Offer an option to disable advertising profile reset




5 years ago
5 years ago


(Reporter: Spampot, Unassigned)


25 Branch
Windows XP

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: Fix by reverting bug 498181?)



5 years ago
Bug 498181 introduced a notification that advertises resetting the user profile after not using Firefox for some time. This notification is both annoying and misleading, especially for unexperienced users:

- The wording sounds like it was a good idea to reset the user profile ("clean up", "fresh experience" etc.), so many unexperienced users will probably follow the recommendation.

- However, in fact it is a bad idea unless you actually have any problems with your profile: You are going to lose all your customizations so that many things no longer work the way you want them and you are used to.

The best bet would be to completely remove the notification. But as some people obviously wanted to have it established in the first place, I'd propose to add two more things:

1.) Most important, please offer a setting to completely disable the notification (at least via about:config).

2.) Change the wording in order to explcitly warn the user that all his customizations will be gone after the reset, so that Firefox might look and behave different from what the user wants and is used to.

Comment 1

5 years ago
1. If newbies have trouble with the notice, it's hard to imagine how they are going to prevent confusion with an about:config preference.

2. There is a rather explicit notice already that says (in bold) that everything else be be deleted.  I take "everything" to include "customization".  If you have an alternative, now would be a great time to suggest it, because otherwise it will be hard to convince anyone to make yet another change.
Ever confirmed: true

Comment 2

5 years ago
An about:config setting would be set by experts in order to a) prevent newbies from seeing the annoying and misleading message, or b) prevent themselves from being annoyed by the message.

Anyway, even if an explicit GUI option would be better that an about:config setting, any means to permanently disable the notification would be better than the current situation, so an about:config setting would already be an improvement.

Comment 3

5 years ago
(Addition to 2.)
"Warning: You should ONLY reset your profile if your are actually experiencing problems! Be warned that any and all preferences, extensions and customizations will be gone after the reset, so that Firefox is likely to look and behave substantially different from what you prefer and are used to."
The notification should only be shown when a profile is unused for months (I think it's 60 days as of now), as the original bug states. In such a case it's hard to imagine a customization loss may bother the user, since he ignored that profile for months.
could be you are seeing a different bug like Bug 935397 that causes the notification to appear at the wrong time?
That said, I see an hard time requesting an option for this, we don't add options for every aspect of the browser unless that option covers a very common use case.
You could maybe suggest alternatives or a better timeframe than 60 days based on some specific use case you have in mind?
Whiteboard: wontfix?

Comment 5

5 years ago
There's good reason for keeping separate profiles for special (but rare) occasions. Not using them for a while (and 60 days is pretty short) is in no way an indication that one wants to reset everything to some undesired default settings. So, if you insist on not offering a way to permanently disable this annoying and misleading message, at least offer a way to change the time interval to something more reasonable (such a two years instead of just two months).

By the way: Firefox has been offering a quick option to reset the profile for a long time already, so I see absolutely no reason why this annoying pop-up message was additionally introduced. Making it mandatory with no way to disable it is even worse.

As of "we don't add options for every aspect of the browser unless that option covers a very common use case" -- this message has obviously no common use case, so why not get rid of it?
(In reply to Spampot from comment #5)
> There's good reason for keeping separate profiles for special (but rare)
> occasions.

I expect the kind of users doing this are technically advanced, and will hardly be fooled by the notification bar...

Comment 7

5 years ago
So in short:
1. Experienced users are probably not fooled, but only annoyed.
2. Unexperienced users are both fooled and annoyed.

The best solution is to completely remove the message. The second best solution (if someone insists on keeping it) is to add an option to permanently disable it.
Whiteboard: wontfix? → Fix by reverting bug 498181?


5 years ago
Last Resolved: 5 years ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
Duplicate of bug: 955950
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