Firefox 29 “Sync” nightmare

The — as I later found out — completely revamped “Sync” feature in Firefox 29 caused me a lot of grief yesterday, and I wasted more than 3 hours due to it. :-(

The issue started after I had to set the system time back on one of my Macs which I hadn’t used for a couple of weeks, so the Firefox data on that machine was outdated and not in-sync with the other machines synced to the same Firefox Sync account. Not sure whether setting the date back was the root cause, but anyway… I suddenly noticed that I had old passwords on another machine, too. Obviously it had received them via Firefox “Sync” from said Mac.

So, what to do?

I first cleared the data stored in my Firefox Sync account by logging on to the old account management (https://account.services.mozilla.com/), to make sure that the outdated passwords do not propagate to more machines.

I then disassociated the machines that had already received the outdated passwords from Firefox Sync.

Afterwards I wanted to add the device back the same way I did when adding a new machine in the past. But it didn’t work as it used to work. No way I could display the sync code I needed to enter on the “master” machine. :-(

Instead I got some unfamiliar screen which I had never seen before that would not accept my existing Firefox Sync account credentials:

 

Firefox Sync "Sign in"

After I had wasted a lot of time without finding a solution, I turned for help to the Mozilla #firefox IRC channel, since I wanted interactive and quick help.

I was soon told that Firefox Sync had been completely revamped in Firefox 29. Bummer!

Did I really miss this important announcement??? (Yes, I did read the release notes when upgrading to Firefox 29, at least I glanced thru them!) Or was this info simply not present or well hidden in the release notes?!

Anyway, here is how to migrate to the new Firefox Sync service.

Learnings:

I hope that this short article saves people some griefs with this (at least for me) indispensible feature.

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