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Sync lost my last 3 months only of bookmarks following a Hard Drive crash. Can I recover these online? All older bookmarks prior to 3 month reappeared via sync.

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  • Last reply by John25

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Hello. I am trying to recover a portion of my bookmarks from online sync which partially disappeared on a recent sync upgrade from the old to new sync. During this upgrade, bookmarks older than 3 months, preferences, plug-ins and other settings all synced fine. The more recent bookmarks however did not appear. Due to a Hard drive crash, no local files are available.

I was running Win 8.1 and an automatically updated Firefox (ver 39 I assume). I was using old Firefox sync. It synced automatically, but I also pressed the manual sync button about once a day and Firefox showed it synced. Had a hard drive failure, so no local firefox profiles or files of any sort available. Backups on MS OneDrive lost by MS. :( New Hard Drive and fresh install of Win 8.1, and FireFox 39. No sync. Followed online instructions to install Firefox 28, then sync. This worked but oddly left off the most recent 3 months of bookmarks while syncing everything else. Following instructions, I upgraded to Firefox 29, converted to the new sync. Then upgraded to Firefox 39. Everything is working fine apparently.

Is there any means of recovering my recent bookmarks from Mozilla sync online? Is my old sync account/profile still in the cloud? Any help would be very much appreciated. thank you.

All Replies (8)

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Bookmark / History Backups

Type about:support<Enter> in the address bar.

Under the page logo on the left side you will see Application Basics. Under this find Profile Folder. To it’s right press the button Show Folder. This will open your file browser to the current Firefox profile. Now Close Firefox.

Enter the bookmarkbackups folder. This is where Firefox makes backups of your bookmarks. Look for the jsonlz4 file you want to restore (check the time / date / size). Right click on that file and select Copy. Now go back to the profile folder where you started. Rename the file places.sqlite by adding .old to it. Now right click in the folder and select Paste. The file you just pasted here, rename it to places.sqlite. After you are done, restart Firefox.

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These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backup of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

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Thank you FredMcD. Unfortunately due to the prior hard drive crash, only new files from the brand new hard disks and Windows install are available. The oldest backup is the day of the rebuild. I tried all of the backups, but none contained the missing three moths of data.

Is there any backup available online via Firefox sync or the old sync account? I'm about to unistall Firefox and try and old version to see if it can pull the data from before the sync upgrade. Any thoughts or recommendations? (I backed my new profile up first.

I will make use of FEBE going forward. Thanks, that is good info!

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Do not bother. Your user information is in a separate folder from the program folder. I do nt know sync. Please wait for someone else for those answers. I will call for you.

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"Is there any backup available online via Firefox sync or the old sync account?"

Sorry, Sync doesn't keep backups of the previous data - it only stores the current data set. Sync isn't a "cloud" for data storage and user access, it was made to synchronize data among multiple Sync'd devices. If one device breaks or is lost, the Firefox user data is still on the other devices.

As far as trying to log on to the old Sync, if you upgraded your Sync account - IOW,did the "upgrade" where the same email address was used for your account name - you can't get into the old Sync any longer. Mozilla will be shutting down the old Sync service by the end of the year; new account creation was disabled many months ago about the time that the ESR 24 version transitioned to the ESR 31. Overall, I am surprised that Mozilla kept the old Sync operational for as long as it did for versions of Firefox that have been long past being supported by Mozilla.

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Thank you the-edmeister and FredMcD. I appreciate your help. I used a different email for the old sync and the new one, in the hope that it would keep both versions in case of a problem upgrading. If I understand you, it sounds like that old sync info should still be there. Is that correct?

I tried moving the profiles and uninstalling Firefox then installing firefox 27.0 getting into the old sync bookmarks, but Firefox seems too smart and puts me into the new account automagically.

Is there a way to do this and do you have any guess as to which version of Firefox I should try try?

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As posted by phillip in the duplicate thread that you created. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1071329


hello, firefox 29 and above use a new sync login system which isn't compatible with the old username/password/sync-key method anymore. you could unlink your current "new" sync account from your profile from the firefox options > sync section and then try this "hack" to get a new firefox version to connect to an old sync account though:

enter about:config into the firefox address bar (confirm the info message in case it shows up), right-click somewhere in that page & create a new string preference named services.sync.username with a value like fake. afterwards you should be able to connect to the old account through the firefox options > sync panel. click on set up firefox sync > i have an account > i don't have the device with me where you can enter your existing credentials.

if this worked and you could import your data successfully, please migrate to the new sync afterwards: Sync your Firefox bookmarks, history, passwords and more

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Thank you for your help Philipp. I was able to follow your instructions to unlink from sync and relink with the old account without any trouble. Thanks for being so clear!

The old bookmarks returned. However the 3 month gap in the old account still remains. Given that Firefox showed that it was syncing with the manual syncs, is there any thought that the bookmark data is in the file on the Firefox sync server, but that it is not being read completely due to a bug or a corrupted entry?

It probably isn't relevant, but the one oddity I can report is that my bookmarks toolbar after snycing shows 3 separaters on the far right that I didn't put there. They are trivial to remove, just bringing it up in case it rings a bell with someone.

Thanks again for all of your help above and beyond Phillipp and the-edmister!