How to do a Clean Reinstall of Firefox

 

Following the Setting the Default Web Browser article earlier in this issue, subscriber Valerie Mitchell as still having problems with setting Firefox as her default web browser after she uninstalled Internet Explorer 7.


Dear Terry:
This was your response to my recent ? on how to make Firefox the default web browser:

To make Firefox your default web browser:
>>1) Start Firefox
>>2) On the menu bar, go to Tools, Options
>>3) The default tab is Main, which is the one you want. At the
>>bottom, in the section System Defaults, you will find a checkbox
>>labelled “Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on
>>startup.” Put a checkmark in that checkbox. (Startup, in this

>>case, means the startup of Firefox, not of Windows.)
>>4) If you want to make Firefox your default right now, click on

>>the adjacent button that says “Check now”
>>5) Then, click OK

I knew this, but I do not have that “checkbox in the System Defaults area” I even tried reinstalling Firefox, and the new installation doesn’t have it either. I’ve looked all over the internet to find the answer to this but I can’t find it. Any ideas?

Thanx,
v.mitchell

Here’s an image with an arrow to the checkbox and buttton that Valerie appears to be missing:

Google Picasa -
(click on the image for a larger version)

As a test, I completely uninstalled Firefox from my desktop computer, rebooted, removed all of its supporting data (in Documents and Settings), downloaded the latest Firefox version (2.0.0.2) and installed the new version. The checkbox and button are there.

To do a clean install of Firefox, follow these steps:

  1. back up your Firefox bookmarks before you uninstall Firefox

  2. uninstall Firefox
  3. reboot
  4. in Windows Explorer, go to C:\Documents and Settings
  5. if you see the Application Data folder and the Local Settings folder, proceed to step 7
  6. if you don’t see the Application Data folder and the Local Settings folder, you need to unhide hidden files and folders. See my article Showing Hidden Files and Folders.
  7. In the Application Data folder, open the Mozilla folder. Then, rename the Firefox folder — do NOT delete it, this will be a backup that has your bookmarks in it.
  8. In the Local Settings folder, open the Mozilla folder. Then, rename the Firefox folder — do NOT delete it, this will be a backup that has your bookmarks in it. (I don’t think you’ll need this stuff, but rename it just to be sure.)
  9. Download the latest version of Firefox. You might have already done this — if not, now’s a good time.
  10. Install Firefox.
  11. Restore your bookmarks

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