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Can't set new bookmarks; a few disappeared; backed up but won't restore; lost lots more. HELP!!

  • 3 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • 260 views
  • Last reply by hirshebar

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Problem grew progressively worse over 2-3 days. First, a few bookmarks disappeared from the toolbar. At the same time, "Bookmark This Page" stopped working, and the "Recently Bookmarked" list went blank. When I followed the Firefox-recommended procedure to backup and restore, I repeatedly got the message that Firefox was unable to process the restore. Then 3/4ths of my bookmark folders disappeared. This happened trying it with several different backup dates. Now I find that a number of other people are having similar problems. Like some of them, my problem may have started during a restart due to a lockup in another program. The Mozilla Support system seems way too complicated, time-consuming and circular, and talking to a live person does not appear to be an option. If this isn't fixed in the next 24 hours I'm trying other browsers, after using Firefox almost exclusively for several years.

Chosen solution

I see you have the Places Maintenance extension. Did using that make any difference to your ability to add bookmarks, or stop the losses?

To test the integrity of your bookmark backup files, I'm going to suggest trying to restore one or two of them to a new profile.

Since I am a Windows user, I apologize in advance if this reply is not completely applicable to your system.

Copy Bookmark Backups to a Convenient Location

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/Return

In the first table on the page, click the "Show in Finder" button. This should launch a new Finder window. Then double-click into the bookmarkbackups folder. Copy some of your recent backups to the Desktop or another convenient location.

Create a new Firefox profile

Quit Firefox if it's running. Start up in the Profile Manager using the method in this article: Profile Manager - Create, remove or switch Firefox profiles.

Notes:

  • Do not delete anything here!
  • Any time you want to switch profiles, quit Firefox and return to this dialog.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like Test0426, and skip the option to change the folder location. Then select that new profile in the dialog and start Firefox.

Test Bookmark Backups

Firefox in the new profile should look like a factory fresh installation. You can use the steps in this article to test one or more of the files you copied to your Desktop (or other convenient location): Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer (use the Choose File option instead of one of the dated options).

Can Firefox in the new profile read and restore the backup?

Returning to Your Normal Profile

Quit Firefox and refer to this article: Profile Manager - Create, remove or switch Firefox profiles.

When returning to the Profile Manager, you might be tempted to use the Delete Profile button on Test0426. But... it's a bit too easy to accidentally delete your "real" profile, so I recommend resisting the temptation. If you do want to clean up later, I suggest making a backup of all your profiles first in case something were to go wrong.

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Chosen Solution

I see you have the Places Maintenance extension. Did using that make any difference to your ability to add bookmarks, or stop the losses?

To test the integrity of your bookmark backup files, I'm going to suggest trying to restore one or two of them to a new profile.

Since I am a Windows user, I apologize in advance if this reply is not completely applicable to your system.

Copy Bookmark Backups to a Convenient Location

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/Return

In the first table on the page, click the "Show in Finder" button. This should launch a new Finder window. Then double-click into the bookmarkbackups folder. Copy some of your recent backups to the Desktop or another convenient location.

Create a new Firefox profile

Quit Firefox if it's running. Start up in the Profile Manager using the method in this article: Profile Manager - Create, remove or switch Firefox profiles.

Notes:

  • Do not delete anything here!
  • Any time you want to switch profiles, quit Firefox and return to this dialog.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like Test0426, and skip the option to change the folder location. Then select that new profile in the dialog and start Firefox.

Test Bookmark Backups

Firefox in the new profile should look like a factory fresh installation. You can use the steps in this article to test one or more of the files you copied to your Desktop (or other convenient location): Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer (use the Choose File option instead of one of the dated options).

Can Firefox in the new profile read and restore the backup?

Returning to Your Normal Profile

Quit Firefox and refer to this article: Profile Manager - Create, remove or switch Firefox profiles.

When returning to the Profile Manager, you might be tempted to use the Delete Profile button on Test0426. But... it's a bit too easy to accidentally delete your "real" profile, so I recommend resisting the temptation. If you do want to clean up later, I suggest making a backup of all your profiles first in case something were to go wrong.

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Half hour later, after closing Firefox for a while, I reopened it and the bookmarks and folders were all there again! Some of the graphics were missing in the toolbar, but all the bookmarks are there. I immediately exported them all to Dropbox for safekeeping. No way to explain what fixed it.

Meanwhile, I downloaded Google Chrome, started to use it, and it immediately crashed. End of experiment.

Thanks for your efforts.

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In the toolbar, the graphic icon for each bookmark restored itself when I clicked on the bookmarked sites one by one. Now it all works and looks as before the problem began.