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My bookmarks only show up on the mobile Firefox, but not in the desktop browser. How can I fix it?


This is how it all happened: 1. Bookmarks first disappeared on one of my desktop computers. 2. Bookmarks disappeared on another desktop computer. Additionally I was unable to bookmark any new page - after I press the star button it would be blank (not yellow). 3. I can see my bookmarks on my tablet with updated Firefox Beta. But I am worried they will disappear soon too. 4. When I checked the Sync Quota it shows that Bookmarks only use few kilobytes even thought I have hundreds if not thousands of bookmarks. 5. I have reinstalled the browser removing all personal data, but the only thing that changed is - I now can add bookmarks, although not through Right Click->Bookmark This Link.

I strongly believe this is a bug in the Sync system and am now considering switching to chrome

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More Information

  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
624 solutions 8069 answers

For now the important thing is to ensure your bookmarks are backed up. You should immediately backup bookmarks on each device independently of whatever you may have on sync. Also bare in mind that if you restore bookmarks you overwrite and therefore destroy the originals. You must therefore backup everything first.

Please take note that sync is NOT a backup service and the only way it is considered to backup anything is by allowing you to sync devices and therefore have your own duplications of bookmarks. Note that you are able to backup the bookmarks yourself on individual devices without using sync:

Whilst considering the above you may also need to think about backing up other Firefox data so also see

Your desktop device should have its on backups of bookmarks by default, but if you suspect those are not up-to-date or complete you could consider restoring a synced copy of bookmarks.

Question owner

Hi John, Thank for such a prompt reply, however I still do not see a solution to my problem: 1. The backups of the desktop browser are outdated - I took too long to look into this and the files that I have do not contain all my bookmarks. It actually seems like they contain my open tabs from the past week. 2. There is no backup option on the mobile browser. I still have my bookmarks there but cannot extract them. 3. The Sync account site only shows quotas and settings and I cannot see whether the bookmarks are there or not. Also I cannot extract them from there.

  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
624 solutions 8069 answers

Did you backup whatever bookmarks you did have on the computer ?

Remember any restoring of bookmarks overwrites whatever he current set is, and you may not want to loose them.

Even if up until now you have not made any backups of Desktop bookmarks Firefox will have backed up some of them into sets of daily bookmark backups. Once you have backed up your current set you could look at what it has by restoring those bookmarks, you may find one of those sets is fairly complete.

By the way if you look at the profile files and folders that you should now have on the desktop you should see it contains a bookmarks backup folder, the size of the files within should indicate whether they contain anything.

You need to go into the bookmarks library and try the restore option. Backup each set that you look at if it has anything of use in it, before trying the next set. With look one of those will be a fairly complete set of bookmarks.

I do not use Firefox on mobiles, but before you try anything further you do need to backup the desktop bookmarks and learn what existing backups you have. Unless you master that you are in continual danger of overwriting and loosing bookmarks.

Presumably you have already found this listing of help articles for mobiles

esworp 0 solutions 2 answers

what if the mobile device is the only place that has the bookmarks intact?

jezinhants 0 solutions 2 answers

I have just had the same problem as Dash007 - without any apparent system changes I simply turned my desktop computer on, started up Firefox, and all of my bookmarks are gone, plus there was a bottom left corner statement saying that it was unable to sync. I opened Firefox on my laptop, saved all of my bookmarks as both html and json files onto a thumbdrive and tried to import or restore them onto my desktop firefox. I got a window asking if I was sure I wanted to overwrite all of the existing bookmarks (ie. none), I clicked yes... and nothing happens. I now have a Firefox browser where I am unable to re-install all my bookmarks (several hundred) and I am unable to bookmark anything new. As an interim measure I have installed all the bookmarks into IE and apart from mixing them all up, it works just fine. After a few hours searching, this is the thread that comes closest to the problem, it is clearly a glitch with sync/firefox and any advice would be greatly appreciated.... failing that I guess I'd better get used to IE again, or try out Chrome... (I am running Windows 7 on a 1 year old Dell Precision with Norton 360)

  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
624 solutions 8069 answers

Jeremy (Please also sign in and look at your inbox )

Follow the advice in my post above and back up your desktop profile immediately (Or at the very least the backup bookmarks folders & files )

You probably would have been better starting your own thread by the way.

Question owner

Firefox is acting funny again: 1. It shows blank history, no bookmarks and let's me bookmark anything on both Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12 (running on Virtual Box) 2. I tried to "Restore" previous version of bookmarks -> nothing happens. 3. I get no messages about the "Sync"...

This is very annoying and I think you guys should try to fix this bug because it's a big deal. I am a big fan of FF, but if I cannot get it to work consistently I will have to switch browser and I am sure I am not the only person who experienced this, most probably just switched.