Google Labs   
Google Browser Sync
Google Browser Sync is no longer available for download. Instead, to get similar functionality, we suggest using Mozilla Weave, Google Toolbar for Firefox, or Foxmarks. Support for current Google Browser Sync users will continue through 2008.
We've also posted the code to Google Code in hopes that someone will use it to develop something cool.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which browsers does this extension work with?
  2. What is Firefox, and where can I get it?
  3. I'm using Firefox, but the extension isn't working. Why not?
  4. What does it mean if the Google Browser Sync icon in the upper-right corner of the page is grayed out?
  5. Which browser settings does Google Browser Sync synchronize?
  6. Can I choose which bookmarks to sync?
  7. What are persistent cookies?
  8. How can I change which browser settings I'm synchronizing?
  9. Why shouldn't I install Google Browser Sync on computers that other people can access?
  10. Why do I need to provide a PIN?
  11. Can I change my PIN?
  12. What's the point of encrypting my information?
  13. Will I be logged in to my Google Account whenever I use a browser with Google Browser Sync installed?
  14. Why don't my Firefox bookmarks show up in Google Bookmarks?
  15. What does it mean when I see a warning message that tells me "you logged in on a different machine"?
  16. I forgot my PIN, what should I do?
  17. What if I want to start synchronizing my settings with a different Google account?
  18. Can I turn off the "Restore Pages" feature?
  19. How do I uninstall Google Browser Sync?
  20. What if I have a question or problem that isn't answered here?

Which browsers does this extension work with?

This extension works with Firefox version 1.5 and later. Currently, it doesn't work in the Mozilla Suite, Internet Explorer, or Opera. Google Browser Sync is compatible with all operating systems supported by Firefox 1.5.

What is Firefox, and where can I get it?

Mozilla Firefox is a free open-source web browser that you can download from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/

I'm using Firefox, but the extension isn't working. Why not?

Here are a few things you can try:

If you're still having trouble, please feel free to write to us at labs+browsersync@google.com, and we'll do our best to resolve the problem.

What does it mean if the Google Browser Sync icon in the upper-right corner of the page is grayed out?

A grayed out icon indicates the Google Browser Sync is disconnected and therefore unable to save or synchronize your browser settings. Changes made during this time will not be lost. They will be synchronized the next time you reconnect. To reconnect, choose the "reconnect" option in pull down menu of the Google Browser Sync icon (normally in the upper-right corner of your browser window) or in the "Tools" menu under "Google Browser Sync". Note that only one computer can be connected at a time.

Which browser settings does Google Browser Sync synchronize?

By default, Google Browser Sync continuously synchronizes your bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, tabs, windows, and saved passwords across computers. You can choose to synchronize only some of these settings, as explained here. Later versions of Google Browser Sync may synchronize additional settings – if you have any suggestions, please send them to us at: labs+browsersync@google.com.

Can I choose which bookmarks to sync?

Currently, you can only synchronize all of your bookmarks, but we are exploring ways to allow you to choose specific bookmarks.

What are persistent cookies?

Cookies are strings of text maintained by your browser to save your preferences on some websites. While some cookies, known as session cookies, expire when you close your browser, persistent cookies are set to expire on specific date and will stick around until that date unless you delete them manually.

How can I change which browser settings I'm synchronizing?

You can change the browser settings stored with Google Browser Sync at any time. To change your stored settings, just follow these steps:

  1. Open a Firefox window on one of the computers on which you're running Google Browser Sync.
  2. Click on the Browser Sync icon in the upper-right side of the browser.
  3. Choose the "Settings" menu under your username and navigate to the "Sync Settings" tab.
  4. Select any of the options listed, and those components will immediately start syncing across your computers.

Why shouldn't I install Google Browser Sync on computers that other people can access?

Browser Sync keeps all your browsers in sync with each other, so it needs to send potentially sensitive information like your stored passwords, bookmarks, and browser history to the other computers where you've installed it. Also, once you install Browser Sync, you don't need to log in every time you start the browser to access this info. Therefore, someone who uses a computer where you've installed browser sync will have access to all the info you've chosen to sync across your computers. Any new browser settings they create, such as browsing history, will also show up on your other computers.

Why do I need to provide a PIN?

The PIN you create during setup is used to encrypt information that's synced between your computers, which may include sensitive information such as your passwords for websites. We use your PIN to unlock that information. Without your PIN, no one will be able to read the information that's being transmitted between your computers via Google Browser Sync.

Can I change my PIN?

Currently, it's not possible to change your PIN. If your PIN is compromised, the best thing to do is to remove the Browser Sync service from your Google account at http://www.google.com/accounts and start fresh. Since Browser Sync imports your current browser settings, you shouldn't lose anything.

What's the point of encrypting my information?

By encrypting your information, it will be transmitted to and stored on Google's servers in a format that is nearly impossible to interpret without the PIN. That means that without the PIN, no one, not even Google, will be able to read your data. Therefore, it's important to choose a good PIN (at least 8 characters including both numbers and letters) that's hard to guess and to keep your PIN safe. Note that encrypting all of your browser settings may affect the performance of Google Browser Sync and Firefox.

Will I be logged in to my Google Account whenever I use a browser with Google Browser Sync installed?

No. Being logged in to Google Browser Sync doesn't mean that you'll be logged in to other Google services, like Gmail or your Google Personalized Homepage. You can actually use a different account for Browser Sync than you use for other Google services, and you can be signed in to them simultaneously.

Why don't my Firefox bookmarks show up in Google Bookmarks?

Google Bookmarks aren't currently shared with the bookmarks stored in Google Browser Sync. We think it would be pretty cool if they were, though, and this is one of the many things the Browser Sync team is working on.

What does it mean when I see a warning message that tells me "you logged in on a different machine"?

Currently, Google Browser Sync only allows you to be logged in to one browser at a time. If you try to launch a second browser where you've installed Browser Sync while the first browser is still running, a message will appear on the first browser letting you know that any changes you make won't be synced until you reconnect. The Google Browser Sync team is working on allowing multiple computers to sync information at the same time.

I forgot my PIN, what should I do?

You can recover your PIN quickly and easily. Just log on to a computer where you've installed Google Browser Sync, then follow these steps:

  1. Open a Firefox window.
  2. Open the "Settings..." menu under your username in the upper-right corner of the page.
  3. Click the "Show" button in the "Security settings" section of the page.

What if I want to start synchronizing my settings with a different Google account?

To change Google accounts, just click on the "Settings" menu under your username in the upper-right corner of the page, then click the "Stop syncing" button. This will close all of your open browser windows and take you back to the setup wizard, where you can log in with a different Google account. Remember that this will import all the settings from the current browser under that account, so you'll get everything that had been synchronized from your last account.

Can I turn off the "Restore Pages" feature?

Yes. Just go to the "Settings" menu under your username in the upper-right corner of the page, and select the "Sync Settings" tab. Then, uncheck the "Store" box beside "Tabs and windows."

How do I uninstall Google Browser Sync?

Just open Firefox and click on the "Tools" menu at the top of the page. Select "Extensions" > "Google Browser Sync" > "Uninstall." When you restart Firefox, Google Browser Sync will be uninstalled. Remember that you'll need to repeat this for every computer on which you've installed Google Browser Sync.

What if I have a question or problem that isn't answered here?

Just email us at labs+browsersync@google.com, or ask questions and share your expertise with others in our Google Browser Sync discussion group.

©2008 Google - Terms of Use  Privacy Notices