla Suite (or Firefox or Thunderbird), it will automatically create a default profile; from then on, other users must create their own profiles or they will share the one that's already there. The Mozilla Suite, Firefox, and Thunderbird each store a user's personal information such as bookmarks, home page setting, e-mail, address books, extensions, and preferences in a unique '''profile'''. The first time you start the Mozilla Suite (or Firefox or Thunderbird), it will automatically create a default profile; from then on, other users must create their own profiles or they will share the one that's already there.
Line 9: Line 9:
===For Windows 2000 and XP users=== ===For Windows 2000 and XP users===
-<div style="display: inline; color: red;">If you cannot find your profile folder</div>: Windows 2000 and XP sometimes hide the profile folders because "Application Data" is a hidden folder. In Explorer (i.e. double-click My Computer) click: Tools -> Folder Options -> View (tab) -> Show Hidden files and folders.+'''If you cannot find your profile folder''': Windows 2000 and XP sometimes hide the profile folders because "Application Data" is a hidden folder. In Explorer (i.e. double-click My Computer) click: Tools -> Folder Options -> View (tab) -> Show Hidden files and folders.
For those curious, the "%APPDATA%" phrase for Windows 2000/XP is an environment variable that automatically updates for login username changes and will quickly locate your Application Data folder. For those curious, the "%APPDATA%" phrase for Windows 2000/XP is an environment variable that automatically updates for login username changes and will quickly locate your Application Data folder.
Line 52: Line 52:
~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/<Profile name>/ ~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/<Profile name>/
|} |}
 +
===Sunbird=== ===Sunbird===
Like Firefox above, but replace the directory name "Firefox" with "Sunbird" in the paths. Like Firefox above, but replace the directory name "Firefox" with "Sunbird" in the paths.
Line 80: Line 81:
===What do I do if my profile's corrupted?=== ===What do I do if my profile's corrupted?===
-First, try creating a new profile. If it's still acting weird, then try uninstalling and reinstalling the application.+If your profile is corrupted, try creating a new profile. If it's still acting weird, then try uninstalling and reinstalling the application.
Assuming it works with a clean profile, you can copy the following files from the old profile into the new one. (Note, that some of these files may not exist.) Assuming it works with a clean profile, you can copy the following files from the old profile into the new one. (Note, that some of these files may not exist.)
Line 89: Line 90:
* chrome/userContent.css * chrome/userContent.css
* chrome/userChrome.css * chrome/userChrome.css
-* Any other that you need+* Any other files that you need
You can rescue your mail, [[Moving address books between profiles|address books]], and other important files in a similar manner. You can also copy "pref.js", but it contains absolute paths, so you'll need to [[Thunderbird : FAQs : Changing Profile Folder Location|manually edit it]] to reflect the new profile location. You can rescue your mail, [[Moving address books between profiles|address books]], and other important files in a similar manner. You can also copy "pref.js", but it contains absolute paths, so you'll need to [[Thunderbird : FAQs : Changing Profile Folder Location|manually edit it]] to reflect the new profile location.
Line 114: Line 115:
|valign="top"| abook.mab<br>history.mab || These are the default address books created by Mozilla Suite/Thunderbird: abook.mab is the Personal Address Book and history.mab is Collected Addresses. Other address books that you create will likewise have the .mab extension. |valign="top"| abook.mab<br>history.mab || These are the default address books created by Mozilla Suite/Thunderbird: abook.mab is the Personal Address Book and history.mab is Collected Addresses. Other address books that you create will likewise have the .mab extension.
|- |-
-|valign="top"| bookmarks.html || This is where bookmarks are stored. This includes [[Mozilla Suite : Tips : Using keyword searches | keyword searches]], update alerts, and the bookmarks on your personal toolbar. Since the bookmarks are stored in HTML, you can view this file in a browser and see your bookmarks in a hierarchical tree-like view.+|valign="top"| bookmarks.html || This is where bookmarks are stored. This includes [[Using keyword searches | keyword searches]], update alerts, and the bookmarks on your personal toolbar. Since the bookmarks are stored in HTML, you can view this file in a browser and see your bookmarks in a hierarchical tree-like view.
|- |-
|valign="top"| [[Cookies|cookies.txt]] || This is where all of your cookies are stored. This includes login information, session data, preferences, and things of that nature. |valign="top"| [[Cookies|cookies.txt]] || This is where all of your cookies are stored. This includes login information, session data, preferences, and things of that nature.
Line 141: Line 142:
|valign="top"| chrome/[[userContent.css]] || This file stores user styles. Everything you write in here (in CSS) will be applied to web pages that you visit, according to the [http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/cascade.html#cascade rules of precedence] in CSS. To help ensure that your rules override rules specified by the web page, use the [http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/cascade.html#important-rules !important rule]. |valign="top"| chrome/[[userContent.css]] || This file stores user styles. Everything you write in here (in CSS) will be applied to web pages that you visit, according to the [http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/cascade.html#cascade rules of precedence] in CSS. To help ensure that your rules override rules specified by the web page, use the [http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/cascade.html#important-rules !important rule].
|- |-
-|valign="top"| xul.mfl<br>xul.mfasl (Linux/BSD) || This is just a cache file for the bookmarks, cookies, settings, and the like. It's used to cache the internal representation of data so it doesn't have to be reparsed. Sometimes, this file can become corrupted, and in such cases, it's almost always okay to delete it, because it's a cache and it will be recreated on next startup (though the said startup may take a few milliseconds longer). +|valign="top"| xul.mfl<br>xul.mfasl (Linux) || This is just a cache file for the files describing user interface (XUL/JavaScript and others). It's used to cache the internal representation of data so it doesn't have to be reparsed. Sometimes, this file can become corrupted, and in such cases, it's always okay to delete it, because it's a cache and it will be recreated on next startup (though the said startup may take a little longer).
'''Tip:''' If you're having problems upgrading or downgrading Mozilla Suite, Firefox or Thunderbird (for example, it won't start), try deleting this file. '''Tip:''' If you're having problems upgrading or downgrading Mozilla Suite, Firefox or Thunderbird (for example, it won't start), try deleting this file.

