X
Tap here to go to the mobile version of the site.

Support Forum

My bookmarks have disappeared after Mozilla updated my browser.

Posted

It appears that Mozilla did an update to my browser this morning -- to Version 55.0 (32-bit) -- and now my bookmarks are gone. There seems to be some bookmark backups, but the normal restore process is not working. Please advise.

It appears that Mozilla did an update to my browser this morning -- to Version 55.0 (32-bit) -- and now my bookmarks are gone. There seems to be some bookmark backups, but the normal restore process is not working. Please advise.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 26.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:55.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/55.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4246 solutions 59390 answers

Places Maintenance {web link} Allows to run Maintenance tasks on the database that drives Places, the bookmarks and history module behind Firefox.

Open the Add-ons Manager. Locate the add-on and press the Options button. Then follow the directions.

'''[https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/places-maintenance/ Places Maintenance]''' {web link} Allows to run Maintenance tasks on the database that drives Places, the bookmarks and history module behind Firefox. Open the Add-ons Manager. Locate the add-on and press the '''Options''' button. Then follow the directions.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17470 solutions 157890 answers

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

See also:

If the Places Maintenance extension can't repair the places.sqlite database then remove all places.sqlite file(s) in the Firefox profile folder to make Firefox rebuild the places.sqlite database from the most recent JSON backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

You can check for problems with the <b>places.sqlite</b> database (bookmarks and history) in the Firefox profile folder. *https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/places-maintenance/ See also: *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Locked_or_damaged_places.sqlite *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Bookmarks+not+saved#w_fix-the-bookmarks-file *Bookmarks -> Show All Bookmarks -> Import & Backup If the Places Maintenance extension can't repair the places.sqlite database then remove all places.sqlite file(s) in the Firefox profile folder to make Firefox rebuild the places.sqlite database from the most recent JSON backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. *keep a backup copy of places.sqlite in case a new places.sqlite database has to be created *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Unable_to_process_the_backup_file_-_Firefox You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:<br>Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox

Question owner

Places Maintenance appears to fail W/message 'unable to collects stats'. I'm not a very sharp user and will have trouble following the cor-el post suggestions. I will try tomorrow as I don't want to make any mistakes. However, I see only one places.sqlite file. Could I be missing something ? If I delete this file then how do I force Firefox to to rebuild the file ?

Places Maintenance appears to fail W/message 'unable to collects stats'. I'm not a very sharp user and will have trouble following the cor-el post suggestions. I will try tomorrow as I don't want to make any mistakes. However, I see only one places.sqlite file. Could I be missing something ? If I delete this file then how do I force Firefox to to rebuild the file ?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8690 solutions 71037 answers

Several users have reported a glitch in their upgrade where Firefox seems to have no ability access old bookmarks or save new ones, but it's not clear what triggers it.

Have you tried shutting down and restarting Windows since this problem began?

jarice2 said

I see only one places.sqlite file. Could I be missing something ? If I delete this file then how do I force Firefox to to rebuild the file ?

If you exit out of Firefox and drag the places.sqlite file to another location, or rename it with an X at the beginning -- hiding it from Firefox -- at your next startup Firefox will start a fresh one. However, please keep the old one in case that doesn't work since you may need it later.

Several users have reported a glitch in their upgrade where Firefox seems to have no ability access old bookmarks or save new ones, but it's not clear what triggers it. Have you tried shutting down and restarting Windows since this problem began? ''jarice2 [[#answer-994615|said]]'' <blockquote>I see only one places.sqlite file. Could I be missing something ? If I delete this file then how do I force Firefox to to rebuild the file ?</blockquote> If you exit out of Firefox and drag the places.sqlite file to another location, or rename it with an X at the beginning -- hiding it from Firefox -- at your next startup Firefox will start a fresh one. However, please keep the old one in case that doesn't work since you may need it later.

Question owner

I did as suggested following a 'create new bookmarks' help I found online and info from your helps. I did in fact get a new places.sqlite file. Also tried a system reset. Got no Bookmarks nor can I set a set a new bookmark. In the online help I found, they also suggest replacing the 'places.sqlite-journal and optionally 'xulstore.json'. Sould I do this ?Do you responders have any more suggestions ? I'm at your mercy.

