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Bookmarks have been replaced with random Google searches I've done over the past month. I've reset Firefox, restored backups, deleted places.sqlite - help!

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I've had problems with losing bookmarks, but that's been OK for the past few weeks. This is an entirely new problem and I'm stumped. Please help! Even if I can't restore the bookmarks I had --- any tips to prevent this sort of thing in the future would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi Rachels.

A couple of tips

  1. Backup your bookmarks manually every now and again.
    Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer
  2. Do not delete important files like places.sqlite rename them instead, or better still move them and keep them as a backup
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Some suggestions on trying to restore the bookmarks

Remember to backup that profile. Remember to make backups as you work and attempt any restores of bookmarks.

  • Look for any old copies It is possible they may work or be repairable. Windows trys to retain preveous versions of some files, that should include places.sqlite and also the bookmarks backups folder.


  1. Repair attempt
    .As a first try to fix the problem download and run the addon places maintenance. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/places-maintenance/ You may wish to look at the report that it is capable of generating; before and after; you try the repair. This may repair the bookmarks so try the Library to see if it works.
  2. Restore a Backup
    The second method will lose any bookmarks made in the last day Firefox was open. It imports an automatically created backup. It may work. CARE these restores overwrite existing bookmarks. always backup bookmarks before any restore is done.
    Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer_restoring-from-backups
  3. Regenerate a corrupt database File
    Warning This third method will destroy your History, so is the last resort.
    (You may be able to temporarily reinstate that from the faulty database) This relies on deleting the database file places.sqlite. Firefox recreates it using a bookmarks backup. There is no backup for the History and that is lost.
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Now what do you mean by bookmarks are replaced by random Google Searches. Give more details on that side of the problem please.

NOTE all the searches Firefox does now are set to be whatever the Searchbar is set for. (It does not sound likely to be your problem but may be worth knowing.)

Meanwhile these may be of interest

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Please update to the current Firefox 26 release.

  • Help > About Firefox

The Firefox 7 version that you currently run is no longer supported with security updates.

  • It is important to update Firefox and add-ons to the latest version to get all security fixes.

If deleting places.sqlite hasn't helped then it is possible that all JSON backups (at least the most recent) are already corrupted, so restoring the bookmarks after deleting places.sqlite won't have effect.

Can you change the location of those bookmarks permanently or are changes undone when you restart Firefox.
If you do not have an older backup and you can't restore a previous version that is old enough then you will have to cleanup your bookmarks manually, i.e do a search in the Library to see which are effected.