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Restore bookmarks isn't working

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I just updated to windows 10, before I did I backed up my files on my firefox bookmark account. I went to to the restore thing, I saw all my stuff for a moment but after accepting the restore I can't get it to show. I still have my one Restore March, 31st option with 11 items appearing but nothing happens.

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Hi Yield, when you use the Restore feature in the Library window, the bookmarks should return to their last locations. However, 11 items isn't very many, so I'm not sure restoring that particular backup will be useful. Are there any others listed?

Possibly your Windows upgrade created this folder:

C:\Windows.old

Can you find such a folder on your system?

If so:

Before proceeding, please set Windows to show you hidden files and folders: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14201/windows-show-hidden-files

Then check here:

C:\Windows.old\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\

You might just have one profile folder, or you might have more than one. The bookmark backup files are in a folder named bookmarkbackups in each profile. You can copy promising files to the Desktop to try in a Restore.

Anything so far?

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Hi Rafael, the "Import" is for .html files (exports), and the "Restore" is for .jsonlz4 files (automatic backups).

Maybe you already checked the Restore menu and the listed files are not the ones you need, but just in case:

Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer

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The restore menu files are in fact the ones I need but attempting the restoration just freezes up Firefox and never recovers any bookmarks from the selected file. Importing HTML just takes me to my Pictures folder but I can't even find where that Bookmarks HTML was anymore. Nor would I know which bookrmarks might be in that HTML file so if i were to import and overwrite, i might lose what few Menu Bar Bookmarks I still have. There are Old Firefox Data folders on my desktop which are also no help since I have no idea what to do with that data.

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Rafael Lecuona said

The restore menu files are in fact the ones I need but attempting the restoration just freezes up Firefox and never recovers any bookmarks from the selected file.

Okay, what I suggest is to test out one of those backups you want to restore by opening it in my converter.

In one tab, open https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html

In another tab, open the Troubleshooting Information page, either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > 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, on the Profile Folder row, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows File Explorer. Double-click into the bookmarkbackups folder. Here you should see dated backup files. So far so good?

Resize that window so you can see Firefox, and switch to my converter page. Drag and drop from the bookmarkbackups folder onto the box on the converter page. Firefox should extract the contents and show them in the box. Normally that will start off with text similar to:

{"guid":"root________","title":"","index":0,

Below the box, the page should list the file name, size and date.

A bit further down the page, under Step 2, click the Export HTML button. Hopefully that will not show any error messages and it will pop up a Download dialog to save the file.

Does it work?

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appears to be/contain valid JSON

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And now?

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Rafael Lecuona said

appears to be/contain valid JSON

Rafael Lecuona said

And now?

Did the "Export HTML" button work?

If so you could open that page and see whether it looks sensible. And try to import it using the Import from HTML option.

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Yes, the Export HTML worked but the import from HTML didn't do anything, just as the last time.

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Rafael Lecuona said

Yes, the Export HTML worked but the import from HTML didn't do anything, just as the last time.

Was there an error message, or a freeze, or just nothing appeared to happen when you imported the converted HTML file?

To make sure the file is valid, could you test importing it into a clean profile:

New Profile Test

This takes about 3 minutes, plus the time to import bookmarks.

Inside Firefox, type or paste about:profiles in the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it.

Take a quick glance at the page and make a mental note of which Profile has this notation: This is the profile in use and it cannot be deleted. That is your current default profile.

Click the "Create a New Profile" button, then click Next. Assign a name like Sept2020, ignore the option to relocate the profile folder, and click the Finish button.

Firefox will switch your default profile to the new one, so click the Set as Default Profile button for your regular one to avoid an unwanted surprise at your next startup.

Scroll down to Sept2020 and click its Launch profile in new browser button.

Firefox should open a new window that looks like a brand new, uncustomized installation. (Your existing Firefox window(s) should not be affected.) Please ignore any tabs enticing you to connect to a Sync account or to activate extensions found on your system so we can get a clean test.

Go ahead with the usual import steps: Import Bookmarks from an HTML file. Any improvement? While you are still in the Library window, click each of the three main categories in the left column -- Bookmarks Toolbar, Bookmarks Menu, Other Bookmarks -- to see what was imported where, if anything.

When you are done with the experiment, you can close the extra window without affecting your regular Firefox profile. (Sept2020 will remain available for future testing.)

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Just like every other attempt of every single proposed fix: Absolutely nothing happens. The page just sits there and nothing happens. I walk away for an hour, come back and everything is just as I left it. No change. All bookmarks are from last year.

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Rafael Lecuona said

All bookmarks are from last year.

That's a bad sign if Firefox created a .jsonlz4 file in September 2020 but it only contained bookmarks from 2019. Is it possible they ended up in some difficult to find location? In the Library window, you can right-click a column heading like Name and turn on the Added column. Then in the search box enter something that will match most things, like http and click the Added column heading to sort by date added. What's the most recent bookmark in the file?

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When opened on its own, the file appeared to contain all the very most recent bookmarks from just earlier this week but when attempting to either recover the backup or import an HTML, neither would do anything. As mentioned before, the screen would just sit idle with no sign of activity for a long period of time. when attempting to exit, it would become evident that Firefox was not responding. Then restarting the browser I would find that the most recent bookmarks were from back in November 2019.

You gave me an idea with creating a new profile which I did and then selected the bookmark files from a more recent (09/09/20- just a couple of weeks ago) "Old Firefox Data" folder that was luckily still on my desktop from some recent refresh or whatever causes those folders to be created.

It worked and I now have fairly recent bookmarks, only have lost the last two week's worth.

I want to thank you for your patience and persistence. I am not easy to work with. Much appreciated.

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Did you do any of the steps I posted above about fixing issues with a corrupted places.sqlite ?

If "Verify Integrity" cannot repair places.sqlite, rename/remove all places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed. Firefox will rebuild places.sqlite and restore the bookmarks from a recent JSON backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

  • keep a backup copy of places.sqlite in case a new places.sqlite database has to be created

See also:

You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

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Removed all places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files but lost bookmarks did not reappear. Wondering if I could just copy and paste those specific bookmarks from the old file to this new profile.

Ændret af Rafael Lecuona den

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Firefox can only restore (rebuild) the bookmarks when you remove places.sqlite if there is a valid compressed .jsonlz4 backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. If that isn't the case then you need to restore the bookmarks yourself or import an HTML backup.

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How do I get rid of the hovering suggestion to import logins from a different browser on sign ins? That is how this whole problem started when I made the mistake of trying to import stuff from Chrome which ended up overwriting rather than adding to my current bookmarks.

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There is a valid compressed .jsonlz4 backup in the bookmarkbackups folder, but despite its date, it only contains very old data from a recent Chrome import which wiped out all my current bookmarks instead of adding to them as I thought it would do.

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