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Why are my bookmarks repeatedly disappearing since updating to Firefox 39?

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  • 4 have this problem
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  • آخر ردّ كتبه dkusumoto

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Hi - I'm running Firefox 39 on Windows 7 PC desktop, 64-bit.

  • I already know how to restore bookmarks. I just can't figure out why they keep disappearing!
  • This has been bothering me for weeks. While troubleshooting this, I have backed up the bookmarks I want correctly. I have even exported an HTML bookmarks file as well as a backup JSON bookmarks file - just in case I could be dealing with a corrupted JSON or SQLITE or other mysterious file.
  • Yet my bookmarks keep disappearing. I'll have, for example, 100 bookmarks. Then suddenly, in the middle of my work, I'll notice some of my bookmarks in my toolbar gone. When I close my browser and re-open it again to check what's going on with my bookmark backups - I see my old JSON file with 100 bookmarks - and a NEWER file that has, let's say, 55 bookmarks. Poof! Forty-five (45) bookmarks have vanished in a flash! I restored them using the old file to get them back. But the problem of disappearing bookmarks keeps happening, apparently randomly.
  • As a last resort - I re-set my browser to create a new profile. But the problem continued. Then, in total frustration, I backed up my password and cookies SQLITE, DB and JSON files - and did a complete UNINSTALL of the browser - AS WELL AS - removing all "Mozilla" entries from the registry.
  • From there, I downloaded and did a clean install of Firefox and put the few aforementioned backup data files from my old profile - into the new one. I thought all would be fixed. NOPE!
  • I'm wondering if there is something embedded into my browser - either an add on or something in one of the SQLITE files - that is causing this baffling problem. Yes, I can restore my old bookmarks back to their original state. But scores of them continue to disappear in the middle of a session. And when I close that session - the LAST visible bookmarks become part of a new backup JSON file that's generated, but that file purges a lot of my original bookmarks.
  • I hope this makes sense. Help! - Slammed and Sleepless in San Diego.

Modified by dkusumoto

Chosen solution

From your description above, the problem is with Syncing. Check the other device. Is there a problem there? Check the Sync settings. I don't use Sync. But leave it off until someone can help with it.

Use these add-ons to protect your data;

These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backup of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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Places Maintenance {web link} Allows to run Maintenance tasks on the database that drives Places, the bookmarks and history module behind Firefox.


Problems with bookmarks and history not working properly can be caused by a corrupted places.sqlite database file.

If the above does not help,

Type about:support in the address bar and press enter.

Under the page logo on the left side you will see Application Basics. Under this find Profile Folder. To it’s right press the button Show Folder. This will open your file browser to the current Firefox profile. Now Close Firefox.

Locate the places.sqlite file. Then rename or delete it. Restart Firefox.


Separate Issue; Your System Details shows;

Installed Plug-ins

Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 11.0.12 Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.15
Having more than one version of a program may cause issues. You must remove the older programs. Then get the current full installer.

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  • Hi, thanks for the tips, but I've already deleted the places.sqlite file a few times, which is also a default action when you re-set Firefox or create a new profile or even do a clean install of the browser.
  • Perhaps there is something I'm doing wrong when I CLEANLY import the few data files including my bookmarks backup JSON files into the new browser profile.
  • There is another possibility. I decided late last night to disable my EverSync add-on as well as any actions related to syncing my browser with my phone or with anything else.
  • I've been on the browser off and on all day today (Tuesday) and have not experienced disappearing bookmarks...yet.
  • However, I think you are right, there is something going on with the places.sqlite file - AFTER I import my bookmarks backup file, which interfaces and becomes a part of places.sqlite. It almost seems that I should start with a clean places.sqlite file and manually re-enter each bookmark - and not import anything else to my new profile - other than my password and cookies files - which don't interface with places.sqlite.
  • I don't know. I am still monitoring. If the disappearing bookmarks keep occurring even with sync actions turned off - then I may end up doing a manual re-build of my bookmarks. I just wish I knew what else might be causing this phenomenon in the event the cause is not the places.sqlite file.
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Chosen Solution

From your description above, the problem is with Syncing. Check the other device. Is there a problem there? Check the Sync settings. I don't use Sync. But leave it off until someone can help with it.

Use these add-ons to protect your data;

These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backup of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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After five (5) days of STABILITY - it appears to me that my problem with mysteriously disappearing bookmarks has been SOLVED!

The problem was INDEED due to syncing. With both Firefox Sync AND EverSync extensions and add-ons disabled - (I shouldn't have ever had two syncing applications on in the first place, but Firefox does not support Windows Phone) - all of my bookmarks have been intact for five straight days (since Tuesday, 1 August 2015).

There's no doubt in my mind that something going on with my smart phone was robbing the bookmarks that I use more often on my desk top. Still a bit of a puzzle but it's important that others who wonder "why?" their bookmarks keep disappearing - they should check their "sync" add-ons or extensions - because repeatedly restoring bookmarks does not get to the root of such problems. Sometimes it's a corrupt places.sqlite file in the profile - but sometimes it's because of syncing operations between multiple devices.

BTW, those extensions you recommended - FEBE and OPIE - in your note above - are excellent. Thanks again, Fred!

Modified by dkusumoto