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How do I get my bookmarks back? They disappeared yesterday and I've followed all help topics in vain. I can't even install new ones.

Posted

My bookmarks have vanished. This problem began when I had iTunes and Firefox open. My iTunes songs were "skipping," which had never happened before. I closed Firefox and iTunes, and I ran my Piriform CCleaner program to clear out temporary files, which I do regularly.

I ended up updating iTunes to make it work, but not before my bookmarks disappeared with the message on my browser: "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional because one of Firefox's files is in use by another application. Some security software can cause this problem."

Worse, Firefox won't allow me to add new bookmarks.

I followed all topics in support and nothing has changed this problem. I've restarted and shut down the computer. I ran a full-system security scan. I even uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox.

Please help!

My bookmarks have vanished. This problem began when I had iTunes and Firefox open. My iTunes songs were "skipping," which had never happened before. I closed Firefox and iTunes, and I ran my Piriform CCleaner program to clear out temporary files, which I do regularly. I ended up updating iTunes to make it work, but not before my bookmarks disappeared with the message on my browser: "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional because one of Firefox's files is in use by another application. Some security software can cause this problem." Worse, Firefox won't allow me to add new bookmarks. I followed all topics in support and nothing has changed this problem. I've restarted and shut down the computer. I ran a full-system security scan. I even uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox. Please help!

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 27.0 r0

Application

  • Firefox 59.0.2
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Javascript

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Modified Preferences

Misc

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FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4225 solutions 58977 answers

Separate Security Issue: Update your Flash Player or remove it using these links; http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html Uninstall Flash Player | Windows http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-mac-os.html Uninstall Flash Player | Mac

Note: Windows users should download the ActiveX for Internet Explorer. and the plugin for Plugin-based browsers (like Firefox).

Note: Windows 8 and Windows 10 have built-in flash players and Adobe will cause a conflict. Install the plugin only. Not the ActiveX.

Flash Player Version: Version 29.0.0.113

https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ Direct link scans current system and browser Note: Other software is offered in the download. <Windows Only>

https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/ Step 1: Select Operating System Step 2: Select A Version (Firefox, Win IE . . . .) Note: Other software is offered in the download. <Windows Only> +++++++++++++++++++ See if there are updates for your graphics drivers https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/upgrade-graphics-drivers-use-hardware-acceleration

Separate Security Issue: Update your Flash Player or remove it using these links; http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html Uninstall Flash Player | Windows http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-mac-os.html Uninstall Flash Player | Mac '''Note: Windows users''' should download the '''ActiveX''' for ''Internet Explorer.'' '''and''' the '''plugin''' for ''Plugin-based browsers'' (like Firefox). '''Note: Windows 8 and Windows 10''' have built-in flash players and Adobe will cause a conflict. Install the plugin only. Not the ActiveX. Flash Player Version: '''Version 29.0.0.113 ''' https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ Direct link scans current system and browser '''Note: Other software''' is offered in the download. <Windows Only> https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/ Step 1: Select Operating System Step 2: Select A Version (Firefox, Win IE . . . .) '''Note: Other software''' is offered in the download. <Windows Only> +++++++++++++++++++ See if there are updates for your graphics drivers https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/upgrade-graphics-drivers-use-hardware-acceleration
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4225 solutions 58977 answers

Reboot the computer. Is the problem still there? What about the rest of the profile? history, settings . . . .

myjumpspace said

I ran my Piriform CCleaner program to clear out temporary files, which I do regularly.

Make sure it does not touch any Firefox files as the wrong data can get wiped.

Reboot the computer. Is the problem still there? What about the rest of the profile? history, settings . . . . ''myjumpspace [[#question-1212992|said]]'' <blockquote> I ran my Piriform CCleaner program to clear out temporary files, which I do regularly. </blockquote> Make sure it does not touch any Firefox files as the wrong data can get wiped.

Question owner

Thank you for your replies, but the problem is still here. At your advice I updated Flash but the same message remained when I restarted Firefox. As for the CCleaner, it did not touch the bookmark data that were auto-saved -- I can see it in the folders -- but Firefox (and Chrome and Explorer) won't open them. I don't know if it affected any other settings because I don't think I have many, but the only other thing I notice is that the "Top Sites" feature on the opening page has smaller thumbnail icons (but of course the bookmarks are all gone and it won't allow me to replace them). I appreciate any other ideas!