I did as suggested following a 'create new bookmarks' help I found online and info from your helps. I did in fact get a new places.sqlite file. Also tried a system reset. Got no Bookmarks nor can I set a set a new bookmark. In the online help I found, they also suggest replacing the 'places.sqlite-journal and optionally 'xulstore.json'. Sould I do this ?Do you responders have any more suggestions ? I'm at your mercy.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8690 solutions 71037 answers

If you haven't already, could you try starting Firefox in its Safe Mode? In Safe Mode, Firefox temporarily deactivates extensions, hardware acceleration, and some other advanced features to help you assess whether these are causing the problem.

If Firefox is not running: Hold down the Shift key when starting Firefox.

If Firefox is running: You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

and OK the restart.

Both scenarios: A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

Any improvement? (More info: Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode)


The xulstate.json file stores interface customization information such as window sizes and positions. I don't know whether it would help to delete that file, but you wouldn't lose any critical settings if you did.

If you do, you may need to turn various bars back on again. To turn different bars on and off, you can use one of these methods to show the toolbar list and select the desired bars there:

To turn on the Bookmarks Toolbar, Menu Bar, or other bars, click it on the list.

If you haven't already, could you try starting Firefox in its Safe Mode? In Safe Mode, Firefox temporarily deactivates extensions, hardware acceleration, and some other advanced features to help you assess whether these are causing the problem. ''If Firefox is not running:'' Hold down the Shift key when starting Firefox. ''If Firefox is running:'' You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either: * "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Restart with Add-ons Disabled * Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled and OK the restart. ''Both scenarios:'' A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (''not'' Refresh). Any improvement? (More info: [[Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode]]) ---- The xulstate.json file stores interface customization information such as window sizes and positions. I don't know whether it would help to delete that file, but you wouldn't lose any critical settings if you did. If you do, you may need to turn various bars back on again. To turn different bars on and off, you can use one of these methods to show the toolbar list and select the desired bars there: * right-click a blank spot on the tab bar (or the "+" button) * tap the Alt key to activate the classic menu bar > View > Toolbars * in Customize mode > Show/Hide Toolbars (see: [[Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars]]) To turn on the Bookmarks Toolbar, Menu Bar, or other bars, click it on the list.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8690 solutions 71037 answers

Also, to see whether an issue outside of Firefox could be a factor, we may ask you whether you use any security software that pays special attention to browsers, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit or Spybot Search & Destroy. Incompatibilities sometimes appear with new versions that cause crashes or breakage.

Also, to see whether an issue outside of Firefox could be a factor, we may ask you whether you use any security software that pays special attention to browsers, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit or Spybot Search & Destroy. Incompatibilities sometimes appear with new versions that cause crashes or breakage.

Question owner

OK, I put Firefox in safe mode. Following the link shown I got into schedule and was able to check title and exit customize. Then went back to schedule again. I've never been able to see the show/hide to give me a drop down menu. At any rate menu bar and toolbar and now title are checked on. Never have seen an others bar to check. To my knowledge neither of the mentioned security software is installed. I use Norton 360 for security.

OK, I put Firefox in safe mode. Following the link shown I got into schedule and was able to check title and exit customize. Then went back to schedule again. I've never been able to see the show/hide to give me a drop down menu. At any rate menu bar and toolbar and now title are checked on. Never have seen an others bar to check. To my knowledge neither of the mentioned security software is installed. I use Norton 360 for security.

Question owner

Unfortunately, I have an obligation to attend to, I won't be back until late afternoon.

Unfortunately, I have an obligation to attend to, I won't be back until late afternoon.

Question owner

Thanks

Thanks

Modified by jarice2

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17470 solutions 157890 answers

You can check the read/write permissions of all files (especially places.sqlite) in the profile folder and make sure that you are the owner.

You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

Boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support to see if that has effect in case security software is causing problems.

