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Can not import bookmarks.html

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  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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Running WinXP PRO v2002 SP3 Firefox v37.0.2 I have a ton of bookmark folders and bookmarks. I can export to bookmarks.html on desktop that will load to a browser window. I want to completely remove from registry Firefox v37.0.2 and start afresh with v39.0. To test, I deleted a bookmarks folder with a few bookmarks in it. The importing html process did not restore the deleted folder. Checking the saved bookmarks.html for the missing folder showed there were seven instances of the folder along with their bookmark entries. Should there only be one instance of the folder and its' bookmarks? I verified this by checking other browser window bookmark folders and each showed seven instances in the bookmarks.html along with their bookmark entries.

The reason for totally removing v37.0.2… sometime after v35.0 a window resizing problem appeared. The popup windows for bookmark folder Properties and bookmark Properties could not be resized. When you cursor over the sides or corners, the adjustment arrows do not appear. The popup window is two monitor lengths in width and a little awkward in getting it to be saved so the left hand side is visible. Carriage return will extend height and can be saved.

If I remove Firefox from my computers' registry and re-establish v39.0, will I be able to replace my bookmarks. Maybe not. I would have to replace them manually from the bookmarks.html and that would take time to do.

Any solutions? Was this a bug or is it relevant to be still using WinXP PRO SP3?

Attached screenshots

All Replies (9)

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A few quick comments. You should be using the up to date secure Firefox Release, that was fx38.0.5 and is now Fx 39.0.

Do not start playing with any Windows XP registry entries.

Firefox settings and bookmarks are within the Firefox profile. If for instance for test and comparison purposes you run an additional legacy Firefox version it should have its own profile. It is not normally good practice to try sharing profiles between different Firefox versions.

If you wish to try differing settings and differing bookmark sets create additional profiles. (Good practice never to nest profiles, and best not to rename or delete profiles) More details lower down.

HTML bookmarks should import and export but will be tagged on to the end of existing bookmarks. The backups are .json type files and will completely overwrite existing bookmarks if restored.

Whatever the oversized popup problem is it is completely separate from the Bookmarks contents and bookmarks html. Looking at your screenshot this is the properties dialogue from a bookmarks toolbar folder named "CELLO"

Please try: Creating an new additional test profile for Firefox, open that in Firefox's safemode.

Does that work ok in so far as bookmark toolbar folders dialogue boxes are an ordinary size? I think by default there are some folders, maybe the Most Visited for instance on the bookmarks toolbar. Please try that and attach a screenshot of that.

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Your response has been acknowledged John99. Reference to your bio. I remember tech college Ottawa, Ontario… IBM 360 system and boxes of cards to run your program… Fortran language.

I have been following the Firefox version updates up to v37.0.2. I can't remember what version created the resizing problem. I thought that if, I uninstalled Ff completely and made sure there were no entries in registry (there are a number of web pages showing how to go into registry to totally remove Firefox manually) and then reinstalling the latest version, the resizing problem might be corrected. But I need to save all my bookmarks.

Was there a break in the Ff coding that initiated the resizing problem or is it a WinXP PRO conflict?

The deletion test was a safety precaution. My test in deleting a bookmark folder and then using the 'Import html' to re-establish that folder of bookmarks failed. It should have over written everything (Folders and bookmarks) and brought back the deleted folder. I used the hyper links in the bookmarks.html to recreate the folder again.

If I open the html file in the browser, I can scroll through seven instances of 'All Bookmarks'. If I am correct, there should be only one instance of 'All Bookmarks' or are these consecutive saved backups?

I looked at bookmarks-2015-07-03.json and it is 18,388 KB. bookmarks.html is 38,719 KB. I changed the .json extension to html to have a look at the way the coding is saved.

I will do a profile check, though I just have one from the very beginning in using Ff. I will also do a safe mode check.

Thank you for your take on this problem John99.

