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bookmarks - backing up and restoring???

  • 2 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by danflester

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OK, I'm having a LOT of trouble with my sync, and bookmark archiving. If I export my bookmarks as html, and import them, none are in folders anymore! As far as I can tell, asking Firefox to "restore" from a particular date does something similar. The only way I understand to back up my bookmarks, and more them to another machine in an organized way is with the Profile folder (and profile.ini file). When I share that folder and that file, everything is copied exactly, and organized properly. So that being the case, what the h are "backup", "restore", "import" and "export" useful for?

If there some writeup on EXACTLY how to manage bookmark backups in Firefox? I've never seen one. You'd like to believe that when you "restore" your bookmarks, they end up organized the way they were originally.

All Replies (2)

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You write about an HTML backup above. Importing an HTML backup merges the bookmarks with the current bookmarks, but sometimes things goes wrong and all bookmarks end up in the Bookmarks Menu folder.

Restoring a JSON backup, either one you created yourself or an automatically created backup in the bookmarkbackups folder, replaces all current bookmarks with the bookmarks in this backup and should place all bookmarks in the correct folders. If this goes wrong then there is likely a problem with places.sqlite or possibly favicons.sqlite.

You can copy certain files with Firefox closed to the current profile folder to transfer or recover personal data. Note that best is to avoid copying a full profile folder.

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.

  • bookmarks and history: places.sqlite
  • favicons: favicons.sqlite
  • bookmark backups: compressed .jsonlz4 JSON backups in the bookmarkbackups folder
  • cookies.sqlite for the Cookies
  • formhistory.sqlite for saved autocomplete Form Data
  • logins.json (encrypted logins;32+) and key4.db (decryption key;58+) for Passwords saved in the Password Manager
    key3.db support ended in 73+; to use key3.db in 58-72, make sure to remove key4.db
  • cert9.db (58+) for (intermediate) certificates stored in the Certificate Manager
  • persdict.dat for words added to the spell checker dictionary
  • permissions.sqlite for Permissions and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for other website specific data (Site Preferences)
  • sessionstore.jsonlz4 for open tabs and pinned tabs (see also the sessionstore-backups folder)


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Thanks. I didn't try json, and I will see if that works better. But why doesn't "restore" really restore in an organized way? Is it supposed to, but just not working right in my implementation? That would be ideal if "restore" really restored with all folders intact. I call "restore" making it look like it once did. Doesn't do that for me.

If I still have trouble, should I dump places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite?

Yes, the html merging is inconvenient.

Modified by danflester


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