You can check the read/write permissions of all files (especially places.sqlite) in the profile folder and make sure that you are the owner. You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page. *Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:<br>Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox Boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support to see if that has effect in case security software is causing problems. *http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-start-windows-in-safe-mode/ *http://www.7tutorials.com/4-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-10

Question owner

I don't understand how tell if I'm the owner. From on online file called 'fix the bookmarks' I checked last night to determine that places.sqlite did not have the read only checked.

I don't understand how tell if I'm the owner. From on online file called 'fix the bookmarks' I checked last night to determine that places.sqlite did not have the read only checked.

Question owner

I've booted windows in safe mode. Tried Firefox in both safe mode and normal. Still can't set a bookmark or restore. One additional item I noticed is that in troubleshooting information, 'show update history' the 55.0 version does not have a successfully installed entry.

I've booted windows in safe mode. Tried Firefox in both safe mode and normal. Still can't set a bookmark or restore. One additional item I noticed is that in troubleshooting information, 'show update history' the 55.0 version does not have a successfully installed entry.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8690 solutions 71037 answers

jarice2 said

I've booted windows in safe mode. Tried Firefox in both safe mode and normal. Still can't set a bookmark or restore.

Thank you for testing that.

One additional item I noticed is that in troubleshooting information, 'show update history' the 55.0 version does not have a successfully installed entry.

That's very interesting. A user in a different thread said that Firefox always wanted to restart to complete the update but it never completed. These both seem like important clues, but... it's not obvious where the problem lies.

If you don't get any other suggestions, you could try installing using the full installer to see whether that resolves the issue:

Clean Reinstall

We use this name, but it's not about removing your settings, it's about making sure the program files are clean (no inconsistent or alien code files). As described below, this process does not disturb your existing settings. It's not essential to uninstall Firefox, but you can if you like, saying No to any request about removing personal data.

It only takes a few minutes.

(A) Download a fresh installer for Firefox to a convenient location. You can choose between:

Regular version for Windows 7-10 https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ Note: only runs Flash, no other legacy plugins "Windows" version is standard 32-bit version, which is generally recommended; to take advantage of more memory, you could switch to the 64-bit version, see: How to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Firefox

Extended Support Release for Windows XP-10 https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/organizations/all/ Note: Windows (32-bit) runs legacy plugins that ran in Firefox 51; 64-bit runs Flash and Silverlight. If anyone reading this is thinking of switching to the 64-bit version, see: How to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Firefox

(B) Exit out of Firefox (if applicable).

(C) Using Windows Explorer/My Computer, rename the program folder as follows:

64-bit Windows users with 32-bit Firefox: Rename

C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox

to

C:\Program Files (x86)\OldFirefox

Other Windows/Firefox combinations: Rename

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

to

C:\Program Files\OldFirefox

(D) Run the installer you downloaded in step (A). It should automatically connect to your existing settings.

Note: Some less used files may exist only in that OldFirefox folder, so I suggest retaining them for a few days in case we need to go looking for something in there.

Any improvement?

''jarice2 [[#answer-995037|said]]'' <blockquote> I've booted windows in safe mode. Tried Firefox in both safe mode and normal. Still can't set a bookmark or restore.</blockquote> Thank you for testing that. <blockquote>One additional item I noticed is that in troubleshooting information, 'show update history' the 55.0 version does not have a successfully installed entry. </blockquote> That's very interesting. A user in a different thread said that Firefox always wanted to restart to complete the update but it never completed. These both seem like important clues, but... it's not obvious where the problem lies. If you don't get any other suggestions, you could try installing using the full installer to see whether that resolves the issue: '''Clean Reinstall''' We use this name, but it's not about removing your settings, it's about making sure the program files are clean (no inconsistent or alien code files). As described below, this process does not disturb your existing settings. It's not essential to uninstall Firefox, but you can if you like, saying No to any request about removing personal data. It only takes a few minutes. (A) Download a fresh installer for Firefox to a convenient location. You can choose between: '''Regular version for Windows 7-10''' https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ Note: only runs Flash, no other legacy plugins "Windows" version is standard 32-bit version, which is generally recommended; to take advantage of more memory, you could switch to the 64-bit version, see: [[How to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Firefox]] '''Extended Support Release for Windows XP-10''' https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/organizations/all/ Note: Windows (32-bit) runs legacy plugins that ran in Firefox 51; 64-bit runs Flash and Silverlight. If anyone reading this is thinking of switching to the 64-bit version, see: [[How to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Firefox]] (B) Exit out of Firefox (if applicable). (C) Using Windows Explorer/My Computer, rename the program folder as follows: ''64-bit Windows users with 32-bit Firefox:'' Rename C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox to C:\Program Files (x86)\OldFirefox ''Other Windows/Firefox combinations:'' Rename C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox to C:\Program Files\OldFirefox (D) Run the installer you downloaded in step (A). It should automatically connect to your existing settings. Note: Some less used files may exist only in that OldFirefox folder, so I suggest retaining them for a few days in case we need to go looking for something in there. Any improvement?

