QA:Creating a New Profile and Salvaging Files from Your Old Profile

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From time to time you might experience a problem caused by a bad setting or corrupt file in your Camino profile. If you run Camino using Troubleshoot Camino and the problem disappears, the problem is likely caused by something in your profile. You can either create an entirely new profile and start over, abandoning some personal data, or you can try to narrow down the problematic files in your current profile and salvage the other files.

Creating a New Profile for Continuing Use

To create a new profile to use on a permanent basis, follow these steps:

  1. If Camino is running, quit Camino.
  2. From your home folder, open the Library folder and then the Application Support folder.
  3. You should see a folder named Camino. Rename this folder or move it to another location, such as the Desktop.
  4. Launch Camino.

Camino will now create a new profile folder with all of the default settings and will use this profile in the future.

If you wish to try to salvage some of the files from your old profile, you can continue with the steps below.

Finding Problematic Files and Salvaging Safe Files

If you want to try to figure out which files in your profile are causing problems, or if you want to move a few usually-safe files containing personal data over to your new profile, follow these steps:

  1. First, move/rename your old profile and create a new profile as described above.
  2. Make another copy of your old profile in case something happens.
    • Creating an archive of the old profile folder is a good way to do this. Ctrl-click on the old profile folder in the Finder and choose "Create Archive of foldername" or "Compress foldername" (depending on your Mac OS X version) to create a compressed archive of your old profile folder.
  3. Before attempting to copy files from your old profile across to your new profile, quit Camino if it is running.
  4. The following files in your profile contain information you may wish to try to salvage:
    • bookmarks.plist
      Your bookmarks. Unless you were having a problem with bookmarks, this file is safe to salvage.
      If you are only concerned about recovering your bookmarks, you can also import the bookmarks from your old profile folder following these instructions (choose "Select a file…", select the "bookmarks.plist" file from your old profile, import, and then move the imported bookmarks to the desired locations).
    • history.dat (places.sqlite in Camino 2.1.x)
      Your history. Unless you were having a problem with history or autocomplete in the location bar, this file is safe to salvage. If the file is corrupt, Camino renames the corrupt copy and starts with a fresh history.
    • downloads.plist
      This file contains the list of items in your Downloads window. Unless you were having a problem with the Downloads window or downloading files, this file is safe to salvage.
    • WebSearchEngines.plist
      The search engines in the toolbar search field. Unless you are having problems with the toolbar search field or the search engine editor, this file is safe to salvage. If the file is corrupt, Camino renames the corrupt copy and starts over with the default list.
    • WindowState.plist
      This file is used by Camino’s session-saving feature. Unless you are having a problem with session saving or recovery, this file should be safe to salvage.
    • KeychainDenyList.plist
      This file contains the list of sites for which Camino will not remember (or prompt you to remember) usernames and passwords. Unless you are having problems with saving or filling in usernames and passwords, this file should be safe to salvage.
    • AllowedActionHosts.plist
      This file is used to help ensure that web page login forms do not try to submit your information to a different site than the site used when you saved your username and password. Unless you are having problems with filling in usernames and passwords, this file should be safe to salvage.
    • cert8.db, key3.db, secmod.db
      These three files are related to certificates. Unless you have added a certificate or changed the trust settings on a certificate or CA, you should not worry about salvaging these files.
    • PreferencePanes (folder)
      This folder contains third-party preference panes that you have installed. Please take this opportunity to download the latest versions of these preference panes from their developers.
    • cookies.sqlite (cookies.txt in Camino 1.6.x)
      Your cookies. Cookies are an important part of the way the web work and are used heavily by shopping sites, forums, and any other site that may customize itself for you. Problems with cookies can manifest themselves in many ways (inability to log-in, "preferences" for a site not being saved, content not being displayed, etc.). See also hostperm.1 below.
    • permissions.sqlite (hostperm.1 in Camino 1.6.x)
      This file contains information about which sites you prevent from or allow to save cookies, which sites you prevent from showing pop-up windows, and other "permissions"-related information. A bad setting for a site in this file can cause many types of problems.
    • chrome/userContent.css
      Custom CSS rules you have applied to websites. If pages are not displaying properly, this file could be at fault.
    • chrome (folder)
      Other files in this folder (besides userContent.css mentioned above) may cause all sorts of problems; they should not be migrated to a new profile.
    • prefs.js, user.js
      Your preferences. Preferences in user.js are read at every startup and are copied into (and thus override) prefs.js. It is often easiest to not worry about salvaging these files.
    • All other files in your profile folder are auto-generated and/or unimportant.
  5. If you want to spend time tracking down which file in your profile is the source of your problems, you can now copy these files from your old profile to your new profile, one at a time, with Camino not running. Restart Camino in between copying over each file and check to see if your problem still exists.
    • Note that many of these files have multiple lines or entries in them, so once you find which file is causing the problem, you can further narrow down the exact problem by removing lines, restarting Camino, and testing again. Always make sure Camino is not running when copying or changing these files.
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