How to Set Up Firefox Sync Between Windows and the iPhone

01
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Open Your Firefox 4 Browser

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Firefox Sync, a handy feature integrated with the Firefox 4 desktop browser, gives you the ability to securely access your bookmarks, history, saved passwords, and tabs across your desktop and mobile devices. These mobile devices include those running the Android and iOS operating systems.

Users with Android devices are required to have the Firefox 4 desktop browser installed on one or more computers, as well as Firefox 4 for Android installed on one or more mobile devices. Users with iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) are required to have the Firefox 4 desktop browser installed on one or more computers, as well as the Firefox Home app installed on one or more iOS devices. It is also possible to utilize Firefox Sync across a combination of Android, iOS, and desktop devices.

To utilize Firefox Sync, you must first follow a multi-step setup process. This tutorial teaches you how to activate and configure Firefox Sync between a Windows desktop browser and an iPhone.

To get started, open your Firefox 4 desktop browser.

02
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Set Up Sync

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Click on the Firefox button, located in the upper left hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on the Set Up Sync... option.

03
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Create a New Account

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Firefox Sync Setup dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. To activate Firefox Sync, you must first create an account. Click on the Create a New Account button.

If you already have a Firefox Sync account, click on the Connect button.

04
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Account Details

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Account Details screen should now be displayed. First enter the email address that you wish to be associated with your Firefox Sync account in the Email Address section. In the example above, I have entered browsers@aboutguide.com. Next, enter your desired account password twice, once in the Password section and again in the Confirm Password section.

By default, your Sync settings will be stored on one of Mozilla's designated servers. If you are not comfortable with this and have your own server that you would like to use, the option is available via the Server drop-down. Finally, click on the checkbox to acknowledge that you agree to the Firefox Sync Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Once you are satisfied with your entries, click on the Next button.

05
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Your Sync Key

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

All data shared across your devices via Firefox Sync is encrypted for security purposes. In order to decrypt this data on other machines and devices, a Sync Key is required. This key is provided at this point only and cannot be recovered if lost. As you can see in the example above, you are given the ability to print and/or save this key using the buttons provided. It is recommended that you do both and that you keep your Sync Key in a safe place.

Once you have safely stored your key, click on the Next button.

06
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reCAPTCHA

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

In an effort to combat bots, the Firefox Sync setup process utilizes the reCAPTCHA service. Enter the word(s) shown in the edit field provided and click on the Next button.

07
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Setup Complete

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Your Firefox Sync account has now been created. Click on the Finish button. A new Firefox tab or window will now open, providing instructions on how to sync your devices. Close this tab or window and continue this tutorial.

08
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Firefox Options

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

You should now have been returned to your main Firefox 4 browser window. Click on the Firefox button, located in the upper left hand corner of this window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Options as shown in the example above.

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Sync Tab

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Firefox Options dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. Click on the tab labeled Sync.

10
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Add a Device

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Firefox's Sync Options should now be displayed. Located directly under the Manage Account button is a link entitled Add a Device. Click on this link.

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Activate New Device

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

You will now be prompted to go to your new device and begin the connection process. First, launch the Firefox Home app on your iPhone.

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I Have a Sync Account

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

If you are launching the Firefox Home app for the first time, or if it has yet to be configured, the screen shown above will be displayed. Since you have already created your Firefox Sync account, click on the button labeled I Have A Sync Account.

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Sync Passcode

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

A 12 character passcode will now be displayed on your iPhone, as shown in the example above. I have blocked out a portion of my passcode for security reasons.

Return to your desktop browser.

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Enter Passcode

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

You should now enter the passcode shown on your iPhone in the Add a Device dialog in your desktop browser. Enter the passcode exactly as it is shown on the iPhone and click on the Next button.

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Device Connected

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Your iPhone should now be connected to Firefox Sync. The initial synchronization process may take several minutes, depending on the amount of data that needs to be synced. To verify if synchronization has taken place successfully, simply view the Tabs and Bookmarks sections within the Firefox Home app. The data within these sections should match that of your desktop browser, and vice versa.

Congratulations! You have now set up Firefox Sync between your desktop browser and your iPhone. To add a third device (or more) to your Firefox Sync account follow Steps 8-14 of this tutorial, making adjustments where necessary depending on device type.