How Do I Reinstall Mozilla Firefox?

To reinstall Firefox, you download a new copy of the program's installer, remove the existing program through the Programs and Features control panel, and run the installer your downloaded. If you want to completely start from scratch, you also need to erase your Firefox profile, which contains your user settings -- and is often the source of any glitches you encounter. Before you resort to a full reinstallation, try resetting Firefox from the troubleshooting page to solve most problems with less hassle.

The Firefox profile manager can switch between multiple users on one computer.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Mozilla

Step 1

Download Firefox.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Mozilla

Download a new copy of Firefox from Mozilla's website (link in Resources) before uninstalling your current copy. If Firefox doesn't work at all, visit the site in another browser -- Windows computers include Internet Explorer out of the box. After the download finishes, close all Firefox windows.

Step 2

Open the Firefox profile manager.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Press "Windows-R" and run the command "firefox.exe -p" to open the profile manager.

Step 3

Optionally, delete your profile.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Mozilla

Choose your Firefox profile, click "Delete Profile" and then "Delete Files" if you want to reinstall Firefox from scratch and erase all your settings, bookmarks and extensions. To keep this information, skip this step. Alternatively, pick "Don't Delete Files" to remove the profile from Firefox but leave its data on your hard drive for later recovery.

Step 4

Run the Firefox uninstaller.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Open the Programs and Features control panel -- search for "Programs and Features" on the Windows 8 Start screen or Windows 7 Start menu to find it. Select the current version of Mozilla Firefox and press "Uninstall."

Step 5

Uninstall Firefox.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Click "Next" to move through the uninstaller and then click "Uninstall" to remove Firefox.

Step 6

Run the Firefox installer.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Browse to the folder where you downloaded the Firefox installer and run it to reinstall Firefox. If you deleted your profile, Firefox automatically creates a new one the first time it runs. If not, your old profile loads in the new installation.

Tip

Before deleting your entire profile to try to solve a problem with Firefox, reset the browser. Open the Firefox menu, click "?" to open the help menu, pick "Troubleshooting Information" and press "Reset Firefox." This option resets settings that can cause problems but does not delete your bookmarks or other personal information. If this method fails to resolve the problem, you can still move on to try deleting your profile.

If you need to delete your profile but don't want to lose your bookmarks, export them first: Press "Ctrl-Shift-B," press "Import and Backup" and then "Backup."

Warning

Deleting your Firefox profile erases everything you've ever modified about the browser, including your bookmarks, history, cookies, home page, toolbar layout and extensions.

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