Refresh (or Reset) Firefox Directly Through the Mozilla Website

Refresh (or Reset) Firefox Directly Through the Mozilla Website

by Pete Daniel on 23 January 2015 · 2508 views

From time to time Mozilla Firefox users encounter a problem either with the software itself, a plug-in or an add-in that is playing havoc with the normal operation of the web browser.

At times like these it can prove essential to be able to reset values back to the default, plus remove add-ons and plug-ins in order to bring the browser back to a working state before trying to isolate which software addition was causing the difficulties.

Clean Slate From Inside The Browser

Previously it was possible to refresh or reset the browser by either holding down the Shift key down before launching Firefox in Safe Mode which then prompts whether the user wishes to refresh the browser or by accessing about:support through the browser address bar to make the change within the internal workings of the browser.

Web Site Refresh Added

3 large Refresh or Reset Firefox Directly Through the Mozilla Website

Instead of going through the browser itself, there is now a new option to bring up the Firefox main page. This will confirm whether you already have the latest version of Firefox installed or not. To the left of this message, for users with the latest version of Firefox installed, there will be the option whether to refresh the browser while you are there. This will then restore the default value settings, and remove the added add-ons and extra plug-ins installed since starting using Firefox.

Accessing Firefox Refresh

Go to this page to refresh the Firefox browser

An on-screen prompt will appear requesting confirmation that the user does wish to go ahead with a Firefox refresh action. What Firefox actually will do is create a new user profile which effectively is like starting anew. Whist add-ons and customizations usually won't survive, other data like user passwords, open tabs, bookmarks, auto-fill form information, and text cookies usually will.

2 full Refresh or Reset Firefox Directly Through the Mozilla Website

Manually Transferring Between Firefox Profiles

It is also possible to individually transfer data and add-ons from one Firefox profile to another. There is a lengthy but helpful tutorial on this at the official Mozilla site.

It is worth noting that for troubleshooting purposes it is suggested that users transfer a single add-on at a time rather than all at once. This way, any irregular behavior by the web browser can be spotted and the problem isolated to a specific add-on or plug-in.

Comments (2)
warriorworking's profile
warriorworking on 23 Jan 2015
I think probably the about:support is internal where many changes can be directly made to Firefox. They would not remove that. I guess there will also be times when someone is offline, so cannot access the Mozilla site to refresh, so the easy way to action the step via the menu is then ideal. Without a net connection in that moment, they also may not even know about the about:support feature so would search the menus for a solution. That's my take on it.
kshu's profile
kshu on 23 Jan 2015
The option to Update or Refresh when visiting https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ is nice, but perhaps Mozilla will also unify the locations for "Update" and "Refresh" inside the browser. Right now "Update check" is at Menu > Help > About, while Refresh can be accessed at about:support.
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