Remember the days of Windows 95, Windows 98 and even Windows XP — all of them benefitted from a fresh, clean reinstall occasionally.
Firefox does, too. Sometimes, that seems to be the easiest, or only, way to solve a probem. So, when Firefox starts misbehaving, if you can’t solve it any other way, try a fresh, clean reinstallation.
There are a few steps, but most are aimed at being able to get back to the Firefox you had before. Although you could copy your Firefox profile and then use it, that’s probably where some of the issues are.
- Open Firefox
- On the toolbar, click on Bookmarks (if you can’t see the Toolbar, press and release the Alt key)
- Click on Show All Bookmarks
- Click on Import and Backup, then Backup…
- Select where you want your backup stored, and the name for it. This will be a .json file. (Do not save it in C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla\Firefox because you will delete that folder in a later step).
- Now, make an HTML file backup also – click on Import and Backup again, then select Export Bookmarks to HTML
- Select where you want your backup stored, and the name for it. This will be a .html file.
- The easiest way to back up Firefox (and Thunderbird, too) with the freeware program Mozbackup
- The same menu is where you can restore from the .json backup or import the HTML file – just don’t do both!
- Now, click on Tools > Add-ons. This is so you can make a note of the add-ons you have installed.
- press Alt-PrntScrn to copy an image of the active window. Paste it into your favorite word processor. Save the document file.
- Exit Firefox
- Uninstall Firefox — Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs
- Delete the C:\Program Files\Mozilla\Firefox folder
- You can also open C:\Users\[yourUserID]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox and copy the profiles for an ultimate backup, just in case.
- You can delete C:\Users\[yourUserID]\AppData\Roaming\0Mozilla\Firefox, but don’t really need to, as Firefox will create a new profile when you reinstall. Still, to make sure it’s a clean install (just in case Firefox’s habits change in later versions)
- Download a new copy of Firefox
- Install it
- Import your bookmarks (that you saved earlier)
- Download and install the add-ons you want, using the screen prints to remind you which ones you had installed).