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How can I copy my bookmarks from PC A t PC B?

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  • 401 have this problem
  • Last reply by Papa65

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I am populating a new PC with software. Is there an easy way to copy my Firefox bookmarks from an existing PC to the new one? In the past the only effective was was to update my IE favorites, copy them over, and then install Firefox and import the IE favorites.

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For bookmarks & history, the article I hyperlinked says to copy the places.sqlite into the Profile folder, replacing the same file that is there.

JSON backup files need to be restored. HTML files are imported.

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I went through that process 3 times. First attempting to override the newly created file on my laptop with my mature list from this desktop. When I opened bookmarks, there was no change. Then I tried deleting the old folder on the laptop and copying the folder from the desktop over. No change. Then I deleted Firefox but left the profile and copied over. After reinstalling Firefox, there was no change.

I have currently completly zapped Firefox from the laptop including the profile. I will now go through the process of updated IE8's Favorites list on this machine, copying that over. It is quick and simple and better yet, works every time. It just takes time.

Then I will probably reinstall Firefox. This inability to easily copy bookmarks from one machine to another has been the achiles heel of Firefox since the advent of 2.o.

Please Fix it in 4.0!

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Did you copy a complete profile folder or did you copy only some selected to the current default Firefox Profile Folder ?

See also:

If you copy a complete profile folder then you either need to register that profile via the Profile Manager or copy profiles.ini as well.

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Firefox Sync is being added to Firefox 4 so you can synchronize a new installation (or Profile) with personal data that was sync'd from an exsting Firefox installation.

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I hope it is a lot easier to use. I tried copying just the bookmark backup dated 10/9, but that had no effect. I then tried copying the bookmark backup folder and that had no effect.

I then tried importing from the file menu, clicking on the import menu. That had no effect. The only way I have found to reliably move Firefox bookmarks is to update Internet Explorer, copy the Favorites file over, blow away completely Firefox (including profile and settings) and then reinstall from scratch importing from IE at that point.

Cumbersome and archaic. Firefox is a very good browser and is my default. But when I have to set up a new machine (previous laptop died last monday) or a new drive with a new OS, getting the bookmarks right in Firefox is worse than install all the apps.

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Chosen Solution

For bookmarks & history, the article I hyperlinked says to copy the places.sqlite into the Profile folder, replacing the same file that is there.

JSON backup files need to be restored. HTML files are imported.

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Ok, I admit I missed that.

Two points for the Firefox developers to consider -

1. why is it so difficult to move/copy bookmarks from one PC to another? This is not a new problem for there are many help requests over on a forum I participate on - PC World for this, but I thought there would be an easy answer over here.

2. If it is bookmarks in the application, why is it places.sqlite in the profile folder and not bookmarks? Or, if it is places.sqlite in the profile folder why not "Places" in the application?

Many people do as I do, maintain IE for two reasons - transferring links (fav/bm) to a new machine/OS and access to some MS sites, although the latter has gotten easier over the past few years.

Now that I know the secret codes, hopefully I can remember them for the future. I may try it in a few days with a machine I don't use to access the internet very often - my Media Center. I will mark this solved, Thanks.

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Places.sqlite is one of the sqlite database files that current Firefox versions use to store data.
The file places.sqlite stores the bookmarks and the history and copying that file to a profile folder will make both available in the new profile, as always provided that the file is not corrupted. You need to remove places.sqlite-journal if present.

Restoring a JSON backup will replace all your current bookmarks (you get a warning about that), so if you already have bookmarks that you wish to keep then export them to an HTML file before restoring the JSON backup.
You can import that HTML file after you have restored the JSON backup to get back your current bookmarks (you need to remove duplicates).
You can't import a JSON backup to add (merge) bookmarks.

Importing bookmarks from an HTML file adds the imported bookmarks to the already existing bookmarks, so you may need to remove duplicates.
An HTML backup doesn't support tags and annotations, so if you want to preserve those then you need to use a JSON backup.

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Do a search and locate a file called places.sqlite on the old computer. I will be inside of Firefox\Profiles. You want the one under Type called SQLITE File. Copy this file. At the new pc locate the same file and rename it re-places.sqlite. Now paste the copied file to this location.