Profiles are one of the best kept secrets around regarding
Mozilla Firefox (my browser of choice).
In the role of web site designer, I find it useful
to have Firefox set up with various Extensions for helping
test compliance, keep track of Google Adsense earnings,
checking PageRank and Alexa rating, etc...
However, when I am simply surfing the internet, I don't
want to be weighed down by all these tools, cluttering
up my status and toolbars. I like a slick, simple browser
that looks good and works quickly.
Fortunately, I am able to have both of these scenarios
in Firefox, through the wonder of Profiles.
How do Firefox Profiles work?
Firefox allows multiple users to set up the browser
to suit their own specific needs and tastes, from Themes
and Extensions to Bookmarks and Home Page.
Upon startup of Firefox, you are able to choose which
user profile you would like to use.
So, you can now have a profile for your web development
needs, one for your personal surfing, and even one for
the kids (allowing you to increase Firefox's security
Each profile is independent of the others, so it's like
having a new installation for each user.
How do I activate Firefox Profiles?
1. Firstly, find the Firefox shortcut on your desktop
(or create one from the .exe file).
2. Right-click it, and select properties.
3. Lastly, in the Target box, add ' -p' without the
apostrophes to the end of the target line (so that it
reads something like 'C:\Program Files\Mozilla\Firefox\firefox.exe
-p'), and click OK.
Now when you start Firefox through this shortcut you
will be prompted with the Profiles Manager box (as long
as you do not already have an instance of Firefox open).
It's all self-explanatory from thereon.
For faster start-up, I advise that you keep two shortcuts
on your desktop - one to load up Firefox as normal,
and this new one to execute only when you want to change
About the author:
Rob Barrett is a professional web designer based in
To read more free articles on Web Design and Mozilla
Firefox & Thunderbird, visit: http://articles.rob-barrett.com