Firefox or Thunderbird unstable? Try starting a new profile.

I use Thunderbird and Firefox at work on CentOS 5 w/KDE 3.5. I’m a long time user and gradually I’ve come have a certain distaste for the instability I’ve been experiencing, progressively more and more, over the past few years. I’ve tried many times to find out what the instability is on google. One day as I was searching, I apparently found my answer: Start a new profile.

I use Thunderbird and Firefox at work on CentOS 5 w/KDE 3.5. I’m a long time user and gradually I’ve come have a certain distaste for the instability I’ve been experiencing, progressively more and more, over the past few years. I’ve tried many times to find out what the instability is on google. One day as I was searching, I apparently found my answer: Start a new profile.

I can’t remember which blog I got this idea from but as I read the suggestion it occurred to me I’ve been carrying around my Firefox profiles and Thunderbird profiles for many major revisions of the software. For example, I’ve carried around my Thunderbird profile through versions 2 and 3. On Firefox, I’ve carried my profile through 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5 and now 3.6. I suddenly guessed that all this baggage was starting to weigh down Firefox.

So I wiped my ~/.mozilla directory and started over. Beware, this means your bookmarks are gone, your saved passwords are gone, your history is gone, your cookies are gone, your themes are gone and your extensions are gone, and since the point of this is to start brand new, you don’t want to in anyway bring anything back over to your profile directory at a low level. You want to re-setup in a natural way.

First things first: Start Firefox with no profile directory. Configure Firefox’s preferences, etc. Then, restart and import your bookmarks (which you exported from your previous install with the Bookmark Manager). Import your passwords (which you exported with the Firefox add-on Password Exporter). And re-download your themes and other add-ons.

Moral of the story? Start a new profile for every major Thunderbird or Firefox release.

1 thought on “Firefox or Thunderbird unstable? Try starting a new profile.”

Leave a Reply