Windows

Review: MozBackup 1.4.10

MozBackup provides a simple way to backup and restore user profiles for Mozilla applications like Firefox and Thunderbird plus a number of other apps.

Backup and restore user profiles and data, for example, emails and contacts for Thunderbird and bookmarks and history for Firefox. MozBackup is simple to use.

Specifications

  • Developer: Pavel Cvrcek (Czech), English
  • File size: 771KB
  • Prerequisites: One or more supported apps must be installed
  • Hardware Requirements: None
  • Operating systems: Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7
  • Price: Free
  • More Info: MozBackup Home Page
  • Download: MozBackup Download
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Note: The examples and information in this article pertain to Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Editor's Note: As of publication, all links to the Web domain http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com were non-responsive.

Who's it for?

MozBackup is for those looking for a simple way to backup and restore user profiles for Mozilla applications like Firefox and Thunderbird plus a number of other applications.

What problem does it solve?

As of early 2010 Thunderbird and Firefox provide no means for saving user profiles and data. There is no way to backup emails in Thunderbird. By using MozBackup the loss of emails, bookmarks and other important data can be avoided before a Windows upgrade or reinstall. The same user data can be backed up for redundancy. Email can be archived on a routine basis.

Standout features

  • Simple GUI: The screens are simple and easy to use. You are guided through the backup or restore process in wizard format.
  • Support for the following applications:
  • Profile Components: The following information can be exported or imported. Enabled components are dependent upon the selected application:
    • General settings
    • Emails
    • Address books
    • Bookmarks
    • History
    • Sidebars
    • User styles
    • Extensions
    • Saved passwords
    • Cookies
    • Saved form details
    • Downloaded file list
    • Certificates
    • Cache
    • Accounts settings only
    • Unknown files (optional)
  • Supports multiple profiles: Back up from and restore to one of many profiles.
  • Standard PCV format: The PCV files are in the ZIP format and can be opened by standard compression utilities. You may need to change the .pcv file extension to .zip.
  • Command Line support: The MozBackup Web site claims that you can run MozBackup from the command line but I was unable to get this option to work: see What's wrong? below. Example: "P:\Program Files (x86)\MozBackup\MozBackup.exe" "P:\Program Files (x86)\MozBackup\backup.cfg". You will need to create a config file (backup.cfg in my example).
  • User customizable settings: You can modify the \Program Files (x86)\MozBackup\backup.ini file to customize MozBackup:
    • Backup file name format (default is <application> <version> - <year>-<month>-<day>.pcv)
    • Backup directory (default is \Users\USERNAME\My Documents)
    • Number of monitors (default is 1)
    • Enable/disable prompting for password (default is true)
    • Compression level (0-9, default is 9 - maximum compression)
  • Support for multiple languages: 47 different languages are supported but vary by version.
  • Freeware: MozBackup is free for both business and personal use.

What's wrong?

  • Reliability: I experienced a backup that appeared to be empty and possibly corrupted. However, the error could have been mine so take that into consideration. I had also created a second backup to a flash drive that worked. I recommend creating two backups and saving one to removable media.
  • Saved profile replaces existing profile: If you restore a default profile all current default profile information, including emails and bookmarks, if applicable, will be replaced. Be aware of this if you have any emails or bookmarks that you don't want to lose. You can avoid this issue by creating a new profile and restoring the saved profile to the new profile name. Be very careful to select the right profile name! This is also useful for testing the integrity of the backed up profile and the restoration process.
  • "New profile" option does not work: I was unable to create a new profile using the New profile button on the Restore | Profile selection screen. Click the creating a new profile link above for a workaround.
  • Command line option fails: When using the command line option in Vista and Windows 7, I received a Cannot open file error.
  • Help file: There is no help available from the application. MozBackup is easy to use and you probably won't need help, but if you do, you can visit the MozBackup support page for help.

Competitive products

Note: The following applications may not have the same functionality as MozBackup.

Free Commercial: fee based

User profiles and emails can also be backed up manually.

Bottom line

Until Thunderbird and Firefox include options to export user data and profiles MozBackup is a simple and user friendly way to get this functionality.

User rating:

Have you encountered or used MozBackup? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Alan Norton began using PCs in 1981, when they were called microcomputers. He has worked at companies like Hughes Aircraft and CSC, where he developed client/server-based applications. Alan is currently semi-retired and starting a new career as a wri...

11 comments
martink
martink

The download link goes to 1.4.9 which is not the latest version. You get 1.4.10 following the link from the bottom of the More Info: MozBackup Home Page to http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/

rtmay
rtmay

I've used MozBackup for several years to transfer peoples settings to new computers and it has always worked great as long as you run "Compact Folders" in Thunderbird first. Never had a problem backing up Firefox.

lars.staurset
lars.staurset

Firefox: I open the Manage Bookmarks window (or whatever is the English name) and use the backup/restore commands. They work fine but I'd like backup to be more automated. Thunderbird: I use a daily script with Robocopy /mir to backup the whole profile. I could have excluded .msf files, but I currently don't. Restore is basically overwriting with the same method. (More precisely: After installation, I prefer to move all profile data to a folder of my own choice, where the script picks it up together with other data.) New tools are interesting, but I don't really see the need for this one.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What application to you use to backup Firefox and Thunderbird?

Alan Norton
Alan Norton

If so, would you please post exactly how you did it.

The Flaming Maiden
The Flaming Maiden

I used MozBackup for both Firefox and Thunderbird when I migrated to a new computer. I had no trouble with MozBackup and all of my information moved over smoothly. It's also pretty easy to use.

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