How to recover Firefox tabs if you change you home folder location on an Apple Mac

Published in Apple


4 tabs open Firefox
This article is to solve a pretty specific problem. If you change the location of your home folder on and Apple Mac you are quite likely going to loose your tabs the first time you open firefox.

Don't panic you can get them back.

The problem is simply that Firefox thinks you are a different user. Of course that means this guide will also help if what you want to dip is copy your firefox tabs from one user to another.

Anyway, let's start with the easy stuff first. Launch firefox. Check if any of these options work:
1) Click the menu history>Restore Previous Session
2) Click the menu history>Recently Closed Windows

Probably won't work because as I said firefox things you are a different user. To get you tabs back from before you changed you home folder location it 's a bit more complicated.

The next step will deepend on where the old user files are. By default Mac OS X saves user files in a folder called "users" on the you hard disk. Think about where your home folder used to be. We are going to transfer files from the old location to the new one. If you are trying to copy the tabs form one user to another, the process is the same, we just need to get the firefox data file from one user to another.

Ok, open the folder from the old user (the old home folder before you moved it). If you have deleted it, you can just use time machine to restore it. If you are not using time machine and have deleted the old home folder, sorry it's probably too late.

When you open the old home folder (or the home folder of the person you want to copy the firefox tabs from) you won't yet be able to see the folder you need to access to find the firefox data (it's called "Library").

In order to open the library folder (which is hidden), you will need to tell OS X to show hidden files.

We are going to need to open terminal and paste in one command. Just search (using the magnifying glass icon at the top right of your screen) for the terminal program to open it.

Now copy and past the next line:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

For this change to work, we need to restart finder (finder part of your computer system which lets you open and close folders etc).

To reset finder. Hold the "ALT" key and click on the finder icon on the dock (it's the happy face on the bottom left). Click "relaunch"

Now go back to the old home folder. You should now see a greyed out "library icon". Open that library icon and navigate to:

old-home-folder/library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles

In this folder will be another folder with a name like: 7w1230jl.default

The number will be different but it will still end in .default

If you are correctly on the old home folder, then you have found the files you need to copy to the new home folder. Just open that folder and copy the contents into the same location of the new home folder. NOTE this will copy over any new book marks you have set up etc, I'm fairly sure if you are trying to get your firefox tabs back, then you probably haven't set up shortcuts or bookmarks yet so that won't be a problem.

So to be clear. Copy the contents of:

old-home-folder/library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxxx.default


new-home-folder/library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxxx.default

When you have finished, open terminal, pests in the command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Now restart the finder (same as above).

How you got you firefox tabs back after moving your home folder in OS X. Comments?