MozillaZine

Profile Folder

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Revision as of 09:10, 26 December 2005; view current revision
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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, e-mail, address books, extensions, and user preferences in a unique profile. The first time you start the Mozilla Suite (or Firefox or Thunderbird), it will automatically create a default profile; additional profiles can be created using the Profile Manager.

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. "Start -> Run -> %APPDATA%" will quickly open the 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/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>/ or possibly ~/.mozilla-thunderbird<Profile name>
Mac OS X ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/

~/Library/Application Support/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/
Users/<user name>/Library/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, create a new profile then migrate your settings to the new profile.

Files and folders in the profile

Note: it's not recommended to edit these files directly. Instead, use their respective interfaces.

Folders

Name Application Description
bookmarkbackups Firefox (starting in 1.5) Daily rotating backups of your bookmarks.
Cache Firefox, Mozilla Suite Cached Internet files. Folder location changed in Firefox 1.5 [1]. Use about:cache for information about the cached files and to find the Cache folder location.
chrome Firefox, Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite (Firefox 1.5, Thunderbird 1.5 chrome folder no longer used)
extensions Firefox, Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite Installed extensions
ImapMail Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Mail from IMAP sources
Mail Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Mail from POP sources and Local Folders
News Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird News from newsgroups
searchplugins Firefox (starting in 1.5) Contains search engine plugins and their icons for the Search Bar

Files

Name Application Description
.parentlock Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird (MacOS X) See parent.lock
abook.mab Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Personal Address Book
bookmarks.bak Firefox, Mozilla Suite Backup of bookmarks.html
bookmarks.html Firefox, Mozilla Suite Bookmarks
bookmarks-(date).html in bookmarkbackups Firefox (starting in 1.5) Daily rotating backups of your bookmarks.
cert8.db Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Security certificates
compatibility.ini Firefox, Thunderbird Stores version and path of the application this profile was last used with. When the profile is loaded with an application of a different version/path, the XPCOM components registration process is triggered. This file is automatically generated and can safely be deleted.
components.ini Firefox, Thunderbird Lists extension folders with XPCOM components. Replaced with extensions.ini in 1.5.
compreg.dat Firefox, Thunderbird Lists registered XPCOM components. Automatically regenerated whenever XPCOM registration process is triggered.
cookies.txt Firefox, Mozilla Suite Cookies
defaults.ini Firefox, Thunderbird (before 1.5) Lists extension folders with default pref files. Replaced with extensions.ini in 1.5.
downloads.rdf Firefox, Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite Download history
extensions.cache Firefox, Thunderbird (starting in 1.5) Lists installed extensions, their IDs, and the folders they are installed to, along with their last-modify time. It is used, for example, to register extensions installed by dropping a folder into one of known install locations. This file is automatically regenerated.
extensions.ini Firefox, Thunderbird (starting in 1.5) Lists folders of installed extensions and themes. The file is automatically generated by nsExtensionManager and is used by low-level code to detect chrome packages and XPCOM components provided by installed addons.
extensions.rdf Firefox, Thunderbird Installed extension information.
extensions-startup.manifest Firefox and Thunderbird 1.5 alphas This file was used in Deer Park alphas and was later renamed to extensions.cache
formhistory.dat Firefox Saved form data
key3.db Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird
history.dat Firefox, Mozilla Suite Browsing history
history.mab Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Collected Addresses
hostperm.1 Firefox, Mozilla Suite Per-site preferences for allowing cookies and popups.
localstore.rdf Firefox, Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite Toolbar and window positioning/sizing settings
lock (Linux) Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird See parent.lock
mimeTypes.rdf Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Action to perform when downloading certain types of files
msgFilterRules.dat in ImapMail, Mail, News Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Message filters
panacea.dat Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite
parent.lock Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird (Windows) Marker showing that the current profile is in use
popstate.dat in Mail Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Keeps track of which messages have been downloaded from the server
prefs.js Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird All preferences. See: about:config
search.rdf Firefox
secmod.db Firefox, Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite
signons.txt Firefox Encrypted saved passwords, requires key3.db to work
training.dat Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Custom training for Junk Mail Controls
user.js (does not exist by default) Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird User-set overriding preferences
userChrome.css in chrome (does not exist by default) Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird User-set CSS to change the way the application looks
userContent.css in chrome (does not exist by default) Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird User-set CSS to change the way webpages look
virtualfolders.dat Thunderbird Saved Search folder settings
xpti.dat Firefox, Thunderbird Lists registered XPCOM interfaces. Automatically regenerated whenever XPCOM registration process is triggered.
xul.mfasl Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird (Linux) See XUL.mfl
XUL.mfl Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird (Windows) Cached user interface data (file location changed in Firefox 1.5, Thunderbird 1.5 [2])
XUL FastLoad File Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird (MacOS X) See XUL.mfl

Files without specific names

Name Application Description
(number).s Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Password data. The "(number).s" value is referenced in the about:config preference "signon.SignonFileName" preference
(number).w Mozilla Suite Saved form data
*. in ImapMail, Mail, and News Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Mail messages
*.mab other than abook.mab and history.mab Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird User-created address books
*.msf in ImapMail, Mail, and News Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Index files for mail messages
*.src in searchplugins Firefox Search engine plugins for the Search Bar

Files outside of the profile folder

Name Application Description
pluginreg.dat Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Registration of plugin mimetypes
profiles.ini Firefox, Thunderbird Keeps track of where your profiles are located
registry.dat Firefox, Mozilla Suite, Thunderbird Keeps track of where your profiles are located in Mozilla Suite and older versions of Firefox and Thunderbird

See also

External links