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How to restore a bookmarks backup without having errors?

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I have backupped my bookmarks using Firefox's functionality to do it automatically and saved the file to an external HD before I was making a clean installation of Windows, which means all my files were removed. Later on, after re-installing Firefox, I tried to use the backup I had so I can have all my bookmarks once again, but when I try to look for that file, it seems it has the wrong format (a regular "File" instead of JSON or HTML, not sure which one of them should it be). So I tried to change it to "*.JSON" and it still didn't shoe up in the dialog box. So I tried "*.HTML", which DOES show up but everytime I try to import it, it actually does nothing.

I really need this file since it contains many sites that I need. Thanks in advance.

I have backupped my bookmarks using Firefox's functionality to do it automatically and saved the file to an external HD before I was making a clean installation of Windows, which means all my files were removed. Later on, after re-installing Firefox, I tried to use the backup I had so I can have all my bookmarks once again, but when I try to look for that file, it seems it has the wrong format (a regular "File" instead of JSON or HTML, not sure which one of them should it be). So I tried to change it to "*.JSON" and it still didn't shoe up in the dialog box. So I tried "*.HTML", which DOES show up but everytime I try to import it, it actually does nothing. I really need this file since it contains many sites that I need. Thanks in advance.

Chosen solution

You're welcome.

There shouldn't be a problem with restoring/importing a JSON or HTML backup that you have created with Firefox.
The most of the time the problem is either a wrong file extension that you may not have added when saving the file or the places.sqlite database was (already) corrupted when you saved this backup.
The file extension should be easily corrected, but a corrupted JSON file is not easy to repair.

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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8316 solutions 68074 answers

Helpful Reply

Do you recall whether you used the "Export" feature or the "Backup" feature? The Export feature creates an HTML format file (with a .htm or .html extension) while the Backup feature creates a JSON-formatted file, typically with a .json extension.

If you recall using Backup, when you use Restore > Choose File, change the drop-down file filter button from JSON to All Files in order to find it. Does that work?

By the way, using Restore will replace any new bookmarks you've saved. If those are important to preserve, make a note of them, or use the Export feature to create an HTML backup. When you import from an HTML export, it simply adds those on without replacing everything.

Do you recall whether you used the "Export" feature or the "Backup" feature? The Export feature creates an HTML format file (with a .htm or .html extension) while the Backup feature creates a JSON-formatted file, typically with a .json extension. If you recall using Backup, when you use Restore > Choose File, change the drop-down file filter button from JSON to All Files in order to find it. Does that work? By the way, using Restore will replace any new bookmarks you've saved. If those are important to preserve, make a note of them, or use the Export feature to create an HTML backup. When you import from an HTML export, it simply adds those on without replacing everything.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17104 solutions 154461 answers

Make sure that the backup file with the bookmarks has the correct file extension:

  • .html for a HTML backup
  • .json for a JSON backup

You can check the type via the right-click context menu of that file and open the Properties.
If you are not sure about the file type then you can open the file in Firefox via "File > Open File"
A JSON backup will show as one long text line without line breaks and a HTML backup as a web page with clickable links.

A JSON backup starts with: {"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded":
An HTML backup starts with: <!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1>

Make sure that the backup file with the bookmarks has the correct file extension: * .html for a HTML backup * .json for a JSON backup You can check the type via the right-click context menu of that file and open the Properties.<br /> If you are not sure about the file type then you can open the file in Firefox via "File > Open File"<br /> A JSON backup will show as one long text line without line breaks and a HTML backup as a web page with clickable links. A JSON backup starts with: <b><nowiki>{"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded":</nowiki></b><br /> An HTML backup starts with: <b><nowiki><!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1></nowiki></b>

Question owner

Hello,

thank you both very much for replying to me. I remember the method I used - it was to export to an HTML file. The thing is, when I tried to import that file back to Firefox, I noticed it was a regular file for some reason, not an HTML one (and certainly not a JSON of course). So I tried to change the format to HTML, but it didn't help. Trying to change it to JSON had a little effect - I could open the file with the appropriate format, a one which begins with {"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded": I hope this information helps you to try and help me more. This file's size is almost 300kb, which is alot of bookmarks I need. :\

Thanks again for your help!

Hello, thank you both very much for replying to me. I remember the method I used - it was to export to an HTML file. The thing is, when I tried to import that file back to Firefox, I noticed it was a regular file for some reason, not an HTML one (and certainly not a JSON of course). So I tried to change the format to HTML, but it didn't help. Trying to change it to JSON had a little effect - I could open the file with the appropriate format, a one which begins with {"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded": I hope this information helps you to try and help me more. This file's size is almost 300kb, which is alot of bookmarks I need. :\ Thanks again for your help!
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17104 solutions 154461 answers

Helpful Reply

If the file starts with {"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded": then you have a JSON backup and you need to change the file extension to .json to make Firefox accept the file.

