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Bookmarks: won't reinstall from a back-up and bookmark titles are assigned to the wrong web link.

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  • 1 has this problem
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  • Last reply by mike365

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My new laptop had a new install of Firefox when I received it, running on a Windows 10 OS. When I installed my bookmarks from a previous back-up (my previous laptop had died) the new installation assigned wrong web addresses to each and every bookmark title. I've tried everything that I can think of to reload my bookmarks and tried to make sense of the help in your FAQ pages. I've uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox but the same issue occurs. The correct titles for my bookmarks appear in the right place, as I'd assigned in my previous laptop. However all the icons are like an empty, wire world icon and most of them don't activate. The ones that do activate a link take me to an entierly unrelated website. When I look at the individual bookmarks under Bookmarks/show all bookmarks, are all incorrect. Many of my passwords still work but some don't. I cannot bookmark a new page - there is just no response at all. I can't delete bookmarks from my Toolbar or from within the 'show all bookmarks' page. What is going on and how can I recover my bookmarks so that I have a functioning Firefox please? Help! I am wasting time both typing in new searches and in trying to fix this! I have even dismantled my old laptop and plugged in the old C Drive to my new one - the drive and all the old data is there and visible but this install of Firefox running on this machine will not accept even the old bookmark data! All the json files that I have seen have no identifying icon - just a blank rectangle as the icon for the file-type. I've even removed the very few plug-ins that I had and gone back to the original install state for Firefox without any joy! That's about as much fault-finding info this non-techie user can give. Over to you please!

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I am now getting a message 'Unable to process backup file' even when using a json file that I have found from 2 years ago... Is this anything to do with the Firefox versions not reading across, or some sort of firewall block? I still don't understand why the individual bookmark webpage icons are jumbled up from correct weblinks either... Also the star icon in the web search bar doesn't do anything and seems totally disabled...

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Further to my last post, the extensions to the files in bookmarkbackups is jsonlz4 - is that relevant? All the guidance seems to talk about pure json files, which I can't find. There is also talk of files that unlock associated other files - getting more confused!

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Chosen Solution

I am now getting a message 'Unable to process backup file' even when using a json file that I have found from 2 years ago... Is this anything to do with the Firefox versions not reading across, or some sort of firewall block? I still don't understand why the individual bookmark webpage icons are jumbled up from correct weblinks either... Also the star icon in the web search bar doesn't do anything and seems totally disabled...

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

This can be caused by a problem with the places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite databases in the Firefox profile folder.

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

If errors are reported with "Verify Integrity", close and restart Firefox or reboot and retry.

If "Verify Integrity" cannot repair places.sqlite, rename/remove all places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed. 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.

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Thank you cor-el. I did the Verify check and it showed there was a problem so I followed the next part of your process and also looked at the links you kindly provided, so deleted/moved the sqlite files of every variety that I could find! I also deleted all the bookmarkbackup files and substituted a single json file from my old machine's back-up. Doing all that seems to have fixed the problem, in large degree. There are one or two little anomalies with some of the websites but that may just be old sites that are now gone. Thank you so much for taking time to respond to my question - it has relieved this old Brit of a lot of frustration and anxiety and must definitely count as your random act of kindness for today - wherever you are! Be blessed!

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Sorry, just to clarify for anyone else following this - I ONLY deleted the place.sqlite and favicon.sqlite files of every variety, as advised in the links you sent. I also removed the xulstore.json file. All is now sweetness and light. However it would be interesting to know what causes such problems in the first place in case there's anything users can do to help themselves.