Firefox Sync: What It Is And How to Use It

Keep your history, passwords, tabs, and more synced across your devices

Firefox Sync Keeps All Your Devices on the Same (Web) Page.

Carmen Murillo/Getty ImagesĀ 

The ability to synchronize some of your browsing data between devices is one of Firefox's oldest and most loved features. While bookmarks were the first focus, it has now expanded into a larger and more robust set of services. Learn how to create a Firefox Account, then log into your browser to use the Firefox Sync service.

Signing up for a Firefox Account isn't required to use the browser. You can surf your favorite websites without issue even if you aren't logged in. You can also still use the normal bookmarks feature, but these bookmarks won't show up on other devices for you.

Features of Firefox Account/Firefox Sync

To clarify, a Firefox Account is a profile including your username/password that you create. Firefox Sync is one service you access through that account. For the purposes of this article, we'll refer to Firefox Sync (or simply Sync), but it's important to know the relationship between the two.

Once you're signed in, some of the benefits you'll have available to you include the following:

  • Bookmark Sync: As previously mentioned, this is one of Firefox's oldest features, which came out at a time when third-party services like Xmarks were required for this functionality.
  • Sending Tabs Between Devices: When you have multiple devices signed in, you can send tabs between them. For example, if you find an interesting video while browsing on your phone, you can send it to your PC to watch later on a larger screen.
  • Password Sync: Firefox will synchronize your website passwords between desktop devices, as well as those running iOS via the Lockbox app.
  • Saved Content: Mozilla Corp. acquired Pocket in 2017 after supporting it by default in Firefox for a couple of years. Available on desktop, iOS, and Android, the feature continues to allow you to "save" content on one device to be read later on another. It basically stashes the content offline for you, allowing you to access it on the go without using your mobile data.
  • Notes Sync: Available on desktop and Android, the Notes feature in Firefox allows you to create text-based notes and access them on other devices, although it doesn't support advanced note-taking features like tagging or graphical content.

    Pay close attention to the platform(s) supported by the above features. Mozilla, being a non-profit organization, has to be careful where it spends its development dollars, so one feature may only be available on certain platforms. This seems especially important with regards to Android and iOS support.

    How to Sign Up for a Firefox Account

    1. You can sign up for a Firefox Account though one of the following channels:

      • If you've just installed Firefox, on first launch you'll see a splash page prompting you to start your sign up.
      • When you select Sign in to Sync from the top of the main menu, select Don't have an account? Get started from the Firefox Account preferences page.
      Sign in page for Firefox Sync

      On the sign-in page on the web on all platforms, select Create an account.

    2. These will direct you to a simple sign-up form. Enter a valid email address.

      Enter your email page for Firefox sync
    3. Create a strong password.

    4. Enter your age.

      Optionally, check the box to Get the latest news about Mozilla and Firefox.

    5. Click Create account to finish.

      Create account button on Create a Firefox Account page
    6. Once registered, you'll receive an email asking you to verify your identity. The email contains a link you need to select, which will complete the sign-up process.

      Verify email button for Firefox Sync
    7. You're done! Now you can connect Firefox on all your devices.

    How to Log Into Firefox Sync on Desktop

    1. Select the hamburger menu, then select Sign in to Sync in the upper-right corner of the Firefox window.

      Sign in to Sync menu item in Firefox
    2. This will lead you to a web form to enter your email address and password.

      Sign in button for Firefox Sync on the web
    3. Once your login is complete, the browser will show you a confirmation message.

      This Firefox is connected - message on Firefox Sync website
    4. You'll also see a notification that syncing is underway.

    How to Log Into Firefox Sync on Mobile

    1. Tap the three vertical dots icon in the upper-right of the screen, then tap Settings.

      Three dot menu icon and Settings item in Firefox for mobile
    2. Tap Sign in to enter your email address and password.

    3. You'll be directed to a familiar sign-in form on the web. Enter your email and password.

      Sign in buttons in Firefox for mobile
    4. Once successful, your stuff will start syncing to the mobile device according to the options you chose when you first signed up.