Mozilla Firefox 3.0: What Does that File Do?
Article by George Norman
On 22 Jan 2009
Lots of people out there use the Mozilla Foundation developed Firefox 3.0 browser and take the time to customize the way it works and the way it looks. But few of them take the time to look under the hood, or even comprehend what some files do. This article is meant to shed some light, so that the next time you will think twice before deleting that Firefox file which you were sure did nothing too important.

All the files I am going to present are placed in the Firefox Profile folder, which you should not have a problem locating it. Just in case, here is where it is supposed to be in Windows XP (C:Documents and Settings -> Windows login -> user name ->Application DataMozilla) and Windows Vista (C:Users -> Windows login -> user name -> AppDataRoamingMozilla)


Here is a list of file you will find in your Firefox Profile folder, and the explanation on what they are for:

- “bookmarks-(date).json” is where backups to your bookmarks are daily rotated.
- “cert_override.txt” stores the certificate exceptions that you specified in Firefox.
- “cert.db” stores security certificates.
- “content-prefs.sqlite” stores the setting you set up for individual pages.
- “downloads.sqlite” keeps a history of your downloads.
- “formhistory.sqlite” stores the data you enter in online forms.
- “key3.db” and “signons3.txt” store your passwords and general log-in info.
- “mimeTypes.rdf” stores the indications you give Firefox on what to do when encountering a certain file type.
- “persdict.dat” is your personal spelling dictionary (the words the spellchecker said were spelled wrong).
- “permissions.sqlite” stores info regarding the web pages to which Firefox will give “special treatment”, and by that I mean allow pop-ups, install add-ons, and so on.
- “places.sqlite” stores your bookmarks and the web pages you visited.
- “signons3.txt” saves encrypted passwords. Does not function without “key3.db”
- “urlclassifierkey3.txt” is a key database to protect you from phishing attempts.

If you would like to get Firefox 3.0.5, a download location is available here.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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