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How to restore Firefox bookmarks

Posted on 2011-09-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
I fix PCs for a living. This is for my customer.

Do not reply here unless you are at least 90% ceertain for your reply (i.e have actually done your solution and it worked OR can provide a link to a RELIABLE source (i.e Mozilla or similar,not some other forum post UNLESS the original poster said that the solution in the forum worked)

This question required knowledge of the internal structure of the Firefox Profiles folder; if you do not have that knowledge I doubt you can reply here UNLESS you can provide a RELIABLE link to a solution.

Previous Firefox version is unknown but as PC is 3 years old, it probably is not that old a version.

PC initially will not boot so THE ANSWER IS NOT start Firefox and Backup or Export HTML book marks. If it were that easy, I would not be posting here.

PC will not boot, I reinstall Windox XP keeping old data. This is a standard way of installing XP and IS NOT THE SUBJECT of this post. Assume it can be done. ie,. I still have on the same HD (not a different backup/external HD) the C:\D+S\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles folder is there (I assume you know what D+S means).

Using nothing but what is in that folder AND a new fresh installation of Firefox 6.0 on Windows XP Pro PC How can I bring in the old book marks. Please provide step by step solutions.

I will assign point if you verify that one or both of the solutions below will work. These are my GUESSES. Note: I do not want a "guess" reply. Sure both the ones below LOOK LIKE they will work but my customers do not pay me to "try things" and see if it works. They expect me to know the correct solution BEFORE I arrive.

Idea 1: in Firefox 6.0 (new install) do (I am skipping the details here) a Bookmark Restore and point it toward the XXX.json file in the ...Profiles\nnnn.default\BookmarksBackup folder with the latest modify date.

Note: Based on my research this will definately work IF there are any XXX.json files in the BookmarksBackup folder AND if they are fairly current.
SO the question here is are these backups AUTOMATICALLY created everytime you close Firefox or must the user MANUALLY choose to go out of their way and create a backup ? If the latter I assume the folder is empty and this will not work.

Idea 2: Per Mozilla Firefox documentation, the bookmarks (and websites visited) are stored in the ...Profiles\nnn.default\places.sqlite file. There is also a places.sqlite-journal file.

So do I simply close Firefox and switch the new places.sqlite file with the old one and start Firefox and BINGO !! the old bookmarks now show up in the new Firefox ? Or MUST I switch BOTH the places.sqlite file AND THE places.sqlite-journal file??

Idea 3: Some other solution you are 90% confident of.


Question by:mgross333
  • 2
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Expert Comment

ID: 36496834

If its an older version of firefox you might need to reinstall the older version, which will read the bookmarks. Then do an export or even just do an update and firefox should handle it from there.

Not too sure if old and new version of firefox use the same file types to store the bookmarks. Couldn't be that hard though as long as you still have the file that has the bookmarks. Even then depending on the number of bookmarks if you have that file you could just open it up and manually create them 1 by 1 with copy/paste for the name/URL. Not fun but just a thoght.

Author Comment

ID: 36497088

Yoiur link and post is completely unacceptable. Please read my Question before posting. I said "PC initially will not boot so THE ANSWER IS NOT start Firefox and Backup or Export HTML book marks."

Your link directs me to do EXACTLY what I said I can NOT do. Also the profiles folder has NO HTML bookmarks in case that is what you were thinking.

Other Firefox experts please reply to my question AFTER reading all of it.

LVL 30

Accepted Solution

Sudeep Sharma earned 2000 total points
ID: 36498401

The older version of FF as early as version 3.0 do create the backup of the bookmarks. Not sure whether they create XXXX.json files or .html files, but they do for sure.

So if you have the older profile of FF you could still get hold of the bookmarks backup (html or json). And you could easily import either of them in the newer version of FF v 6.0.X.

I hope that would help


Author Comment

ID: 36499610

Thanks for your psot BUT you told me what I already said I know. What you did not address is my question above "SO the question here is are these backups AUTOMATICALLY created everytime you close Firefox or must the user MANUALLY choose to go out of their way and create a backup ? If the latter I assume the folder is empty and this will not work."

Do YOU (or other EE Firefox expert) know the answer to THAT question (i.e are there with certainty going to be any files in the bookmarksbackup folder??)

Also NO ONE has replied on switching the old and new places.sqlite files as described above.


LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:Sudeep Sharma
Sudeep Sharma earned 2000 total points
ID: 36506432
Yes, these backups are automatically created.

There should be files in bookmarksbackup folder unless you have change the settings using about:config and set the "browser.bookmarks.max_backups" value to 0.

For you last question, I am quoting from the this link (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Places.sqlite)

The file "places.sqlite" stores the annotations, bookmarks, favorite icons, input history, keywords, and browsing history (a record of visited pages).

So places.sqlite do contain BookMarks but also contains the additional information, however if you need only the bookmarks the backup of bookmarks would be sufficient.

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