Multiple Firefox profiles

  • Revision slug: Mozilla/Multiple_Firefox_Profiles
  • Revision title: Multiple Firefox Profiles
  • Revision id: 15145
  • Created:
  • Creator: tw2113
  • Is current revision? No
  • Comment 211 words added

Revision Content

{{ draft() }}

A browser love story

Reasons to have multiple profiles

For the casual user, you may want to have different profiles for different family members. This would allow each person to have their own set of bookmarks, settings, and add-ons, and not have them be all mixed together in one.

For web developers, you may want to be able to test your website, web app, or project on different Firefox channels, without mixing up your primary profile.

Available browser development channels

There are four available browser channels, each at a different level of stability and development. The four channels are Stable, Beta, Aurora, and Nightly. Most users are going to want to use the Stable channel as it is the most end-user ready. However, for those more adventurous, you can try one of the other three channels to see what is coming in Firefox and play around with emerging features. As you go up, each channel risks being more unstable than the previous, with Nightly being the most unstable.

Profile management

{{ Note("On all operating systems, before you can start the Profile Manager, Firefox must be completely closed.") }}

Starting Profile Manager in Windows

Windows XP

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Click "Run"
  3. Type "firefox.exe -p"

Windows Vista/7

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Click the search bar at the bottom.
  3. Type "firefox -p"

If the Profile Manager window does not open, Firefox may have been running in the background, even though it was not visible. Close all instances of Firefox or restart the computer and then try again.

Starting Profile Manager in Linux

If Firefox is already included in your Linux distribution or if you have installed Firefox with the package manager of your Linux distribution:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and select Quit.
  2. In Terminal run:
    firefox -P

If the Profile Manager window does not open, Firefox may have been running in the background, even though it was not visible. Close all instances of Firefox or restart the computer and then try again.

Starting Profile Manager in Mac OSX

Use the following tutorial until someone can test and step-by-step on a mac directly. Easily Run Multiple Firefox Instances on a Mac.

Creating a profile

These instructions should be the same for all operating systems.

  1. To start the Create Profile Wizard, click "Create Profile..." in the Profile Manager.
  2. Click Next and enter the name of the profile. Use a profile name that is descriptive, such as your personal name. This name is not exposed on the Internet.
  3. You can also choose where to store the profile on your computer. To choose its storage location, click Choose Folder....
  4. {{ Note("If you choose your own folder location for the profile, select a new or empty folder. If you choose a folder that isn't empty and you later remove the profile and choose the \"Delete Files\" option, everything inside that folder will be deleted.") }}
  5. To create the new profile, click Finish.

Deleting a profile

  1. In the Profile Manager, select the profile to remove, and click Delete Profile....
  2. Confirm that you wish to delete the profile:
    • Don't Delete Files removes the profile from the Profile Manager yet retains the profile data files on your computer in the storage folder, so that your information is not lost. "Don't Delete Files" is the preferred option because it saves the old profile's folder and allows you to recover the files to a new profile.
    • Delete Files removes the profile and its files, including the profile bookmarks, settings, passwords, etc. {{ warning("If you use the \"Delete Files\" option, the profile folder and files will be deleted. This action cannot be undone.") }}
    • Cancel interrupts the profile deletion.

Renaming a profile

  1. In the Profile Manager, select the profile to rename, and then click Rename Profile....
  2. Enter the new name for the profile. Type in the new profile name, and click on OK.
  3. {{ Note("The folder containing the files for the profile is not renamed. ") }}

Options

Work Offline

Choosing this option loads the selected profile and starts Firefox without connecting to the Internet. You can view previously viewed web pages and experiment with your profile.

Don't ask at startup

If you have multiple profiles, Firefox prompts you for the profile to use each time you start Firefox. Select this option to allow Firefox to load the selected profile without prompting at startup.

{{ Note("To access other profiles after selecting this option, you must start the Profile Manager first.") }}

Using the profiles

Windows

If you want to have the profile manager to pop up each time you start Firefox, so you can choose a profile, you will need to edit the "Target" of the launch icon. To do this:

  1. Right click the icon and choose "Properties".
  2. When the properties dialog box pops up, you should see a "Target" text field that you can edit, and it should show the current file path.
  3. After the closing quote, add "-p"
  4. Click Ok.

Now whenever you double click that icon, the profile manager should appear, allowing you to choose which profile you'd like to use.

