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multiple firefox profilesFirefox stores your browser data – bookmarks, history, preferences, extensions, and everything else – in a directory known as a profile. Each user account has a single profile by default, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to just one — you can create multiple profiles and even run multiple Firefox instances with different profiles as the same time.

Set up separate profiles for work use, personal use, extension testing, secure browsing – anything you like. With separate profiles, you can also log into a website with different user accounts at the same time – say, to have two Gmail inboxes open at the same time 4 Ways to Simultaneously Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts 4 Ways to Simultaneously Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts Many of us have multiple Gmail accounts to separate private email from work and projects. However, life is rarely linear and we often find ourselves going back and forth between different accounts. How do you... Read More .

Google Chrome makes this easy with its support for multiple user accounts Google Chrome Can Now Sync Multiple Browsing Profiles [News] Google Chrome Can Now Sync Multiple Browsing Profiles [News] Do you often use Chrome’s ability to sync all your bookmarks, extensions, apps, etc. across computers? It’s a pretty handy option which lets you use your own configuration of Chrome anywhere you go. But what... Read More , but Firefox has the same feature – it’s just hidden. The tricks here also work with other Mozilla applications, such as Mozilla Thunderbird 9 Ways To Make Thunderbird Load Your Email Faster 9 Ways To Make Thunderbird Load Your Email Faster If you asked anyone for the first words that comes to mind when they think of me, they'd probably say laid back. I really don't get very uptight unless something really, really ticks me off.... Read More .

Launching The Profile Manager

Firefox’s Profile Manager can’t be accessed from within Firefox’s interface. To launch it, you’ll need to start Firefox with the -p option (make sure you use a short dash instead of a long one). If you’re already running Firefox, shut it down by clicking the Firefox menu and selecting the Exit option.

Once you have, click the Start button and copy and paste one of the following lines into the search box in the Start menu.

For 32-bit Windows:

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“C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” -p

For 64-bit Windows Waterfox: Your New & Speedy 64-bit Version of Firefox [Windows] Waterfox: Your New & Speedy 64-bit Version of Firefox [Windows] Today's browsers are constantly trying to improve and beat their competition. This ranges from behind-the-scenes changes to improved speed or standards support, user interface changes for a cleaner look, or even the addition of entirely... Read More :

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” -p

multiple firefox profiles

You’ll see the Profile Manager, which allows you to create new profiles, manage your existing profiles, and launch Firefox with the selected profile. To see the Profile Manager each time you start Firefox, uncheck the “Don’t ask at startup” checkbox.

firefox profiles

Using The Profile Manager

To create additional profiles, click the Create Profile button and go through the wizard. The only important option is the profile name – you can use the default folder location unless you want to store your profile folder elsewhere. Using the Choose Folder option, you could share a single profile folder between different operating systems Share Your Firefox Data Across Operating Systems & Computers Share Your Firefox Data Across Operating Systems & Computers Read More in a dual-boot configuration How To Dual-Boot The Windows & Linux OS's On Your Computer How To Dual-Boot The Windows & Linux OS's On Your Computer It's like having two computers in one - start your system up and choose between Windows and Linux. It's called dual-booting, and it gives you access to two of the best operating systems on the... Read More .

firefox profiles

If you don’t want a profile anymore, you can delete it using the Delete Profile button. This wipes all browsing data associated with a specific profile, including its bookmarks, saved passwords and other settings. You won’t be able to recover the deleted data, so be careful.

firefox profiles

Select a profile and click Start Firefox to launch the profile. Each new profile will be a clean slate with Firefox’s default settings. Their settings are completely separate – for example, if you use Firefox Sync How To Keep Your Bookmarks Synced Across Computers With Firefox 4 How To Keep Your Bookmarks Synced Across Computers With Firefox 4 After a year since the last major version was released, Mozilla has launched Firefox 4 with the promise of a lighter and speedier browsing experience. The latest version of the Fox offers many improvements and... Read More , you’ll have to create separate accounts for each Firefox profile and configure them separately.

firefox profile tips

Using Multiple Firefox Profiles At Once

If you try to launch the Profile Manager while Firefox is already running, Firefox will just open a new browser window using the current profile. You’ll need to use the -no-remote option to launch multiple instances of Firefox with different profiles at the same time. To do so, use the same commands as above, but add the -no-remote option.

firefox profile tips

Select another profile to launch it – don’t worry, Firefox won’t let you use a profile that’s already in use.

firefox profile tips

Creating Shortcuts

You can also launch a specific profile with the -p option – just add the profile’s name. For example, use the following line to launch the default profile on a 64-bit version of Windows:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” -p default

If the profile’s name has a space in it, enclose the name of the profile in quotes.


Once you know this, it’s easy to create special shortcuts that launch the Profile Manager or a specific profile – with or without the -no-remote switch to let you run multiple profiles. Just create a copy of an existing Mozilla Firefox shortcut, right-click it, and select Properties. In the Properties dialog, rename the shortcut and add the options to the Target field.


Create as many shortcuts as you want and use them to easily launch Firefox with your desired options.


ProfileSwitcher Extension

To easily switch between Firefox profiles from Firefox’s menu, install the ProfileSwitcher extension. Remember, you’ll have to install the extension separately in each profile you want to use it from.

multiple firefox profiles

For more great Firefox add-ons, check out our list of the best Firefox add-ons.

Do you use multiple Firefox profiles? If so, what do you use them for? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Kirk
    October 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Honestly , I tend to ignore your site from the search engine results I don't know the specific reason maybe due to unpopularity (not exactly I mean , I hope you woudn't be offended) or I haven't read your sites articles yet , or I tend to usually visit sites with a domain name of howto , maketo , how2 , etc.. that lacks on information and too confusing.

    But after reading your article I see that not all domain namestarting with howto or makeuse are usually useless post or article. Your site is well detailed , noob friendly tuts and updated. Thanks for the Firefox Profile Articles ( I badly need this one) I really appreciate it. :)

  2. Dipak Kumar
    August 29, 2012 at 8:40 am

    How can I take the photo of a particular place from space

  3. AJ
    July 4, 2012 at 8:56 am


    • Chris Hoffman
      July 6, 2012 at 12:35 am

      Try launching the Run program (click Start, type Run and press Enter -- you'll also find it in the Accessories folder under All Programs), and typing the path into there.

  4. Ben
    April 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I would definitely recommend for users to install Mozilla's Profile Manager, a portable application: It adds even more control over firefox profiles. You can create temporary profiles, copy, delete and run profiles in new instances. This application will eventually replace firefox's built-in manager.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 20, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Neat, thanks Ben -- I had no idea there was a new Profile Manager in development.

  5. vips
    April 19, 2012 at 6:44 am

    awsome actually firefox should make it by default like in crome... it would be very useful...

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 20, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Firefox really should expose this better -- Chrome has a very slick interface.

    • albert
      October 6, 2012 at 1:28 am

      Haha! And I still know it as coming up by default from Netscape. Much faster this way - start up without interruption

  6. gpvprasad
    April 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Will it help me to open private browsing and normal browsing at the same time?

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 20, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Yup, you should be able to do that if you open multiple Firefox sessions with different profiles at the same time!

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