Sync Firefox Profiles

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 14, 2007
Updated • Jul 16, 2012
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

I'm using Firefox on my desktop computer and on my Toshiba notebook. They have been running independently for some time until I realized that it would make more sense to sync the Firefox profiles to use the same bookmarks, passwords and cookies on both computers.

The Google Browser Sync extension - which I discovered at the Firefox Mastery website - is the best solution in my situation. It requires an Google account but makes it very easy to sync the data between computers. All you need to do is to install the Google Browser Sync add-on on all computers that you use Firefox and let it sync Bookmarks, Cookies, Passwords, History and Windows automatically.

Data is encrypted to make sure that no one will be able to spy on that data while syncing it. I especially like that this is an automated process that is started whenever Firefox is started. No need to configure scheduled synchronizations using external applications, it's all there already.

It does not even matter if you use different operating systems because the extension works on all of them.

Update: The Google browser sync extension is no longer available for the Firefox web browser. Firefox users have other options at their disposal. First Firefox Sync, a native data synchronization client that they can use to sync their profile with the cloud and other Firefox installations. Firefox Sync currently supports the synchronization of bookmarks, passwords, extensions, the browser history and a number of additional information.

A second option are third party cloud storage services. This is a bit trickier depending on the service. Some service allow the synchronization of select folders on the system, which is the best option. Cubby for instance provides that feature. Others on the other hand only sync files inside a root folder, which would mean that users would need to move the Firefox profile folder into that root folder to make use of the feature.


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  1. QA said on April 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    “Google Browser Sync is no longer
    available for download.”

    WTF! Now that Google has their Chrome browser they stop developing this extension for FF. How disappointing.

    I’ve been messing with Xmarks but it only syncs your bookmarks so it’s use is of a limited scope. Then I tried using Dropbox but there are too many large files in the FF profile folder that are a waste of time to sync. For example there’s a file called urlclassifier3.sqlite that is about 28MB! Plus I think the bookmarks I added yesterday got lost in the abyss. I love Dropbox, but it just wasn’t intended for this.

    Somebody step up to the plate and make an efficient profile sync extension for Firefox!
    Mozilla? Xmarks? Anyone?

  2. Forteresce Valor said on May 28, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Check out my application that can help you compress an entire firefox profile into a single file and then import it as a new default profile on an other machine.

  3. MrProfiles said on April 22, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Its a nice firefox extension if you rely on only one user profile. I like to switch to a different profile. For example Personal Profiles (Shopping Profile, Finances Profile, Education Profile) , or Work Profiles (Parts Profile, Computers Profile, Other Profile). I do not see any way to configure it that with one google account. I would need to create 5 to 10 diffrent gmail accounts to save every profiles unique diffrences.

    This would be a pain !

  4. tash said on December 14, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    I’ve loved google’s browser sync since it came out :D
    The only problem is it isn’t working with the Firefox 3.0 beta yet.. But other than that, it’s great.

  5. iAnon said on December 14, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Cool find Martin. I too use a Toshiba notebook along with my main desktop computer and this will really help me out. As a web developer I have 4 browsers running on both and it is a pain keeping them all updated so this will go some way to alleviating that.

  6. Kip said on December 14, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Or use Febe and leave Google out of the loop

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