Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

No more automatic backup of bookmarks since FF 29/30 ?

  • 14 replies
  • 18 have this problem
  • Last reply by FredMcD

more options

Hello dear Mozilla,

I remarked that since FF29 and FF30 b1/b2 Firefox doesn't automatically backup its bookmarks any more (as normally shoudl be on a daily basis) in folder C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\yyyyyy.default\bookmarkbackups. Very strange, I tried everything up to even a drastic complete uninstall (incl. register) and reinstall of Firefox, but nothings helps : no automatic .JSON-files any more. I assume that it has something to do with Firefox dll-files not present anymore or not working properly anymore or defaults in the about:config , that may be accidentally changed in the programming or compilation of the exe-installation file of FF 29/30. All other things in FF 29/30 work properly though :-) Can you please fix this. Thanks, Rick

All Replies (14)

more options

I am on someone else's Firefox and can not test Beta at present but as far as I know Fx29 & Fx30 both backup bookmarks automatically by default.

This is Fx29 and I note it has a default of 15 copies, and is making backups.

I suppose there is just a possibility the current Beta is problematic, but if you have been seeing problems since Fx29 on the Beta channel it is almost certainly a fault at your end.

Try the Firefox reset, or as you are a beta user and probably happy to try more advanced methods of troublshooting try safe mode and if that does not help create a new additional profile for test purposes and start Firefox in that in safe mode.

It is good practice to use the suggested default location for a new profile, pick a meaningful name and do not delete or rename any profiles.

more options

Hi John99,

I tried everything regarding resets, safe mode and profiles, but the problem remains : no automatic backups. It started with FF 29 & still remains the same with the 2 béta's of FF30, before I never had this issue. And I'm not the only one, see also post by Axis "Firefox 29 is no longer automatically creating bookmarks backups". With 6 others who also discovered this trouble. Surely you agree that only advanced users check things like this and discover this issue.... I also checked in the about:config, my maximum is also by default 15 copies. I really think there must be a bug... Rick

more options

You can always manually back up bookmarks. I have no problem with the automatic backups, but I do a manual backup to a location outside the profile when I change any bookmarks.

more options

Link to earlier thread: Firefox 29 is no longer automatically creating bookmarks backups

There was a bug in Firefox 24-28 relating to some kind of corruption or time-out causing Firefox not to create the JSON backup. In that case, the user could not even create the file manually, and using export to HTML failed as well.

The fix for this is in Firefox 29. It appears to involve a change in what Firefox does at shutdown. Perhaps something about the fix has created a new issue?

I assume you shut down normally now and then, and not only when crashing...

more options

I found that after Firefox v29, a LOT of my settings and add-ons were changed / reset. Try this; Start Firefox in Safe Mode
While you are in safe mode;
Firefox Options > Advanced > General.
Look for and turn off Use Hardware Acceleration. Check ALL of your setting. Then restart.

more options

@everyone and Rick--

I don't know what is going on with Firefox anymore. I would not like to believe that you are deliberately concealing important developer changes in 29 (and apparently 30) but I just discovered that "they" have changed the behavior of auto-backup bookmarks. According to this thread, which deals with 30 specifically, but also is apparently working in 29 as well:

"To workaround that we have code in place that checks if the newest backup is 5 days old, then we try every 5 minutes instead of 10, and then you may expect at least a backup every about 5 days in the worst case."

Marco Bonardo

So I finally managed to get FF 29 to generate a bookmark by first removing the 4 I had made manually the last 4 days. Opening up the Developer Tools Console and entering the below code into the Browser Console:

let idle = Components.classes[";1"].getService(Components.interfaces.nsIIdleService); [1,2,3,5,7,10].forEach(aTimeMin => { idle.addIdleObserver((undefined, aTopic) => { console.log(aTopic); if (aTopic == "idle") console.log(aTimeMin + " <= " + Math.round(idle.idleTime / 60000)) }, aTimeMin * 60) })

Then do not so much as even touch your mouse...leave the room for 10 min. Come back and if your lucky, you will have a new backup in your bookmarkbackups folder.

But let's get real. No one I know walks away from their computer for 10 min. with their browser open. Whereas 28 would auto-create the backup bookmark daily on start-up, 29 according to the bug report above wants to wait 5 days between auto-backups??? And then you must wait 10 or 5 min. (depending on how old your last bookmark backup is) for it to generate a new one.

Support people...are you deliberately steering people in the wrong direction with all this talk about places.sqlite and resets or what?

So lets summarize what is going on. The above mentioned developer first made people choose between an "preset" history that could get way huger than many people want, or having the "clear browsing history on exit" option. I had to choose the latter. Then, with 29, the only way you can have FF not go through the "hanging on exit bug" is to not delete history on exit. So then you download above developers add-on so you can try and and least try and control the size your history. So I did that. I can live with that.

Next comes this absurd change to how Firefox deals with bookmark backups. Three days? Five days? Whatever. Essentially you now need to do this manually. I guess I can live with that, but it is just one more thing you have to do can hover around your computer like a father waiting for a child to be born for 10 or 5 minutes and not dare even bump your computer table and move your mouse.

