How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible

If you see a “Profile Missing” error message that says, Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible it usually means that Firefox can’t find or access the profile folder. This article explains what to do if you see this error.


Table of Contents

  • If you moved, renamed, or deleted your Firefox profile folder
    • Profile was moved or renamed
    • Profile was deleted

If you moved, renamed, or deleted your Firefox profile folder

Firefox stores your user data and settings in a special profile folder and pulls information from this folder every time you start Firefox. The default profile folder location is under the %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles folder, which you can find using these instructions.

Profile was moved or renamed

If you know where your profile is, try one of the following methods to help Firefox find it.

  • Move the profile folder back to its original location.
  • Restore the profile’s original name if you’ve changed it.
  • Create a new profile using the Profile Manager. Give it a descriptive name, click on the Choose Folder button, and then select the profile folder you moved or renamed, before you finish the Create a new profile wizard.

Profile was deleted

If you deleted or lost your profile folder and have no way of restoring it, use one of these methods to create a new Firefox profile:

Your new profile will not contain settings or user data from your deleted or lost profile.
  • Method 1: Use the Profile Manager wizard

Follow the steps in the Use the Profile Manager to create and remove Firefox profiles article to create a new profile.

  • Method 2: Manually delete the profiles.ini file

If you have problems accessing the Profile Manager, you can create a new default Firefox profile by deleting the profiles.ini file, using these steps:

  1. Click on the Windows Start button or press the Windows key Windows Key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type %appdata% (as you type, a Windows search will start) and press the Enter key. The hidden AppData\Roaming folder will open.
  3. Double-click the Mozilla folder.
  4. Double-click the Firefox folder.
  5. Delete (or rename, for example, to profiles.iniOLD) the profiles.ini file.
Note: Instead of deleting the profiles.ini file, you can delete (or rename) the folder that contains it. For example, right-click the Firefox folder and rename it FirefoxOLD.
When you start Firefox, a new profile will be created.

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