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Bookmarks toolbar randomly rearranges itself

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This issue has been around for years with no actual solution. I recently finally got around to disconnecting three of my devices (laptop, Samsung tablet and Samsung smartphone) from Firefox Sync in order to determine if the problem is sync-related. The bookmarks toolbar on my main device (another laptop) were still being randomly rearranged. I therefore disconnected this laptop from sync as well. The bookmarks toolbar has since been stable with no rearranging. This is telling me that this is a sync issue, not an issue with a corrupt places.sqlite file, an add-on/plug-in or hardware acceleration, as previously suggested by Mozilla, which was then marked as a solution. Sync has often been quite useful, but since I have my bookmarks (folders) arranged in alphabetical order on the toolbar for quick access and use them all frequently, I'd rather forego sync than deal with constant reordering of the bookmarks toolbar. I gather from what I've read that this problem also exists in the Google Chrome web browser. Even if the problem is a corrupted places.sqlite file, surely the sheer number of users experiencing the issue would suggest a bug or vulnerability with that file, irrespective of what add-ons are installed since the likelihood of all those users having the same add-on(s) installed is probably minimal. Surely it's about time Mozilla properly investigated (e.g. what add-on(s) is causing the issue, how the places.sqlite file can become corrupted, how sync is causing the problem, etc., etc. and disseminating the findings to users) and actually solved this issue instead of expecting users (the IT-savvy ones at least) to waste time doing their own futile troubleshooting. I really don't think that I should have had to disconnect from sync in order to "fix" this problem.

This issue has been around for years with no actual solution. I recently finally got around to disconnecting three of my devices (laptop, Samsung tablet and Samsung smartphone) from Firefox Sync in order to determine if the problem is sync-related. The bookmarks toolbar on my main device (another laptop) were still being randomly rearranged. I therefore disconnected this laptop from sync as well. The bookmarks toolbar has since been stable with no rearranging. This is telling me that this is a sync issue, not an issue with a corrupt places.sqlite file, an add-on/plug-in or hardware acceleration, as previously suggested by Mozilla, which was then marked as a solution. Sync has often been quite useful, but since I have my bookmarks (folders) arranged in alphabetical order on the toolbar for quick access and use them all frequently, I'd rather forego sync than deal with constant reordering of the bookmarks toolbar. I gather from what I've read that this problem also exists in the Google Chrome web browser. Even if the problem is a corrupted places.sqlite file, surely the sheer number of users experiencing the issue would suggest a bug or vulnerability with that file, irrespective of what add-ons are installed since the likelihood of all those users having the same add-on(s) installed is probably minimal. Surely it's about time Mozilla properly investigated (e.g. what add-on(s) is causing the issue, how the places.sqlite file can become corrupted, how sync is causing the problem, etc., etc. and disseminating the findings to users) and actually solved this issue instead of expecting users (the IT-savvy ones at least) to waste time doing their own futile troubleshooting. I really don't think that I should have had to disconnect from sync in order to "fix" this problem.
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the-edmeister
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"I gather from what I've read that this problem also exists in the Google Chrome web browser."

Apples and oranges. Google Chrome uses a completely different method for storing saved bookmarks than the places.sqlite database which Mozilla uses. Google Chrome and Firefox share no code with regards to bookmarks storage or with the user interface; completely different so no comparison of the two is valid.


I am guessing that you are re-alphabetizing your bookmarks toolbar each time you open Firefox and discover those bookmarks are askew. Depending upon how you do that may be indirectly causing those bookmarks to become askew - especially if that Firefox installation is connected to Sync when you attempt to "fix" them. The first few changes get sent to the Sync server immediately, but after the first few changes "the system" switches to what I would call a batch mode. Waiting to send subsequent batches of changes to the Sync server all at once when "the system" thinks the changes have been stopped. At least that is what I have observed repeatedly when I have experimented with trying to push Sync to the point of breakage with a couple of Sync accounts.

Current recommendation when using Sync and re-arranging bookmarks manually is to disconnect from Sync before beginning to rearrange bookmarks manually by dragging bookmarks or folders of bookmarks around in the user interface. Not sure if using "Sort by Name" in the Library is affected when Firefox is connected to the Sync server, or not. I have not experimented with that "Sort by Name" feature in the Library window.


Overall, my advice is with your most used Firefox version disconnected from Sync to change your Sync password and then re-connect to Sync on that device. Doing that will serve to clear your corrupt data from the Sync server and that should fix your problem with your bookmarks toolbar getting re-arranged. Then the following day connect the other laptop to Sync and make sure that your bookmarks toolbar bookmarks problem is fixed. Wait a few days before connecting your "mobile devices" to your Sync account; or don't connect them at all.


IMO, based upon the sheer number of user complaints / support question posted here about Sync that include the Firefox for Android or Firefox for iOS -- those "mobile" devices as they are connected to Sync are most likely the true cause for the corruption you have experienced. I believe it has to do with how differently the "mobile bookmarks" and the Bookmarks Toolbar on the desktop / laptop versions of Firefox are handled differently on the Sync server. And the issue may be exacerbated by the user once corruption is seen by the user and the user attempts to correct the faults they see in a piecemeal fashion which then adds to the corruption.