What is most disturbing is that you reference my original post in this thread above, yet none of you are telling me what is going on in my one is talking to me with anything useful. Thankfully Rick came in and finally helped me confirmed that, yes indeed, auto-bookmark backup "isn't working" (or, according to the developers, is working 'different'.

Nothing with the two issues I raised was "solved" or worked around by all the crap you had me try for almost a week now. "Safe Mode", "Reset to default", delete your place.sqlite file, etc. This is really disturbing. I had to find the answers elsewhere and then report them back here.

Firefox is the best browser around or I wouldn't be writing all this. But I am really wondering if FF is changing from the "most customizable" with a "whole lot of support" to just another "don't ask questions" and "do as your told" browser.

I am not "venting." This is righteous anger at being side-stepped and fed crap when it was all part of the "master developers" plan and you either didn't know it or deliberately are not telling people. Tell me it "ain't so."


more options

Hi Axis, good detective work. I had some suspicions on that area earlier today, but didn't see a problem with making backups while Firefox is "idle." Apparently that is more complicated than it sounds.

FYI, there are rarely any developers answering questions here. For the most part, we are support volunteers who do not write any code for Firefox.

The list of bug fixes for Firefox 29 numbers 3,897 bugs. There's just no way we can know about most of them, particularly the ones that do not visibly affect a lot of users, bringing them here and allowing us to replicate the problem. (My backups look pretty normal for whatever reason.)

No one I know walks away from their computer for 10 min. with their browser open.

If I had to close my browser every time I left my screen I think I would go mad. I just lock Windows so no one can get on without a password.

more options


Thanks for not taking insult. I understand that the support people are volunteers and when you have, as you say, 3,897 bugs, I can understand that no one could keep up with that.

One of the things I have to deal with is that my "box" is also a server, so I don't like to leave programs that use memory or cpu running more than I need them to. So it is rare that I will leave FF 29 in "idle" for any period of time. Today, however, I did let it idle when I woke up and then drank my coffee. FF 29 created a bookmark and even deleted to the setting I have for the correct number of backups I have it set it for (4). (Hope that sentence makes sense.)

I see this all the time on support forums, good people volunteering to answer questions with little information given to them from the developers for whatever software they are supporting.

I think Mozilla should insist that you volunteers receive at least a summary of "bug fixes" that affect settings in place that will affect the browser/user interactions.

Thanks you again for responding. At least I know that the good support people here are not deliberately deceiving me (and others.)



more options

Good Day,  :)

Please Help.

I updated from Firefox ESR 24.6.0 to Firefox 30.0... ..and noticed that Firefox 30.0 is NOT doing Bookmarks' backups (to the bookmarkbackups profile folder)....

My setting for browser.bookmarks.max_backups is 5, & I have also verified that my places.sqlite is OK... I have also reinstalled Firefox with a new default profile (default settings), then added 10 new bookmarks to the "default" bookmarks, ....& it still does NOT create Bookmarks' backups....

The loss of the routine Bookmarks backups started coincidentally with the introduction of Australis (Firefox 29.0 in the Stable channel), and hasn't been fixed yet. I can't find a bug report for it, But I am not that "good" at searching the bug reports....

I am VERY Disappointed with the Firefox Stable Channel releases introducing more & more bugs (& missing features) in the last 18 months...., ...which seem to almost never get fixed in subsequent releases....

Can we Please get a comment from Mozilla, or a Mozilla developer re this?

Thank You Very Much, Roberta

more options

Hi Roberta, there are two known issues:

(1) Occasionally some kind of corruption can result in empty backup files; there is a link to that discussion further up the page here

(2) As discovered by Axis earlier in this thread, if Firefox is never allowed to be idle for 10 minutes during your session, then Firefox won't create the backup file

Do either of those seem relevant to your situation?

Regarding other bugs or removed features, could you start a new thread for the most important ones? Let's keep this one focused on the bookmark backup issue.

more options


"There was a bug in Firefox 24-28 relating to some kind of corruption or time-out causing Firefox not to create the JSON backup. In that case, the user could not even create the file manually, and using export to HTML failed as well."

I use Firefox 24esr, and I have not found that it will not save bookmarks manually. In fact, I have been routinely doing manual bookmark backups and exports every time I change any bookmarks. Is this bug only in Windows Firefox? I use Mac Firefox (for testing - I use SeaMonkey as my regular browser).

more options

Hi finitarry, I think it was a fairly rare bug. If I recall correctly, the developers couldn't reproduce it until someone with the problem submitted their places.sqlite database.

more options

Not sure about which bug that was Jeff is referring to. Until Jeff is back note there was a revamp of bookmarks and bookmark backups one or more of those bugs may be the one.

I see for instance When looking at dependencies for for bug 818399: - Smarter automatic bookmark backups

  972434: All of the bookmarks backups disappeared [See dependency tree for bug 972434]
more options

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backup of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences