Firefox won’t save settings or remember information

Can’t change a setting in Firefox? Can’t save the homepage in Firefox? Does it not remember passwords? Many a time when you try to change settings in Firefox, it won’t save. Firefox offers a plethora of customization to personalize Firefox to what it suits you best. If that doesn’t happen, check our guide which will help you fix these issues.

Firefox won’t save settings or remember information

Just before we start sharing the fixes, if nothing works, Refresh Firefox at the worst. It’s key to fixing all the problems in Firefox. In this guide we are covering these scenarios:

  1. Unable to set Firefox as default browser:
  2. Firefox not able to save Preferences
  3. Firefox unable to save changes to toolbars and window sizes
  4. Firefox unable to save usernames and passwords
  5. Firefox Unable to download or save files
  6. Firefox doesn’t save web form entries
  7. Recover Lost or Missing Bookmarks

1] Unable to set Firefox as the default browser

Firefox Default Browser Settings

This usually happens when another browser installed on your computer is set as the default browser. When you launch the other browser, it will ask you if you want to set it as the default browser. Let’s say you say yes, and when you open a link, it opens in some other browser.

So the best way to resolve this to make sure you first set Firefox, again, as the default browser. Next, open the other browser, and it if pops up, check the box which says “Don’t ask me this again”. if you have multiple browsers installed, make sure to repeat this for all of them.

2] Firefox not able to save Preferences

This usually happens when either the preference file (where Firefox keeps a note of all settings) is locked or is corrupt. In both cases, any changes you make will not be saved.

Locked or Corrupted Preferences File

The file used to save all preferences is the prefs.js. When you make a change, it creates a copy “prefs.js.moztmp”, and first saves everything there. After this, all the changes are copied back to the original file. It is possible that the prefs.jsis locked, and changes are not transferred.

  • Quit Firefox
  • Open the Firefox Profile folder
  • Locate the prefs.js file, and prefs.js.moztmp if available.
  • Right-click on each file > Properties > Check if the files are in Read-only mode under Attributes.
  • If yes, there should be more of the pref.js file but with numbers, e.g., prefs-2.js, prefs-3.js and so on.
  • Delete them, and also delete Invalidprefs.js, if it exists.
  • Restart Firefox.
  • You should now be able to save preferences.

The same applies to corrupted preference file as well, except that you don’t need to check about its read mode. Just open the profile folder, and delete the pref.js file.

This will remove all your custom settings and settings for many extensions.

3] Firefox unable to save changes to toolbars and window sizes

Just like preferences, Firefox saves toolbar and windows size changes into the xulstore.json file. We will have to delete this file as well.

  • Quit Firefox
  • Open the Firefox Profile folder
  • Locate and delete the file xulstore.json
  • Close windows explorer, and then relaunch Firefox.

You can keep a backup of the file by renaming it.

4] Firefox unable to save usernames and passwords

Firefox Login & Password Settings

Firefox comes with a Password Manager which can sync across multiple computers. While it is set to remember passwords by default. you may have disabled this feature or told Firefox to never remember passwords for a particular site

Enable Password Saving Feature

  • Type about: preferences in the address bar, and hit the return key.
  • Click on the Lock icon on the left sidebar to open Privacy section.
  • Scroll to find Logins & Passwords
    • Tick the checkbox which says “Ask to save logins and passwords for websites.”
    • Click on Exceptions, and if there is a website listed, remove it.
  • Close this tab. Now password saving feature will work.

Private Browsing

Firefox History Settings for Private Browsing

Built to make sure you are not tracked, this mode also makes sure no username, and password is saved. So check if you are using it. When it this mode, look for an icon which looks like someone wearing glasses.

However, if this is what is you see every time, it means you are into permanent Private Browsing mode.

  • In the address bar, type about: preferences and pressEnter.
  • Switch to the privacy section, and go to the History section.
  • Click on the dropdown, and select “Use custom settings for History”, and make the changes
    • Uncheck always private browsing mode.
  • Close, and open Firefox again.

Using a third-party password manager

It is possible that there is a third party password manager installed on your browser, and it’s doing all the job. You might not be using it now, but when you installed it, it has disabled saving password feature of Firefox. We recommend you to uninstall that password manager.

5] Firefox Unable to download or save files

Reset the download folder

Firefox won't save settings

  • In the address bar, type about: config and press Enter.
  • Type browser.download, in the search field and hit enter. It will reveal a lot of settings for you.
  • Notice If any of the following settings have a status of modified. You can reset them to default with a right-click and choose Reset from the context menu. Make sure to reset the following
    • browser.download.dir
    • browser.download.downloadDir
    • browser.download.folderList
    • browser.download.lastDir
    • browser.download.useDownloadDir

Reset download actions for all file types

Usually, Firefox downloads all types of files. In case certain files types have been set to handle differently, then the downloads sometimes don’t complete. It is best to reset file handling to default.

  • Quit Firefox and open Firefox Profile Folder.
  • Delete or rename the handlers.json file
  • Restart Firefox.

Check with Internet Security Software

Firefox honors any setting that has been configured by the Internet security software you have installed on your computer. If the settings are such that it blocks file downloads, then you need to change it. You can understand if you see a lot of canceled downloads on your computer.

6] Firefox doesn’t save web form entries

Firefox History Settings for Forms

All browsers support the auto-fill feature. They are very helpful when you need to fill in common entries in the form many a time. So if you have entered your name, address, email id, phone number, Firefox can remember and auto-fill it next time. If you’re no longer able to auto-fill your forms, follow these steps.

  • In the address bar, type about: preferences and press Enter.
  • Switch to the privacy section, and go to the History section.
  • Click on the dropdown, and select “Use custom settings for History”, and make the changes
    • Uncheck always private browsing mode.
    • Check Remember browsing, download, search and form history.
    • Uncheck Clear history when Firefox exits.

7] Recover Lost or Missing Bookmarks

Sometimes Bookmarks go missing, and the funny part is that most of the time, the toolbar is not there. So check out how you can recover lost or missing bookmarks. 

This guide covers most of the scenarios, and solutions you will usually face when Firefox won’t save settings or remember information. If you are facing situation other than this, let us know in the comments.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.

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