How to Transition from Mozilla Firefox to Pale Moon

So Mr T. Beale (who was kind enough to send me one of his excellent novels, which I have yet to finish reading) has written extensively about this politically-correct Mozilla nonsense, and has also offered a solution: install a new, friendly, and identical, web-browser called Pale Moon.

It’s ironic, ain’t it?  A company which prides itself on being the “most secure, most private” browser, fires a man – their CEO Brendan Erich – because of leaked documents from your friends at the IRS (not technically illegal, but mildly creepy, nonetheless).  I don’t have much to add to Beagle’s commentary, however I ran into some problems with the transition from Firefox to the Pale Moon web-browser, so I figured I’d offer some technical advice on how you can easily transition the two, if the automated tool doesn’t work for you (I blame you, Windows 8).

I ran into problems due to permissions privileges, and it repeatedly failed.  If you run into this problem, simply do the following; ALL of your settings will be transferred – plugins, permissions, history, “tabs currently open” (getting close to 150 in my case), logins, you name it:

1. Go to: “C:\Users\<User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla”
2. Copy all 3 directories.
3. Go to: “C:\Users\<User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Moonchild Productions”
4. Paste all files – select “Overwrite All”.
5. Notice that where there were first 3 items, there are now four: two folders, “Extensions” and “Plugins”, in addition to “Firefox” and “Pale Moon”.  You need to copy the contents of the “Firefox” folder into the “Pale Moon” folder.
6. Go into “C:\Users\<User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Moonchild Productions\Firefox” Select the “Profiles” folder and the “profiles.cfg” config file.
7. Copy them.
8. Go to “C:\Users\<User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon”
9. Paste the two files.
10. Delete the “Firefox” folder, now that the files are copied.

Do the following and you will have the exact same setup in Pale Moon as you presently do in Firefox, more-or-less.  I had two issues:

1. Smooth Scroling for PgDn was disabled – this was easy to fix in the options menu (I recommend values of 50-200 ms).
2. The dark style was disabled, and the bookmarks/history tab is lit up in an ugly pale-blue colour which I find remarkably offensive.  Yet to be solved.

If you have multiple user accounts on your computer, make sure you do this with the Admin first, and it may need repeating with the other accounts.  I hope this helps.  Power to the people, and all of that nonsense.


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Davis M.J. Aurini

Trained as a Historian at McMaster University, and as an Infantry soldier in the Canadian Forces, I'm a Scholar, Author, Film Maker, and a God fearing Catholic, who loves women for their illogical nature.

24 Responses

  1. Sonne says:

    It’s Beale not Beagle! lol :)

  2. Bob Wallace says:

    I switched to Pale Moon, too, and I also had problems importing everything from FireFox.

  3. Pill Scout says:

    Firefox has many different browser flavors modified and compiled independently by other people. I’ve never heard of Pale Moon until today.

    If anyone here has a 64 bit OS, you may want to try Waterfox since it’s designed for that. I’ve been using it for 2 years since Opera stopped treating my computer well after I upgraded.

  4. JDAM says:

    Makes me wonder if Mozilla will actually tank. You have the ultra-libbies boycotting it even after firing the guy, and you have folks on our end of the spectrum boycotting it ‘because’ they fired the guy. Something’s gotta give.

  5. Sean says:

    The fundamental peril of this move, which even some liberals are seeing, is that we are enshrining the practice of economically punishing people for past political decisions. Are we going to have to answer if we are members of religions that do not approve of same-sex marriage/divorce/abortion/birth control, and decant those positions or face termination or withholding of pay raises and promotions until we do recant? And what if the political winds blow the other way, and the marriage equality activists find themselves facing unemployment for their activism? Can’t they see where this is headed?

    The GLBT Left has overplayed their hand. They are drunk on the momentum of their recent victories, and they haven’t looked in the mirror to see the SS uniform they’re suddenly wearing. My man-oriented libido be damned: I feel no kinship with these people. I’m with you folks. Just don’t chuck me in the oven when this is all over as a “thank you.”

  6. “2. The dark style was disabled, and the bookmarks/history tab is lit up in an ugly pale-blue colour which I find remarkably offensive. Yet to be solved.”

    Love that elegant splash of old school. Nice comments, JDAM and Sean. The problem IS the solution. Someone will be in charge of the ‘gas ovens’ and others will not be in charge. Thomas Jefferson played along in his time. Lately, I understand why. That’s what I’m doing, sorta.

  7. Jarvis says:

    Feels faster than firefox as well, glad I changed.

  8. Thanks for the tip on smooth scrolling. I followed his advice to switch to Pale Moon yesterday. It went mostly without a glitch on Windows 8.1. It seems to work better on my laptop than either Firefox or Chrome did.

    I figured it was time to leave Firefox anyway. Since they appear to be more concerned with ideological purity than they are with technical excellence, how long will it be until the quality of their product starts slipping? I don’t have any idea how many programmers are capable of both towing the party line and writing good code.

    The only problem I’ve had so far is the smooth scrolling, so thanks for the tip. I’ll adjust when I get home and see how that works.

  9. Aurini says:

    I haven’t had any issues with that javascript memory-hole that would require frequent reboots, so there’s that.

  10. Sean says:

    And now it turns out that OKCupid’s CEO has also donated to “anti-gay” political candidates. Even Mother Jones, which I would hardly call a rational publication, is saying this smells like a ill-conceived PR scheme. More of that unplanned psychopathy that you talked about, Davis?

  11. mcrin says:

    I also am coming to Pale Moon from Firefox as a result of the recent heavy handed decision to punish someone for making a legal contribution to a perfectly legit political cause.

