How-To: Fix Firefox 3 Without Reinstalling

My primary browser is Mozilla Firefox v3.0.1. The reason I champion that particular browser over others is because it has the most plugins available. If there is anything on the internet that can be done in a browser, chances are it will happen in Firefox first.

Plugins, while a blessing, can also be a curse. As cool as it is that you have tons of nifty add-ons to choose from, some of these add-ons may screw up your browser. How the screw-up occurs could be in any number of ways, but you know when you’re browser is screwed up.

Firefox browser problems don’t happen often, but when they do you can fix just about any of them by creating a new profile.

Here’s how:

Close the browser first.

Do a run dialog and type firefox -P, then click OK.


This is what you will see by default:


If you want to "start over", delete the profile and all files associated with it. Note: You will lose all your bookmarks and browser settings when you do this. (For bookmarks you can retrieve them if you have Foxmarks installed.) Add-ons will remain installed.

When you create a brand new profile, Firefox will treat it as if you’ve just installed the browser for the first time.

If you’re not sure whether you want to delete the old profile, just create a new one. Firefox allows multiple profiles to be installed. From there you can troubleshoot to see if it fixed any issues you may have present.

For the add-ons present, they will "see" it also as a new installation so you can do additional troubleshooting that way.


  1. I almost freaked out i love firefox and when it crashed on me I tried to just reinstall and it still wouldn’t come up. I did what you wrote and it worked, so thanks!

  2. This worked… only problem is now I have to reinstall everything.
    And manually move my history over, but hey, I could be sutck with IE.

  3. First of all, thank you for the solution… it’s working…. but, i finally found something that miraculasly worked for me you can try it to hold your addons, pluggins, preferences, etc.

    This solution worked for me… let’s just say i was lucky.
    – Go to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\chrome
    – Rename browser.xul
    – Run firefox (you will notice that it’s not working, it’s normal)
    – Go back to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\chrome and get browser.xul to it’s original name
    – Run firefox again… it’s should work then ! 🙂

    I hope you all resolve the problem… please share the solution and please let others know if it worked for you.

    Taher ALAMI (STAR)

  4. I am getting this error message in pop up windows when I am using firefox and upon starting firefox. I have a lot of info stored in it and don’t want to tear it out and start over. Any ideas how I can cure it? Thanks, Amy
    Here is the error message. I happens when I am opening windows to upload an image on a site or when I first open the program:
    [JavaScript Application]
    ReferenceError: nsBrowserStatusHandler is not defined

    Thanks for your help.

  5. My Firefox loads a site but then freezes when I try to scroll or move the cursor around the site. I have deleted FF several times and reloaded it with no success.
    I have printed out and tried dozens of “fixes” from the FF site, but nothing seems to work. I decided to try the Profile change (I do have Foxmarks installed) ,but I have Windows 7 OS so I don't have a “Run” box.
    I did type the firefox-P into the Search Programs and Files box at the bottom of the programs list, but only get a list of Firefox sites previously I've visited and in my Firefox folder.
    I really need to access some of these sites that are experiencing the Freezing problems and as bad as I hate to I, may have to say Good Bye to Firefox because IE 7 & IE 8load and display the sites and their functions with no problems at all.

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