Weird problems with browsing history and bookmarking in Firefox
November 14, 2010 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Firefox has developed a couple very weird problems related to saving browsing history (despite options to save history being checked) and bookmarking.

I'm using Firefox 3.5.3 on OSX 10.6.4.


As I use the Internet, sites appear in my browsing history normally, but when I close Firefox and re-open it, usually most or all of them have disappeared from it. Occasionally all of them are there, though; I have no idea what affects whether none, some, or all remain or disappear. I have all the options related to saving history checked. I first noticed this problem around 1-2 weeks ago.


This just came up today, but it's very strange. I tried to bookmark a certain website, placing the bookmark in a folder on the Bookmarks Toolbar. It appeared in the folder and worked at first, but later redirected me to a random site, I think one I had visited earlier. I deleted it and tried again and the exact same thing happened. For some reason I looked at the folder in the Organize Bookmarks view and saw that an entry with the site's name was in there, and it can be selected, but when it's selected no information comes up for it in the bottom pane, and it can't be deleted. The folder that it's in can't be deleted, although other folders can be deleted. If I try to bookmark the site now by dragging it onto the folder or using the menu, it doesn't appear there, although it does appear in the Organize Bookmarks view; if I drag it INTO the drop-down from the folder, I CAN place it in there.

ACK! Just as I was about to post this, a similar thing happened again with another bookmark in a folder in my Bookmarks Toolbar. It was for the homepage of a news site, and I just clicked on it and see that now it is for a single item on a different news site that I don't think I ever viewed.

Thanks very much in advance to anyone who can offer any help! I will be checking back to add information if needed.
posted by Cucurbit to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have no answer, but I am also experiencing the problem with my history. I'm on a Windows 7 PC running Firefox 3.6.12, so apparently the problem is not isolated to your OS or version.
posted by decathecting at 8:24 PM on November 14, 2010

unfortunately I do not have an answer, either, but I do have the same problem! I thought it was because I have been remiss in updating my software. I'm running Mac with OSX 10.4.11, Firefox 3.0.15.
I just work around it b/c it's more annoying than anything but if I could fix it that'd be cool.
Good luck.
posted by phogirl at 8:44 PM on November 14, 2010

Firefox 3.6 keeps bookmarks and history information in a single SQLite database (places.sqlite inside your FF profile) and it sounds to me as if that has become corrupt.

Bookmarks->Organize Bookmarks->Import and Backup->Export HTML will write out all your bookmarks to a html file. Try that, then open the resulting file in Firefox and see whether it looks like most of your bookmarks are in it. If they are, close Firefox, open your Firefox profile folder, and rename places.sqlite to places.sqlite.renamed. When you next start Firefox, it will rebuild places.sqlite from the JSON files it keeps inside the "bookmarkbackups" folder.

If it still acts weird, the next thing to try is quitting Firefox, delete places.sqlite, rename the bookmarkbackups folder to bookmarkbackups-renamed, restart Firefox, then use Bookmarks->Organize Bookmarks->Import and Backup->Import HTML to get your bookmarks back from the html file you made in the first step.

Removing places.sqlite will lose all the history IIRC, in case you care about that; but having been rebuilt afresh, it should at least behave itself from that point onward.
posted by flabdablet at 12:33 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

In case anybody's having trouble finding places.sqlite: it's inside your Firefox profile.
posted by flabdablet at 4:22 AM on November 21, 2010

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