A Life Well Organized: Firefox Profiler

Cory Blog, Customizations, Windows

Today, over sips of Yuban Coffee and set up in a small closet-like office, I decided that my life would be a tad more organized had I created different profiles for my favorite browser, mr. Firefox3. Reasons being…

In my default profile, there are good quality sites I have in my bookmarks which I  cannot access at work (cause of the filters) such as download.com, brusheezy, facebook, and more.

There are sites which I access more at work than I do otherwise and I don’t necessarily want my default profile to be crowded with personal AND work information.

Last but not least, simply having the two separated would make my life simpler.

Thus, a simple Google search resulted in such findings. My first reference (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager) and then my second (Lifehacker) both showed that it wasn’t hard to create such organization. Note: If you’re in Windows and you want to create new profiles, please see the links provided. Below is the Mac edition. The process is as follows: Profile Manager FF MacScript EditorScript

Close the application completely and make sure that it is not running in the background. Assuming the program is installed in the “Applications” folder, launch Terminal (“Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal”) and enter the command starting with / after the prompt in Terminal:

/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -profilemanager

Once you’ve accessed the Profile Manager as described above, click on “Create Profile” and follow the instructions. Mozilla Suite users may have to click on “Manage Profiles…” first. Enter a descriptive name for the new profile and click the Finish button. Before starting with a selected profile, uncheck the “Don’t ask at startup” option if you want the Profile Manager to appear each time you open the program; otherwise, the selected profile will automatically start each time.

A new profile folder will be created in the default folder location. If you created the new profile because your old one was corrupt, you can import bookmarks and selectively migrate your other data and settings to the new profile.

Easy. Now for Windows, you can create a nice shortcut to the Profile Manager and pick one whenever you want. For Mac, you can do the same, but you may have to charter unchartered territory. This is a long post, but hang on-it’s good stuff.

Asa Dotzler has provided us with exactly what we need in an article entitled “shortcut to launch a specific firefox profile on mac.” According to his wisdom, it’s pretty easy. We use AppleScript Utility (built in app) to built out our shortcut. I had trouble actually getting to the screen where you create a script (as it wasn’t explained and I’m a newbie with ASU) but here’s what I did. Open ASU and check the box “Show Script menu in menu bar,” then go to the script icon at the menu bar, click it, go to Basics>Open Script Editor. Whallah! In the new window (shown to the right) just copy and paste this text:

do shell script "/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -ProfileManager &> /dev/null &"

Asa explains,

Now that you’ve written 😉 the AppleScript, you need to save it. Select File -> Save As… and you’ll be prompted with the normal options to give it a title (Save As: text field) and a location (Where: selection). I named my AppleScript “Firefox Profile Manager” and selected my Applications folder as the location.

Since we want this script to actually run when we double-click it, rather than opening back up in the Script Editor, before pressing Save we need to change the File Format from Script to Application Bundle. Don’t mess with any of the Options check boxes. They’re not relevant here.


That’s it. Now, if you want, from there you can change the script’s icon to something fancy like a man walking sign. For information on how to do that…don’t worry, I won’t explain it here. It’ pretty easy though. I’m serious. Use Google.