Firefox 71/68.3esr: Profile issues and bugs during upgrade

Mozilla[German]On December 3, 2019 Mozilla’s developers released the next major version 71 as well as the 68.3esr of the Firefox browser. The update does not work for all users. Some users are claiming damaged/deleted profiles and lost addons. Here is a short overview of the known issues.


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In the blog post Firefox 71 and 68.3.0esr released I mentioned the new versions for the Firefox browser and the changes. The update to Firefox 71 portable (32 bit) worked fine for me – I could not find any errors during a quick test. But shortly after the publication of the article I got the first feedback about issues from my German blog readers. I’ll compil it here together – maybe there’s some feedback, if these are just single cases or if there are bigger problems.

Firefox 68.3esr: Profile damaged during upgrade

Some users have experienced issues during upgrade with Firefox ESR. There are reports, that user profile is corrupted or missing, when upgrading to version 68.3. German blog reader Andy writes here:

Hmm, within the company the default profile of the 68.3 ESR was damaged after upgrade. There was a message with “new profile format” and then everything was broken. Using Firefox.exe -P I was able to restore the old profile, so half as bad. I will roll it out during operation but definitely not :-(

German blog reader deoroller noticed, that the policies.json file was gone after upgrading to the new Firefox 68.3esr.

After the update, the distribution folder with policies.json was gone.

I’m not sure, if it’s related to Firefox 68.3esr or Firefox 71 (but I got an additional comment, that also Firefox 71 has the same issue). Also German blog reader reported a lost file policies.json and missing addons.

Great, Mozilla,
Profile bricked, addons gone, and policies.json no longer found.
The portable version is affected to the same extent

Luckily I did a test before rolling out

I haven’t found anything on the Internet yet in a quick search. Is there anyone else affected by corrupted profiles or missing addons?


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Picture-in-picture feature with memory issue

New on Firefox 71 is the picture-in-picture function for video playback. Blog reader MrX1980 points out in this comment that there is still a memory problem there. 

The picture-in-picture (PiP) function in conjunction with WebRender has another memory problem that is currently being investigated. The consumption of GPU memory and memory is constantly increasing when PiP is used and the Firefox window is minimized. Sometimes OOM (Out of Memory) crashes occur.


(Memory leak in Firefox Picture-in-Picture feature, Click to zoom)

The bug has already been listed in the bug tracker in this entry. I tried it under Windows 7 – in the resource monitor the privately used memory slowly increases (the GPU consumption is not displayed there). If further problems become known, I’ll add them here.

Similar articles:
Firefox 67.0.2 loses passwords; blame AVG antivirus
Mozilla removed Firefox Addons from AVG/AVAST
Firefox 71 and 68.3.0esr released
Thunderbird 68.x: Update loop due to Phantom Updates


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6 Responses to Firefox 71/68.3esr: Profile issues and bugs during upgrade

  1. Pingback: Born: Reported profile problems with the newly updated Firefox @ AskWoody

  2. radames says:

    Oh wow, thanks for the article about this. Running out of graphics RAM is probably what causes crashes for me in the RDR2 game!

  3. Ron says:

    I didn’t even update… because past Firefox updates fucked up my profile… and today Firefox fucked up my profile anyway. I’m in the same boat, back to some shitty interface and all custom settings gone.

    Apparently I’m on FF 69.0 so maybe I’ll try updating now since everything is already fucked up. And I may have a backup profile from the past week, but… you know, this is not what I prefer to spend all day working on. Why? Why is it always like this with Firefox…?

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  5. Daniel says:

    I had to downgrade back to 70. It’s the first time I had to do something like this with Firefox. I use 64-bit Firefox on a 64-bit Windows 7. After updating to 71, the application would crash immediately, always. Even the reboot didn’t help, or starting safe mode. There are application error events (event ID 1000) in the log, e.g.:

    Faulting application name: firefox.exe, version: 71.0.0.7275, time stamp: 0x5de4f320
    Faulting module name: unknown, version: 0.0.0.0, time stamp: 0x00000000
    Exception code: 0xc0000005
    Fault offset: 0x000000006fff0d9a
    Faulting process id: 0x1f4c
    Faulting application start time: 0x01d5a9ee21bdc151
    Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
    Faulting module path: unknown

    I guess I’ll try again when 71.0.1 is out, and until then I’m on 70.0.1.

    • EP says:

      you have a 32bit version of Firefox 71 on a 64bit Win7 OS, Daniel.

      a 64bit version of Firefox 71 on a 64bit Win7 should only be installed in
      \Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\ folder, NOT in the \Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\ folder.

  6. juk says:

    Same here. FF 71 is broken on Win 7/64 with nVidia Kepler GPU (latest drivers) and 3-monitor setup. It crashed right after the update and from then on immediately at every start attempt. No profile/addon issue. FF Safe mode doesn’t work. It actually does start in Windows safe mode, but that doesn’t help much. Most likely some GPU related issue.

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