When Firefox is run for the first time, it automatically creates a new profile for you. Profile is basically a set of files stored in a directory containing your browser data such as bookmarks, extensions, passwords, custom preferences, and everything else. A new profile is created for each user account on the computer, and they are all stored in separate directories under the User Folder.
By default, each user has a single profile, but you’re not restricted to one – you can create as many profiles as you like by using a feature called Firefox Profile Manager. This allows you to set up separate profiles for personal use, work use, testing – anything you like, and you can also run them together at the same time.
Create Firefox Profiles
To get started, you’ll have to open the Firefox Profile Manager – this isn’t accessible from within the browser interface. So to launch it, you have to start Firefox with
-p command line argument. If you have a desktop shortcut for the program, right-click on it and click on Properties. Switch to Shortcut tab, and in the Target field add any of the above parameter at the end of the path. It should like this now:
- 32-bit Windows:
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p
- 64-bit Windows:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p
Or simply run this command in the Command Prompt:
start firefox -p
You should now see a dialog like this:
To create additional profiles, click the Create Profile button and go through the wizard. The only option that you have to pay attention to in the wizard is the profile name – remember to use a unique one for each.
Specific User Profiles Desktop Shortcuts
To start a specific Firefox user profile from a desktop shortcut, you just have to add the profile name after the
-p parameter in the Properties dialog Target field. For example, if you wanted to launch a profile called “SumTips”, the path should be like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p SumTips
If you have a profile with a space in its name, enclose the name with quotes.
Create a copy of this shortcut file to create desktop shortcuts for other profiles. Just remember to add correct profile name after
Run Multiple Profiles Together
If you try to launch a different profile while one Firefox instance is already running, Firefox will just open a new window of the active profile. To fix this little issue, add another parameter –
-no-remote – to each shortcut’s Target field.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p -no-remote SumTips
With this little trick, you will also be able to open Firefox private browsing mode and normal browsing together at the same time.
That’s all to it. Create as many profiles as you want using Profile Manager and easily launch them using desktop shortcuts. Finally, if you don’t want a profile anymore, simply delete it from the manager. This will permanently delete all associated browsing data with that profile.