If you want individual icons to launch specific profiles, you will need to edit the "Target" of each icon. To do this:

  1. Right click the icon and choose "Properties".
  2. When the properties dialog box pops up, you should see a "Target" text field that you can edit, and it should show the current file path.
  3. To permanently set a specific profile, add "-p PROFILE_NAME" to the target path, but outside of the quotes, replacing "PROFILE_NAME" with the actual profile name you chose.
  4. If you would like to also allow multiple instances of Firefox to run at the same time, add "-no-remote" after the profile name.

Once you are all done, click Ok. Do this for each icon you'd like to have a specific profile for. Once done, each one should automatically start with the specified profile.

Linux

There is no extremely straightforward way to create custom application launchers in Gnome 3 like there was in Gnome 2. The following tutorial will help get you going overall: Gnome 3 Custom application launcher. Once you get to the point of adding a new item, you can have the profile dialog show up every time or set the launcher to launch a specific profile.

If you want to have the profile manager to pop up each time you start Firefox, so you can choose a profile, you will need to set the command line for your new launcher.

  1. Set the "command" text field to target the executable file, likely "/usr/bin/firefox", and add the "-p" parameter.

If you want individual icons to launch specific profiles, you will need to set the command line for your new launcher. To do this:

  1. Set the "command" text field to target the executable file, likely "/usr/bin/firefox", and add the "-p PROFILE_NAME" parameter, replacing "PROFILE_NAME" with the specific profile.
  2. Repeat as necessary for each profile you want to set.

