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Just as rebooting a computer fixes many issues Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why. Read More , resetting your browser to its default settings can help fix several problems. Here’s how it works on Firefox.

Unlike Chrome, Firefox hides the reset option in an unexpected location. You won’t find it under Firefox Preferences, which is probably where you’d expect it. Instead, you’ll find it under Help > Troubleshooting Information, packaged as the Refresh Firefox… button.

firefox-reset-option

Clicking on the Refresh Firefox… button restores Firefox to the state it was in when you first installed it. You know what this means, right? You’ll have to say goodbye to the browser setup Warning: 5 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Browser Setup Warning: 5 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Browser Setup Your browser setup is a fragile thing. One "oops" moment and you'll have to say goodbye to it. Don't let that happen to you. Read More you have painstakingly built and set up Firefox from scratch.

That means installing themes and extensions, configuring Firefox’s behavior, and tweaking site-specific preferences again. Firefox does try to keep your history, bookmarks, cookies, and form data intact through the reset though.

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We recommend saving the reset option as your last resort. If you need to troubleshoot, try starting with Firefox’s Safe Mode first.

The Safe Mode option restarts Firefox with the add-ons disabled and certain settings turned off, making it easier to pinpoint rogue extensions and settings by turning them on one by one and observing what’s different about Firefox’s behavior in the normal and safe modes.

Refreshing Firefox can be quite convenient if you want to fix browser performance, go back from your experimental Firefox changes, reverse the changes made by sneaky toolbars, etc. But do not take it lightly!

Have you ever reset Firefox as part of troubleshooting? Did it fix the problems that you were hoping it would?

Image Credit: reset key by mstanley via Shutterstock

  1. DonGateley
    March 2, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Thanks Akshata. I wish it would work by creating a new reset profile that you could then start up but at least there is no data loss the way they do it and you can jimmy the old back into the profile directory if you know what you're doing.

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      March 2, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Yeah...you can restore data from that profile folder if needed, but like you have said, you need to know what you're doing. Otherwise, you might just end up sort of importing the problems you had before the reset.

  2. Don Gateley
    March 1, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Oh, never mind. I forgot that there still isn't the option to be notified of responses.

  3. Don Gateley
    March 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Does this only affect the active profile or are global changes made to the program itself that will affect all profiles?

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      March 2, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Don, it affects the current profile only as far as I know. Firefox creates a new profile, imports some data like bookmarks and history to it, and puts the old profile in a folder on your desktop.

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