Browsers throw different type of errors while using. Fixing issues like browser lock-ups, slowness, page not displaying or add-ons not responding come with specific solutions. However, the most recommended solutions do fail. “How do I reset my web browser?” is the question you ask when no solutions work to fix your weird browser. Firefox is the most popular alternative option for Edge, Safari and Chrome. If you are stuck with Firefox not working properly then the best option is to reset your browser. In this article, let us explain how to reset Firefox and what happens when you do so.
Why Reset Firefox Browser?
In general, resetting is required when there are no options to make your browser work. The problem can occur due to many reasons:
- You may have tweaked browser’s advanced settings unknowingly.
- Installed an extension on the browser or a program on your computer that changed your browser settings.
- Due to malware attack like browser redirecting to a page not requested or unknown toolbars.
Resetting the browser can help to fix basic browser issues. However, you may not fix all problems with a reset.
What Happens When Resetting Firefox?
When resetting the browser, it will change all settings and go back to its original state when you installed on your computer. Resetting Firefox browser will cost you some data loss. Below are the things generally happens when you reset Firefox:
- Programs and extensions added to improve browser functionality will be deleted.
- All your customized settings like new tab page, startup page, search engine setting and pinned tabs will be reset to initial settings.
- Resetting will delete stored website permissions .
- You will loss theme and toolbar customizations.
However, resetting the browser will not affect the following:
- Resetting does not affect your stored passwords.
- Your bookmarks and browsing history will not be impacted.
- Cookies and autofill information will be still available after resetting Firefox.
If resetting the browser does not solve the problem then you may need to uninstall and reinstall the browser.
How to Reset Mozilla Firefox?
In case you are using Firefox, it also allows you to restore browser settings to default. Unlike Chrome, it has a slightly different procedure. Best part is that Firefox creates a backup folder named “Old Firefox Data” to retrieve any important data from old settings. If everything works fine after resetting Firefox, you can simply delete the backup folder to free up the space.
- Open Firefox browser on your computer.
- Click the three horizontal lines at the top-right corner of the browser to open the browser menu.
- Select the “Help” icon at the bottom of the menu.
- You will see a list of sub-menu items and select the “More troubleshooting information” option from the list.
- Alternatively, enter “about:support” without the quotes on the address bar to open the troubleshooting information page.
- Check the box that has a heading “Give Firefox a tune-up” and click the “Refresh Firefox…” button.
- On the next pop-up, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button. The action will remove all customizations, add-ons and restore the browser settings to default.
- If everything goes fine, you will see “Import Complete” message that shows a list of items imported in your new profile.
- Firefox will restart and show a success message along with an option to restore all your previous open windows and tabs or choose the ones you want.
- If you want to open some of the previously opened tabs, click on “Restore only the ones you want” option to view the list. Select the tabs and click on “Let’s go!” button to restore the tabs.
Restart Firefox in Safe Mode
We strongly recommend using this option before you try to refresh Firefox browser. Safe mode will help, if you want to restart Firefox without add-ons. This may help to troubleshoot extensions, themes and customization related issues with the browser. When you are in the Firefox troubleshooting information page, click on the “Troubleshoot Mode…” button available under “Diagnose Issues” heading. Confirm the pop-up that appears by clicking on the “Restart” button.
Firefox will restart and show you the final confirmation pop-up like below. You will have an option to refresh the browser or simply open in safe mode. Click on “Open” button to launch Firefox in safe mode and check whether it fixed your problem.
After troubleshooting, you can quit Firefox to exit safe mode and reopen to start in a normal mode.
Restoring Old Firefox Data
As mentioned, you can retrieve data that is not available after resetting from the “Old Firefox Data” folder on the desktop. When refreshing Firefox, it will delete your previous profile, create a new profile and restore the imported items. In case of an issue, you can restore the old data from the backup file created during the browser refresh.
- First, go to your desktop and check the “Old Firefox Data” folder is available.
- When you are in the troubleshooting information page, scroll down and click on the “Show in Folder” button.
- This is available against “Profile Folder” section under “Application Basics” section. Make sure to click on the correct button as there is also a “Show in Folder” button against “Update Folder”.
- It will open your new Firefox profile folder and you can copy paste the items from your old profile backup to new profile.
Related: Beginners guide to Firefox browser.
Clear Firefox Cache
Since browsing history will not be deleted while resetting Firefox, you could face some issues due to the corrupted cookies and history data. If your problem is not resolved, open Firefox and simply press “Control + Shift + Delete” in Windows and “Command + Shift + Delete” in Mac. This will open a pop-up like below. Select the time range to clear as “Everything” from the dropdown and click “OK” button to delete all stored historical data.
How to Reset Mobile Firefox App?
On Firefox mobile apps for Android and iOS, you will not have any option to refresh the browser. In this case, you have to simply delete the app and reinstall from App Store in order to reset.
Though resetting Firefox browser can help you to fix problems, you may loss the data. Therefore, follow the above instructions and make sure to read the details on the reset dialog before doing the action. On mobile devices, you have no other options other than deleting and reinstalling the Firefox app.