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Which folder does Firefox store Bookmarks & history? I need to find it so that I can use Time Machine to restore my deleted browsing history.

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This question was asked .. And SOLVED for the person asking it .. but, not in a way that was understandable to me. So, I'm just asking for some details which could be followed as a tutorial.

This was the final comment from rjf380 on 9/19/17:

"So, between these posts, and a visit to Apple's Genius Bar, I found a solution. (1) Access the Firefox profile folder as described above and click to have it open in Finder. (2) Close Firefox application. (3) While having the Firefox profile folder open in Finder, open Time Machine from the menu bar at the top of the Mac screen. (4) The Finder folder will then be displayed for all previous updates. Select the most recent update (or the update that would contain your browsing history), select the profile folder, and then click restore. (5) Exit Time Machine.

My Firefox browsing history is fully restored."

This is good to know .. there is hope, for I have the same problem.. I had to delete Firefox after using it from the beginning .. For some reason the selection of my preferred search engine (Google) always came up with "Yahoo" .. no matter how I configured preferences .. I assumed there was a Yahoo virus in the system.. :-) .. so, I deleted Firefox .. then realized I had 20 years of bookmarks I really didn't want to delete. I've donated to Firefox several times and my wife has a $5/month auto donation that's still active... So, I'm determined to restore it .. with a working Google search engine and prior Bookmarks & History.

From rjf380's pionts for solution:

1) Which Firefox "Profile folder" ? ... places.sqlite or about:profiles  ?? (I don't see how to make a word in BOLD text)

Also .. nothing was said about Bookmarks .. or the bookmarks bar ...

Thanks much for more specifics.. Regards, michael

This question was asked .. And SOLVED for the person asking it .. but, not in a way that was understandable to me. So, I'm just asking for some details which could be followed as a tutorial. This was the final comment from rjf380 on 9/19/17: "So, between these posts, and a visit to Apple's Genius Bar, I found a solution. (1) Access the Firefox profile folder as described above and click to have it open in Finder. (2) Close Firefox application. (3) While having the Firefox profile folder open in Finder, open Time Machine from the menu bar at the top of the Mac screen. (4) The Finder folder will then be displayed for all previous updates. Select the most recent update (or the update that would contain your browsing history), select the profile folder, and then click restore. (5) Exit Time Machine. My Firefox browsing history is fully restored." This is good to know .. there is hope, for I have the same problem.. I had to delete Firefox after using it from the beginning .. For some reason the selection of my preferred search engine (Google) always came up with "Yahoo" .. no matter how I configured preferences .. I assumed there was a Yahoo virus in the system.. :-) .. so, I deleted Firefox .. then realized I had 20 years of bookmarks I really didn't want to delete. I've donated to Firefox several times and my wife has a $5/month auto donation that's still active... So, I'm determined to restore it .. with a working Google search engine and prior Bookmarks & History. From rjf380's pionts for solution: 1) Which Firefox "Profile folder" ? ... places.sqlite or about:profiles ?? (I don't see how to make a word in BOLD text) Also .. nothing was said about Bookmarks .. or the bookmarks bar ... Thanks much for more specifics.. Regards, michael

Chosen solution

Lamboom.ML said

I have no idea how to access the "live" file ... when I search for it, I find it in three folders inside a "Old Firefox Folders" file that Firefox must have made in the past, when new versions were created.

Remember the article I mentioned earlier that has the steps? You use the "Troubleshooting Information" page from inside Firefox to launch Finder pointed at your profile folder.

jscher2000 said

(You can open your profile folder in Finder using the steps in this article: Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data.)

I don't know if that link works in an email notification, you may need to return to this thread to use it.

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jscher2000
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8581 solutions 70186 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi Michael, how thoroughly did you delete your Firefox data?

The restoration method mentioned in the earlier post assumed that the original profile folder (each has a unique name) still existed, so it was easy to roll it back. (You can open your profile folder in Finder using the steps in this article: Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data.)

If you completely removed the profile folder, it might still be in Time Machine, but I'm not sure how you will access it.

Hi Michael, how thoroughly did you delete your Firefox data? The restoration method mentioned in the earlier post assumed that the original profile folder (each has a unique name) still existed, so it was easy to roll it back. (You can open your profile folder in Finder using the steps in this article: [[Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data]].) If you completely removed the profile folder, it might still be in Time Machine, but I'm not sure how you will access it.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8581 solutions 70186 answers

If we assume you still have the original profile folder:

The file that contains your history and bookmarks combined is called places.sqlite and you should Quit Firefox before overwriting the live file with a backup.

More info on your profile folder contents: Recovering important data from an old profile

If we assume you still have the original profile folder: The file that contains your history and bookmarks combined is called '''places.sqlite''' and you should Quit Firefox before overwriting the live file with a backup. More info on your profile folder contents: [[Recovering important data from an old profile]]

Question owner

Thanks much jscher ..I've found many files named places.sqlite they all have dates associated with them. When I brought the first one back from the not so distant past.. a window popped up and said there was no file by that name to replace in "Today's" status of Firefox .. and asked where I should place it .. a location was suggested, so I said OK. However, It didn't have any effect on the present status of the new Firefox install I did earlier.

Time Machine is rather cool .. it makes copy's of every file, and any change to any file.. then logs them by time. so you can select a file as it did exist in the past, and bring it forward and replace the existing file by the same name. In my case... after installing a new Firefox .. there was no file named places.sqlite only files named prefs.js .. there are distant (in time) named places.sqlite from a few days ago .. but none today.

Perhaps you might be able to tell me where to place the old file?

