Firefox Form Data Recovery

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 5, 2009
Updated • May 23, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Lazarus Form Recovery is a free add-on for the Firefox web browser that saves form data periodically for recovery purposes.

Have you ever experienced a situation where you finished typing text in a web form on the Internet only to find out that you could not post it to the website because of server timeouts, web browser crashes or other errors? Going back to that form usually results in it being blank which can be quite disheartening especially if you typed a lot.

The only thing that can be done at this point is to type the text anew and hope that it can be submitted this time.

While you can be extra careful and copy the text to the clipboard to avoid having to write it a second or third time, it is not something that most users do usually, unless they have had a bad experience on a site before.

Update: Lazarus Form Data Recovery has not been updated since 2011. The extension worked fine until recently (2017), but stopped working right now and won't install anymore in new versions of the Firefox web browser. Firefox users may switch to Form History Control for the time being.

Lazarus Form Data Recovery

Well, there is actually another option that is provided by the Lazarus Form Data Recovery extension for the Firefox web browser. Lazarus saves form data as soon as it is entered by the user in its SQLite database (lazarus.sqlite in the profile folder). This makes it possible to recover the form data even if the form is displayed as empty after you are taken back to the page.

There are obviously some privacy concerns which are handled excellently by the software program. It is for one possible to set a period (minute, hour, day, week) in which the form data is stored. Once the time is up the form data gets erased.

Another security measure is that it is possible to create a password that has to be supplied once per browsing session before form data can be restored. The form data in the database is encrypted to prevent that users with local computer access can reveal the form information there directly.

The form data recovery add-on works by right-clicking the form on the Internet website. The user can then select the Recover Text or Recover Form entry to restore the text in that form. If there are multiple saves, all of them are displayed when you selec the recover form option of the context menu.

Lazarus works nicely in the background and can be a real life safer for users who regularly post lots of text.

The options provide you with a set of interesting features. You can search the database if you want, clean it, restore a database from backup, or delete the entire database for example.

Here you can also enable the form recovery option when you are using the browser's private browsing mode.

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Author Rating
5 based on 1 votes
Software Name
Lazarus Form Recovery
Software Category
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  1. JDS said on August 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I agree with what JD says – Lazarus is pretty much useless now on most major websites for whatever reasons – they changed their code, or whatever. And I think that comment software used by a lot of the websites is purposely blocking text recovery software. I even emailed the creator of the Lazarus sftware and let him know about the issues and he never responded. I’d suggest if you want to be sure of not losing your text that you not rely on Lazarus. My suggestion is just type in a text file or word file and then do a copy and paste.

    Lazarus gets a thumbs down from me for now. And that’s too bad because when it does work, it’s good. Developer needs to figure out how sites are blocking his code and he needs to make changes to make it work once again.

  2. JD said on June 29, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Worked for a while, then most of the major websites updated (in the past few months of 2011) their java or code or whatever, and it became a totally useless add-on for posting comments, etc.

    As well, it doesn’t show up in the taskbar on FFox 5.0.

    Needs a lot of work before it is really good again, like it was when it was first introduced.

    Sorry, hate to be critical, but if something is advertised as supposed to work a certain way, and doesn’t, then people should say so and people should know so.

  3. Karl said on July 6, 2009 at 3:36 am

    You are right in that for most addons privacy is a secondary issue. However this is not the case for Lazarus.

    Right from the start we knew we would be keeping very sensitive information on your computer. So we encrypt all data using RSA and AES encryption (even if you don’t set a password). By using Hybrid encryption we get to be able to encrypt the data as soon as the browser starts and only need the password when you attempt to recover a form.

    You can read more about our security measures here ( if you like. I hope you’ll give Lazarus a go.

  4. Quill said on July 5, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Unfortunately, like a lot of things fx these days, privacy seems to be a secondary issue.

    Personally I don’t keep any kind of history and I periodically delete all those nasty sqlite files that like to keep data.

    For me a better option is itsalltext. It does it’s editing outside the browser if your favourite editor and as far as I can tell, no secret history of what one may have typed in to a form in some dim and distant past.

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