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Profiles Revisited

Last month I mentioned about my Multiple Profile Disorder but I never really went into the importance of having multiple profiles. Never gave that much thought, until today on Go Firefox!, a member learned & discovered what happens if you try to run the same profile on a developmental version of Firefox. A quick reminder about profiles from the Firefox Help site:

Multiple profiles and profile management is an advanced feature, mainly intended for developers. Unless you are an extension developer or an advanced user, you should probably not be trying to use multiple profiles.

I am what they called an ‘advanced user’ which means I tend to play and crash the test versions of new Firefox builds. A couple weeks back I was doing a lot of testing with the new Bon Echo release. First thing I did after downloading and installing the release was create a new profile. There are several reasons why I did this, most importantly I did not want to mess up or lose any of my settings for FF 1.5.0.3.

Remember, your profile not only includes all your browser settings and preferences not to mention your bookmarks, but extensions, themes and plug-ins too. Many of the extensions I have installed in FF 1.5.0.3 will not work (at least not yet) in Bon Echo. Firefox has a safeguard in place to prevent an incompatible extension from causing problems, it disables the said extension. If you return to a compatible version of Firefox then it should re-enable the extensions, but sometimes you may end up having to restart in Safe Mode and manually reactivate the extensions.

In my case I have a profile for Firefox 1.5 (or 1.5.0.3) as well as a different profile for Bon Echo. I have setup the program short cuts to include loading with the desired profile. Below are my program short cuts for FF 1.5.0.3 and Bon Echo.

  • Firefox 1.5.0.3: “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.3\firefox.exe” -p “1.5.0.3”
  • Bon Echo: “C:\Program Files\Bon Echo\firefox.exe” -p “bonecho”

Notice the ‘-p’ after the location in the short cut? This tells Firefox to either launch the profile manager or the specified profile. If nothing follows the ‘-p’ then Firefox will launch the profile manager which will allow you to create, delete, select and/or make as default a profile. You can also set this up so each time Firefox is launched the profile manager opens. This is useful for computers with multiple users so each person can have their own profile with their own settings.

For more detailed information on profiles be sure to review the Firefox Help site.