Thank you for your replies, but the problem is still here. At your advice I updated Flash but the same message remained when I restarted Firefox. As for the CCleaner, it did not touch the bookmark data that were auto-saved -- I can see it in the folders -- but Firefox (and Chrome and Explorer) won't open them. I don't know if it affected any other settings because I don't think I have many, but the only other thing I notice is that the "Top Sites" feature on the opening page has smaller thumbnail icons (but of course the bookmarks are all gone and it won't allow me to replace them). I appreciate any other ideas!
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4225 solutions 58977 answers

myjumpspace said

I updated Flash but the same message remained when I restarted Firefox

The Flash Player is a Separate Security Issue


Restore Bookmark Backups

Firefox automatically makes backups of the bookmarks. These are stored in the bookmarkbackups folder.

Open the Bookmarks Manager; Press the Alt or F10 key to bring up the toolbar, and select Bookmarks. Hot key is <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> B.

Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled Import and Backup. Select Restore. From the list, pick the file you want and click it.

The backups are stored in a jsonlz4 file named something like this; bookmarks-2016-06-29_1424_enD1GTH ya0JmicnYWg4V4g==.jsonlz4

In this example; 2016-06-29 = date created, 1424 = number of entries.

''myjumpspace [[#answer-1098639|said]]'' <blockquote> I updated Flash but the same message remained when I restarted Firefox </blockquote> The Flash Player is a Separate Security Issue Restore Bookmark Backups Firefox automatically makes backups of the bookmarks. These are stored in the '''bookmarkbackups''' folder. Open the '''Bookmarks Manager; ''' Press the '''Alt''' or '''F10''' key to bring up the toolbar, and select '''Bookmarks. ''' Hot key is '''<Control> ''(Mac=<Command>)'' <Shift> B. ''' Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled '''Import and Backup. ''' Select '''Restore. ''' From the list, pick the file you want and click it. The backups are stored in a '''jsonlz4 file''' named something like this; bookmarks-2016-06-29_1424_enD1GTH ya0JmicnYWg4V4g==.jsonlz4 In this example; 2016-06-29 = date created, 1424 = number of entries.

Question owner

Yes, this is part of what I was trying to explain. I still have the old files even after uninstalling/reinstalling Firefox, but I get a message that says "Unable to process backup file." This also fails in Chrome and Explorer.

I think the problem has something to do with the fact that I can't add bookmarks. Maybe if I could add bookmarks, I could import a replacement file.

I really appreciate your help! Do you have any other thoughts?

Yes, this is part of what I was trying to explain. I still have the old files even after uninstalling/reinstalling Firefox, but I get a message that says "Unable to process backup file." This also fails in Chrome and Explorer. I think the problem has something to do with the fact that I can't add bookmarks. Maybe if I could add bookmarks, I could import a replacement file. I really appreciate your help! Do you have any other thoughts?
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4225 solutions 58977 answers

Helpful Reply

[v57+] Places Maintenance is built into Firefox.

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

You will find Places Database near the bottom. Press the Verify Integrity button.

[v57+] Places Maintenance is built into Firefox. Type '''about:support'''<enter> in the address bar. You will find '''Places Database''' near the bottom. Press the '''Verify Integrity''' button.

Question owner

This is what comes up


> Task: checkIntegrity - Unable to check database integrity > Task: invalidateCaches - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: checkCoherence - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: expire - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: vacuum - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: stats - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: _refreshUI - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task.

This is what comes up > Task: checkIntegrity - Unable to check database integrity > Task: invalidateCaches - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: checkCoherence - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: expire - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: vacuum - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: stats - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: _refreshUI - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task.
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4225 solutions 58977 answers

Helpful Reply

I called for more help.

I called for more help.

Question owner

Hi Fred! Do you have any more ideas about what I can do to solve this problem?

Hi Fred! Do you have any more ideas about what I can do to solve this problem?
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4225 solutions 58977 answers

I called again.

I called again.

Question owner

Hi Fred! Any updates on my problem? What do you think about me trying to uninstall and reinstall Firefox again (which didn't work the first time as the same problem kept happening)? I did save the last JSONLZ4 bookmark backup file to an external drive and could try using it after the browser is reinstalled.

Hi Fred! Any updates on my problem? What do you think about me trying to uninstall and reinstall Firefox again (which didn't work the first time as the same problem kept happening)? I did save the last JSONLZ4 bookmark backup file to an external drive and could try using it after the browser is reinstalled.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8637 solutions 70654 answers

Hi myjumpspace, do you still get the error message in the title of this article:

Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message

I don't know whether you tried suggestion #2 in there yet but, if not, please try that AFTER trying to make backups in these two formats:

Then try the method of removing the current database so Firefox will generate a new one.

After starting Firefox, you could expect:

(A) You can add new bookmarks

(B) Firefox may or may not have restored your earlier bookmarks from backup automatically.

How did it work out?

