Tag Archives: sync

Force other Firefox clients to sync current data

Back in the early days of Sync feature in Firefox, we had option to force override data on Sync servers depending on your needs. You could merge the data, force currently used client to be overridden by the server data or current client overriding the server data.

Several updates later, and we have absolutely NO control over sync data. It just syncs up whatever way it feels like it and frankly, in most cases it’s not the way you want it. Things often go bad with Add-ons if you are testing them and you’re adding and removing them before other clients under your sync account receive data from Sync service.

However, I found a way to at least partially regain control in way of “Override other clients with the currently used client data”.

This means, all other Firefox browsers linked to your Sync account will get overridden with data found in client you’re currently using (in which you’ll initiate the override).

How to force re-syncing override

Click 3 horizontal lines menu button (Open Menu) in the top right corner and select Options… Or copy about:preferences#sync into your URL bar…

You’ll see this…


Now click Disconnect button and wait for few seconds, just to be sure server refreshes the state correctly.

Then just reconnect back and Sync service will think you’re hooking up a new client, force re-syncing data from it to all other clients, effectively force refreshing ALL clients connected to your account.

This should fix all the cases when clients aren’t syncing as they should. A lot easier and faster than reinstalling entire browser clean like I used to do it until I found out this does the trick as well.

Hope this helps 🙂

Force sync all Firefox installations/clients

Firefox used to have special sync settings where you could force override current browser with data from the server, force override other Firefox browsers with current data from Firefox you’re just using and the third one to merge them.

But Mozilla has long ago removed this and set “merge” as the default and only action.

Problem that this created was when one browser went out of sync for whatever reason and it was incredibly hard to get it back in sync with the others. You can spot such issues when one browser just refuses to get a certain add-on synced that all other Firefox clients are already using for quite a while. This most often happens if you’re testing different add-ons in one browser, adding and removing them before Firefox can actually sync properly with the server. That seems to throw off other clients out of sync quite often.

There is however a neat trick that somewhat mitigates this issue. Clients can still go out of sync, but there is at least an easy way to get them back in sync again without reinstalling Firefox which is what I used to do before…

Re-syncing Firefox browsers

Open the browser which has the desired arrangement of settings, add-ons and bookmarks. Open Options, go to Sync side tab and click Disconnect… button. Wait for a second or two and then, click Sign in button and login to your Firefox account. This Disconnect-Sign in process seems to initiate browser wide re-synchronization, resulting in all browsers connected to sync account to reacquire data from the server and they also get back in sync from that point on. It’s not as quick as it used to be, but at least it’s something.

In theory, this should work if you do it on whichever system, but I’ve tested it with the one that had the desired arrangement of data that I wanted to transfer to other clients.

I hope this will save you guys some time and nerves. 🙂