Recovering Your Firefox Bookmarks

By | November 24, 2005

This is documented elsewhere, but perhaps comes across as too nerdy for some. If you’re using Windows XP, recovering from a crash or whatever, and find that your Firefox bookmarks (and bookmarklets and bookmark toolbar) have disappeared, here’s what to do:

  • Close Firefox if it’s running.
  • Find your profile in c:Documents and Settings[your XP user name]Application DataMozillaFirefoxProfiles
  • There should be a subfolder there called bookmarkbackups. Find the most recent bookmarks html file in there (usually with a date after the ‘bookmarks’ bit.
  • Copy it to somewhere safe and rename the existing one bookmarks.html.
  • Copy it to the default profiles folder (up one level from the bookmarkbackups folder, deleting the existing bookmarks.html file.)
  • Close Firefox if it’s running and launch it. Your old bookmarks should be restored.

(And, while I’m at it, here’s a solution if your Firefox browser refuses to remember any of your changed settings in toolbars etc when you close it, resetting everything back to what it was before. The same bug — likely to be fixed soon — also deletes your search engines in the search box to the right of the address box. This fix will fix both problems:

  • Locate the localstore.rdf file in the same place as above.
  • Delete it.
  • Restart Firefox. You should be good to go.

Thanks, GreenKri.)

75 thoughts on “Recovering Your Firefox Bookmarks

  1. Rafal

    WOW, and i was about to try and find all my 100+ bookmarks again. Thanks ALOT!

    Reply
  2. Tracy

    Thank you soooo much! I thought they were gone for good!

    Reply
  3. Smik

    Dude you just practically saved my life. Last year of High School, I’m writing a 4000 word essay on the generation of random numbers. I’ve got all my research stored on firefox as bookmarks (about 40 of them) … and they disappear (until I found this page). Again, thanks! You don’t know how much this means to me.

    Reply
  4. Jose Pinto

    Hi,
    Thank you very much for this tip,
    actualy I´m not using the XP but in 2000 is same thing.
    This was the second time that I loose the Bookmark, and funny this happend ( in both time ) after the Firefox do a upgrade.
    thanks again
    best regards
    Jose Pinto

    Reply
  5. Ronald

    I am not sure if fits to my problem, that I have since two days:

    My bookmarks are here, but any double click on a bookmark will not open the site anymore!

    Any ideas what happened? and better how to fix it?

    (Windows XP & Firefox 2.0.0.1)

    Reply
  6. Ferdinand

    Ich bin neu in Firefox eingestiegen. Mir ist aufgefallen, dass Firefox innerhalb kurzer Zeit jede Menge neuer Bookmark-Dateien anlegt unter den Namen bookmarks-1.html usw. (heute waren wir schon bei bookmarks-300.html oder so…). Gleichzeitig sind die früheren Einstellungen der Bookmarks weg (bzw. nur in einer der hunderte Dateien, die aber nicht mehr von Firefox angesprochen werden). Was mache ich da falsch?

    Gruß, Ferdinand

    Reply
  7. Daren

    Add my name to the list of people thanking you for this tutorial. I had literally hundreds of organized bookmarks saved in FireFox and when I saw that they had suddenly disappeared….well, needless to say, I was choked!

    Thanks for making this info available!

    Reply
  8. tamal

    thanks for the info. It’s a real pity that the bug still exist even today!!

    Reply
  9. Yogesh Bahl

    How to Kill firefox session where it is running in background and not showing via ps -u userid and no session for firefox are there then how to restart firefox please suggest

    Reply
  10. k7991

    well, this method just deleted my bookmarks AND my entire profiles folder, i closed the window with the Profiles folder in it after moving “bookmarks.html” to it, restarted firefox, and my bookmarks still weren’t there, i re-opened the Profiles folder and all but the cache and a few other files were gone, i went to check the backup i had copyed to the desktop (which had all the bookmarks in it last i checked) and it was blank, thanks alot…

    Reply
  11. Jeremy Wagstaff

    k7991, your anonymity and charming sarcasm doesn’t inspire sympathy, but the method worked for me and lots of other people, so I’m guessing you did at least one of the steps wrong.