Hi myjumpspace, do you still get the error message in the title of this article: [[Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message]] I don't know whether you tried suggestion #2 in there yet but, if not, please try that AFTER trying to make backups in these two formats: * JSON "Backup": [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]] * HTML "Export": [[Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks]] -- ''if this fails silently, it can indicate a corrupted database'' Then try the method of removing the current database so Firefox will generate a new one. After starting Firefox, you could expect: (A) You can add new bookmarks (B) Firefox may or may not have restored your earlier bookmarks from backup automatically. How did it work out?

Question owner

Hello jscher, thank you for your suggestion, but this is what I had already done without success.

I still get the "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" message. If I follow the instructions at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/fix-bookmarks-and-history-will-not-be-functional (Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message), renaming the places.sqlite file and restarting Firefox, the file just automatically repopulates the folder as if I hadn't done anything, and the bookmarks don't return.

I do have a backup of my previous bookmarks on a jump drive. This folder showed up on my desktop after I had uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox (I don't understand why apparently getting rid of Firefox allowed my computer to retain my old information).

I also previously tried the other links you provide (eg, Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer).

Would it ever work to try uninstalling Firefox again, getting rid of all the data, and then importing my folder of previous bookmarks from my jump drive into the bookmarks folder in the Mozilla/Firefox folder on my hard drive?

Hello jscher, thank you for your suggestion, but this is what I had already done without success. I still get the "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" message. If I follow the instructions at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/fix-bookmarks-and-history-will-not-be-functional (Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message), renaming the places.sqlite file and restarting Firefox, the file just automatically repopulates the folder as if I hadn't done anything, and the bookmarks don't return. I do have a backup of my previous bookmarks on a jump drive. This folder showed up on my desktop after I had uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox (I don't understand why apparently getting rid of Firefox allowed my computer to retain my old information). I also previously tried the other links you provide (eg, Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer). Would it ever work to try uninstalling Firefox again, getting rid of all the data, and then importing my folder of previous bookmarks from my jump drive into the bookmarks folder in the Mozilla/Firefox folder on my hard drive?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8637 solutions 70654 answers

myjumpspace said

If I follow the instructions at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/fix-bookmarks-and-history-will-not-be-functional (Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message), renaming the places.sqlite file and restarting Firefox, the file just automatically repopulates the folder as if I hadn't done anything, and the bookmarks don't return.

Does the new database pass the integrity test on the Troubleshooting Information page? If the database is valid but the bookmark restoration does not work, then the backup file might be corrupted.

To try to create a valid file for restore or import, could you try converting your .jsonlz4 file using my page here (click the Check/Repair JSON button to see whether a common kind of corruption is identified):

https://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/bookbackreader.html

You can try converting to both the JSON and HTML formats to see whether either of those works better.

Any progress?

''myjumpspace [[#answer-1105574|said]]'' <blockquote>If I follow the instructions at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/fix-bookmarks-and-history-will-not-be-functional (Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message), renaming the places.sqlite file and restarting Firefox, the file just automatically repopulates the folder as if I hadn't done anything, and the bookmarks don't return. </blockquote> Does the new database pass the integrity test on the Troubleshooting Information page? If the database is valid but the bookmark restoration does not work, then the backup file might be corrupted. To try to create a valid file for restore or import, could you try converting your .jsonlz4 file using my page here (click the Check/Repair JSON button to see whether a common kind of corruption is identified): https://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/bookbackreader.html You can try converting to both the JSON and HTML formats to see whether either of those works better. * For JSON: [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]] (use "Choose File" to open the .json file) * For HTML: [[Import Bookmarks from an HTML file]] Any progress?
CraigU 0 solutions 5 answers

I followed this thread to the last post and I also have this very same issue. Have tried all of the above suggestions and bookmarks still are not working. What now??????

I followed this thread to the last post and I also have this '''very same issue'''. Have tried all of the above suggestions and bookmarks still are not working. What now??????
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8637 solutions 70654 answers

Hi CraigU, when you say "bookmarks still are not working" do you mean:

  • when you view the list of bookmarks in the Library window (use the categories Bookmarks Toolbar, Bookmarks Menu, Other Bookmarks in the left column) it is incomplete, or
  • you get an error message trying to restore a backup, or
  • you can't add a new bookmark, or
  • all of the above, or
  • something else...
Hi CraigU, when you say "bookmarks still are not working" do you mean: * when you view the list of bookmarks in the Library window (use the categories Bookmarks Toolbar, Bookmarks Menu, Other Bookmarks in the left column) it is incomplete, or * you get an error message trying to restore a backup, or * you can't add a new bookmark, or * all of the above, or * something else...
CraigU 0 solutions 5 answers

All of the above. I have tried all of the processes described in other posts and they have not worked. It is as if a virus is blocking any bookmark activity. Suggestions?

