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Bookmarks disappeared; restore seems to do nothing.

  • 12 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by ronburk

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Windows 7, 64-bit. Firefox 62.0.3 (64-bit) Noticed today that my bookmarks are gone. Went through many support pages trying to get them back. The bookmarks restore dialog shows I have a variety of backups, each claimed to be containing ~4500 bookmarks, which sounds about right. Restoring one of them produces no errors, but nothing seems to happen -- my bookmarks are still all gone. Did the "verify" on the Troubleshooting page, didn't see any complaints. Did a backup to a .json file and, wow, that's impressive -- never seen Gnu Emacs lock up trying to load a file before; did they really elect to put no newlines in there?

Finally, I am desperate enough to post for help. :-)

All Replies (12)

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Separate Security Issue: Update your Flash Player or remove it using these links; Uninstall Flash Player | Windows 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 Direct link scans current system and browser Note: Other software is offered in the download. <Windows Only> 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

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[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.

When done, copy and post the results here.

Look on your desktop. Do you see a folder called; Old Firefox?

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No "Old Firefox" on the desktop. Should I be disturbed to see there is a big ol' ".corrupt" file?


[C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ugkqon42.default]dir pla*

Volume in drive C is unlabeled      Serial number is c2aa:a76a
Directory of  C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ugkqon42.default\pla*

10/20/2018 14:01 5,242,880 places.sqlite 10/20/2018 0:07 32,768 places.sqlite-shm 10/20/2018 14:03 4,096,000 places.sqlite-wal

9/24/2018  15:17      31,457,280  places.sqlite.corrupt
    40,828,928 bytes in 4 files and 0 dirs    40,828,928 bytes allocated
11,291,815,936 bytes free

Made a copy of places db to poke around, but not sure I can find an uptodate schema. E.g., claims there is a moz_bookmarks_roots table, but I ain't got one, and links from that page are broken. I *think* I see my bookmarks in there, but couldn't figure out how to write a SELECT to reassure me with the folder structure, since I can't find documentation on that (e.g. how is the root(s) identified?)

Output from verify: > Task: checkIntegrity + The places.sqlite database is sane + The favicons.sqlite database is sane > Task: invalidateCaches + The caches have been invalidated > Task: checkCoherence + The database is coherent > Task: expire + Database cleaned up > Task: originFrecencyStats + Recalculated origin frecency stats > Task: vacuum + Initial database size is 5120KiB + The database has been vacuumed + Final database size is 5120KiB > Task: stats + Places.sqlite size is 5120KiB + Favicons.sqlite size is 6112KiB + pragma_user_version is 52 + pragma_page_size is 32768 + pragma_cache_size is -2048 + pragma_journal_mode is wal + pragma_synchronous is 1 + History can store a maximum of 63990 unique pages + Table moz_origins has 761 records + Table moz_places has 3538 records + Table moz_historyvisits has 4037 records + Table moz_inputhistory has 4 records + Table moz_bookmarks has 5236 records + Table moz_bookmarks_deleted has 0 records + Table moz_keywords has 0 records + Table sqlite_sequence has 0 records + Table moz_anno_attributes has 3 records + Table moz_annos has 31 records + Table moz_items_annos has 0 records + Table moz_meta has 4 records + Table sqlite_stat1 has 16 records + Index sqlite_autoindex_moz_origins_1 + Index sqlite_autoindex_moz_inputhistory_1 + Index sqlite_autoindex_moz_bookmarks_deleted_1 + Index sqlite_autoindex_moz_keywords_1 + Index sqlite_autoindex_moz_anno_attributes_1 + Index moz_places_url_hashindex + Index moz_places_hostindex + Index moz_places_visitcount + Index moz_places_frecencyindex + Index moz_places_lastvisitdateindex + Index moz_places_guid_uniqueindex + Index moz_places_originidindex + Index moz_historyvisits_placedateindex + Index moz_historyvisits_fromindex + Index moz_historyvisits_dateindex + Index moz_bookmarks_itemindex + Index moz_bookmarks_parentindex + Index moz_bookmarks_itemlastmodifiedindex + Index moz_bookmarks_dateaddedindex + Index moz_bookmarks_guid_uniqueindex + Index moz_keywords_placepostdata_uniqueindex + Index moz_annos_placeattributeindex + Index moz_items_annos_itemattributeindex > Task: _refreshUI

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After some poking around, I no longer believe my bookmarks are in places.sqlite. The ~4,000 bookmarks there are from session backups. However, it does look like my bookmarks do exist in places.sqlite.corrupt.