Revision as of 15:53, 2 May 2005

This article applies to the Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird and some other Mozilla-based applications.

The Mozilla Suite, Firefox, and Thunderbird each store a user's personal information such as bookmarks, home page setting, e-mail, address books, extensions, and preferences in a unique profile. The first time you start the Mozilla Suite (or Firefox or Thunderbird), it will automatically create a default profile; from then on, other users must create their own profiles or they will share the one that's already there.

Each profile is stored in its own folder. See the What is in my profile? section below for tips on making changes to files in your profile folder.

Contents

Where is my profile folder?

By default, profiles are created in the folders listed below. When creating a profile with the Profile Manager, you can choose to place it elsewhere. Note that by default, profiles are stored in a completely different location than the application installation directory.

For Windows 2000 and XP users

If you cannot find your profile folder: Windows 2000 and XP sometimes hide the profile folders because "Application Data" is a hidden folder. In Explorer (i.e. double-click My Computer) click: Tools -> Folder Options -> View (tab) -> Show Hidden files and folders.

For those curious, the "%APPDATA%" phrase for Windows 2000/XP is an environment variable that automatically updates for login username changes and will quickly locate your Application Data folder.

Mozilla Suite

Operating system Folder(s)
Windows 9x/Me C:\Windows\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\<Profile name>\********.slt\
Windows 9x/Me, alternate C:\Windows\Profiles\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\<Profile name>\********.slt\
Windows NT 4.x C:\Winnt\Profiles\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\<Profile name>\********.slt\
Windows 2000/XP C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\<Profile name>\********.slt\

%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Profiles\<Profile name>\********.slt\

Unix ~/.mozilla/<Profile name>/********.slt
Mac OS X ~/Library/Mozilla/Profiles/<Profile name>/********.slt

~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/Profiles/<Profile name>/********.slt

Notice: Firefox and Thunderbird have default profile folder names of "********.default" where "********" is eight random letters and numbers.

Firefox

Operating system Folder(s)
Windows 9x/Me C:\Windows\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Windows 9x/Me, alternate C:\Windows\Profiles\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Windows NT 4.x C:\Winnt\Profiles\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Windows 2000/XP C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Profile name>\

%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Profile name>\

Unix ~/.mozilla/firefox/<Profile name>/
Mac OS X ~/Library/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/<Profile name>/

~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/<Profile name>/

Sunbird

Like Firefox above, but replace the directory name "Firefox" with "Sunbird" in the paths.

Thunderbird

Operating system Folder(s)
Windows 9x/Me C:\Windows\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Windows 9x/Me, alternate C:\Windows\Profiles\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Windows NT 4.x C:\Winnt\Profiles\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Windows 2000/XP C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

%APPDATA%\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

Unix ~/.thunderbird/<Profile name>/
Mac OS X ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/

~/Library/Application Support/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/

Managing profiles

  • You can select a profile to use, create a new profile, and delete or rename an existing profile using Profile Manager. See the linked article for detailed instructions.
  • See Profile backup for instructions on backing up your profile.
  • If you get a "profile is already in use" message it means that the profile is locked. See Profile in use for details.

What do I do if my profile's corrupted?

If your profile is corrupted, try creating a new profile. If it's still acting weird, then try uninstalling and reinstalling the application.

Assuming it works with a clean profile, you can copy the following files from the old profile into the new one. (Note, that some of these files may not exist.)

  • bookmarks.html
  • cookies.txt
  • hostperm.1
  • user.js
  • chrome/userContent.css
  • chrome/userChrome.css
  • Any other files that you need

You can rescue your mail, address books, and other important files in a similar manner. You can also copy "pref.js", but it contains absolute paths, so you'll need to manually edit it to reflect the new profile location. More Thunderbird/Mozilla Mail specific tips can be found at Thunderbird FAQs page.