I'll also research your suggestion https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile

thanks... to be continued... :-)

Thanks much''' jscher''' ..I've found many files named '''places.sqlite ''' they all have dates associated with them. When I brought the first one back from the not so distant past.. a window popped up and said there was no file by that name to replace in "Today's" status of Firefox .. and asked where I should place it .. a location was suggested, so I said OK. However, It didn't have any effect on the present status of the new Firefox install I did earlier. Time Machine is rather cool .. it makes copy's of every file, and any change to any file.. then logs them by time. so you can select a file as it did exist in the past, and bring it forward and replace the existing file by the same name. In my case... after installing a new Firefox .. there was no file named '''places.sqlite ''' only files named '''prefs.js''' .. there are distant (in time) named '''places.sqlite ''' from a few days ago .. but none today. Perhaps you might be able to tell me where to place the old file? I'll also research your suggestion https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile thanks... to be continued... :-)

Modified by Lamboom.ML

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8581 solutions 70186 answers

Helpful Reply

Did you open your currently "live" profile folder? The places.sqlite file in there contains what you currently see in bookmarks and history. If you want to use an older file, that is the one you need to replace (while Firefox is not running, of course).

Did you open your currently "live" profile folder? The places.sqlite file in there contains what you currently see in bookmarks and history. If you want to use an older file, that is the one you need to replace (while Firefox is not running, of course).

Question owner

That's what I been trying to do.. sniff! I can't find the "live" or current places.sqlite ... that's the trick after all... My Time Machine tried to find it and replace it with a slightly older version from the deleted Firefox.

I have no idea how to access the "live" file ... when I search for it, I find it in three folders inside a "Old Firefox Folders" file that Firefox must have made in the past, when new versions were created. So I have three on the desktop going back about 2 years... and many in the "Time Machine" hard drive going back over 10 years .. but, no way either I or Time Machine can find a current "live" file of places.sqlite I know what has to be done ... I do not know how to access that file. SAD  :-) specifically: .. I don't know the "path" to the live file of places.sqlite

That's what I been trying to do.. sniff! I can't find the "live" or current '''places.sqlite''' ... that's the trick after all... My Time Machine tried to find it and replace it with a slightly older version from the deleted Firefox. I have no idea how to access the "live" file ... when I search for it, I find it in three folders inside a "Old Firefox Folders" file that Firefox must have made in the past, when new versions were created. So I have three on the desktop going back about 2 years... and many in the "Time Machine" hard drive going back over 10 years .. but, no way either I or Time Machine can find a current "live" file of '''places.sqlite''' I know what has to be done ... I do not know how to access that file. SAD :-) specifically: .. I don't know the "path" to the live file of places.sqlite

Modified by Lamboom.ML

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8581 solutions 70186 answers

Chosen Solution

Lamboom.ML said

I have no idea how to access the "live" file ... when I search for it, I find it in three folders inside a "Old Firefox Folders" file that Firefox must have made in the past, when new versions were created.

Remember the article I mentioned earlier that has the steps? You use the "Troubleshooting Information" page from inside Firefox to launch Finder pointed at your profile folder.

jscher2000 said

(You can open your profile folder in Finder using the steps in this article: Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data.)

I don't know if that link works in an email notification, you may need to return to this thread to use it.

''Lamboom.ML [[#answer-1083627|said]]'' <blockquote> I have no idea how to access the "live" file ... when I search for it, I find it in three folders inside a "Old Firefox Folders" file that Firefox must have made in the past, when new versions were created. </blockquote> Remember the article I mentioned earlier that has the steps? You use the "Troubleshooting Information" page from inside Firefox to launch Finder pointed at your profile folder. ''jscher2000 [[#answer-1083591|said]]'' <blockquote> (You can open your profile folder in Finder using the steps in this article: [[Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data]].)</blockquote> I don't know if that link works in an email notification, you may need to return to this thread to use it.

Question owner

Thank you jscher... there was a real problem finding the file.. "Finder" couldn't do it... only the the troubleshooting link you sent would display the folder where it was hidden .. all's well now.

Someday I have to figure out why I couldn't set Google as the desired search engine ... I can now! ... :-)

Thank you jscher... there was a real problem finding the file.. "Finder" couldn't do it... only the the troubleshooting link you sent would display the folder where it was hidden .. all's well now. Someday I have to figure out why I couldn't set Google as the desired search engine ... I can now! ... :-)

Question owner

By the way, jscher2000 .. the reason everything went bonkers with Firefox and other browsers i have (Chrome & Safari) Is i made the mistake of down loading MAC NG Player It tried to install many other apps (typically) including Yahoo .. I clicked no for all of then.. but Yahoo latched on to Firefox anyway .. it could not be removed! short of uninstalling Firefox.. I was able to remove it from Safari and Chrome.. just an FYI ... and thanks again for your great help ... I'm glad my wife & I contribute to Firefox ... :-)

By the way, '''jscher2000''' .. the reason everything went bonkers with Firefox and other browsers i have (Chrome & Safari) Is i made the mistake of down loading '''MAC NG Player''' It tried to install many other apps (typically) including Yahoo .. I clicked '''no''' for all of then.. but Yahoo latched on to Firefox anyway .. it could not be removed! short of uninstalling Firefox.. I was able to remove it from Safari and Chrome.. just an FYI ... and thanks again for your great help ... I'm glad my wife & I contribute to Firefox ... :-)

Modified by Lamboom.ML

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8581 solutions 70186 answers

Thanks for the follow-up. If something like that appears again, give us a try, as we often know where those things like to hide.

Thanks for the follow-up. If something like that appears again, give us a try, as we often know where those things like to hide.