Firefox/Features/Replace old profiles

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Replace Old Profile for Returning Users
Stage Complete
Status Complete
Release target Firefox 25
Health OK
Status note `


Product manager Asa Dotzler
Directly Responsible Individual `
Lead engineer Matthew Noorenberghe
Security lead `
Privacy lead `
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead Mihaela Velimiroviciu
UX lead Alex Limi
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members `

Open issues/risks


Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview

Firefox is old enough now that many users of Firefox have since moved on to other browsers. When they return to give Firefox another try, they're returned to their old and probably useless (and potentially even broken) profile. If a profile has not been used in a long time, Firefox should discard it and offer the user a migration from their current default browser. This will give them a modern Firefox profile with their contemporary data. Without this, users are likely to return to their default browser where their contemporary data lives.

The goal is to give the returning user the same joy as the new user.

This feature falls primarily in the Experience category (from the "Discover, Experience, and Connect" vision statement.)

2. Users & use cases

Marcos used Firefox up until version 3 when he decided to switch to Chrome. He's been using Chrome for a couple of years now but heard that Firefox 4 was blazing fast and had some great new features. He downloads Firefox but when he launches it, it has his three year old Facebook and Bank of America passwords stored which don't work any more. It's also missing all his new favorite websites and what's even worse than that is the awful Ask toolbar that just showed up in Firefox one day back in 2008. He decides Firefox still sucks and goes back to Chrome.

Julia was a Firefox 4 that decided to Give IE 9 a try and found she loved it. Since moving to IE 9, she's amassed about 1500 new favorites and a bunch of new logins. Hearing that Firefox 6 is the bomb, she downloads it. When starting Firefox for the first time, it asks her if she'd like to migrate her IE 9 settings and data. She says yes and Firefox does. She has no more reason to go back to IE 9 and so she makes Firefox 6 her new default.

3. Dependencies


4. Requirements



This goal is not to keep Firefox in sync with other browsers. This is for the user returning to Firefox after a significant absence.

Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification


6. User experience design

Limi's notes: It might be a good idea to give the user a preview of what was in the old profile (what extensions, how many/top bookmarks, etc) so they can make a more informed choice. The threshold should be low enough that it kicks in after a marked absence, but not so high that it doesn't trigger when people have switched away for a while. Current guess for a good value would be 1-3 months.

Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan


8. Reviews

Security review


Privacy review


Localization review




Quality Assurance review


Operations review


Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation

Bugzilla bug is

Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria


Feature details

Priority P2
Rank 6
Theme / Goal Experience
Roadmap Firefox Desktop
Secondary roadmap `
Feature list Desktop
Project `
Engineering team Desktop front-end

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` `
Engineering ` `
Security ` `
Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance ` `
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `