Talk:Moving your profile folder

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Applicability of this article to Firefox and Mozilla Suite

As far as I know the general procedure described in this article should apply to Firefox and Mozilla Suite, but there seem to be some differences between profiles in the 3 applications. Namely:

  • Firefox's "prefs.js" doesn't seem to contain absolute paths to the profile like Thunderbird's does. (At least mine doesn't.) Hence, there's nothing to edit as described in step 3.
  • Mozilla Suite's profile doesn't seem to use the "extensions" folder. This would mean that step 5 doesn't apply to Mozilla Suite.
  • Firefox and Mozilla Suite can use plugins. How are these affected when the profile is moved to another location?

There might be other differences as well. If someone can verify these or knows how they should be dealt with for Firefox/Mozilla Suite, please feel free to modify the article where needed. --Wintogreen 01:24, 17 Apr 2005 (PDT)

I recommend the article is extended to clarify the direction of slashes to be used in the path statements. Coming from a Windows background I was most confused to find that the default path used forward slash. IsRelative=1 and Path=Profile/username. After much searching and testing, it seems that when a new location under windows is specified by using IsRelative=0 , then the standard Windows backslash must be used for delimiting, ie Path=d:\Tbird-mail-store\username. I encourage someone more knowledgeable, to confirm this and expand that part of the main article. GWood Jun07.

Bringing back the old Method 2

I've brought back a shortened version of the former Method 2, and changed Migrating settings to a new profile to Method 3. This is because Method 3 is actually quite cumbersome for Thunderbird or Mozilla Mail, especially for people with multiple mail accounts, since you have to manually set up all your accounts again and then manually move all the locally stored mail into the correct directories in the new profile. Not to mention the extra work required if you have more than 2 address books. For quite a few users, editing prefs.js (and zapping the chrome/extensions directories, if necessary) is going to be less trouble. --wintogreen 00:49, 18 October 2005 (PDT)

Thunderbird prefs.js

Before Thunderbird 1.5, TB's prefs.js contained absolute paths to the mail folder files in the profile folder.

Thunderbird 1.5 adds a new preferene containing a relative path. When TB1.5 opens a profile from TB1.0.x, it adds this preference with the relative path. However, the preference with the absolute path will remain and will take precendence over the relative path profile.

Basically, you can move a TB1.5 profile with no alterations if it was created in TB 1.5. If the profile was created in TB1.0.x, the preference with the absolute paths must be deleted, either by manually editing prefs.js or through Tools > Options > Advanced > Config Editor Alas, I forget what the name of the preference is... :) I just need to get at my backup TB profile (which was backed up before I removed the preferences), but that requires finding by backup hard drive and installing it... I'll do it tomorrow.

Yet another method?

Hullo KB'ers! Have you seen this thread improved method for moving profile folder (for linux users) on the forums? I'm too busy now to check this call out myself. --FatJohn 15:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

"Simpler procedure"

"Moving your profile from one computer to another when this simpler procedure won't work". The link provided goes to profile backup, how is that applicable to moving a profile?--Np 16:48, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I updated the "simpler procedure" link to Profile_backup#Restoring_or_migrating_your_backed-up_profile. Alice Wyman 23:49, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The Profile backup article has been changed again and now has different section names and multiple backup methods. I've updated the "simpler procedure" link to "these simpler procedures", without linking to any specific section of the article. Alice 15:41, 1 July 2007 (UTC)


The article used to have methods 1, 2 and 3. I've modified it to have a recommended way using the profile manager, and renamed the old methods to have meaningful names. I also removed the FUD paragraphs from method1 and labeled it as advanced. I'll modify other articles links to methods 1,2,3 later on after waiting to see what response I get to these changes. Tanstaafl 23:23, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

One problem in the way you've reorganized the article, it lumps SeaMonkey in with Firefox and Thunderbird. Mozilla Suite and SeaMonkey 1.x still use the registry.dat and the Profile Manager doesn't work the same way.... see Talk:Recovering a missing profile for details. Alice 01:30, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I modified the text to point Mozilla Suite and SeaMonkey 1.x users to the first two alternatives. Tanstaafl 05:44, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Moving a Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey 1.x profile

I did a bunch of testing then I added a new "Using the Profile Manager to move your profile" section for Mozilla Suite and SeaMonkey 1.x. Alice 19:30, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

P.S. In addition to the details I gave here and in this sillydog forum post, here's a bugzilla reference for recovering a lost Mozilla Suite profile: Bug 205120 comment #7. In case of a corrupt registry.dat then that file should be deleted according to comment #20 of the same report. I thought about including that information but decided that it would make the section too complicated. Alice 15:20, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Extra link to Profiles.ini_file

Added a specific link to Profiles.ini_file at the bottom for reference even though it is linked to several times in the article. Hope that is not bad form, but it seems since it has be changed or watched over it should be referenced there as well. DMcRitchie 02:09, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I've always understood that the "See also" links were for related KB articles that weren't already linked within the body of the article. I didn't think that a "See also" link was needed for the profiles.ini file article so I removed it. Alice 04:32, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Thunderbird specific version

This article makes a lot of compromises due to supporting Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey 1, SeaMonkey 2, and Mozilla Suite. It also intermingles instructions for all platforms, rather than having separate instructions for certain scenarios such as moving a profile between XP and OSX (dissimilar platforms with no common backup program). While the answers are correct and there are screen shots its just too much to process for many users.

Any objection to my creating a separate article just for Thunderbird to see if its more successful? I'm not suggesting removing Thunderbird support from this article, though if later on somebody wants to do the same thing for a couple other applications we might wind up mimicking what was done for the profile folder. Tanstaafl 12:07, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

^ I have no objection. Alice 13:32, 12 October 2010 (UTC)