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jscher2000 has a tool on his website to extract out your bookmarks and save them to an HTML-format bookmark export file. If you want to try it, here is the page:

To open the bookmarkbackups folder in Finder, use the "Open in Finder" button in the first table on the Troubleshooting Information page, and double-click into bookmarkbackups where you should see several dated files. From there you can drag and drop onto the conversion tool.

To import the HTML file, see the steps in this article: Import Bookmarks from an HTML file.

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OK, thanks.

Modified by ronburk

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ronburk said

Is it known who creates a ".corrupt" file and under what circumstances?

If there is a problem with the file, Firefox renames the file.


I am glad to hear that your problem has been resolved. If you haven't already, please select the answer that solves the problem. This will help other users with similar problems find the solution more easily.

Thank you for contacting Mozilla Support.

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None of the suggested support links proved fruitful. It appears I will have to dig the bookmarks out of the .corrupt db programmatically and store them in some form Firefox can then import. Off to search for accurate schema documentation on places.sqlite.

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Hi ronburk, could we review a couple things?

(1) Restoring a backup file

You mentioned that the Restore menu indicates you have backups with approximately the suggested number of bookmarks, there is no error message when you restore, but you also do not see the bookmarks listed on the right side of the Library window when you click the various categories on the left side -- Bookmarks Toolbar, Bookmarks Menu, Other Bookmarks.

Is that correct?

(2) Converting a backup file to an importable HTML file

Did you try this method? Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, on the Profile Folder row, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.

Double-click into the bookmarkbackups folder and set this window aside for later reference.

Open this tool on my website:

Position the window with the bookmarkbackups folder so you can see the white box on that page and drag and drop a backup file there. Then try the HTML conversion and see whether it works.

If you are able to save the HTML-format file, this article has the steps to import it back into Firefox: Import Bookmarks from an HTML file.

(3) Places database extract

I don't know why Firefox determine your places.sqlite file to be corrupt. To get a second opinion on the file, you could try loading it into one of these SQLite database viewers:

Both of these work locally, i.e., they open the file directly without sending it to a website.

The Places database consists of numerous tables. If you look at the Bookmarks table (moz_bookmarks), you won't see any URLs. Those are in the Places table (moz_places). Extracting bookmarks requires a SQL join ( = I don't know if anyone has posted the code for that, but I'd consider it a last resort if #2 doesn't work for you.

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Unfortunately, because I saw no notification from Firefox that the places file was corrupt and it took me a month to notice the bookmarks were gone, none of the backups are new enough to do me any good. They are all backups of empty (except for session info) bookmarks. I'll try the last resort.

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Oh, I didn't realize you needed to go back that far. I think you only get 15 daily backups by default.

If your Windows 7 has updated in the past 30 days, there may be a shadow copy of your profile folder in a restore point. To avoid massive data damage, do not use system restore. Instead, you can go mining for files this way:

(1) Set Windows to show hidden files and folders:

(2) Download and run one of these programs:

Within the most recent restore point shown in the program, you can explore along this path to see whether you can find a timely shadow copy of your profile:


(3) Within your profile folder, double-click into bookmarkbackups and Export any recent files you want to check to a convenient location such as your currently live desktop (not the desktop inside the restore point).

Then you can inspect the contents of that file and/or try to restore it as discussed previously.

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I'm surprised at the thought that there would be restore point copies. In any case, I see none there. Unfortunately, I can't find any decent documentation on the schema, and Firefox happily marks as corrupt my attempts to give it a places.sqlite that just has the salvaged moz_bookmarks and moz_places. However, that did verify that Firefox says not a word to the user when marking places.sqlite corrupt, which is a poor UI choice IMO, and probably helps mask any bugs that are producing corrupt sqlite databases, raising the odds they will survive into the future.

I'm going to just dump the salvaged URLs and take this tedious opportunity to move them to another bookmark manager.