    Reply
  12. Tony

    Nice one, thanks.
    Finally can find a way to
    back up my bookmarks.
    my firefox got some problem and wont load.
    i need to reinstall it.

    Reply
  13. khaled

    I am very grateful for your advice you have saved me a lot of time. Many Thanks!! (Good to see its now 2007 and the advice still works)

    Reply
  14. neon eon

    —-“”Posted by: Marko | June 28, 2007 at 02:40 AM

    well, this method just deleted my bookmarks AND my entire profiles folder, i closed the window with the Profiles folder in it after moving “bookmarks.html” to it, restarted firefox, and my bookmarks still weren’t there, i re-opened the Profiles folder and all but the cache and a few other files were gone, i went to check the backup i had copyed to the desktop (which had all the bookmarks in it last i checked) and it was blank, thanks alot…————-That guy is a complete moron. this method worked excellent as long as you can read and follow simple instructions. i have a feeling he’s still trying to make a tv dinner.

    Reply
  15. DNA

    Thank you very much for this diamond of a tip, was just about to re trawl the net for all my bookmarks again! lol

    Reply
  16. Jerke Wadde

    I agree that this information is worthless, Firefox just keeps clearing the backed up bookmarks file to 1K and blank. So, thanks for nothing.

    Reply
  17. Adrian

    Thanks for the tips. You seemed to have saved a lot of bacon. Sadly, while I was able to restore my bookmarks (thanks), I’ve lost my carefully-honed settings. The localstore icon keeps re-appearing. Any further suggestion?

    Reply
  18. Corey

    Sadly these settings seem to be different in Vista. Maybe that was what happened to the guy who got pounced on. The bookmark backup directory isn’t there.
    Maybe he didn’t note that the solution was aimed at XP users?

    Reply
  19. Ed

    Thanks a bunch man, I almost cried when I thought I would have to find them all again, let alone remember what they were again!

    Reply
  20. mike

    how about for Vista users please?
    I installed windows Vista on a new Hard Drive. My old hard drive has the firefox but i dont know where to find the bookmarks

    Reply
  21. AP

    Thanks man.

    It worked but did not worked.
    I had my old Hard Drive w/XP an new comp is with Vista.
    Although there was no visible folder because for some reason it was “hidden”. But search function in vista did it for me and searched it. Now it works.

    Reply
  22. Sara

    I lost all of my bookmarks and tabs, but there doesn’t seem to be a backup sub-folder in my profile, or any of the other folders found within firefox (even with “show hidden folders” selected)–any ideas how to go about fixing/finding things?

    Reply
  23. George W.

    How do you do it step-by-step?

    Unclear how to do the following:

    “Copy it to somewhere safe”

    “Copy it to the default profiles folder”.

    Sorry, I’m not a nerd, need help.

    Reply
  24. Abc

    Oh, by the way, I’m going to create (or move) all my bookmarks to Internet Explorer (a.k.a. Internerd Exploder). I don’t trust or like Firefox anymore, it’s too slow, weird scrolling etc.

    Reply
  25. William

    I did everything as per above, and bookmarks did not reappear on my Firefox. I use Windows XP and NO I’m not a moron. Thanks for trying to help.

    Reply
  26. Grant

    Bless you, I thought my lost bookmarks were a goner. This worked a treat (Win XP SP2). However, just for information, my bookmarks.html was located in a sub-folder of the Profiles folder – cjedvyuu.default.

    And I notice that there is an export utility in the Firefox Bookmarks Manager, so the user can back up the bookmarks somewhere safe just in case. Will be doing this fairly regularly from now on! Thanks again, you’re a bright shining star!

    Reply
  27. Charlene

    I see this solution was posted back in 2005, but I just used it to restore my own bookmarks…April 2008.
    Less than 2 minutes, it’s all good again. Thanks for the assistance.

