FEBE FEBE 101 - The Basics of Backing Up

Note: While this page refers to FEBE, the instructions for TEBE are very similar.

You may also want to see the Profile Restore Tutorial.

Any data backup regime or program should allow you to specify the basic concerns of
Here is a quick primer on the way to get FEBE up and running. These functions can be found in the FEBE options window. When running options, additional documentation for any item can be found by clicking the blue "i" icon: help icon

To access, click: Tools > FEBE > FEBE Options

FEBE What to backup window What to backup

FEBE allows for two basic types of backups. A "Selective" backup allows you to specify exactly what parts of Firefox to include. Extensions and themes are rebuilt as separate, installable files (.xpi or .jar). These files can be installed in any Firefox installation just as if they were pulled from the Firefox Add-ons page ( AMO). Simply open them with File > Open File...

The optional additional items are backed up (or actually exported) as .json or .fbu files. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is an industry standard text-orientated, human readable format. FBU (FEBE backup) is just a renamed zip file and can be opened with any zip reader.

A "Full profile" backup includes everything contained in your Firefox profile. It is all or nothing and cannot be selectively restored (at least not easily). A restored profile will look exactly the same as when the backup was performed.

Your Backup type options are:
  • Selective - Backup only those items checked under "Backup items", "Additional items" and "User-defined backups".
  • Full profile - Everything in your Firefox profile folder.
  • Both - A Selective and a Full profile backup. This is the most complete backup FEBE can perform.
  • Alternate - Switch between Selective and Full profile backup each time FEBE runs.

FEBE Where to backup window

Where to backup

Here is where you specify the location of your backups. It can be a physical hard drive, flash drive, CD or DVD. Generally speaking, if FEBE can find it with the browse button, it should work.

You can have each backup placed in its own folder by checking " Use timestamped directories" and specify how many backups you want to keep. If performing a backup creates a folder that puts the count over the "Maximum backup directories to keep", FEBE will delete the oldest one.

FEBE When to backup window

When to backup

FEBE can schedule a backup on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Of course, Firefox must be running for the backup to take place. A warning will occur one minute before the backup starts. A tone will sound every 10 seconds and the statusbar icon will flash. If you want to cancel the backup during this warning period, click the toolbar icon. If canceled, you must manually reschedule in FEBE options.

A "Backup on browser startup" performs a backup whenever Firefox starts. The "Backup on browser shutdown" occurs when Firefox is exited. Note that closing Firefox by clicking the "X" in the corner will initiate a backup on shutdown.  Clicking File > Exit or File > Quit Firefox (on Mac) is merely a quick close and no backup will be performed.

FEBE can also remind you to backup every so many days. When this prompt appears, you can click a button to backup at that time.

A manual (on-demand) backup can be performed by clicking Tools > FEBE > Perform backup. If you have the FEBE icon displayed in the toolbar (View > Toolbars > Customize...) you can start the backup by clicking it.

FEBE How to backup window

How to backup.

There are several options that determine how the backup operates. You can have FEBE ignore disabled extensions, play sounds signaling a successful (or unsuccessful) backup, display the progress window, and more.

You may want to include a copy of FEBE in the backup. This can be useful when restoring to another computer where FEBE is not installed.

Cloud Services window

Some useful links:

Another option is to have a copy of the backups stored online. FEBE can automatically upload the backup to your Dropbox or other NAS (network attached storage) services.