Firefox Aurora: here is how you get your old profile back

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 11, 2014
Updated • Nov 12, 2014

So Mozilla decided to make the Aurora channel of the Firefox web browser stand out a bit from the rest by rebranding it to Firefox Developer version and moving it out of the release chain.

While it will still receive updates once they passed through the Nightly version, it is tot handing those updates over to the Beta channel anymore after the second six week period.

On top of all that, Mozilla has added distinguishable features to the browser version.

This starts with a new theme that features squared tabs instead of the rounded tabs of the Australis builds of Firefox (every other build).

The theme is also dark and not light, and while it is possible to move back to the old theme easily using the customize menu of the browser, it is a stark contrast to the default theme.

One of the issues that current Aurora users may have run into is that Mozilla decided to create a new profile for the browser. Intended to run alongside other versions of Firefox, it caused issues for existing Aurora users because it switched to that new profile automatically.

firefox developer edition

What this means is that Aurora users may have noticed that their bookmarks, history or installed extensions are not there anymore because of the new profile that got loaded automatically.

There are two options to resolve that issue quickly:

Start Firefox with the -p parameter. This opens the Profile Manager of the browser listing all available profiles. Select the old one from the list and it should load it just fine afterwards. On Windows, you right-click on the Firefox shortcut (on the desktop or start menu) and select properties. There you add -p to the end of the target field and make sure that a space is between it and the path.

firefox profile manager

The second option is the following: Load about:preferences in Firefox's address bar and make sure the General group is selected.

There you find a new option to "allow Firefox Developer Edition and Firefox to run at the same time".

Uncheck the option and restart Firefox. It should load the old profile again automatically.


There is a third option as well. You could move to another Firefox channel, say Beta and run it as the default browser. This won't interfere with the Developer Edition and running the new channel on your system will load your old user profile automatically in the process.

Firefox Aurora users: here is how you get your old profile back
Article Name
Firefox Aurora users: here is how you get your old profile back
Mozilla renamed Firefox Aurora to Developer Edition and loads a new browser profile after the operation which lacks user bookmarks, extensions, history and customizations.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Guest said on November 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Second paragraph: “While it will still receive updates once they passed through the Nightly version, it is now handing those updates over to the Beta channel anymore after the second six week period.”

    Uhh… typo? Did you meant “not”, rather than “now”, or is the word anymore not actually meant to be there?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 12, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      You are right it should be not. Thanks!

  2. Browserassist said on November 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Wow! Its great. Thanks for sharing such informative article!

    1. Nickname said on November 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      This is ridiculous.
      I can understand people using Stable not knowing about profiles, but you were using Aurora. Why are you using an aplha build if you don’t know the basics of the browser?

  3. Noitidart said on November 11, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    To make dev edition startup with your old profile. Add to the command line:



    -profile /path/to/your/profile

    if your name of profile or path has spaces in it you may need to encapsulate it with double quotes

    for example:

    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Aurora\firefox.exe” -P Dev_Aurora

    then no need to launch into profile manager.

  4. Mozinet said on November 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Why an IE screenshot in the first place?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Sorry wrong screenshot. Have replaced it. Thanks!

  5. Daniel said on November 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I’m not geeky enough to complain about an Aurora version but i know if i install a Beta i’m in for some unexpected surprises.
    BTW, while on the subject of complaining dept., go try to tell Google that you don’t like something about their Chrome browser!

    Square tabs and darker theme are welcome for sure!
    Do hope they can give us a decent compact option to go with it.

    Will wait for stable version.

  6. Pd said on November 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I’m livid with Mozilla. Their download system failed to deliver decent speed by picking a local mirror that is 30x faster.

    Then they obliterate my entire browsing experience with this profile and developer edition malarkey. If I’d not read about the plan before hand I’d have been stunned wondering what had happened.

    Mozilla really are a joke of an organization. There appear to be good people littered around the org but no central management holding a consistent message together. Their dialogue with users is below par. How hard can it be to push a message box to Aurora users warning them off this change?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.