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Sync FF for U3 with Local FF settings?

doni49 - January 21, 2007 - 8:48pm
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I just bought a U3 drive tonight I REALLY like the idea of taking FF and TBird with me whereever I go. But I don't think I want to have to connect the drive EVERY time I want to use my home pc. I plan to use my local installation of FF and TBird at home on my laptop.

I'd love to be able to have my bookmarks and other settings synchronize when I plug in my U3 at home.

Until such time as that becomes possible (hopefully it will eventually Smiling), how do I manually migrate my bookmarks and other settings from the local installation to my U3 drive?


[Moved to U3 Apps Forum and altered topic name - Moderator JH. This is related to Firefox for U3 rather than the open Firefox Portable]

[Thanks John. I noticed the "U3 Apps" forum after I had already posted this. I didn't realize I could move this message myself--at least it LOOKS like I could have. -Don]

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For bookmarks, there are two ways (maybe more, I dunno)
1.On the local copy, go to "Bookmarks" on the menu, then "Organize Bookmarks..."
From there, select Export from the File Menu, pick a place to save your bookmarks (somewhere you can access easily like the desktop, you can get rid of it afterwards) and close out Firefox. Open up the Portable Firefox, go to the Organize Bookmarks, select Import this time, and locate your file.
2. Use some Bookmarks Synchronizer which works anywhere you go (I use Foxmarks [Link] but if you prefer something else, by all means)

For settings, set it up manually. I believe theres a few programs that will synchronize settings across browsers but I'm yet to see any or I forgot them. I think Google has one such thing, unless it's for browser sessions only.

I don't use Thunderbird, so you'll have to ask someone else for that.

Google Browser Sync (GBS)

Google Browser Sync (GBS) will handle cookies, passwords, history, bookmarks, and browser sessions, but *not* settings. You should be aware that if you login to GBS from a second location, it automatically logs you *out* at the first, and I believe you can lose new changes from the first computer that way sometimes (though it may just catch up the next time you login from that copy of FF, I'm not certain). I've also heard it writes to the drive a lot, so isn't flash-drive friendly, so for a U3 copy, I'd recommend Foxmarks for your bookmarks, and GBS that you only enable when you specifically want to to update other information (btw, some people have expressed concerns with putting information that personal, especially passwords, in the trust of a website outside their control, anyway).

If you want to completely synchronize profiles, like I do, you need to use a more roundabout method. Locally, you can use something to synchronize directories (I believe Liberta PUSS can do that). If you want to be able to do this remotely, I'd recommend the what I use to synchronize local copies of FF at work and home. I use the FEBE extension to make a full profile backup, and an FTP server to move those profiles between computers. The next version of FEBE is planned to support TB also. I don't think there's any way to do either process completely automatically, though.

If all you need to sync from TBP is your address book, I'd recommend Plaxo ( Also works with Outlook (which is useful for those of us with WIndows Mobile devices).


1) I can deal with not having the settings sync'd. I don't change them often enough to worry about it (in either TB or FF).

2) I've come to REALLY like FF and don't want to switch to another browser at this time. Although I'm not worried about settings, I WOULD like to sync the password manager. Not all that worried about syncing cookies either.

3) And as far as syncing TB goes, I use an IMAP account which means my email messages themselves are already sync'd. I was mainly trying to figure out how to bring over all my email accounts for the initial time--too lazy to retype everything. I figured out how to bring over my settings after I posted this. So TB is working fine for my needs.