I will get back with the results.

regards, stan

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Hi again, using a phone right now so typing likely to be worse than usual.

The html backups should be equivalent to your total bookmarks. They will open in Firefox as a web pag e and should be easy to understand and edieditedit.

my predictive text is brbrobroken today !!

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The 'safe mode' was checked out to see how it loaded.

WinXP programs are stored on Drive F: and run from Drive C:.

bookmarks.html was saved to Bookmarks folder on desktop.

Did a Profile check from Windows 'Start' ► 'Run' ► '%appdata%\mozilla\firefox\Profiles'.

I only have the default profile folder 'kupx88hd.default' but there is no bookmarks.html file, though there is a 'bookmarkbackups' folder. In this folder there are 15 entries with the most recent 'bookmarks-2015-07-03_53594_ryUl0r8hvhJqZrjTGxCnjw==.jsonlz4' 6,157 KB.

Open Ff window with bookmarks.html that has seven repititions of all my bookmarks. 38,739 KB

'Library' window open with bookmarks.

I am trying to understand where the bookmarks.html is located or does it only show up in the default Profile when Ff session is terminated?

I tried to 'Import html bookmarks', always getting a popup showing a script error and asking whether I should continue or stop the script.

I see that you can not upload .bmp files??

regards, stan

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On my phone, apparently, predictive text works on one Firefox version but not another. Back to using a standard computer.

As I mentioned in my last post, please backup your profile

If your bookmarks database is faulty ( but backup the profile first ! ) see

I remember tech college Ottawa, Ontario… IBM 360 system and boxes of cards to run your program… Fortran language.

Computers have moved on somewhat from room size IBM360 & the decades later cabinet size IBM System 36. Who from those days would have thought about a pocket satnav and video camera on a cheap phone being used by many people including those in the developing world. Or something else I asked myself: What's the point of an IR remote ? Now many things are cordless utilising IR, Wifi or BlueTooth. Flat screen TV took a long time though, and fusion is always 20-50years away.

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First time looking into the workings of a browser, though savvy with entering registry from Windows 96 period to present. Previous IE browser but switched to Firefox and got the workings of it.

I will leave this for the time being until Sunday. Will go through those suggestions, and thank you for the footwork done.

regards, stan

Modified by 13_for_1

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Hi Stan,

Did you backup the Firefox profile and put a copy safe somewhere ?

Some more notes for Sunday

Firefox stores the working bookmarks in a database places.sqlite which also has History and bookmark tags.

I am trying to understand where the bookmarks.html is located or does it only show up in the default Profile when Ff session is terminated?

Firefox does not make use of html files for bookmarks other than having the ability to import and export as html. The main database is a sqlite, and it is possible to examine and manipulate that, but it is not recommended. If you do need to try the make sure you have backup copies. IIRC there was a change in the structure of the database but it was not within the last few Fx versions. Fx37 & Fx39 places.sqlite will have the same structure.

If you have repeatedly exported bookmarks and imported them again your bookmarks database will grow exponentially, because the imported bookmarks are appended. I am not sure XP kept previous versions of files. No idea what you yourself backup if you have had Firefox for years do you have backups of the Firefox profile and places.sqlite ?

As I mentioned previously places maintenance will give a status report as a short text file. Note as the number of bookmarks increase the number of History entries may decrease. There is some algorithm defining the maximum file size and precedence is given to bookmarks.

The backup bookmarks are the bookmark element, but without the History. They are not HTML and re naming them as HTML is unlikely to help. I note there is also a json viewer available although I have never tried that

Note the bookmarks library itself now displays the file size, date and number of bookmarks in the .json files.

In fact your comment

... =.jsonlz4' 6,157 KB.

Reminds me that whilst user generated backups are still vanilla .json the internal backups within the profile are lz4 compressed (Bug 818587 - Compress bookmark backups ) since fx32.

