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Bookmarks not syncing correctly

  • 5 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 24 views
  • Last reply by Rod

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I've been syncing bookmarks perfectly OK across two PC's and two Android devices but recently syncing bookmarks has caused problems.

In the bookmarks menu (the drop down list) all of my bookmarks are stored in folders in alphabetical order and I also have some of these folders copied in the bookmarks toolbar. After syncing various things can happen: bookmarks disappear completely from a folder, they are duplicated in the toolbar folder, the folders themselves are duplicated, bookmarks are mixed up and can appear in any folder or no folder and so on. After the first sync it might only be one thing that happens but with each sync more and more errors occur. I can't see an obvious pattern except that it does happen with every sync.

To try to correct it I've deleted all bookmarks from both PC's and both Android devices, unlinked the devices from my sync account, restored the bookmarks from a known good backup and re-linked the account. However, at the first sync some or all of the above problems re-occur on one or more devices.

I've changed nothing on any of the devices except for Firefox updates on the PC's (I'm currently on v43.0.3) so I'm assuming it's either an update caused it or it's developed a bug. Also, all other sync options (preferences, etc) work OK, it's just bookmarks that go wrong. Perhaps I should mention that one PC is on Windows 7, one is on Windows 10 and the Android devices are both on v5.1 and have been for some time but the problem has only been happening for a few days.

Any help to rectify this would be much appreciated.

All Replies (5)

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I've sorted it - although I'm not entirely sure I know what caused it! I suspect either one or more bookmarks had become corrupted or it was caused by one of the recent updates. In the absence of any replies, doing nothing wasn't a viable option for me - I need synced bookmarks.

So I began by deleting all bookmarks on all devices and across all platforms and restored from an older backup copy that I thought was far enough back to be unaffected by recent updates. I figured the worst that could happen was I'd lose any bookmarks that have been added since that backup, which shouldn't have been too many.

As it happened that solved the problem and after a couple of syncs all bookmarks were where they should be on all devices. It remains to be seen if they remain there.

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You can check for problems with the places.sqlite database (bookmarks, history) in the Firefox profile folder.

See also:

If you use Sync then best is to disconnect Sync (temporarily) while performing maintenance/repair efforts to the places.sqlite database.

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cor-el said

You can check for problems with the places.sqlite database (bookmarks, history) in the Firefox profile folder. See also: If you use Sync then best is to disconnect Sync (temporarily) while performing maintenance/repair efforts to the places.sqlite database.

Thanks for the info. I was too hasty saying I'd solved it!

Same thing happened again today so I've followed your advice. I firstly unlinked all devices from my sync account and then followed the instructions to delete the places.sqlite file. However, Firefox creates another copy of this file when it starts up and restores the latest back-up copy of the bookmarks but as I'm not too sure about the integrity of this backup I restored another (older) copy that I knew was OK.

The result - All bookmarks are where they should be and syncing. However, this time I'll wait a few days before I declare it a success!

Thanks for your help.

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IMO, leave the Android devices disconnected from Sync for a few days. I suspect the corruption of bookmarks begins with the 'mobile' devices, and once started it can quickly get out of hand on the Desktop / Laptop devices.

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the-edmeister said

IMO, leave the Android devices disconnected from Sync for a few days. I suspect the corruption of bookmarks begins with the 'mobile' devices, and once started it can quickly get out of hand on the Desktop / Laptop devices.

Thanks, I was thinking the same thing so when I re-connected the Android devices I let them sync once as normal and then turned off auto-sync, so I can only do a manual sync now. I thought if I synced from one device at a time it might show me which one was causing the problem.

Any way, the bookmarks are synced correctly on all devices at the moment but as I haven't done a manual sync I still don't know if it's working properly.

However, I'm not too sure what syncs to what? Does it simply auto-sync when a change is made regardless of which device the change is made on or does it have a more complex method?

Does one device have priority to sync to other devices or is it