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Firefox bookmarks - Poof! They're all gone!
How can I get them back?

 2:58 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's panic time in the backwaters of the Philippnies!

I've been using FireFox v1.0 with great success and pleasure for the past number of months and have essentially made it my default browser for surfing/bookmarking.

This morning I opened FireFox , and (uh, oh) found that the shortcut links I had saved below the URL bar had mysteriously disappeared.

Then I clicked on the Bookmarks menu, and (uh, oh x 20!) all of my bookmarks are GONE! Every single one! Folder after folder...carefully selected url after url...vanished. POOF! Now I'm clicking like a crazy man on the Manage Bookmarks menu item and all I get is a window with only the default items in it (as if you had just installed firefox).

Been to the Firefox site, then to Mozilline, then to Google to try to find an answer to this problem (i.e. how to reload virtually HUNDREDS of bookmarks I've made in the past month) but haven't found anything useful except a few posts that this has happened in Firefox Beta when uninstalling other software (which I haven't done).

I assume Firefox bookmarks are just a text or XML document, but can't find it in the Mozilla Firefox folder in my Programs folder.

I've never lost book marks with any other browser, but the sweat of anxiety of never being able to recover them back is beginning to pool around my feet.

Can anyone help me with this?




 3:09 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

On Windows they are stored on:
/Application Data/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/default.#*$!/bookmarks.html

It also has a backup on the same folder as bookmarks.bak



 4:22 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi neophyte:

That's the magic of the internet and computers in general.
An on-stage magician must resort to trickery and sleight of hand to make thing appear and vanish.
Computers can do this without any legerdemain whatever.


 7:38 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chndru -

Thanks for telling me where to look. I do see it. Next question: how do you reload it so you can access the bookmarks.

ALSO...has anyone else had this terrifying experience? Is this a Firefox bug.


 9:05 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you have a bookmarks.bak file, copy it, rename the copy to bookmarks.html and you're set. Don't do that while FF is running.

I have not had such an experience, but I am backing up my bookmarks file once in a while. Seems like a good idea.


 9:25 am on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

For the future ...



 1:39 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, did as instructed. Unfortunately, the book marks I got back were from last November. Argggggggg!

I didn't know you had to back up your bookmarks (now I do). I assumed that everytime you created a bookmark it was automatically saved (and/or back-up'd) somewhere.

Apparently not...or could the file with my most recent bookmarks be lurking elsewhere?

Geez, back to the drawing board!

Thanks to the member who sent me a link for the bookmark backup plug in.


 1:41 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

ahh.. did the bookmarks.html file totally gone?


 1:56 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

or could the file with my most recent bookmarks be lurking elsewhere?

They should be backed up everytime you restart FF so unless you haven't closed Firefox since Nov, I would think there should be another ~ if you just installed FF1 in Nov then it's possible it created a new user profile... default.?x/ where the the extension is a different combinations of letters/numbers.

The easiest way to find it might be to do a system file search for "bookmarks.bak" and see if you can find a more recently modified/dated one than Nov.

btw yes "losing bookmarks" was known problem in earlier versions of Moz, which is why the bookmark backup extension was created I'm sure, and although I use it as an extra backup from the old days ~ I've not heard of much problems with FF1 until this :(

Good Luck


 2:23 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chndru - Yep, gone. Gone...gone...gone...


Gone like a swirl of smoke in the night.


SuzyUK - Did a search on my entire C drive and no bookmarks.bak are anywhere to be found.



Oh well. Thanks for everybody throwing in to try to soothe the pain of this unexpected nightmare.

I learned from this experience though. So, all was not lost.

Thanks again to everyone.


 2:26 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>no bookmarks.bak are anywhere to be found.

SuzyUK - what I meant to say was that no bookmarks.bak were anywhere to be found - except where they were suppose to be. And those were the ones from back in November.


 4:32 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

did you recently changed a profile or something in Firefox?
did you upgrade to SP2 on WinXP?

As SuzyUK says, it is backed up everytime you close Firefox.


 4:50 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

The useful feature of the backup extension is that you can specify backup directory - save to a partition other than C, and a toasted Windows installation can be reformatted without worrying about losing bookmarks.


 7:10 pm on Jan 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Although we're talking of a Windows system, err, well, I still have a hard time believing your bookmarks are gone forever. There is another way to find them, if they're still lurking. Try to remember some of the favorites you are missing, either the URL or the name you used to save the bookmark. Then run a search in Windows Explorer, but don't try to find a file name but try to find the contents. So type in the appropriate search input field ("search for contents" or something similar, sorry, don't know the name in English, since I have a German version only).

That way you can find files even if the file name is totally corrupted, whatever might be the reason.

Now that might take a few minutes depending on your computer, since Windows now will look through all files of the selected drive (C).

I'm afraid if that method won't reveal the bookmarks, nothing will.

Please let us hear from a success *fingerscrossed*.

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