If you don't want to go though all that, though, there are a some other things you can try first that might save the old profile.

What is in my profile?

gemal.dk has a useful listing of files in a Mozilla Suite profile, as do the Mozilla Suite Release Notes and the Profile FAQ. Some of the important ones are listed below. Not all of these files will be found in a Firefox or Thunderbird profile: Firefox will not include the mail- and news-specific files, and Thunderbird will not include the browser-specific files.

To edit these files, it is highly recommended that you use built-in user interfaces (Bookmark Manager, Cookie Manager, etc.), when possible. See also: Editing your configuration files.

Folder Description
Mail
ImapMail
News
Each of your mail/news accounts will have its own subfolder inside the Mail, ImapMail or News folder in the profile folder, and your data will be stored in this subfolder unless otherwise configured (in Thunderbird you can use the Global Inbox feature feature to have your mail stored in Local Folders instead). Note that the *.msf files are index files and do not contain your actual messages. For instance, if you see an "Inbox" and an "Inbox.msf", the file containing the messages is "Inbox".




File Description
abook.mab
history.mab
These are the default address books created by Mozilla Suite/Thunderbird: abook.mab is the Personal Address Book and history.mab is Collected Addresses. Other address books that you create will likewise have the .mab extension.
bookmarks.html This is where bookmarks are stored. This includes keyword searches, update alerts, and the bookmarks on your personal toolbar. Since the bookmarks are stored in HTML, you can view this file in a browser and see your bookmarks in a hierarchical tree-like view.
cookies.txt This is where all of your cookies are stored. This includes login information, session data, preferences, and things of that nature.
cookperm.txt This is where all of your preferences are stored as far as what sites are allowed to set cookies and which ones aren't, as well as which domains can display images, and which sites can display popups. Replaced by hostperm.1
hostperm.1 Replaces cookperm.txt. Includes per-site preferences for cookie/popup whitelisting.
msgFilterRules.dat Contains the message filter definitions for a single mail account. Each account will have its own msgFilterRules.dat file, kept together with the mail files for that account, by default in the account subfolder in the Mail or ImapMail folder in the profile folder.
parent.lock
lock
.parentlock
This empty file tells Mozilla Suite (or Firefox/Thunderbird) that the profile is currently in use so that the application won't try to use it more than once at the same time. If you are sure that the application's processes are closed and your default profile still won't open, check to see if this file is located in your profile folder. If it is, delete it. If it exists, it means that the application forgot to delete the file after it closed, and its existence will prevent the profile from being accessed. Deleting it fixes this.
popstate.dat For POP3 mail accounts, this file keeps track of which messages have been downloaded from the server. Each POP3 account will have its own popstate.dat file, kept together with the mail files for that account, by default in the account subfolder in the Mail folder in the profile folder.
prefs.js This file stores settings for your preferences, such as your home page, security, and the locations of certain other necessary files. Avoid editing this file if possible as it can cause Mozilla Suite (or Firefox/Thunderbird) to malfunction. Instead, first try clicking "Edit -> Preferences" in Mozilla Suite ("Tools -> Options" in Firefox and Thunderbird). If you don't see the preference you want there, try using the about:config page for Mozilla Suite and Firefox. (For Thunderbird, you might try the aboutconfig extension.) If that doesn't work, see the "user.js" section below. You can also try the Preferential extension made by a third party, which edits the preferences with a friendlier interface and documentation.
registry.dat
profiles.ini
Stored a few levels up in the directory hierarchy from your profile folder, this file keeps track of where your profiles are located so that Mozilla Suite (or Firefox or Thunderbird) can find them when it starts up.
training.dat This is where Mozilla Suite/Thunderbird puts your custom "training" data for Junk Mail Controls.
user.js If you must add entries to pref.js by hand, edit this file. Preferences in it will be loaded at the next startup, and then saved into prefs.js. Deleting entries from this file will not delete the entries in prefs.js.
chrome/userChrome.css This file controls the appearance of the program in question. Because of the way the user interface is written, the look of Mozilla Suite (or Firefox/Thunderbird) can be controlled using CSS.
chrome/userContent.css This file stores user styles. Everything you write in here (in CSS) will be applied to web pages that you visit, according to the rules of precedence in CSS. To help ensure that your rules override rules specified by the web page, use the !important rule.
xul.mfl
xul.mfasl (Linux)
This is just a cache file for the files describing user interface (XUL/JavaScript and others). It's used to cache the internal representation of data so it doesn't have to be reparsed. Sometimes, this file can become corrupted, and in such cases, it's always okay to delete it, because it's a cache and it will be recreated on next startup (though the said startup may take a little longer).

Tip: If you're having problems upgrading or downgrading Mozilla Suite, Firefox or Thunderbird (for example, it won't start), try deleting this file.

See also

External links