Running multiple Firefoxes on one machine in Windows

Recently I was working on the designs of a few websites and I had come across an unusual new problem for me. I do know that different versions of Internet Explorers have different way of rendering the same HTML page and therefore look a lot different in different versions of IE.But now I also realized that in certain situations even different versions of Firefox also have this problem ( quite rare as compared to IE ) so now I had the need to install 2 different of Firefoxes on my machine to check the layout of a particular webpage design I was working on.Mozilla Firefox

So these are the simple steps to install as many Firefox as you want and run multiple instances of Firefox at the same time with different settings, add-ons etc. on a single machine (with Microsoft Windows operating system, in this case Windows XP SP2 )

Now let us start with the first Firefox installation – in this case I take Firefox version 3.5.5

When you start the installation, the folder which is the default folder is something like this

c:/program files/Mozilla Firefox” so do one thing, just create a separate folder for the particular version of Firefox you are installing, like for example

“c:/program files/Mozilla Firefox/ Firefox3x5” and then continue your with the installation.

In the same way… now you have to install the next version of Firefox which may be any older version which in this case I choose as Firefox 3.0.8

so with the same procedure as above, I just change the installation folder to

“c:/program files/mozilla Firefox/Firefox3x0” and complete the installation as you normally would.

Now that we have 2 different versions of Firefox installed on the same machine, we have to customize it in a way that both can run simultaneously without any problems.

For that we have to create separate individual user profiles so that we can handle the execution of 2 different Firefox versions.

To create the profiles in Firefox… go to command prompt or cmd , in the command prompt if the directory paht is not c: then change the directory path to c: by just typing c: in the comman prompt, which will change it from any other drive to c:  like this


changing the command prompt to c:
changing the command prompt to c:

and then after your in the c:>  write exactly like this

“c:PATH TO YOUR FIREFOX (ANY VERSION)Firefox.exe” –profilemanager

Now in my case , I had to write this in the command prompt

“C:Program FilesMozilla FirefoxFirefox3x5firefox.exe” –profilemanager


opening Firefox profile manager through command prompt
opening Firefox profile manager through command prompt

which will open a popup window something like this


Firefox profile manager popup screen
Firefox profile manager popup screen

Create at least 2 profiles for the 2 different versions you have on your machine. You can create as many profiles as you want according to the number of different versions which you want to run.

For example in my case I created one as “default” (which already exists but if you want to change it, you can name your profile anything u want) and the other as “arunace” now that you have created the profiles just click close or exit.

As there are 2 different versions so I will make respective shortcuts for each of them on my windows desktop, for example

For Firefox 3.5.5, I create a desktop shortcut and rename it as Firefox3.5

and for the other version of Firefox 3.0.8, I create a desktop shortcut and rename it as Firefox3.0

Now there is something you need to change in the properties of the shortcuts created, that is … go to the first shortcut like take Firefox3.5 for instance, do a mouse right click and go to its properties, change the target link to

“C:Program FilesMozilla FirefoxFirefox3x5Firefox.exe” -p default

-p means parameter which is passed with the target to specify which user is related to that particular shortcut and loads that user profile when you use that shortcut

the same goes for the next shorcut that is Firefox3.0 , got to its properties , change the target link to

“C:Program FilesMozilla FirefoxFirefox3x0Firefox.exe” -p arunace

which specifies that when I use the shortcut for Firefox3.0 , the user profile named “arunace” will be used .

Now one more thing which you have to fix is that … just add another parameter to one of the many shortcuts created in the target link to make it possible for the machine to run multiple instances of Firefox at the same time with different users and their settings , that is

“C:Program FilesMozilla FirefoxFirefox3x5Firefox.exe” -p default -no-remote

and now you can use 2 different versions of Firefox by just clicking the different shortcuts for the different versions you want to use on the same machine and at the same time.

Do let me know if there is any problem with these steps or if I can improve anything in this blog.

Good Luck !!!


    • well i hope it works just fine for you 🙂
      And if you find something that i have missed out or any other important point you would like to add, do let me know.

      If you still have any problems with the process , I would be more than happy to be of service.

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