All of the above. I have tried all of the processes described in other posts and they have not worked. It is as if a virus is blocking any bookmark activity. Suggestions?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8637 solutions 70654 answers

Hi CraigU, usually removing places.sqlite and allowing firefox to build a new one resolves the issue with the database not being available. In some cases, there is a permission issue with Windows that can be resolved by restarting the system. Can you get past the "will not be functional" problem?

One other thing you could try:

New Profile Test

This takes about 3 minutes, plus the time to test bookmarking.

Inside Firefox, type or paste about:profiles in the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it.

Click the Create a New Profile button, then click Next. Assign a name like May2018, ignore the option to relocate the profile folder, and click the Finish button.

After creating the profile, scroll down to it and click the Set as default profile button below that profile, then scroll back up and click the Restart normally button. (There are some other buttons, but please ignore them.)

Firefox should exit and then start up using the new profile, which will just look brand new. If Firefox asks about activating extensions it discovered, just ignore those tabs.

Do bookmarks work any better in the new profile?

Can you restore/import old bookmarks into the new profile?

When you are done with the experiment, open the about:profiles page again, click the Set as default profile button for your normal profile, then click the Restart normally button to get back to it.

Hi CraigU, usually removing places.sqlite and allowing firefox to build a new one resolves the issue with the database not being available. In some cases, there is a permission issue with Windows that can be resolved by restarting the system. Can you get past the "will not be functional" problem? One other thing you could try: '''New Profile Test''' This takes about 3 minutes, plus the time to test bookmarking. Inside Firefox, type or paste '''about:profiles''' in the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it. Click the Create a New Profile button, then click Next. Assign a name like May2018, ignore the option to relocate the profile folder, and click the Finish button. After creating the profile, scroll down to it and click the '''Set as default profile''' button below that profile, then scroll back up and click the '''Restart normally''' button. (There are some other buttons, but please ignore them.) Firefox should exit and then start up using the new profile, which will just look brand new. If Firefox asks about activating extensions it discovered, just ignore those tabs. ''Do bookmarks work any better in the new profile?'' ''Can you restore/import old bookmarks into the new profile?'' When you are done with the experiment, open the about:profiles page again, click the '''Set as default profile''' button for your normal profile, then click the '''Restart normally''' button to get back to it.
CraigU 0 solutions 5 answers

jscher200, I went through the new test profile and renamed it "May2018". Right after I hit restart normally... firefox came back with "firefox crashed". I was dumbfounded by that and then I indicated that I did not want to sent a crash report to Mozilla. As soon as I did that the screen came back and then I went into a local news site. I tested bookmarking it and it worked...... I tried it on a second site and it also worked. Somehow that procedure you recommended fixed my problem....'Thanks, You can pat yourself on the back for me..' Now what should I do to recover the 250+ bookmarks from the old profile?

jscher200, I went through the new test profile and renamed it "May2018". Right after I hit restart normally... firefox came back with "firefox crashed". I was dumbfounded by that and then I indicated that I did not want to sent a crash report to Mozilla. As soon as I did that the screen came back and then I went into a local news site. I tested bookmarking it and it worked...... I tried it on a second site and it also worked. Somehow that procedure you recommended fixed my problem....''''''Thanks, You can pat yourself on the back for me..'''''' Now what should I do to recover the 250+ bookmarks from the old profile?
jscher2000
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Hi CraigU, the next step is to see whether you can restore one of the older backups. Firefox creates regular dated backups in a folder called bookmarkbackups in your profile folder.

If you open the about:profiles page, you should see links to both your new profile and your regular one. In the regular one, the line that says "Root Directory" has the path you'll need in a minute. If you triple-click that path to select it, you then can copy it to the clipboard using Ctrl+c or right-click > Copy (I'm assume you're on Windows).

Next, open the Library window to use the Restore function as described in this article: Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer. When you click Restore, there probably won't be anything listed except "Choose File", which will open a file browse dialog. Paste that long path into the file name field and press Enter to point Firefox to your regular profile. Then double-click bookmarkbackups and you can select the most recent file. Will it restore?

Hi CraigU, the next step is to see whether you can restore one of the older backups. Firefox creates regular dated backups in a folder called '''bookmarkbackups''' in your profile folder. If you open the '''about:profiles''' page, you should see links to both your new profile and your regular one. In the regular one, the line that says "Root Directory" has the path you'll need in a minute. If you triple-click that path to select it, you then can copy it to the clipboard using Ctrl+c or right-click > Copy (I'm assume you're on Windows). Next, open the Library window to use the Restore function as described in this article: [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]]. When you click Restore, there probably won't be anything listed except "Choose File", which will open a file browse dialog. Paste that long path into the file name field and press Enter to point Firefox to your regular profile. Then double-click bookmarkbackups and you can select the most recent file. Will it restore?