If you are a regular reader, you know that Mozilla plans to update Firefox Sync in version 29 of the web browser.
As you may know, the nightly channel of the web browser is currently at version 29. This will change in the next couple of days when all channels are upgraded a version.
The new Firefox Sync has already landed in Firefox Nightly while the old Sync is also still operational for the most part.
This may sound confusing at first, but it is not really the case.
If you use the old Firefox Sync, then you probably wonder how to switch to the new version, and what impact not switching to the new version may have on the synchronization functionality.
The old sync works just fine for now for the most part. You can still synchronize all of your devices with each other without making any changes. What you cannot do anymore however is add new devices that you want synced as well.
In addition, Mozilla will support the old sync technology only for a limited amount of time before it will stop support for it.
It is still possible to use the old sync at that point, but only if you are using a community supported self-hosted solution as explained here.
Setting up the new Firefox Sync
If you are not using the old Firefox Sync, skip the following step. Before you can configure the new Firefox Sync on your system, you need to unlink all of your existing Sync devices.
You do so with a click on the settings button, selecting Options, and then the Sync tab. Click on unlink this device to discontinue the old Firefox Sync on the system.
To create a new Firefox Sync account, do the following.
- Click on the Settings button again and select Sign in to Sync.
- Or, load about:accounts directly in the browser's address bar.
- Click on the Get Started button displayed here.
- You are asked to create a Firefox account by entering your email address, selecting a password, and your year of birth.
- Here you can also check the "Choose what to sync" option to customize the data that gets synchronized by the browser.
- A verification link is sent to the email address. The email is verified when you load that link.
- If you have selected to customize the sync settings, you can do so on the next screen.
- Firefox Sync has been successfully set up after you hit the start button.
The major change is that you do need to use an email address to set up the account. On the positive side of things, this means that you only need to use the email address and password to set up Sync on another device, instead of keys that the old Sync used to add devices to the process.
It does mean that Firefox users need to create a Firefox Account to use Sync, and while other browsers handle this in the same way, Chrome Sync requires a Chrome account for example, some users may not like the idea of using an email address to create such an account.
A Firefox Account is also required to use the Firefox Marketplace. Mozilla has additional account-related ideas that it may implement at one point in time.