Note that restoring such a JSON backup will replace all current bookmarks, so you may want to create a HTML backup.

  • Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks > Import & Backup > Restore > Choose File
If the file starts with {"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded": then you have a JSON backup and you need to change the file extension to .json to make Firefox accept the file. Note that restoring such a JSON backup will replace all current bookmarks, so you may want to create a HTML backup. *Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks > Import & Backup > Restore > Choose File *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Backing_up_and_restoring_bookmarks_-_Firefox

Question owner

Hello,

I tried what you said, but I get an error message says "File format is not supported". If it helps, beside the file format is JSON, the properties define it to open using Windows Shell Common Dll.

Hello, I tried what you said, but I get an error message says "File format is not supported". If it helps, beside the file format is JSON, the properties define it to open using Windows Shell Common Dll.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17104 solutions 154461 answers

You did use the Restore menu entry and not the HTML import?

If that isn't working and the file extension is correct (.json) then the file may be corrupted somehow.

You can look at this MozillaZine forum thread to check if the file is corrupted and if you can retrieve links from the file.

You did use the Restore menu entry and not the HTML import? If that isn't working and the file extension is correct (.json) then the file may be corrupted somehow. You can look at this MozillaZine forum thread to check if the file is corrupted and if you can retrieve links from the file. *http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=622036&start=60&p=12098147#p12098147

Question owner

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what I am supposed to do? Perhaps I'll just give up, since as I thought the file IS corrupted. I'll try to find the important sites on my own.

Thank you very much for your hard work :)

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what I am supposed to do? Perhaps I'll just give up, since as I thought the file IS corrupted. I'll try to find the important sites on my own. Thank you very much for your hard work :)
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17104 solutions 154461 answers

Chosen Solution

You're welcome.

There shouldn't be a problem with restoring/importing a JSON or HTML backup that you have created with Firefox.
The most of the time the problem is either a wrong file extension that you may not have added when saving the file or the places.sqlite database was (already) corrupted when you saved this backup.
The file extension should be easily corrected, but a corrupted JSON file is not easy to repair.

You're welcome. There shouldn't be a problem with restoring/importing a JSON or HTML backup that you have created with Firefox.<br /> The most of the time the problem is either a wrong file extension that you may not have added when saving the file or the places.sqlite database was (already) corrupted when you saved this backup.<br /> The file extension should be easily corrected, but a corrupted JSON file is not easy to repair.

Question owner

By saying "wrong file extension" you mean I should have exactly, all, and only the Firefox Addons I had when I created the backup (and only then importing the file)?

By saying "wrong file extension" you mean I should have exactly, all, and only the Firefox Addons I had when I created the backup (and only then importing the file)?
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17104 solutions 154461 answers

With the 'wrong file extension' I meant that the JSON backup wasn't saved as bookmarks.json, but possibly without a file extension (i.e. only the bookmarks name) or possibly with a .html or other file extension if you've tried to change this yourself.
The Properties should confirm which file type the file is in case Windows is hiding the real file extension.

With the 'wrong file extension' I meant that the JSON backup wasn't saved as bookmarks.json, but possibly without a file extension (i.e. only the bookmarks name) or possibly with a .html or other file extension if you've tried to change this yourself.<br /> The Properties should confirm which file type the file is in case Windows is hiding the real file extension.

Question owner

So if file correction is the only solution I have, how do I do that?

So if file correction is the only solution I have, how do I do that?

Question owner

I mean file extension correction

I mean file extension correction
cor-el
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17104 solutions 154461 answers

You can rename the file via the right-click context menu in Windows Explorer.

You can rename the file via the right-click context menu in Windows Explorer.

Question owner

Oh my god, I don't know how, I tried again, as a last chance before I quite trying, to use the JSON file as restore bookmarks using a backup file, and it worked! Hell if I know how or why, but I'm just glad it finally did. Thank you very much for your patience and help, I appreciate it!

Oh my god, I don't know how, I tried again, as a last chance before I quite trying, to use the JSON file as restore bookmarks using a backup file, and it worked! Hell if I know how or why, but I'm just glad it finally did. Thank you very much for your patience and help, I appreciate it!
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17104 solutions 154461 answers

You're welcome.

Glad to read that it finally worked for you.

You're welcome. Glad to read that it finally worked for you.
DinAlt 0 solutions 1 answers

I had the same problem exported bookmarks and got file with no extension, tried to change for html and it didn't work. I hade delta-search/babylon/searchYa! malware/virus and I think it can be responsible for that cose I'm sure I did export bookmarks as html file and got file with no extension and after riding that topic I changed it to json and restored as backup ...and it worked :) So THX for help :)

I had the same problem exported bookmarks and got file with no extension, tried to change for html and it didn't work. I hade delta-search/babylon/searchYa! malware/virus and I think it can be responsible for that cose I'm sure I did export bookmarks as html file and got file with no extension and after riding that topic I changed it to json and restored as backup ...and it worked :) So THX for help :)