Did you set up a new profile ? You may test HTML .json or .jsonlz4 files in the new profile by restoring or importing them. It is probably not worth working with the current profile. If you temporarily renamed places sqlite, it will regenerate itself but probably using a bookmarks backup that also has duplications,

I see that you can not upload .bmp files??

Yes a known issue. Some parts of the forum will accept and convert .bmp files, but the support forum only accepts small .bmp files.

HTML files are easy to edit. If you have duplicated sections you should be able to edit out any duplicated sections. Just do not import into your day to day working profile.

As you have multiple hdd you will have plenty of space if you want to install multiple Firefox versions. No idea of your machines spec, it is possible to run multiple Fx versions simultaneously, but on a legacy machine there may be issues with RAM.

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A few things of importance to keep in mind regarding bookmarks.

  1. The bookmarks.html file is a "legacy" type file. Since Firefox 3.0 was released, and the "places" scheme was instituted for bookmarks storage, it has been used for two basic things. 1st. For Profile creation when Firefox is installed and when the user creates a new Profile - to provide a default set of bookmarks; either the default set or the users choice if they created their own custom build of Firefox. 2nd. For reasons of a "standard" for interchange with other browsers dating to 1995-96 when Netscape "ruled" and Microsoft developed Internet Explorer. This format was created by Netscape - note the Doctype line at the top of the source in a bookmarks.html file. AFAIK, every browser out there, except for Chrome / Chromium did both export and import in the bookmarks.html format for user convenience and "portability" of Favorites / Bookmarks between the "warring" browsers.
  2. When you import a bookmarks.html file it will append the existing bookmarks, resulting in duplicates if you are importing the same set of bookmarks. When you restore a bookmarksbackup-####,json file it will replace the existing bookmarks entirely with the set you are restoring.
  3. The bookmarks.html file in the Profile folder is basically "static" since (like) Firefox 3.6 or 4.0 - IOW it doesn't change or get updated as it once did at the end of a browsing session. There is a pref in about:config that can be toggled to "turn on" the bookmarks.html file to make it "autoExport" as Firefox is shutdown (per developer internal source code notes for this pref). browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML

US Navy trained electronics technician -1968 @ NATTC Memphis, TN schooling - then a Reservist @ NAS Glenview, IL maintaining old aircraft with vacuum tubes, yeah on a carrier, too - heated cathodes and reinforced anodes to preserve the tubes on hard landings (or controlled crash landings in rough seas, LOL) - didn't get much transistor theory in the Navy school - went to Harper College in Palatine, IL a couple of years later, across the road from Motorola, Inc world headquarters - two of our instructors worked for Motorola as EE - mostly communications equipment in those days - two-way radios, pre-cellular, at least what they could share with us ... Speaking of old programming languages and old computers ... In 1970 in an electronics curricula course, I used a WANG counter top modular computer (about the size of a George Forman grille, as I recall) that used punch cards for input and iirc thermal roll paper for output (I still smile when I say "wang" or type it out.) We could spend a week "drawing" a circuit schematic on punch cards and with one lousy card out of order, we would end up with "crossed lines" creating a massive "short circuit" on paper. Then there is the main frame program that we learned - ECAP - Electronic Compilation Analysis Program (iirc the full name of that acronym or And Plotting). A stack of couple hundred punch cards (way more than just a handful) to "plot" a single cycle sinusoidal wave that took over an hour to run on the mainframe during off hours. One card out of place and the program would lockup; if the guys monitoring the main frame weren't watching it - like outside grabbing a smoke, playing cards, or sleeping - instead 8 students programs getting runtime, none or a few got their single page output. Damn, I'm an old man...

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If the bookmarks.html backup is corrupted (i.e you see the same folder more than once like you wrote) than there might be a problem with the places.sqlite database file.

You can check for problems with the places.sqlite database file in the Firefox profile folder.

You can open the file in the Scratchpad (Firefox/Tools > Web Developer). If necessary click the "Pretty Print" button to format the file for readability (e.g. in case of a JSON backup).