How to migrate a Firefox profile to Pale Moon

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2013
Updated • Jun 23, 2019
Firefox, Pale Moon

The idea behind the web browser Pale Moon was to create an optimized web browser based on Firefox's source code for the Windows operating system. While it has been initially designed for that, it has also become a go-to product for Firefox users who do not really like where Mozilla is heading in regards to interface and customization changes.  Numerous changes, all related to the Australis design of the Firefox web browser, have caused some users of the browser to switch to Pale Moon as it is using a classic browser design that is not likely going to change in the near future.

Pale Moon became a popular choice in 2017 when Mozilla switched off Firefox's classic extensions system as the browser makers pledged that Pale Moon would continue supporting it.

Update: Mozilla changed a lot in Firefox with the release of Firefox 57 and newer. The changes are largely incompatible with the Pale Moon browser which is based on pre-Firefox 57 code. The tool is no longer available anymore as a consequence as it cannot be used anymore to bring Firefox settings and preferences to Pale Moon.

Users may still export some settings, e.g. bookmarks, to bring them to Pale Moon by using built-in Firefox functionality. End

What makes Pale Moon an interesting choice for those users is that it is based on Firefox which means that it offers pretty  much the same features as the original. Classic extensions are working in the browser (for the most part), as are other changes and modifications that work in Firefox.

New users who would like to give Pale Moon a try may want to import or migrate their Firefox profile to the browser so that they can keep on using their installed extensions, modifications and layout that they have been using in Firefox.

Side note: if you value speed and performance over anything else, I'd recommend you start with a clean profile and make all modifications manually instead. While this will take longer, it ensures that no preference or file of the old profile will drag down the performance of Pale Moon or change its behavior in a way that is counter-productive.

The easiest way to migrate your Firefox profile to Pale Moon is to use the Pale Moon profile migration tool that you can download here on this page.

pale moon profile migration tool

How to use it

  • Download the program from the website linked above.
  • Make sure you have closed all instances of Firefox and Pale Moon.
  • Run the program and check the Firefox location path to make sure it is correct. Note that you cannot change it using the migration tool. If the profile path is not correct, try copying the profiles manually to the Pale Moon folder instead.
  • Select Copy profile and wait for the copying to finish. If you have started Pale Moon at least once before you will receive a message that a profile exists already.
  • You need to overwrite the profile in this case to complete the migration.

Next time you start Pale Moon you will have access to your bookmarks, session, cookies, extensions, themes, and all the other information of the Firefox profile.

How to migrate a Firefox profile to Pale Moon
Article Name
How to migrate a Firefox profile to Pale Moon
Find out how to migrate Firefox web browser profiles to the Pale Moon browser to use extensions, bookmarks, and preferences just like before.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. TJ said on September 30, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    what about migrating a Firefocks *mobile* profile to Pale Moon (mobile)?

  2. Greg said on June 14, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I sure miss the migration tool. In fact, I was looking for a substitute for Firefox because of their add-on signage requirement. It copied my files just fine without issue. Re-doing it is not an option. I also use mozbackup, I am not sure what I am going to do now with palemoon.

  3. Pale Moon User said on September 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Mozilla SUCKS now for another reason besides its advertising-laden about: pages and embedding of unwanted add-ons (like Hello and Pocket) that you have to disable in config! They have gone full-on PC just like every other POS company in Silicon Valley! The pink-haired feminist trash successfully got a senior developer FIRED just because he dared complain about them in a Reddit Q&A. Add this to the political agenda forced on Brandon Eich just because he exercised his legal right to contribute to a campaign (Prop 8 in California) that ruffled the feathers of the granola-gnawing diversity hippies and you’ve got a recipe for an AWFUL company management scheme that puts sensitivity quotas ahead of good DEVELOPERS! Just look at what happened with Ellen Pao at Reddit. She pulled the damsel in distress card at her last company and it got her fired too. Now the infection has hit Mozilla, and Github, and Apple… I will NO LONGER be using Firefox or any of its worthless software because it has decided to make affirmative action its primary goal rather than developing good software. There’s no way I’m going to download Firefox Sarkisian Edition, or should I say Flamerfox. PALE MOON and WATERFOX all the way from now on! BTW, I’m a girl who used to beta test on Github projects and was a die-hard Mozilla fan since Suite 1.0, and even I have been alienated by this SJW CULT! FEMINISTS REALLY DO RUIN EVERYTHING! THEY’VE MADE FIREFOX WORSE THAN IE!

  4. Aminifu said on April 30, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I started using Pale Moon almost a year ago because of it’s 64-bit version. I’ve had almost no problems. A few add-ons did not work, but I found alternatives. I still have Firefox and IE installed for those rare sites that don’t work well with Pale Moon (and that is usually due to the security and ad blocking add-ons I’m using).

  5. Kneyfield said on April 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Any Pale Moon profile is completely compatible to the Firefox browser. Meaning, that the only thing the migration tool is likely to do, is to copy the profile folder from one AppData path to another. This also means, that changing from Firefox to Pale Moon is a decision, the user can always reverse! If you’re unhappy with it, or if development should ever end, you can always transfer your profile back to Firefox again.

    That said, I love gHacks for mentioning this browser alternative, because it is well deserved. Although there is no difference in the code itself, I prefer Pale Moon over Firefox for reasons already mentioned in the article itself and in my previous reply here.

  6. fokka said on April 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    would be interesting if restoring a firefox profile in palemoon is also possible with mozbackup, but somehow i doubt it.

    1. Rick said on April 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Mozbackup does not backup PaleMoon by default. If you want to trick it (and you are not using firefox), store the PaleMoon profile in the same directory name and structure that FF uses.

      Mozbackup then thinks you are using FF and does indeed backup.

    2. Orhin said on April 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Well, Palemoon also has Firefox Profile manager – start palemoon.exe with -p and choose your Firefox Profile as new one for Palemoon :) When Palemoon starts the usual check for incompatible themes and addons is starting, afterwards Palemoon starts in many cases without Problems with the Firefox Profile :)

      Just make a backup folder before you try that :D

  7. Andrew said on April 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I switched to Pale Moon shortly after I dropped chrome. Love it.

  8. Rick said on April 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Here we goooooooo.

    When developers stop listening to their users, alternatives gain traction; the market becomes more fragmented, and the established apps (IE) reap the benefit.

    The main issue with PaleMoon is that of future development. Since it currently relies solely on the source code of FIrefox, will they have the resources to split when needed? We can only wait and see.

    1. Kneyfield said on April 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Rick, there is only a single person maintaining the Pale Moon code and he does not develop anything (major). The fact of the matter is, that Pale Moon relies to 99.99 percent on Firefox code. What Pale Moon does instead of creating a true fork, is the removal of certain (rarely used) features and the offer of continuity in terms of its user interface.

      During the development of Firefox, there have been several things that have not found its way into the Pale Moon code-base, because the developer preferred stability to so-called improvements.

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