Question owner

No improvement. Took me quite a while as I'm in unfamiliar territory. I thought I downloaded the 32-bit Firefox for 64-bit windows,because I didn't want to introduce another variable. However, I got the 64-bit Firefox any way. So I'll have to see if running the 32 to 64 switch will work after the fact.

In troubleshooting information, 'show update history' , there is no entry of installation completion.

Another bit of information for you, from way back. The old/original places.sqlite file had 30,720 KB of data, the newly created one has only 32 KB. Have no idea what this could mean.

I will look forward tomorrow for your input. Thanks
No improvement. Took me quite a while as I'm in unfamiliar territory. I thought I downloaded the 32-bit Firefox for 64-bit windows,because I didn't want to introduce another variable. However, I got the 64-bit Firefox any way. So I'll have to see if running the 32 to 64 switch will work after the fact. In troubleshooting information, 'show update history' , there is no entry of installation completion. Another bit of information for you, from way back. The old/original places.sqlite file had 30,720 KB of data, the newly created one has only 32 KB. Have no idea what this could mean. I will look forward tomorrow for your input. Thanks
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8690 solutions 71037 answers

Thanks for trying that. After that post I read in a different thread about a user who did a reinstall running the installer as Administrator and had better luck. I think the technique for that is instead of double-clicking the EXE file, right-click > Run as Administrator.

Regarding the size of the file, surely it must be much smaller because there's nothing in it yet.

Thanks for trying that. After that post I read in a different thread about a user who did a reinstall running the installer as Administrator and had better luck. I think the technique for that is instead of double-clicking the EXE file, right-click > Run as Administrator. Regarding the size of the file, surely it must be much smaller because there's nothing in it yet.

Question owner

So there is nothing in the places.sqlite file ? Is the restore program supposed to read from the back up and then populate places.sqlite ? Where is this backup file that the restore program is 'unable to process' ? The Places maintenance program was also 'unable to process' . I see a bookmarkbackups in the Profile directory.

I reran the installer as administrator although I don't know if it worked. Never got any message asking if I wanted to replace an existing module.

Is there any hope of me ever being able to use Firefox again ?

So there is nothing in the places.sqlite file ? Is the restore program supposed to read from the back up and then populate places.sqlite ? Where is this backup file that the restore program is 'unable to process' ? The Places maintenance program was also 'unable to process' . I see a bookmarkbackups in the Profile directory. I reran the installer as administrator although I don't know if it worked. Never got any message asking if I wanted to replace an existing module. Is there any hope of me ever being able to use Firefox again ?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8690 solutions 71037 answers

jarice2 said

So there is nothing in the places.sqlite file ? Is the restore program supposed to read from the back up and then populate places.sqlite ? Where is this backup file that the restore program is 'unable to process' ? The Places maintenance program was also 'unable to process' . I see a bookmarkbackups in the Profile directory.

If Firefox doesn't find places.sqlite at startup, it should create a new one AND restore the most recent backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. It sounds as though the whole bookmark system is broken on your Firefox.

I reran the installer as administrator although I don't know if it worked. Never got any message asking if I wanted to replace an existing module.

