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  • 9 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by charleswj

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I raised the problem and had a response kindly trying to assist but after following all the steps advised I still can't access any bookmarks or history.

I have located the places.sqlite file as advised and renamed it but when I restart Firefox nothing changes and it makes no attempt to recover bookmarks from the backup files.

I would welcome any assistance as I have saved details I need.

Thank you.

All Replies (9)

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Possible causes are that security software if blocking access to places.sqlite in the Firefox profile folder.

Did you try to close and restart Firefox or reboot the computer ?

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Thank you for your prompt reply.

I do not haven security software on my Mac that would block access to places.sqlite. This started suddenly yesterday when I restarted Firefox and for no reason.

I have closed and restarted Firefox several times and also rebooted as suggested but Firefox still doesn't load bookmarks.

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If you have sync, and there is a problem anywhere, Shut Down Sync Immediately On All Devices to prevent the problem from spreading. Once the problem is fixed, perform the same repair on all computers/profiles before using sync again.

[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.

If any errors are reported, check this link:

The places.sqlite file contains your History and Bookmarks. And it looks like it is corrupted.

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

Under the page logo on the left side, you will see Application Basics. Under this find Profile Folder. To its right press the button Show Folder. This will open your file browser to the current Firefox profile. Now Close Firefox.

Locate the above file. Then rename or delete it. Restart Firefox. The browser should then create a new place.sqlite and recover your bookmarks from the backup files.

Note: Your history is not backed up and will be lost.

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Please do not create a new thread for each reply, but stay in this thread.


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You did remove (or rename) places.sqlite while Firefox was closed ?

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Yes I did rename places.sqlite while Firefox was closed as advised

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I'm using Firefox 91.0 on a Mac and have the same difficulty which started after a recent operating system upgrade to Mac OS 10.14.6. I backup systematically every evening. I have tried to restore my complete Profile from my backup and that has worked to some extent. Today Firefox started correctly with both history and bookmarks OK but after a while the both had disappeared. After rebooting my Mac I tried to recover them by syncing from my iPad which said that it was syncing but I found no change on the Mac, fortunately I still have my History and Bookmarks intact on the iPad.

As far as I'm aware I don't run any security software that might be the root of the problem. Some weeks ago I did try to use the same password manager with both Firefox and Safari (which I have to use as a particular tax site won't work with Firefox). Once however I had trashed the Safari elements and ensured that the two browsers use completely different password managers, stability returned. I do run app (HistoryHound ) which runs a database of my browsers' history files and have used it for years without any problems.

If possible I'd like to know

• which files I can restore from my backup and • the action to take to stop this extremely annoying problem recurring before I go bald

Thanks in advance

-- Charles

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If you have sync, and there is a problem anywhere, Shut Down Sync Immediately On All Devices to prevent the problem from spreading. Once the problem is fixed, perform the same repair on all computers/profiles before using sync again.

charleswj said

which files I can restore from my backup

How did you back up your files?

When you are ready, we can start moving parts of your old data and Copy it to the current profile.

Warning ! ! Only Copy the files you are told. We will avoid anything that might cause problems. Here is the list of files;

cookies: cookies.sqlite Do not bother. Cookies will be created when you return to the website. However, you will have to log in everywhere. And you may lose any settings that websites store on your computer.

extensions(add-ons, themes): it would be better to download them fresh. If you need to remember what add-ons you had, open the extensions sub-folder and look at the .xpi files

logins.json and key3.db [v58+]key4.db : These are the password files. Copy Both !

persdict.dat : custom dictionary - words you added to the dictionary

mimeTypes.rdf [v55+]handlers.json : What to do with what type of file.

places.sqlite : History and Bookmarks.

prefs.js : Your settings. Note: If you were having problems, this could be contaminated.

cert8.db [v58+]cert9.db and possibly cert_override.txt : Stores all your security certificate settings and any SSL certificates you have imported into Firefox. If removed, the cert8.db, cert9.db file will be replaced.

search.json.mozlz4 : file stores the user-installed search engines that are available in the Firefox v47+

search.sqlite file and searchplugins folder store the search engines that are available in the Firefox Search bar before Firefox v47

Copy these files from the old to the new. You may get a message that the files already exist. Choose to over-write for each file.

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A bit late to do the necessary now. I'll try as soon as I can. On t he backup question, I use QRecall. It runs automatically around 6:00 pm, making copies of all my files (not apps) onto a NAS. Used it for years and it has saved my sanity more than once.

-- Charles