Firefox Bookmarks gone
May 9, 2005 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Just like that, all Firefox bookmarks (several thousand) gone, homepage set back to this. No apparent viruses. Everything else seems fine. History is still there, and no suspicious websites there (JJill?). I have a back-up of bookmarks from many months ago, but would dearly like to get the later version back. Firefox 1.0 (I know, and today another scare.) Any thoughts?
posted by caddis to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Response by poster: oops, "this" means this.
posted by caddis at 6:18 PM on May 9, 2005

I had this happen to me, and the bookmarks would reappear when I dragged & dropped the current url's icon to the bookmarks. I had to use Bookmark Sync to save them to ftp while in this perilous state, and then uninstall/ install firefox. I went through other gyrations, including manipulating extensions, my profile, and more sordid things, but nothing would work. The bookmarks.html file in my profile showed only the default set of firefox related items, so I don't know where it was keeping the full list.

I think this was related to a recent extension upgrade, but I can't say with any certainty.
posted by boo_radley at 6:26 PM on May 9, 2005

you should look into posting at The Mozilla community on LJ and/or The Firefox community, which if I'm not mistaken allow anonymous posts (in case you don't have an LJ account)--I've seen several posts of this sort there explained and successfully answered.
posted by Tuwa at 6:51 PM on May 9, 2005

This will not help you recover your lost bookmarks, but be sure to check out the great tag-based bookmark manager if you have no qualms about them being public. They do take backups, and Google caches the whole thing anyway.
posted by koenie at 6:51 PM on May 9, 2005

Response by poster: is great for newly found bookmarks, but how do you load a couple of thousand old bookmarks into it automatically? (I can not believe this has sent me back to IE, but at least that is working and I have my favorites.)
posted by caddis at 7:00 PM on May 9, 2005

I should mention, for future reference, there are some nifty firefox extensions for automatic bookmark backups (both onsite and off-). Strongly recommended. :-)
posted by Tuwa at 7:07 PM on May 9, 2005

thanks tuwa.
posted by schyler523 at 7:25 PM on May 9, 2005

it could have given you a new profile for some reason, but your old profile/books could still be there.
check you application data directory.
c:\Documents and Settings\[your windows username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\

then check the subfolders of that.
look for bookmarks.htm
posted by Iax at 8:15 PM on May 9, 2005

This just happened to me, too. I don't have anything to help you with, except to say that you're not alone and that, as far as I can tell, Firefox did it to me, I didn't click the wrong button or whatever.
posted by pracowity at 12:41 AM on May 10, 2005

caddis : If you still have all your bookmarks in IE, than can't you just import them into Firefox? (File / Import..)
There do seem to be anomalies in Ff. Just yesterday, after a perfectly normal restart of my PC, all my cookies, saved logins and history disappeared. Weird.
posted by punilux at 2:18 AM on May 10, 2005

If you think your puter still has a copy of your old bookmarks:

- Close Mozilla, firebird, etc..
- Search puter for "bookmarks.htm"
(several files should appear)
- Observe which one is (1) the biggest file and (2) the most recently used.
- Get into the folder where the most recently used "bookmarks.htm" is.
- Copy your biggest "bookmarks.htm" file into that folder overwriting the previous file.
- Voila, you should have your old bookmarks again.

[I had a similar problem yesterday.. and this method allowed me to get my bookmarks back. Hope this helps you too.]
posted by ruelle at 3:24 AM on May 10, 2005

I had a similar problem, and it had something to do with profiles. On Windows XP, shut down all Firefox windows -

Start -> Run ->

firefox.exe -profilemanager

And re-select your default profile (or whichever profile had the bookmarks.)
posted by icontemplate at 4:24 AM on May 10, 2005

After reading this thread I am somewhat amazed there's not some app to store and retrieve them from gmail. Hella simpler than the google file system implementation junk, for heaven's sake.
posted by phearlez at 8:55 AM on May 10, 2005

See also backupfox which backs up not just your bookmarks, but also extensions, themes and settings. As a compulsive tweaker, this is a godsend.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:25 AM on May 10, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. None of these really worked for me though. Searching the forums linked by Tuwa I found a bunch of people who lost their bookmarks because of a profile change and sometimes you can get them back using techniques similar to those discussed here by Iax, ruelle and icontemplate. If you have a profile problem and find this thread follow their advice. The only bookmark file of consequence on my computer is the one I saved several months ago and I put that back into my profile. My old IE favorites don't help because they haven't been updated since prior to when I saved the Firefox bookmarks. I will be more vigilant with back-ups in the future; really, I will, probably.
posted by caddis at 4:39 PM on May 10, 2005

Holy cow. This happened to me April 28. I kept meaning to post a question to AskMe and, well, now I don't have to! Thanks to all especially Iax because Firefox made me make a new profile.
posted by deborah at 7:01 PM on May 10, 2005

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