    My transition was very smooth (I could hardly tell the difference when Pale Moon first came up!). All my extensions and preferences were available and working fine.

    My one complaint is, is there any way to get the new tab to function like FF? I really like having the pinned pages on the new tab. I have tried a couple extensions but haven’t found one that works.

    Does anyone no of an extension to mimic the FF new tab page?


  12. mcrin says:

    Hee hee…make that ‘know of an extension’. Sometimes the disconnect between brain and fingers is embarrassing!

  13. mcrin says:

    I have found the about:newtab page shows the old Firefox new tab (complete with all my old pinned pages).

    Now I just have to figure out how to assign that to something.

  14. mcrin says:

    Ugh, ignore that man behind the curtain…I found what was missing and it’s as simple as looking in the Pale Moon options/tabs ‘when opening a new tab show…’ and setting that to ‘The Quickdial page’

    OK, now I am fully on board with Pale Moon!

  15. Robert What? says:

    I switched to Pale Moon too, initially as a protest vote, but it turns out to be much faster than FireFox for me. I’ll be sending them a donation. It also seems to work with the various plugins I need, especially NoScript which I highly recommend downloading and donating to.

    Davis – on a separate note, I really enjoyed your recent podcast “The Man-o-sphere is dead… Long live …”.

    So I’m not boycotting Mozilla, I’m buycotting Pale Moon ;-)

  16. Steve says:

    Will this also take across the list of scripts allowed / disallowed from No Script and sites blocked Ad Block Plus? If not guess I can still export them from Firefox and import into the version on Pale Moon…..

  17. Aurini says:

    Yes it will. That’s all in the folders you copy/it copies for you.

  18. Steve says:

    Thanks Aurini.

  19. Asok Asus says:

    I’ve just been FED UP with FF because of all of the memory leaks, etc. I’ve been running v16 forever because whenever I’ve tried to upgrade to newer versions, they’d all pretty much just crash after 30 minutes of heavy use, and not a single version of FF that I’ve ever used has ever fixed the memory leak problems. Not a single one.

    I actually installed a tiny batch file on quicklaunch so I could quickly kill FF at the point it’s consumed all of my RAM so I could then start over with “Restore Session” to automatically reload all of my previous tabs. After trying every “solution” to the leak problem, that’s the only one that ever did me any good. Apparently the arrogant tards at mozilla would rather tweak the UI to death rather than make a browser that actually works. They’re worse than even Microsoft because Microsoft has to listen to their customers sooner or later or go broke, whereas nonprofits can just drift along forever.

    At any rate, I just finished installing PM, including importing everything from FF with their little importer program, and everything went flawlessly, including all settings and the plethora of add-ons I use. The only difficulty was getting roboform attached, which I can’t live without. I did finally dumb around and got the roboform taskbar program to attach roboform to PM, which then worked flawlessly. It is, however, necessary for the roboform taskbar program to run all the time for roboform to continue to work on PM, but this is a very small price to pay to ditch FF forever.

    I’ve used PM for a week now, opening/closing/keeping hundreds of tabs a day, and I’ve been stunned at how much faster PM is than FF, as well as the VERY small memory footprint occupied by PM vs FF. Even after a week’s HEAVY usage, PM has not grown beyond 1 GB, and even better, when I close tabs, ALL of the RAM is given back.

    Basically, PM is what FF ought to be. Even better, the genius behind Pale Moon, Mark Straver, has committed to keeping the PM UI fundamentally unmolested. I’ll be installing PM instead of FF on all of my client’s computers in the future as well!

    (BTW, ALL of the “recommended fixes” for the firefox memory leak problems are a sick joke. Not one of them works. And plugins DO NOT cause the memory leaks! Firefox does! How do I know? Because I switched to Pale Moon, importing everything EXACTLY like it was in Firefox and guess what? No memory leaks in Pale Moon! Oh, and I use Adblock Plus, Flash, Java, DoNotTrackMe, BetterPrivacy CookieCuller, DownloadHelper, Element Hiding Helper, IE View, ViewAbout, Visited, and roboform. So NONE of those is causing the firefox memory leak problems!)

  20. ango says:

    hi all
    i know, it’s a little late, but whoever is interested in backing up and restoring ALL settings in FF and / or palemoon (even backing up and restoring from one to the other), this one might help: search for ‘FavBackup’ on google (not posting links here), and leave FF installed (!) if you intend to switch from FF to palemoon.

    the app works seamless for major browsers (IE, FF, chrome, opera, safari and even flock). there is no option for palemoon, but if you leave FF installed it works like for any other listed browser. it works best when you transfer settings from FF to palemoon, while palemoon is newly installed. sometimes there are minor issues, if palemoon is already full of addons and edited settings. restoring a second time can help, at least it will work if you reset palemoon to standard settings.

    from FF to FF: use the provided buttons
    from FF to PM: backup FF with provided buttons, restore with use of custom location (PM-profile)
    from PM to PM: backup and restore with custom locations (PM-profiles)
    from PM to FF: backup with custom location (PM-profile) and restore with provided buttons

    every time you do that, make sure FF is still installed when involving PM in any operation above.

    this works great for years now, since XP and FF v.dontknowanymore, nevertheless it’s not tested on win8, but i would except it makes no difference. hope this helps.

  21. ango says:

    of course it works for any extension, too. as well as for bookmarks, sessions, themes, plugins, preferences, history and all other things.
    best is, no installation is required, works just by running the .exe-file.

  1. April 6, 2014

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