Run Firefox from USB drive

A very useful tip on running Firefox from a USB flash drive (or any removeable media, for that matter). I’ve recently had to use some PCs that aren’t my own which had Opera or some other browser, which I don’t like.

Following this tip, I can have Firefox on my USB drive and use it on any computer. Tested only on Windows XP and 2000.

Run Firefox from removable media

  1. Copy the Firefox application folder and your profile folder to the removable medium. In this example we will use R:\Firefox for the application folder and R:\FFProfile as the profile folder, assuming the drive letter for the removable media is R:
  2. Create a simple batch file called R:\Firefox.bat with the following line:
  3. start \Firefox\firefox.exe -profile \FFProfile

  4. Optionally, disable the disk cache to reduce the amounts of file writes to the removable storage by entering about:config in the address field of Firefox and set browser.cache.disk.enable to false.

The reason why a batch file is needed instead of a simple shortcut is that a shortcut uses absolute paths, and since the actual drive letter for the removable media may change depending on which computer it is plugged into, the relative path used in the batch file is guaranteed to work anywhere.

Tip from Firefox Help: Tips and Tricks

Update 13-Oct-04: Another solution is to run a version of Firefox designed specifically to install on a USB drive. See today’s post Portable Firefox for your USB drive

2 thoughts on “Run Firefox from USB drive

  1. This method doesn’t seem to work if the PC already has Firefox installed on the hard disk, i.e. entries in the registry already pointing to a drive other than R: in your example.

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