But if it worked you would be celebrating, so it sounds as though it didn't work.

I think your best option might be to reinstall Firefox 54.0.1. It seems the Firefox 55 updater and installer are not working correctly on your system and you'll need to wait for someone to figure out a workaround or for Mozilla to issue an update. There's a link in this article: Install an older version of Firefox. You can set Firefox to ask you before updating so you can control the timing: Advanced panel - Accessibility, browsing, network, updates, and other advanced settings in Firefox.

''jarice2 [[#answer-995143|said]]'' <blockquote> So there is nothing in the places.sqlite file ? Is the restore program supposed to read from the back up and then populate places.sqlite ? Where is this backup file that the restore program is 'unable to process' ? The Places maintenance program was also 'unable to process' . I see a bookmarkbackups in the Profile directory. </blockquote> If Firefox doesn't find places.sqlite at startup, it should create a new one AND restore the most recent backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. It sounds as though the whole bookmark system is broken on your Firefox. <blockquote>I reran the installer as administrator although I don't know if it worked. Never got any message asking if I wanted to replace an existing module.</blockquote> But if it worked you would be celebrating, so it sounds as though it didn't work. I think your best option might be to reinstall Firefox 54.0.1. It seems the Firefox 55 updater and installer are not working correctly on your system and you'll need to wait for someone to figure out a workaround or for Mozilla to issue an update. There's a link in this article: [[Install an older version of Firefox]]. You can set Firefox to ask you before updating so you can control the timing: [[Advanced panel - Accessibility, browsing, network, updates, and other advanced settings in Firefox]].
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17470 solutions 157890 answers

If this file is really only 32 kilobyte like you wrote then something in seriously wrong with the file. The places.sqlite database is normally 10 MB by default and is increased with 10 MB chunks when required.

Try to delete all places.sqlite files in the profile folder and if necessary restore an older compressed .jsonlz4 backup.

The name of a JSON bookmarks backup file includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once.

  • bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4.
If this file is really only 32 kilobyte like you wrote then something in seriously wrong with the file. The places.sqlite database is normally 10 MB by default and is increased with 10 MB chunks when required. Try to delete all places.sqlite files in the profile folder and if necessary restore an older compressed .jsonlz4 backup. *Bookmarks -> Show All Bookmarks -> Import & Backup -> Restore *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them The name of a JSON bookmarks backup file includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once. *bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4.

Question owner

cor-el, I went back and reviewed your post of 8/8 and now see that apparently places.sqlite is populated from the jsonlz4 files in the bookmarkbackups folder. I renamed the current places.sqliteOLD and then re-restarted Firefox with and without add ons. In both cases the new places.sqlite is created begining at 32KB. For whatever reason then it appears that the bookmarkbackups folder is what the Restore function is 'unable to process'. My most current file is bookmarks-2017-08-08_137_oll5omxgXVg4XmUuOH7Tlw==.jsonlz4 which seems to match your sample. I notice that from the restore function that there is an option called 'choose file'. Is there a way to get the valid file name from the jsonlz4 file and send it to the desk top, then try to import it from the desktop through the 'choose file' access into the restore. This might tell us whether it's the bookmarkbackups folder or the files within that is the problem.

cor-el, I went back and reviewed your post of 8/8 and now see that apparently places.sqlite is populated from the jsonlz4 files in the bookmarkbackups folder. I renamed the current places.sqliteOLD and then re-restarted Firefox with and without add ons. In both cases the new places.sqlite is created begining at 32KB. For whatever reason then it appears that the bookmarkbackups folder is what the Restore function is 'unable to process'. My most current file is bookmarks-2017-08-08_137_oll5omxgXVg4XmUuOH7Tlw==.jsonlz4 which seems to match your sample. I notice that from the restore function that there is an option called 'choose file'. Is there a way to get the valid file name from the jsonlz4 file and send it to the desk top, then try to import it from the desktop through the 'choose file' access into the restore. This might tell us whether it's the bookmarkbackups folder or the files within that is the problem.