We have all been in a situation where firefox starts acting cranky and does not always do what you want it to. The reason might be excess installation and uninstallation of add-ons/extensions which are coded by individuals as common as you and me, and have certain bugs in them which are normally not known to its users. This results in a faulty or corrupt Firefox installation which might crash any given point of time and leave you pulling your hair out since you dont have a backup. In such a case there are two options for you, firstly make a clean installation of firefox deleting all profile information after backing up your important data, or secondly just back up your data and pray nothing will go wrong. For both these cases the common point is backing up your data. So how do you do this? Many people have different ways to do this, my way is to use a software called MozBackup which simplifies the task do a great extent.
MozBackup is a freeware which currently runs only on the Windows Platform and available in numerous languages. This software allows you to backup not only Mozilla Firefox but other Mozilla softwares such as Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Seabird, Flock, SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite, Spicebird and Netscape profiles. All this is done with a few simple clicks of your mouse. At the time of writing this post it supported the following version of software:
- Firefox 1.0 – 3.0
- Thunderbird 1.0 – 3.0 Alpha 1
- Sunbird 0.3 – 0.8
- Flock 1.0 – 1.1
- SeaMonkey 1.0a – 1.1
- Mozilla Suite 1.7 – 1.7.x
- Spicebird 0.4
- Netscape 7.x, 9.x
Lets start with how you use this nifty software.
Step One: Download MozBackup either by googling it or by directly going to the website http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com. You can find the latest version in the Downloads section there, with the latest version even supporting Automatic backup which is another brilliant feature.
Step Two: Install the software in the desired location and then run it. You will get a window as shown below. Firstly choose “Backup a profile” and then choose the profile which you currently want to backup. In case you want to backup multiple softwares and profile you will have to do so one at a time as the software doesnt allow multiple profile back-up. After you have made your selection click ‘Next’.
Step Three: After your click on the software you will see the profiles available to you for backup. Normally Mozilla Firefox will have a single profile ‘default’ unless you have changed it. In case you want to backup all the profiles, as i said earlier, you will have to do it one at a time. After you have made your selection click on ‘Browse’ in case you want to save the backup to a different location on the HDD other than the default location and press ‘Next’.
Step Four: Now you will get a window to select the components you want to backup. Here you can selection various options such as General Settings, Emails, Address Books, Bookmarks, History, Sidebars, User Styles, Extensions, Saved Passwords, Cookies, Saved form details, Downloaded file list, Certificates, Cache or Email settings only. Note that some items will be grayed out based on its availability, for instance Firefox will not have Emails and Email settings listed and might be grayed out. After you have made the selection you will be shown a progress window after which your backup will be done.
Now that your backup has been done succesfully, you might want to go back in order to backup other profiles and components. You also have a option to backup via command line, the steps for which are available in the Author’s website and his support forums. You can use the restore function in the similar manner as demonstrated above. After you are done using the software you might want to consider Donating to the Author of the Software who has done such a great job. Kudos to you mate!