How to run Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 on the same PC - The Better Way

You have heard about the Firefox 3 beta that was launched and want to checkout the new cool features, but is twitchy about messing up your current spiced up Firefox 2 profile.
Amit at Digital Inspiration recently posted a solution to this by asking readers to try out the Firefox portable edition. Daily Gyan wasn't satisfied. We wanted to run the native Firefox 3 build along with Firefox 2 without messing up our existing profiles. And yes, we did it at last. Here is a How-To.

  1. Create a backup of your existing profile folder - C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
  2. Download Firefox 3 beta 3 from Mozilla.
  3. Install it to a folder different from the installation location of Firefox 2.
  4. During installation select custom and ask the installer not to create any shortcuts. (We'll create them manually)
  5. Important: At the end of the installation, do *not* select the check box to launch Firefox. We are not yet ready to lanuch it.
  6. In a command prompt (Start -> Run -> cmd), navigate to the folder where you installed Firefox 3 and run the command
    firefox.exe -P
    .In the window that pops up, click new and create a new Profile named Firefox3Test.
  7. Now create a shortcut of firefox.exe in the Desktop. Edit the shortcut's property and add -P Firefox3Test to the end (after the "" ends) in the command option.

Use this shortcut to launch Firefox 3. Use your old shortcuts to launch Firefox2.

Points to remember:
  • Always do a backup of your profile folder
  • Do *not* uninstall Firefox 2
  • Do *not* install Firefox 3 into the same folder where Firefox 2 is installed.
  • You cannot run Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 simultaneously. Only one can be run a time.
  • Do *not* allow Firefox 3 to run with default profile. This can seriously mess up your existing Firefox 2 settings.

If you found this interesting, now would be a good time to subscribe to DailyGyan updates.

Happy Hacking.