'''''"I gather from what I've read that this problem also exists in the Google Chrome web browser."''''' Apples and oranges. Google Chrome uses a completely different method for storing saved bookmarks than the places.sqlite database which Mozilla uses. Google Chrome and Firefox share no code with regards to bookmarks storage or with the user interface; completely different so no comparison of the two is valid. ---------------------- I am guessing that you are re-alphabetizing your bookmarks toolbar each time you open Firefox and discover those bookmarks are askew. Depending upon how you do that may be indirectly causing those bookmarks to become askew - '''especially if that Firefox installation is connected to Sync when you attempt to "fix" them'''. ''The first few changes get sent to the Sync server immediately, but after the first few changes "the system" switches to what I would call a batch mode. Waiting to send subsequent batches of changes to the Sync server all at once when "the system" thinks the changes have been stopped. At least that is what I have observed repeatedly when I have experimented with trying to push Sync to the point of breakage with a couple of Sync accounts.'' Current recommendation when using Sync and re-arranging bookmarks manually is to disconnect from Sync before beginning to rearrange bookmarks manually by dragging bookmarks or folders of bookmarks around in the user interface. ''Not sure if using "Sort by Name" in the Library is affected when Firefox is connected to the Sync server, or not. I have not experimented with that "Sort by Name" feature in the Library window.'' --------------------------- Overall, my advice is with your most used Firefox version disconnected from Sync to change your Sync password and then re-connect to Sync on that device. Doing that will serve to clear your corrupt data from the Sync server and that should fix your problem with your bookmarks toolbar getting re-arranged. Then the following day connect the other laptop to Sync and make sure that your bookmarks toolbar bookmarks problem is fixed. Wait a few days before connecting your "mobile devices" to your Sync account; or don't connect them at all. ------------------- IMO, based upon the sheer number of user complaints / support question posted here about Sync that include the Firefox for Android or Firefox for iOS -- those "mobile" devices as they are connected to Sync are most likely the true cause for the corruption you have experienced. I believe it has to do with how differently the "mobile bookmarks" and the Bookmarks Toolbar on the desktop / laptop versions of Firefox are handled differently on the Sync server. And the issue may be exacerbated by the user once corruption is seen by the user and the user attempts to correct the faults they see in a piecemeal fashion which then adds to the corruption.
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the-edmeister said

"I gather from what I've read that this problem also exists in the Google Chrome web browser." Apples and oranges. Google Chrome uses a completely different method for storing saved bookmarks than the places.sqlite database which Mozilla uses. Google Chrome and Firefox share no code with regards to bookmarks storage or with the user interface; completely different so no comparison of the two is valid.

I know that, and I was not comparing the two. It was just an observation regarding synchronising devices generally.

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1256259|said]]'' <blockquote> '''''"I gather from what I've read that this problem also exists in the Google Chrome web browser."''''' Apples and oranges. Google Chrome uses a completely different method for storing saved bookmarks than the places.sqlite database which Mozilla uses. Google Chrome and Firefox share no code with regards to bookmarks storage or with the user interface; completely different so no comparison of the two is valid. </blockquote> I know that, and I was <u>not</u> comparing the two. It was just an observation regarding synchronising devices generally.

Τροποποιήθηκε στις από το χρήστη OzMerry

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the-edmeister said

IMO, based upon the sheer number of user complaints / support question posted here about Sync that include the Firefox for Android or Firefox for iOS -- those "mobile" devices as they are connected to Sync are most likely the true cause for the corruption you have experienced. I believe it has to do with how differently the "mobile bookmarks" and the Bookmarks Toolbar on the desktop / laptop versions of Firefox are handled differently on the Sync server. And the issue may be exacerbated by the user once corruption is seen by the user and the user attempts to correct the faults they see in a piecemeal fashion which then adds to the corruption.

All the more reason for definitive (i.e. not "most likely", "may be exacerbated", "should fix", "I believe", etc.), easy-to-understand information and troubleshooting tips for syncing. Despite the many different possible scenarios, Mozilla can't reasonably expect all Firefox users to understand how it all works, and condescendingly implying that it's always the user's fault isn't helpful, serves only to increase user frustration and doesn't engender a positive, approachable support environment, bearing in mind that user perception will inevitably differ from that of Mozilla support staff.

There's not much point in having the sync functionality at all if it is so vulnerable to user misunderstanding and/or so reliant on specific considerations and doesn't instead just work. Why, for example, is it so: "...the "mobile bookmarks" and the Bookmarks Toolbar on the desktop / laptop versions of Firefox are handled differently on the Sync server."?

Firefox users shouldn't need to be concerned about that sort of thing.

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1256259|said]]'' <blockquote>IMO, based upon the sheer number of user complaints / support question posted here about Sync that include the Firefox for Android or Firefox for iOS -- those "mobile" devices as they are connected to Sync are most likely the true cause for the corruption you have experienced. I believe it has to do with how differently the "mobile bookmarks" and the Bookmarks Toolbar on the desktop / laptop versions of Firefox are handled differently on the Sync server. And the issue may be exacerbated by the user once corruption is seen by the user and the user attempts to correct the faults they see in a piecemeal fashion which then adds to the corruption.</blockquote> All the more reason for definitive (i.e. not "most likely", "may be exacerbated", "should fix", "I believe", etc.), easy-to-understand information and troubleshooting tips for syncing. Despite the many different possible scenarios, Mozilla can't reasonably expect <u>all</u> Firefox users to understand how it all works, and condescendingly implying that it's always the user's fault isn't helpful, serves only to increase user frustration and doesn't engender a positive, approachable support environment, bearing in mind that user perception will inevitably differ from that of Mozilla support staff. There's not much point in having the sync functionality at all if it is so vulnerable to user misunderstanding and/or so reliant on specific considerations and doesn't instead just work. Why, for example, is it so: <b>"...the "mobile bookmarks" and the Bookmarks Toolbar on the desktop / laptop versions of Firefox are handled differently on the Sync server."</b>? Firefox users shouldn't need to be concerned about that sort of thing.
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