Please help me use Sync better

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
Posts: 13
Joined: September 20th, 2012, 11:02 am

Post Posted November 22nd, 2019, 2:59 am

I'm doing something wrong with Sync and need some advice. I'm trying to use it in a master/slave fashion and that's not what I'm getting out of it.

I have my "master" PC that I do the bulk of my work on. In the past, when I wanted to use a different PC (slave), I either put my master bookmarks & favicons on a thumb drive and took them to the slave PC, or I'd e-mail them to myself and get them when I signed on to the slave PC.

I recently tried using Sync, signing in for the first time with the master PC. When I signed in later on a slave PC, it did update my bookmarks and whatever else I selected. However, when I signed into Sync with the master PC the next time, it "synced" outdated stuff from the slave PC back to the master, which I wasn't expecting and didn't want.

When I sign in with the master, I only want its current data to be made available to whatever slave I sign in with later; I don't want anythign ever "coming back" to the master PC. How do I accomplish this? I read something about deleting your Firefox account and then creating it again with the same e-mail address. I could do that, but that seems like a half-assed way of doing things. I'm inclined to think I'm just doing something wrong with Sync in the first place.



User avatar
Posts: 32253
Joined: February 25th, 2003, 12:51 am
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Post Posted November 22nd, 2019, 4:29 am

There is no "master" device with Sync, with few exceptions all devices are equal. The few exceptions have to do with "mobile" devices that use Firefox for iOS and Firefox for Android where bookmarks get organized a bit differently than on the Desktop / Laptop versions of Firefox and how much browsing history gets synchronized to a "mobile" device. Themes will synchronize between Desktop & Laptop devices, but not with a "mobile" Firefox version. Plus there may be other minor differences that I haven't seen or heard mentioned by other users.

You can't control the "age" of the data, everything on each of the devices will get synchronized when the data type is selected per device. User controls are purposely very limited in the user interface; a basic design parameter from the data that Sync was built as an add-on named Weave back in 2008.

As far as fixing things - changing the Firefox Account password will clear all your data from the Sync server. So there's no reason or need to "delete" your Firefox Account and then trying to create another Firefox Account using the same email address. I have no idea how or if that would work now-a-days; over the first 5 years or so, I ended up having 5 different Sync accounts - in the pre-Firefox Account era. But your data will still be on each and every device that is / was connected to that Sync account, so you will need to "clean data" from each device individually or just not synchronize that data type again.

Overall as far as bookmarks are concerned, I would just disconnect the "slave" from Sync altogether and then work on the "master" by deleting the bookmarks that you don't want on that device. BUT make sure you are NOT connected to Sync while doing those deletions; in fact disconnect a device from Sync whenever you are making multiple changes to your bookmarks whether it is deletions or rearranging bookmarks; then when you reconnect to Sync all the changes would be sent to the Sync server as "a batch".

One last bit of advice is - Firefox does save 15 bookmark backups in the /bookmarkbackups/ folder in your Profile folder in Firefox, so you could retrieve the "master" bookmarks from the day prior to connecting that device to Sync to get those bookmarks back into Firefox. ... -move-them

As far as getting bookmarks from the "slave" device over to the "master" device, best to Export in HTML format and then edit that HTML file to remove the bookmarks that you no longer want; once that is done you can Import Bookmarks from HTML on the "master" device to append the bookmarks on that device. And Import in HTML format will duplicate existing bookmarks, if there are dupes in the HTML file. Keeping in mind that the JSON / JSONMZ4 bookmarks backup format will overwrite any existing bookmarks, so the Restore needs to be done first followed by the Import in HTML format.

I hope this will help you solve the situation with Sync.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

Return to Firefox Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests