Recover lost or missing Bookmarks

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  • Creator: Michael Verdi
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During normal usage of Firefox, you may discover that Firefox has apparently lost your bookmarks. In most cases, the bookmarks are not lost. This article discusses the main ways in which it can appear that your bookmarks are missing and explains how you can recover them.

To recover bookmarks that were previously saved but are now missing, try the solutions listed below.


Menu bar is missing

The menu at the top of the Firefox windowbar includes a Bookmarks item along with other menu items (File, Edit, View, Tools, etc.). In some cases, the menu bar may be missing.

If you don't see the menu bar in Firefox 3.6,

  1. Press Alt on the keyboard and release. The menu bar will appear temporarily.
  2. On the menu bar, click View, go to Toolbars, then select Menu Bar.

See Restore the Menu bar in Firefox for more information.

Bookmarks missing after upgrading Firefox

Problematic extension

An old version of the Torbutton extension is known to cause bookmarks to go missing after updating to Firefox 3.6. If the Torbutton extension is installed, you will need to update it to the latest version.

To see if the Torbutton extension is installed and to update the extension:

  1. At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the Tools menu and select Add-ons. The Add-ons window will appear.
  2. In the Add-ons window, select the Extensions panel.
  3. Look for Torbutton in the list of extensions. (If you don't see it, then Torbutton is not installed.)
  4. Select the Torbutton extension, if found.
  5. Click the Find Updates button. When the updated version is found, the Updates panel of the Add-ons window will be selected.
  6. Click Install Updates. The new version will download.
  7. When prompted, click Restart Firefox to finish updating the extension.

After Firefox restarts, you should be able to restore your bookmarks. See Restoring bookmark backups below.


Firefox missing some bookmarks after upgrading from Firefox 3.0

In rare cases, if you upgrade to Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 from Firefox 3.0, some of your bookmarks from the previous version may be missing. This happens because of corruption in the bookmarks database file. You can restore your bookmarks from a bookmark backup file if you discover the problem within five days of upgrading. See Restoring bookmark backups below.

Firefox missing some bookmarks after upgrading from Firefox 1 or 2

See Firefox 3 upgrade switches bookmarks and other settings to older version.

Firefox missing some bookmarks after upgrading from Firefox 1 or 2

See Firefox 3 upgrade switches bookmarks and other settings to older version.

Bookmarks missing and toolbar buttons not working

See Bookmarks and toolbar buttons not working after upgrading. If you use Norton 360, also follow our instructions on Configure Norton 360 to work with Firefox.

Unable to find your bookmarks after importing them

If you have imported your bookmarks from another browser, they appear in the Bookmarks menu in a specific folder. To find your imported bookmarks, do the following:

  1. From the menu at the top of the Firefox windowbar, select the Bookmarks menu. A list of your bookmarks appears.
  2. Depending on the type of browser from which you imported, your bookmarks appear in a specially named folder in the Bookmarks list.
    • Internet Explorer. Folder name is From Internet Explorer.
    • Opera. Folder name is From Opera.
    • Bookmarks imported from other browsers follow a similar pattern.
  1. If your source bookmarks were stored in a hierarchy of folders, the folder structure is preserved inside the specially named folder.
  2. If desired, you can move your imported bookmarks to other folders. For more information, see Bookmarks in Firefox.

No bookmarks shown in the bookmarks menu or toolbar after installing an add-on

If you have restarted Firefox after installing an add-on and no bookmarks appear it may be that Firefox did not close properly before restarting.

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the taskbar, and select Task Manager to bring up the Task Manager.
  2. Select the Processes tab.
  3. Look through the list of processes for firefox.exe, and select it.
  4. click End Process.
  5. Run Firefox and your bookmarks should be back

Default set of bookmarks is shown in Bookmarks folder

Your bookmarks are associated with the profile that you are using. For most Firefox users, the only profile used is the default one. There may be instances when Firefox creates for you a new profile. When this new profile is activated, it contains the default set of bookmarks, which may give you the impression that you have lost your personal bookmarks. This troubleshooting sequence helps you to identify if a new profile has been created and how to recover your bookmarks from the previous one.

Determining if Firefox has created a new profile

  1. Go to the Firefox profile folder.
  1. If there is only one profile folder, then skip to the next set of steps.
    Note: Each profile folder is named something like the following:
    xxxxxxxx.<ProfileName>
    where xxxxxxxx represents a random string of 8 characters and <ProfileName> corresponds to the name of the profile. For example, the folder containing the default profile is named xxxxxxxx.default.
  2. If you have multiple profile folders in this location, then you have multiple profiles. If you have more than one profile folder, then it is likely that Firefox has made you a new profile. In this case, you must instruct Firefox to use the profile containing your saved bookmarks, by opening the Firefox Profile Manager and choosing the right profile. See the Profile Manager - Create, remove, or switch Firefox profiles article for details.


Restoring bookmark backups

The file where your bookmarks are stored can become corrupted or other problems can occur, causing some or all of your bookmarks to be unavailable in Firefox. If you lost your bookmarks within the last five days, you can restore them from the set of backups that Firefox maintains.

  1. From the menu at the top of the Firefox windowbar, click the Bookmarks menu and choose Organize Bookmarks… to open the Library window.
  2. Before proceeding, you should make a backup of your current bookmarks.
    1. From the toolbar on the Library window, select be4487ed21fb08976a5e865cd956ef8e-1255115704-343-1.png Import and Backup and choose Backup…
    2. Firefox will ask you to save the bookmark backup to a folder on your hard drive. Choose a location that you will remember.
    3. Your current bookmarks have been backed up to the file you selected.
  3. From the toolbar on the Library window, select be4487ed21fb08976a5e865cd956ef8e-1255115704-343-1.png Import and Backup to open the Import and Backup menu, and pick Restore… to see a list of available bookmark backups organized by date.
  4. To restore one of the listed backups, select it from the Restore… menu. Choose the newest bookmark backup that was created before the bookmarks were lost. You will lose all changes to your bookmarks that occurred after the date you select.
    • Note: To restore a backup that you saved manually, select Choose File… from the Restore menu instead of selecting an automatic backup
  1. A confirmation window will appear asking you to confirm replacing your bookmarks with the backup. To replace the bookmarks, press OK. To go back, press Cancel.

+ You cannot undo this unless you saved a backup file as instructed above.

  1. Your bookmarks have been restored to the date you selected. If your bookmarks do not show up after completing the restore process, repeat the above steps to restore an earlier backup.




Based on information from Lost bookmarks (mozillaZine KB)