Reset Firefox -> Repair Firefox

Gavin Sharp gavin at
Mon Jul 8 23:41:46 UTC 2013

Finding the right balance between preserving data and improving
Firefox is tricky. The existing tool is a somewhat blunt instrument,
and so accordingly we were conservative with how we exposed it and
what we named it. I don't think we're at the point where we should be
feeling comfortable having users use this tool indiscriminately, so
I'm a bit wary of renaming it in a way that might encourage that.

Bug 833943 was a good fix. I think I would feel more comfortable
promoting this tool more widely if we also:
- explicitly warned about some of the higher-value information that
isn't restored: add-ons/themes, download history (as opposed to just
omitting them from the list of things that will be restored)
- added a mechanism for relatively easily "undoing" a reset


On Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 11:58 AM, Asa Dotzler <asa at> wrote:
> The Reset Firefox feature is amazing. Literally amazing. I'm repeatedly
> amazed that this simple fix covers virtually all of my friends and family
> Firefox support calls (emails, and messages.) Unfortunately, I think the
> name scares people off.  In several of my support sessions, the person I was
> helping expressed uncertainty around the word "reset".  I explained that it
> doesn't really reset Firefox,  it just runs some maintenance routines that
> repair various common sources of breakage.  Once I explained that it was
> about repairing rather than throwing away the user's data, people were
> really happy to use it.
> This is only anecdotal but I think it's also pretty obvious that the feature
> has evolved well beyond a reset and into a repair mechanism.
> I think we'd be better off calling this feature "Repair Firefox". "Reset" is
> simply too scary for too many people, IMO.
> Thoughts?
> - A
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