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Can't Delete or Organize Bookmarks

Posted on 2008-10-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
Dear Experts,

I'm going to apologize in advance because I fear this may be Operator Error, but I simply have been unable to delete or organize my Bookmarks in Firefox. I have tried to remove certain old bookmarks and/or organize my current ones and, no matter what I do, they are all back to what they were the next time I launch the program. Some items of note:

I clear my private data at the end of every session.

I have downloaded the SQL Lite Manager AddOn thinking I needed to remove them in there - which I did - but they are back.

I found some items online relating to making sure the bookmark files were not read-only. The names of the specific files I was referred to slips me, but I did take this steps and the files listed were not read-only.

Any assistance in this would be greatly appreciated. My bookmarks are increasingly becoming a mess.

Thanks in advance,
Question by:mwheeler_fsd
  • 5
  • 2
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 22705441
do you have an add on that saves your bookmarks online?

It may be set to restore bookmarks every time you open Firefox but is NOT set to save changes when you close?
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 22705497
Hello mwheeler_fsd,

if you do not clear your private data, will the bookmarks changes save correctly.  You may be deleting changes.

Bookmarks are stored in Firefox folder.  In Windows XP go to C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\

Author Comment

ID: 22705520
I'm going to say I don't believe so. The reason for this is if I do, it is part of an add on's features I wasn't aware of. Here are the add ons I currently have loaded:

IE Tab
Minimize to Tray (I am forcing compatibility)
Mouse Gestures
Move Media Player
MR Tech Tookit
SQLite Manager
Web Developer

Hope this helps. Thank you.
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Author Comment

ID: 22705875
Hello War1,

Sorry for the delay in my response. I tried several different combinations of your suggestion and am sorry to report, it still reverts back.

One other item of interest - I bookmarked this page before I started the troubleshooting, but the bookmarks.html file did not update. However, the bookmark now appears in my bookmarks. This would seem to indicate this info is being stored somewhere else - SQLite perhaps?

Thank you for your suggestion.

LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 22706643
Mike, it could be store in SQLite.  I am familiar with how SQLite stores bookmarks.

Author Comment

ID: 22706748
Hello War1,

I think this is where these items are being stored and managed. I just opened the places.sqlite using the SQLite Manager Add on and see that the bookmark I placed earlier for this experts-exchange page is in there. When I select a record in the Manager and tell it to delete, it looks like it gets rid of it, but it's still in my Bookmarks.

I'm a software developer and regularly work with MS SQL, MySQL, Oracle, etc., but am not familiar with SQLite and how to permanently remove records.

We may be headed down the right trail, but I don't know how to do it to make it permanent. :(

The table I found the bookmarks in is called moz_bookmarks. It may be a permissions issue with the Data base itself (I don't have permission to delete) but I can't make heads-or-tails of it.


Author Comment

ID: 22707441
Dear Experts,

It seems this is more difficult/involved than I originally thought. I am increasing the point value in the hopes we can find an answer.

Thank you.


Accepted Solution

mwheeler_fsd earned 0 total points
ID: 22716802

I wanted to post what appears to be the solution. After trying several different steps in troubleshooting, I believe I had some file corruption of sorts. Ultimately I:

1. I exported my bookmarks and saved them in the default location - In Windows XP, it is C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profilename. I then viewed the file to make sure everything I wanted to keep was in there. Then I renamed Bookmarks.html to Bookmarks.html.xxx (or whatever) I don't think this was necessary, but I didn't want to run the risk of having overwritten during the next couple of steps.

2. Shut-down Firefox.

3. Go back to explorer and in the default profile directory noted above, you will find a folder called bookmarkbackups. rename this to XXXbookmarkbackups or whatever you choose.

4. Now rename the file places.sqlite to places.sqlite.xxx.

5. Restart Firefox and your bookmarks should be back to the default. Firefox will recreate the directory and sqlite file.

6. Rename your bookmarks.html.xxx file back to bookmarks.html

7. Go to the bookmarks menu -> organize bookmarks.

8. Import from HTML and voila - they're back!

Now, everything that was there will be back. You should now be able to delete and rearrange your bookmarks the way you would like. As I noted in the beginning, I believe, in my case, it was some file corruption that caused my inability to change my bookmarks, I'm not certain - but it works now.

I sincerely hope, if faced with this situation, this solution works for you.

Best regards,


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