Mozilla is currently working to develop a ‘reset’ button for Firefox, which would enable users to work around errors in installation or start-up crashes and fix the problem without losing their data, bookmarks, history and more. The feature would be accessible in several ways, around the Firefox browser.
As the Mozilla wiki page about the new feature says, even Firefox encounters some serious issues like not starting, unexpected crashes, lost toolbars and others, and these can be fixed with a new profile. However, the problem with creating a new profile is that the task is not very easy, and also doesn’t solve the problem entirely. Migration of user data to the new profile is always preferred, however not always possible.
Users often start reinstalling the Firefox software when they encounter such errors, but that doesn’t solve the problem, since they also need to delete their profile folders manually provided they know these exist. Users instead require an efficient way by which it would be possible to wipe out all data, add-on settings etc. while still retaining their personal data.
"Many users try to reinstall Firefox to solve these issues but reinstallation doesn't do anything to the profile folder. Providing this option upon reinstallation and, in addition, offering this after consecutive start-up crashes and on the Troubleshooting Information page will make this feature both intuitive and discoverable," Mozilla explains.
To solve the problem, Mozilla is looking to integrate a ‘reset’ button into the Firefox installer, through which on reinstallation, users will get the option to delete all data, except their personal data. A significant limitation however would be that the feature would only work on Windows, and not Mac OS or Linux.
Apart from building it into the installer, a second option would be to build the feature into the Firefox browser. It would be able to detect consecutive startup crashes and after three failed attempts would prompt the user to reset their preferences. A third option would be to make the Reset Firefox button available on the Troubleshooting page.
The company is still developing the concept, and since no clear Firefox version target has been set, one can expect that the feature will take some time to come.