Web Browser Wednesday

There’s no doubt that your browser stores a lot of important information that could leave you in quite a bind should it disappear all of a sudden. The Firefox users out there probably have a bunch of extensions installed and configured, settings tweaked just the way they like them, obscure passwords stored that no human could possibly memorize, and enough bookmarks saved to make even a hardcore geek nauseous.

I don’t find much joy in the fact that a hard drive can crash at anytime for any number of reasons. We’ve had it happen twice this year, but fortunately for us we had backups of all our most important information. You shouldn’t even think twice about backing up your browser’s profile, and that’s why today we’re going to show you two easy and free Firefox profile backup solutions!

–MozBackup (Homepage)–

This is a small program that you can download, and on the website you’re given the choice between an installable version or a no-install ZIP version. I opted for the ZIP version because I can always keep it on my USB drive, which conveniently happens to be the place where I store my Firefox profile backup.

MozBackup is not restricted just to Firefox profiles either. It can also backup profiles for Thunderbird, Seamonkey, Mozilla Suite, and Netscape. Don’t worry, you’ll be prompted early on in MozBackup to select specifically what application and profile you want to backup.

You’ll then be able to pick exactly what you want to backup, such as bookmarks, history, extensions, passwords, cookies, and more. I’ve documented the entire process in screenshots:

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MozBackup Welcome MozBackup Select Application MozBackup Profile Selection MozBackup Settings MozBackup Saving MozBackup Finished

Once you’ve got the backup done it will create a single file that can be used to restore everything that you backed up. To perform a restoration just go back through the wizard, and on the second screen just choose the Restore a profile option instead of Backup a profile.

Tip: Close Firefox before using MozBackup, otherwise it will prompt you to do so in the middle of the wizard.

–FEBE (Homepage)–

I find this to be a rather interesting profile backup option for Firefox. FEBE (short for Firefox Environment Backup Extension) is an extension that can be used to backup important parts of your profile. Things like themes, extensions, bookmarks, preferences, cookies, passwords and more can all be saved to a single file, and restored at a moments notice.

What really makes this a fantastic choice for backing up your Firefox profile is that it has scheduling capabilities. You can choose to have your profile automatically backed up daily, weekly, monthly, or you can just set it to remind you every few days.

The first thing you’ll want to do after installing FEBE is go and setup the directory where your backups will be stored. Then from the Tools -> FEBE menu you can initiate your first backup of whatever profile items you chose in the options.

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FEBE Options FEBE Directory FEBE Schedule

As you can see this is an extremely intuitive option for backing up your Firefox profile, but MozBackup is also nice since it works with several different Mozilla applications. The choice of which backup solution is obviously up to you, but take them seriously because they could save you a lot of trouble in the future.