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I carefully curate my bookmarks, only to have them multiply uncontrollably periodically with multiples of the same bookmark scattered in a very long list.

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I use Windows, Mac, and various flavors of Linux. A Firefox account should keep bookmarks the same across platforms, but occasionally-to-frequently the episode described above occurs, and bookmarks fall like a rainstorm in the sidebar, unorganized and in a quantity that is distressing, since now I have to start deleting again, because once it happens in, say, Windows, it gets carried to every instance elsewhere. It's like the ghosts of every bookmark I ever had comes back to haunt in multiples scattered all over the place. Is there a way to glue this stuff down so it doesn't happen again? I'm at a loss.

I use Windows, Mac, and various flavors of Linux. A Firefox account should keep bookmarks the same across platforms, but occasionally-to-frequently the episode described above occurs, and bookmarks fall like a rainstorm in the sidebar, unorganized and in a quantity that is distressing, since now I have to start deleting again, because once it happens in, say, Windows, it gets carried to every instance elsewhere. It's like the ghosts of every bookmark I ever had comes back to haunt in multiples scattered all over the place. Is there a way to glue this stuff down so it doesn't happen again? I'm at a loss.

Chosen solution

You lose the history when you rename/remove places.sqlite because there isn't a backup for the history like there is for the bookmarks in the bookmarkbackups folder.

Firefox will create a new places.sqlite and try to restore the bookmarks from the most recent backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. You can also restore a backup manually in the Bookmarks Manager (Library). Note that restoring a JSON backup will always replace all the bookmarks, so you lose newer bookmarks that aren't in this backup.

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Senali Madawala 3 solutions 161 answers

Other browsers have apps that sort, delete duplicates, and delete empty folders. Here, for instance https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bookmark-dupes/ Google, whatXX* Or start.me maybe

Other browsers have apps that sort, delete duplicates, and delete empty folders. Here, for instance https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bookmark-dupes/ Google, whatXX* Or start.me maybe

Modified by Senali Madawala

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Question owner

Deleting cache did not help. Shortly the rainstorm re-occurred as if all I had deleted simply hid until I wasn’t looking, then reappeared. Multiple folders labeled BookmarksBar, BookmarksMenu, Favorites Bar, links to Mozilla Get Involved, Custmize Firefox, bookmarks long ago deleted — they don’t die. They come back with a vengeance. Again I delete them, and they come right back.

Deleting cache did not help. Shortly the rainstorm re-occurred as if all I had deleted simply hid until I wasn’t looking, then reappeared. Multiple folders labeled BookmarksBar, BookmarksMenu, Favorites Bar, links to Mozilla Get Involved, Custmize Firefox, bookmarks long ago deleted — they don’t die. They come back with a vengeance. Again I delete them, and they come right back.
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jscher2000
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Hi David, do you use Firefox Sync?

If so, it might be the culprit. In past threads, it was suggested to stop sync'ing bookmarks temporarily when this happens -- you can uncheck Bookmarks on the Options page under "Firefox Account" > Sync settings.

I'm actually not sure how to "clean up" after that so it doesn't recur when you resume sync'ing bookmarks.

Hi David, do you use Firefox Sync? If so, it might be the culprit. In past threads, it was suggested to stop sync'ing bookmarks temporarily when this happens -- you can uncheck Bookmarks on the Options page under "Firefox Account" > Sync settings. I'm actually not sure how to "clean up" after that so it doesn't recur when you resume sync'ing bookmarks.
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jscher2000
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By the way, after cleaning up, I suggest creating backups in both available formats for quick restoration in the future:

By the way, after cleaning up, I suggest creating backups in both available formats for quick restoration in the future: * JSON-format "backup" file. See: [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]] * HTML-format "export" file. See: [[Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks]]
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cor-el
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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.

Firefox keeps backups in the bookmarkbackups folder. The name of an automatically created JSON bookmarks backup in the bookmarkbackups folder includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once. You also see this count in the Restore menu drop-down list.

  • bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4.

Best is to reconnect one device at the time and wait for the initial Sync to finish before connecting another device once you have fixed the bookmarks.

Best is to disconnect Sync temporarily during troubleshooting. You can check for problems with the <b>places.sqlite</b> and <b>favicons.sqlite</b> 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. Firefox keeps backups in the bookmarkbackups folder. The name of an automatically created JSON bookmarks backup in the bookmarkbackups folder includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once. You also see this count in the Restore menu drop-down list. *bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4. Best is to reconnect one device at the time and wait for the initial Sync to finish before connecting another device once you have fixed the bookmarks.
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Question owner

Thanks to all who gave me suggestions. I'm gradually getting a grip on the problem, and each suggestion helps. Grateful.

Thanks to all who gave me suggestions. I'm gradually getting a grip on the problem, and each suggestion helps. Grateful.
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cor-el said

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. Firefox keeps backups in the bookmarkbackups folder. The name of an automatically created JSON bookmarks backup in the bookmarkbackups folder includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once. You also see this count in the Restore menu drop-down list.
  • bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4.
Best is to reconnect one device at the time and wait for the initial Sync to finish before connecting another device once you have fixed the bookmarks.

Specific question about places.sqlite. Can that file be deleted, and will it rebuild? Or does deleting it fry Firefox entirely. As I examine it as a text file, I can see some of the bookmarks references that I stopped using/deleted long ago. Could this be the source of my issue?

''cor-el [[#answer-1264294|said]]'' <blockquote> Best is to disconnect Sync temporarily during troubleshooting. You can check for problems with the <b>places.sqlite</b> and <b>favicons.sqlite</b> 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. Firefox keeps backups in the bookmarkbackups folder. The name of an automatically created JSON bookmarks backup in the bookmarkbackups folder includes a total item count (folders and separators included) and an hash value to prevent saving the same backup more than once. You also see this count in the Restore menu drop-down list. *bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.jsonlz4. Best is to reconnect one device at the time and wait for the initial Sync to finish before connecting another device once you have fixed the bookmarks. </blockquote> Specific question about places.sqlite. Can that file be deleted, and will it rebuild? Or does deleting it fry Firefox entirely. As I examine it as a text file, I can see some of the bookmarks references that I stopped using/deleted long ago. Could this be the source of my issue?
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17760 solutions 160619 answers

Chosen Solution

You lose the history when you rename/remove places.sqlite because there isn't a backup for the history like there is for the bookmarks in the bookmarkbackups folder.

Firefox will create a new places.sqlite and try to restore the bookmarks from the most recent backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. You can also restore a backup manually in the Bookmarks Manager (Library). Note that restoring a JSON backup will always replace all the bookmarks, so you lose newer bookmarks that aren't in this backup.

You lose the history when you rename/remove places.sqlite because there isn't a backup for the history like there is for the bookmarks in the bookmarkbackups folder. Firefox will create a new places.sqlite and try to restore the bookmarks from the most recent backup in the bookmarkbackups folder. You can also restore a backup manually in the Bookmarks Manager (Library). Note that restoring a JSON backup will always replace all the bookmarks, so you lose newer bookmarks that aren't in this backup. *Bookmarks -> Show All Bookmarks -> Import & Backup -> Restore *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them
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