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Unable to "search" and "delete" bookmarks

  • 2 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 6 views
  • Last reply by cor-el

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To whom it may concern...

I would hereby most willingly like to request aid for the following issue: since over a week, I can no longer find saved bookmarks through the "Search bookmarks" bar. For instance, I have a bookmark titled "Snooker livestream" but it does not appear when I type "snooker" in the "Search bookmarks" bar on top. Furthermore, I have also discovered that I am no longer able to remove bookmarks by right-clicking on them and pressing "Delete". I have attempted to do so when my account was synced as well as when it was not synced. I have read that it could be a "syncing" issue, but that does not appear to resolve the trouble.

Thank you in advance!

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Something strange happened today. Deleting a Firefox bookmark in the bookmarks toolbar or in the bookmarks folder removed that entry from Firefox. It did however reappear after a restart of the browser which was puzzling and annoying as it was not possible to remove old bookmarks from the computer system using the default way.

The best way to start the analysis of the issue is to create a backup of the Firefox 3 bookmarks file to be on the save side. A quick search on the Internet suggested to delete the files places.sqlite and places.sqlite-journal which contains the bookmark information. Deleting them forces Firefox to rebuild the bookmarks from the last backup. The best option is to simply move them from the profile folder into another folder for safety purposes instead of deleting them outright.

Firefox did recreate both files but it did not solve the problem. It was still not possible to delete bookmarks permanently. Next option was to remove both the files and the bookmark backups so that Firefox could not recreate the bookmarks and would have to start with a new blank bookmarks file. This includes deleting or moving the folder bookmarkbackups and the bookmarks.xxx files in the Firefox profile folder.

A restart of Firefox revealed that all bookmarks were finally gone. It was also possible to delete and move the default bookmarks in Firefox. The last step was to import the bookmarks from the backup that was created at the beginning and move them into their correct places again.

To import bookmarks into Firefox, open the Bookmarks Manager with a click on the Firefox button and the selection of Bookmarks from the menu. In the manager, click on import and backup and select import bookmarks from HTML from the list. You can alternatively import them from another web browser if you are syncing your bookmarks across browsers.

A test to delete and move those imported bookmarks was positive and solved the issue of being not able to delete Firefox 3 bookmarks.

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If you use Sync then best is to disconnect Sync temporarily during troubleshooting.

You can check for problems with the places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder.

  • use "Verify Integrity" button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page

In case errors are reported with "Verify Integrity" close and restart Firefox and retry.

If "Verify Integrity" cannot repair places.sqlite, rename/remove all places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder. Firefox will rebuild places.sqlite and restore the bookmarks from a 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

See also:

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.