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Unable to restore bookmarks and toolbars from sqlite file
I downloaded BlackBelt Privacy for using Tor with Firefox. All of my bookmarks and toolbars disappeared after that. I read this page that says that my bookmarks are in the places.sqlite file: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-firefox-stores-user-data#w_what-information-is-stored-in-my-profile I found 2 places.sqlite files and saved the largest one in hopes that it might have my bookmarks. When I try to use the Restore Bookmarks feature in the Library window of Firefox, it won't accept that sqlite file because it insists on having a JSON file. I've restored Firefox to default settings but still don't have my old bookmarks and toolbars back. How can I get my old bookmarks and maybe my toolbars back if that's possible?
This is beautiful! I guess it helped for me to sleep on this problem because once I awoke, I went right to the solution. I went to the search box in my Start menu and typed Firefox. Two options appeared in the results, one for Firefox (Tor) and the other for just plain Firefox. I clicked on the plain one. I have different desktop icons for Firefox, but they all go to the one for Tor. Anyway, the plain Firefox took me to Firefox that has all of my bookmarks and everything else I wanted and thought I had lost. The BlackBelt Privacy said that it would create a separate desktop icon for Firefox (Tor), but somehow all of my Firefox icons became the one for Tor. At least the search box was able to get me to the other one. [Huge sigh of relief from me!] Thank you again for your help.Read this answer in context 👍 0
All Replies (7)
The Restore feature works with the files in the bookmarkbackups folder, which your Firefox would normally create at regular intervals as you add more bookmarks. Can you find any old bookmarkbackups folders on your system?
When searching, you may need to turn off the default hiding of hidden files and folders. See: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/show-hidden-files
The places.sqlite database file contains both history and bookmarks, and there's no way to "restore" it through a menu. Instead, you could completely replace your currently used places.sqlite database with an older one. In order to replace your existing places.sqlite file with the new one, you need to allow Firefox time to shut down and close up the related temp files. Otherwise, chaos might ensue.
Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either
- "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
- (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
- type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter
In the first table on the page, click the "Show Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.
Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either:
- "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
- (menu bar) File > Exit
Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup -- give it a good 15-30 seconds -- then rename places.sqlite to something like places.old. If you see other similarly named files like places.sqlite-shm and/or places.sqlite-wal, you can delete those.
Then you can copy the old places.sqlite into this folder.
Start Firefox back up again. Are you able to time travel back to your earlier history and bookmarks?
Regarding getting toolbars back, what were those toolbars?
Thank you for the suggestions. Yes, I found the bookmarkbackups folder. It has only 2 very small files created when I loaded BlackBelt Privacy, so that's a disappointment. I had many hundreds of bookmarks. I had a Yahoo toolbar that I never used. I had a Google toolbar. Either it or the bookmarks toolbar had around 20-30 things on it. I made sure in Windows Task Manager that Firefox was gone from the list when I shut it down before I tried anything else. A window warned me that it could create instability if I changed the sqlite file extension name, so I left it places.sqlite. Firefox opened a little box on restart with two default profiles in it and asked me to choose one. I chose the one that it hadn't been using. The problem persisted. When I went to restore bookmarks, it showed me only what has been created since I loaded BlackBelt Privacy. It's only looking at what's in the bookmarkbackups folder.
I don't know what Blackbelt Privacy does when you install it, but this just seems wrong. Do they have a support site where you can get more specific suggestions?
A window warned me that it could create instability if I changed the sqlite file extension name, so I left it places.sqlite.
That sounds like a rather generic warning... I thought you had another places.sqlite file you wanted to try in its place. Where did that one come from?
BlackBelt Privacy is supposed to help maintain browsing privacy when using Firefox and Tor together. The green button bar on here is from where I downloaded it: https://sourceforge.net/projects/blackbeltpriv/ I found that linked from here: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Tor-With-Firefox I'll have to register on the sourceforge site in order to contact support and will put off doing that until later. I abandoned trying to use the other sqlite file (833 KB) because it was what I had saved after I had downloaded the BlackBelt Privacy, and somehow the only sqlite file in Firefox now is far larger (10,240 KB). That bigger sqlite file wasn't there until after the restart, but it hasn't brought back my bookmarks. I agree with you that it's wrong for a program to wipe out bookmarks and toolbars without any warning.
This is beautiful! I guess it helped for me to sleep on this problem because once I awoke, I went right to the solution. I went to the search box in my Start menu and typed Firefox. Two options appeared in the results, one for Firefox (Tor) and the other for just plain Firefox. I clicked on the plain one. I have different desktop icons for Firefox, but they all go to the one for Tor. Anyway, the plain Firefox took me to Firefox that has all of my bookmarks and everything else I wanted and thought I had lost. The BlackBelt Privacy said that it would create a separate desktop icon for Firefox (Tor), but somehow all of my Firefox icons became the one for Tor. At least the search box was able to get me to the other one. [Huge sigh of relief from me!] Thank you again for your help.
We are very sorry to hear you have had problems with your installation of the BlackBelt Privacy Suite.
When the installation finishes, you can elect to run the new Tor oriented Firefox profile. This will switch the default profile to the Tor oriented one.
To go back to your default (or other) profile(s), you close Firefox and then launch the regular Firefox icon.
As you noted, you do this from a Start Menu search, or the Firefox icon on your desktop, if you chose that option at Firefox installation.
Above all we strive to please our users. We take your concerns seriously. In this way its really our users that drive our development effort.