    Reply
  28. Curtis benson

    This didn’t work on my XP Home until I also replaced the data in the Application file as well (remember to backup the file you want to save FIRST)It being in back-up-folder as “Bookmarks2008-04-03”
    “Bookmarks”in the Application Default folder”(my file)
    “Bookmarks”in Profile folder under Mozilla in Program files(my file again) only then did it work!

    Reply
  29. mikey

    Thanks a million for the help- I was pulling my hair out trying to find them. You’re a lifesaver!

    Reply
  30. Satish

    Thanks alot DUDE…U saved not only my life…my BOSS’s also..ha ha ha..

    Reply
  31. Jim

    I followed the instructions a few times and it didn’t work for me. I have XP Pro. When I relaunched Firefox each time, I still didn’t have my old bookmarks. The bookmarks folder in Firefox was empty. I checked the bookmarks.html file and the size was 3kB. What I ended up doing is following the instructions up to copying ‘bookmarks.html’ to the default folder (which deleted the existing bookmarks). Firefox was closed during this entire process. I checked the default folder to make sure the file transferred ok by checking the file size. I closed any program that was opened and I restarted XP. I then opened Firefox and my old bookmarks were there. The home page had also defaulted to google and so I also had to reset my old home page.

    Reply
  32. Jeremy Wagstaff

    Jim, thanks for this. I’ve amended the post slightly, but I don’t see any difference between yours and mine except ensuring Firefox is closed at the start of the process. Or am I missing something?

    Reply
  33. BOSS

    If this do not work 4 you, then find in profiles file called “bookmarks.bak” Delete it! And everything work!

    Reply
  34. koekielam

    Thanks alot! I was going crazy, all my bookmarks I made were gone.

    Guess I should make back-ups more frequently :p

    Reply
  35. Rhonda

    I need help finding my bookmarks using window’s vista

    I had to go from firefox 2.0 beta down to 2, (for school reasons) and I do not have any of my bookmarks anymore….. pooofff… gone.
    This did not happen to me before, I have had to change browsers several time.
    I have searched everywhere for them, and have been on every website, that said they could help,
    Please anything, I had so many pages bookmarked for school essay’s and I don’t know where to start again….
    thanks

    Reply
  36. Rhonda

    I need help finding my bookmarks using window’s vista

    I had to go from firefox 2.0 beta down to 2, (for school reasons) and I do not have any of my bookmarks anymore….. pooofff… gone.
    This did not happen to me before, I have had to change browsers several time.
    I have searched everywhere for them, and have been on every website, that said they could help,
    Please anything, I had so many pages bookmarked for school essay’s and I don’t know where to start again….
    thanks

    Reply
  37. Boriah

    Thanks a ton, dude. Your advice is still relevant three years on. It was such a relief to be able to restore the bookmarks.

    However, I think people should be warned that Firefox stores the bookmarks backup for 5 days only.

    Reply
  38. Elkins

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    (And thanks to Google, too, for leading me straight to your blog.)

    This worked like a charm, and now I can breathe again.

    Reply
  39. gary gach

    if i upgrade from firefox 2.0 to 3.0 will my old bookmarks automatically carry over?

    Reply
  40. Fabooliss

    Version 3 and they still haven’t fixed this glitch! Same fix still works though.
    Thanks so much!
    I’d bookmark you to find my bookmarks when version 4…comes along but…
    🙂

    Reply
  41. Serendipity

    Thank you so much!! My heart dropped when i saw that all my bookmarks were gone but this got them all back in a jiffy!

    =)

    Reply
  42. Serendipity

    Oh by the way, just like Fabooliss above, I bookmarked this page and realised the irony of it. =)

    Decided to save your url in a text file instead.

    Reply
  43. Ramani

    Even in 2014 this post helped me SO MUCH. Thank you!!! I read all kinds of other articles that didn’t make sense, and yours was the only one I could follow. Years later, your article is still being used, so thank you!! 😀

    Reply

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