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Lost Bookmarks in Firefox

  • 16 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by FredMcD

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In trying to fix a Mozilla VPN problem, I uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox as directed by VPN support. Now Firefox has lost its bookmarks. Can they be recovered? If so, how?

In trying to fix a Mozilla VPN problem, I uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox as directed by VPN support. Now Firefox has lost its bookmarks. Can they be recovered? If so, how?

Chosen solution

Copy the files here: C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

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What about the rest of your profile? Settings, bookmarks, history, passwords . . . .

Restore Bookmark Backups

Firefox automatically makes backups of the bookmarks. These are stored in the bookmarkbackups folder.

Open the Bookmarks Manager; Press the Alt or F10 key to bring up the toolbar, and select Bookmarks. Hot key is <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> B. Firefox 84+ <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> O.

Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled Import and Backup. Select Restore. From the list, pick the file you want and click it.

The backups are stored in a jsonlz4 file named something like this; bookmarks-2016-06-29_1424_enD1GTH ya0JmicnYWg4V4g==.jsonlz4

In this example; 2016-06-29 = date created, 1424 = number of entries.




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Did Firefox create a new profile folder due to reinstalling ?

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I cannot find a backup profile newer than the first week of June past.

I lost everything, not just bookmarks.

I found a bookmarksbackup folder which is where I discovered the June dated file; however, I could not make it the default; it wouldn't allow it to become default.

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Follow the directions in my last post. You might be able to recover the bookmarks.

If there is a problem; http://kb.mozillazine.org/Unable_to_process_the_backup_file_-_Firefox

jscher2000 has a tool on his website to extract out your bookmarks and save them to an HTML-format bookmark export file. If you want to try it, here is the page:


To open the bookmarkbackups folder in Finder, use the "Open in Finder" button in the first table on the Troubleshooting Information page, and double-click into bookmarkbackups where you should see several dated files. From there you can drag and drop onto the conversion tool.

To import the HTML file, see the steps in this article: Import Bookmarks from an HTML file.

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I've followed your directions and even went thru jscher's save-as-html process just to be sure I was not missing something.

No luck.

The problem is that I cannot find a profile folder that precedes my last installation of Firefox. I've looked everywhere I know to look without success.

Where should I be looking? The only backup files I can find have been created since my last Firefox install.

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Look on your desktop. Do you see a folder called; Old Firefox? Look inside. Look for the folder with the latest creation date.





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Type about:profiles<enter> in the address bar. How many profiles are listed? How many should be there? Also, open the profile folder in your file explorer.


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Hello Fred, Thank you for the help and especially for your persistent. When I typed about:profiles I got 3 profiles listed, the oldest being Jun 9 but I could not make it default nor could I open it in a different version of Firefox.

The second one - labeled Default - would launch in a new version of Fx. Lo and behold, it contains all my missing bookmarks. Do I just make it my default or is there some other magic incantation or special ethnic dance I need to do under tonight's full, Harvest Moon? :grin:

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That you found the missing data is great. At this point, you have several options. You can go ahead and make that profile the default. Then if the others are of no use, remove them.

If there is something in the other profiles you want/need, let me know.

Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles {web link} I use a Legacy add-on that makes backups of my user profile, Just In Case. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with the current Firefox.

Every now and then, open the profile folder and create a copy of the current profile as is to another location on your hard drive. This way you will have a backup.

If you do this each day, you will not lose much data. This should be done with Firefox Closed.

Note: In case you need to restore from these backups, you may need to overwrite old or corrupted files.

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Note that you can look at compatibility.ini in a specific profile to check what Firefox version last used this profile. The times.json file in the profile folder stores the time the profile got created in Unix Epoch format.

You can use the button on the "Help -> More Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

If that profile has all your lost personal data then you can make it the current default profile. You can also transfer certain files from the older profile to the profile you currently use.

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.

  • 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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With your help and great advice, I now have my bookmarks back. I plan to take your advice and create backups. I looked at the URL information provided for the Profile that contains my bookmarks. I was thinking about creating a batch file to copy that entire folder each day when I log off my machine. I was a bit confused because it lists 2 different directories . . . Root and Local. Each seems to have its own path.

Are the contents the same? If not, which should I be copying?

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Chosen Solution

Copy the files here: C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

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Thanks, again, Fred!!

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Glad to help. Safe Surfing.

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Lost all recent bookmarks since Firefox 97.0 (20220202182137)Details Installed on: 10 February 2022, 20:28:58Status: The Update was successfully installed.

How can I retrieve bookmarks? I have tried all the import and profile guidance which doesn't work.

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walksd Please go to the top of any support.mozilla.org web page and use the Get Community Support link: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/new

Select the product for what the problem is (Firefox or whatever). Now select the category for the problem. At the bottom is Other.

Describe the problem in brief (one line). Then press <enter>. The website will display any prior posts that might help you. If nothing on the list can help, at the bottom press the button; ’’'None Of These Solve My Problem.

Now enter all the relative information on the problem. At the bottom of this, you can Add Images.

Under this is Troubleshooting Information. Please press the Share Data button. This will let us look at your system details. No Personal Information Is Collected.