Mac OSX

Setting up multiple profiles for different Firefox Channels

Revision Source

<p>{{ draft() }}</p>
<p>A browser love story</p>
<h2>Reasons to have multiple profiles</h2>
<p>For the casual user, you may want to have different profiles for different family members. This would allow each person to have their own set of bookmarks, settings, and add-ons, and not have them be all mixed together in one.</p>
<p>For web developers, you may want to be able to test your website, web app, or project on different Firefox channels, without mixing up your primary profile.</p>
<h2>Available browser development channels</h2>
<p>There are four available browser channels, each at a different level of stability and development. The four channels are <a class="link-https" href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/" target="external" title="Firefox Stable">Stable</a>, <a class="link-https" href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/" target="external" title="Firefox Beta">Beta</a>, <a class="link-https" href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/aurora/" target="external" title="Firefox Aurora">Aurora</a>, and <a class="external" href="http://nightly.mozilla.org/" target="external" title="Firefox Nightly">Nightly</a>. Most users are going to want to use the Stable channel as it is the most end-user ready. However, for those more adventurous, you can try one of the other three channels to see what is coming in Firefox and play around with emerging features. As you go up, each channel risks being more unstable than the previous, with Nightly being the most unstable.</p>
<h2>Profile management</h2>
<p>{{ Note("On all operating systems, before you can start the Profile Manager, Firefox must be completely closed.") }}</p>
<h3>Starting Profile Manager in Windows</h3>
<h4>Windows XP</h4>
<ol> <li>Click the Start button</li> <li>Click "Run"</li> <li>Type "firefox.exe -p"</li>
</ol>
<h4>Windows Vista/7</h4>
<ol> <li>Click the Start button</li> <li>Click the search bar at the bottom.</li> <li>Type "firefox -p"</li>
</ol>
<p>If the Profile Manager window does not open, Firefox may have been running in the background, even though it was not visible. Close all instances of Firefox or restart the computer and then try again.</p>
<h3>Starting Profile Manager in Linux</h3>
<p>If Firefox is already included in your Linux distribution or if you have installed Firefox with the package manager of your Linux distribution:</p>
<ol> <li>At the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and select Quit.</li> <li>In Terminal run:<br> firefox -P</li>
</ol>
<p>If the Profile Manager window does not open, Firefox may have been running in the background, even though it was not visible. Close all instances of Firefox or restart the computer and then try again.</p>
<h3>Starting Profile Manager in Mac OSX</h3>
<p>Use the following tutorial until someone can test and step-by-step on a mac directly. <a class="link-https" href="https://devongovett.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/multiple-firefox-mac/" target="external"> Easily Run Multiple Firefox Instances on a Mac</a>.</p>
<h3>Creating a profile</h3>
<p>These instructions should be the same for all operating systems.</p>
<ol> <li>To start the Create Profile Wizard, click "Create Profile..." in the Profile Manager.</li> <li>Click Next and enter the name of the profile. Use a profile name that is descriptive, such as your personal name. This name is not exposed on the Internet.</li> <li>You can also choose where to store the profile on your computer. To choose its storage location, click Choose Folder....</li> <li>{{ Note("If you choose your own folder location for the profile, select a new or empty folder. If you choose a folder that isn't empty and you later remove the profile and choose the \"Delete Files\" option, everything inside that folder will be deleted.") }}</li> <li>To create the new profile, click Finish.</li>
</ol>
<h3>Deleting a profile</h3>
<ol> <li>In the Profile Manager, select the profile to remove, and click Delete Profile....</li> <li>Confirm that you wish to delete the profile: <ul> <li>Don't Delete Files removes the profile from the Profile Manager yet retains the profile data files on your computer in the storage folder, so that your information is not lost. "Don't Delete Files" is the preferred option because it saves the old profile's folder and allows you to recover the files to a new profile.</li> <li>Delete Files removes the profile and its files, including the profile bookmarks, settings, passwords, etc. {{ warning("If you use the \"Delete Files\" option, the profile folder and files will be deleted. This action cannot be undone.") }}</li> <li>Cancel interrupts the profile deletion.</li> </ul> </li>
</ol>
<h3>Renaming a profile</h3>
<ol> <li>In the Profile Manager, select the profile to rename, and then click Rename Profile....</li> <li>Enter the new name for the profile. Type in the new profile name, and click on OK.</li> <li>{{ Note("The folder containing the files for the profile is not renamed. ") }}</li>
</ol>
<h2>Options</h2>
<h3>Work Offline</h3>
<p>Choosing this option loads the selected profile and starts Firefox without connecting to the Internet. You can view previously viewed web pages and experiment with your profile.</p>
<h3>Don't ask at startup</h3>
<p>If you have multiple profiles, Firefox prompts you for the profile to use each time you start Firefox. Select this option to allow Firefox to load the selected profile without prompting at startup.</p>
<p>{{ Note("To access other profiles after selecting this option, you must start the Profile Manager first.") }}</p>
<h2>Using the profiles</h2>
<h3>Windows</h3>
<p>If you want to have the profile manager to pop up each time you start Firefox, so you can choose a profile, you will need to edit the "Target" of the launch icon. To do this:</p>
<ol> <li>Right click the icon and choose "Properties".</li> <li>When the properties dialog box pops up, you should see a "Target" text field that you can edit, and it should show the current file path.</li> <li>After the closing quote, add "-p"</li> <li>Click Ok.</li>
</ol>
<p>Now whenever you double click that icon, the profile manager should appear, allowing you to choose which profile you'd like to use.</p>
<p>If you want individual icons to launch specific profiles, you will need to edit the "Target" of each icon. To do this:</p>
<ol> <li>Right click the icon and choose "Properties".</li> <li>When the properties dialog box pops up, you should see a "Target" text field that you can edit, and it should show the current file path.</li> <li>To permanently set a specific profile, add "-p PROFILE_NAME" to the target path, but outside of the quotes, replacing "PROFILE_NAME" with the actual profile name you chose.</li> <li>If you would like to also allow multiple instances of Firefox to run at the same time, add "-no-remote" after the profile name.</li>
</ol>
<p>Once you are all done, click Ok. Do this for each icon you'd like to have a specific profile for. Once done, each one should automatically start with the specified profile.</p> <h3>Linux</h3>
<p>There is no extremely straightforward way to create custom application launchers in Gnome 3 like there was in Gnome 2. The following tutorial will help get you going overall: <a class=" external" href="http://blog.randell.ph/2011/08/01/how-to-create-custom-application-launchers-in-gnome-3/" target="external" title="How to create custom application launchers in gnome 3">Gnome 3 Custom application launcher</a>. Once you get to the point of adding a new item, you can have the profile dialog show up every time or set the launcher to launch a specific profile.</p> <p>If you want to have the profile manager to pop up each time you start Firefox, so you can choose a profile, you will need to set the command line for your new launcher.</p> <ol> <li>Set the "command" text field to target the executable file, likely "/usr/bin/firefox", and add the "-p" parameter.
</li></ol> <p>If you want individual icons to launch specific profiles, you will need to set the command line for your new launcher. To do this:
</p><ol> <li>Set the "command" text field to target the executable file, likely "/usr/bin/firefox", and add the "-p PROFILE_NAME" parameter, replacing "PROFILE_NAME" with the specific profile. </li><li>Repeat as necessary for each profile you want to set.
</li></ol><h3>Mac OSX</h3><h2>Setting up multiple profiles for different Firefox Channels</h2>
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