A guide on how to restore Firefox to default settings
Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers today, so there is no surprise that people sometimes encounter certain problems while using it. In most cases, browsing-related issues are encountered after changing browser’s settings or installing new programs on the system.
Sometimes people install potentially unwanted or malware-type programs unwillingly, and these tend to modify browser settings without user’s knowledge. In such situation, Firefox might start to display an excessive amount of ads, cause redirects to suspicious web pages, show bogus warning messages, et cetera.
If you use Firefox on a daily basis and you suspect that its settings were modified, browser reset can help you fix the issue. In Firefox, this feature is called “Firefox refresh.”
The Mozilla reset procedure removes added extensions and themes, website permissions, modified settings, supplementary search engines, information about your downloads, user styles, social features, toolbar adjustments, also plugin settings, DOM storage and security certificate and device preferences.
This refresh process does not affect your bookmarks, browsing and download history, personal dictionary, opened windows and tabs, cookies, and auto-fill information. To restore Firefox to default, follow these instructions:
Method 1. Reset Firefox using Troubleshooting Information option
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Click on three-bar button in the top right corner, then click on ? as shown in the picture.
2. Select Troubleshooting Information.
3. Here, click on Refresh Firefox… and confirm your choice.
4. When the Import Wizard appears, click Finish.
Method 2. Quick access to Mozilla reset page
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and type about:support in the URL bar, and hit Enter to open Troubleshooting Information page.
2. On the right side of the page, find a Give Firefox a tune up box and click on Refresh Firefox… button.
3. When a confirmation pop-up appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
4. Firefox browser will close automatically to restart itself, and shortly opens the Import Wizard which displays items that were imported to Firefox after the refresh. Just click Finish to continue.
Method 3. Reset Firefox without opening it
1. Launch Firefox in Safe Mode. To do this, hold down the Shift key and try to open Mozilla Firefox.
In case you cannot open Mozilla in Safe Mode this way, use your computer’s search to find “Mozilla Firefox (Safe Mode)” shortcut.
2. You might be asked to choose user profile if you have more than one on your PC. Hold the Shift key while selecting the profile. If you only have one user profile, Firefox Safe Mode message table will appear.
3. Click Refresh Firefox.
Method 4. Reset Firefox using Profile Manager
1. Push Windows key + R key at the same time to open Run prompt. Here, type firefox.exe -p (or firefox.exe -P) and hit OK.
2. This will open Firefox User Profile Manager. Choose default, then click Delete Profile.
3. Confirm your choice by clicking Delete Files.
4. Click on Exit.
Note: The next time you open Firefox, Import Wizard will shop up. It will ask you where do you want to import Options, Bookmarks, Passwords, History and other information from.
Method 5. Reinstall Firefox browser
In case previous methods didn’t help you to solve problems with your Firefox browser, you can try to reinstall it. In most cases, it is not necessary to reinstall the problematic browser, but if you feel that you need to, use these instructions.
1. First of all, close Firefox. Click the menu button and then click Exit.
2. Right click on the Start menu and go to Programs and Features. (In Windows 7/Vista click on Start menu, go to Control Panel > Programs and Features; in Windows XP, go to Add/Remove Programs).
3. You will see a list of currently installed programs. Click on Mozilla Firefox and click Uninstall.
In case the Uninstall Wizard doesn't show up, go to one of these folders that store helper.exe file and open it. User Account Control will appear, just click Yes to continue.
C:\\Program Files\\Mozilla Firefox\\uninstall\\helper.exe
C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Mozilla Firefox\\uninstall\\helper.exe
4. In the Uninstall Wizard, click Next, then Uninstall, and finally Finish.
5. Delete the Firefox installation folder which can be found in one of these locations:
C:\\Program Files\\Mozilla Firefox
C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Mozilla Firefox
6. If you also wish to remove user data (bookmarks, history, et cetera), you need to push Windows key + R on the keyboard, then start typing %APPDATA%\\Mozilla\\, and then hit OK.
7. This will open Mozilla Folder. You will see a folder named Firefox – delete it.
8. Once you uninstall Mozilla Firefox, you need to reinstall it. To get the real and safe version, you must download it from the official Mozilla Firefox website. Just use another browser to download Firefox, go to Mozilla’s official download page and download the file to your PC.