I've heard this idea being passed around without a bug, so here's a bug to discuss in. This is all the stuff that I've heard talked about -- for general discussion. I'll add my own comments in their own line. Feature: a Restore Factory defaults/Restore factory settings/Restore default settings/Set Defaults option. Safari has this feature in their Safari menu. What this would do is remove user-set prefs, customizations, extensions and export-import bookmarks (to remove possible corruption) and usernames/passwords. This would be great for support since it can quickly fix bugs that users may not even want to troubleshoot, they just want Firefox to go back to a working state. It'd also be good for marketing because common Firefox complaints like "eats memory" and "really slow to start up" are often caused by extensions or bad settings which wouldn't be present once we reset to defaults.
well, if Bug 417272 would be implemented the user has a choice on restart whether he wants a full reset (by choosing all checkboxes) or a more distinguished way of recovery. IMHO that would be better than the "all or nothing" proposal as stated above. the cost maybe is that you have to revise/extend the safe-mode prompt. whatever gets in, it yould be a benefit for supporting purposes anyways :-)
If we fix bug 417272 instead of this one, we should probably rewrite the entire safe mode experience since right now, it doesn't reset everything and it's really confusing what is going on. Ideally, if safemode was "new profile with synced in bookmarks and passwords" and then there's an option in safe mode to "make permanent" then it'd work for us just fine.
I could see Help > Troubleshooting Information turn into a sub-menu: Help > Troubleshooting > Troubleshooting Information Restore Settings Restart Firefox in Safe Mode
I'm not sure we actually need a menu entry for "Troubleshooting Information" it doesn't help users on it's own and we can always ask them to type in "abut:support" I could imagine having only one button: Restart Firefox in Safe Mode. When Firefox is restarted, it explains that everything has been set to factory defaults except bookmarks and passwords and that Firefox will ask again at the next restart whether or not to make the changes permanent. That means 2 sceens: First restart in Safe mode: Your Firefox is now reset to factory defaults, except for your bookmarks and your saved passwords. You can now find out, if your problem is realated to any changed setting within Firefox. During the next restart you will be asked to make these changes permanent or to go back to your existing settings. The restart after that: If the Safe Mode helped you with your problem, you can now make those changes permanent. [make changes permanent] [go back to my old setup] [ask me again later] But in any case, making it easier and more disoverable for people to get back to their "original Firefox" would make life for them and for Firefox support a lot easier.
You may be overestimating our ability to ask users to type in about:support. We had enough trouble as it is getting users to go to about:config (type in about:config, yes with the colon, no without the http, no, not into the google box, no don't just click on the link, no please don't add a comma, yes I know you're supposed to put spaces after colons but not here please, a colon is the symbol with two dots) that I specifically requested a menu item. It hasn't helped in cases where people lose menus and we still get plenty of people who can't figure out the new instructions but way less than we have with about:config. A general support/troubleshooting menu item with these options from the about:support screen is also an option. We already have open profile folder there, we can just as easily add "restart in safe mode" and "restore to factory defaults, preserving bookmarks and passwords".
Regardless of adding the command for users somewhere in product (that can be reached with a series of mouse actions), it also seems like we should do this on a Firefox re-install. If the user is reinstalling Firefox, they are clearly trying to fix something, but since we persist an identical profile, the action ultimately has no effect. This would also cut down on users needing support help to find out how to disable customizations, since many of them will likely try a reinstall first.
(In reply to comment #6) > Regardless of adding the command for users somewhere in product (that can be > reached with a series of mouse actions), it also seems like we should do this > on a Firefox re-install. If the user is reinstalling Firefox, they are clearly > trying to fix something, but since we persist an identical profile, the action > ultimately has no effect. This would also cut down on users needing support > help to find out how to disable customizations, since many of them will likely > try a reinstall first. Hm. Perhaps we should offer/ask on a re-install, yes. Note that presently "re-install" and "upgrade" look like the exact same thing. We also make a promise to users that if they uninstall and reinstall the browser they won't lose their bookmarks or private data. I'd rather we get better at cleaning profiles, and on actions like this we take the time to offer to clean up the user's profile rather than eliminate it altogether.
(This is slightly off-topic to this bug , but a very important discussion to have nevertheless!) Yes, having a way to clean up the profile would make a huge difference to support. I agree that ideally we'd clean it up automatically when reinstalling, but I suspect that the installer isn't currently aware of a previous installation. Whenever it's possible for Firefox to detect that something's wrong with a profile, it really should attempt to fix that itself. I've seen real cases where e.g. starting up Firefox takes over 3 minutes due to something not being right in a profile. Creating a new profile and migrating the data manually (or, more recently, using Firefox Sync) seems to always fix the issue. I doubt that it's always possible for Firefox to detect that something's wrong, so having a way to do that manually under the Help menu would make a big difference. And, in general, it would be great to see a push for more self-service support so fewer people need to come to SUMO for troubleshooting. So, what we might be looking for is: 1) a way for Firefox to automatically detect and repair common problems in a profile, and 2) an easier way for the user to enter a maintenance mode (Safe Mode?) where these things can be done manually. I think this bug as originally filed is more about #2, but I'd love to discuss this from a broader angle as well.
(In reply to comment #8) > (This is slightly off-topic to this bug , but a very important discussion to > have nevertheless!) It's an important discussion to have. It's not good to have it in this bug. Please take it to dev-apps-firefox.
(In reply to comment #9) > It's an important discussion to have. It's not good to have it in this bug. > Please take it to dev-apps-firefox. http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.apps.firefox/browse_frm/thread/7db5cb38a5de0e41
See also bug 561142.
See also bug 717070 which implemented https://wiki.mozilla.org/Support/Firefox_Features/Clean_up_user_profile