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I have a problem with my bookmarks that has made me turn away from Firefox and I need help.

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i have no idea when this started but I have asked before for some help. I think I want to delete all my current bookmarks and import a correct set from another browser and have them sync across all my devices. I have used, and prefer Firefox but it has become an irritant. I did a paint screen print to show some of what I am experiencing.

Ama-screenshot ananyekiwe

All Replies (20)

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Firefox automatically creates backups of your bookmarks, which can be helpful if your bookmarks are corrupted. To recover them, follow the instructions below.

  1. Use one of these methods to open the Bookmarks Library window:
    • Firefox 29 and above: Click the Bookmarks button Bookmarks-29 and select Show All Bookmarks.
    • Previous Firefox versions: Click the Firefox button and click on Bookmarks. (If you don't have a Firefox button, click the Bookmarks button Bookmarks button win 2 or Bookmarks menu item and select Show All Bookmarks.)
  2. At the top of the Library window, click on Import and Backup and select Restore.
  3. Click the date of the bookmark backup you want to recover.
  4. In the new window that appears, click OK.
  5. Your bookmarks from the selected date should now be restored.

For more information, see the Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer article. For other solutions, see the Recover lost or missing Bookmarks article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

Thank you.

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I appreciate the responses. I have looked into the past restore dates and have attempted to make the change but the root cause problem is still present. If you’ll notice in my attachment a huge number of entries of BookmarksBar and Bookmarks Toolbar. These are corruptions that I was trying to get rid of when my problems began. I have, repeatedly deleted a portion of them but they continue to multiply. It maybe a setting but over the years I have not experienced this issue. I believe there are 800+ of these entries. As a note I think these Bookmarks are synced to my PC and laptop and maybe my android phone.

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This is my advice on how to handle that.

The first thing you need to do is to disconnect all your devices from Sync. Only then should you start trying to fix your issues with all those duplicated folders. Otherwise whatever you fix is liable to get corrupted all over again.

Then run the Places Maintenance on all your devices to fix probable corruption of the places databases on those devices. After that if you see that you have a lot of duplicate bookmarks, you can run the Bookmark Duplicate Cleaner extension - - to clean out the duplicate bookmarks. I don't think that extension handles duplicate folders, though; those will need to be cleaned out manually if the "maintenance" didn't clean them out.

Once that is all done, change your Password for your Sync account to wipe the corrupted data from the Sync server, or create a new Sync account. Then connect one PC or laptop to Sync and leave that device running for a number of hours. Then the following day connect another laptop or PC to your Sync account and let that one run for a few hours. Then compare what is on both those devices to make sure they are synchronizing properly.

Definitely leave the Android device for last - I see many more BookmarksBar duplications (Android device) than I see Bookmarks Toolbar duplications (desktop / laptop devices) - my hunch is that device might be starting the chain of corruption.

Your support thread over here - - back in March made no mention that Sync was being used, and the initial screenshot didn't show this problem, although it was mentioned as far many Getting Started bookmarks. But cor-el did mention doing Places maintenance at that time, but you didn't followup as to what progress you made towards trying to fix things at that time. And guigs2 posted a follow up question about your progress.

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To open the Bookmarks Manager, press the Alt or F10 key bring up the tool bar, and select Bookmarks. Hot key is <Control>(Mac:<Command>) <Shift> B.

Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled Import and Backup. Select Export Bookmarks To HTML, and follow the prompts and save it to a HTML file. Copy the file to another computer. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select Import Bookmarks From HTML,

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I worked on removing the BookmarksBar and Bookmarks Toolbar for quite a while. I cleaned up my Laptop but there so much corruption on my desktop it is almost impossible to get this back under control. When I try to remove the volume of BookmarksBar and Bookmarks Toolbar the site freezes up and I need to uninstall it and reload it. Both PC’s have the sync turned off but I think I need a way to get rid of all the current Bookmarks. Can this be done?

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Places maintenance didn't do anything to reduce the number of those folders?

Maybe it's time for "brute force" on the desktop. Delete the places.sqlite file and all the bookmarkbackup JSON files, with Firefox closed. When you start Firefox you should have a fresh start with only the default bookmarks that come with Firefox.

As long as there's no problem on the Sync server or with your laptop, Sync should return a cleaned set of bookmarks from the laptop via the server when you connect back to sync account.

Now, if you did follow FredMcD advice about exporting in HTML format, make sure you view that HTML file in Firefox, like a webpage, to make sure that "export" isn't as messed up as your bookmarks are / were. The last thing you need is to "import" your problem all over again.

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I was able after un syncing my Desktop and Laptop to get the bookmarks under control on my laptop only by importing them from Chrome. My Desktop PC is still is way out of control with about 800+ BookmarksBar and Bookmarks Toolbars. I have reviewed your instructions (very good BTW) for getting to and deleting the places.sqlite database file. My question do I need to delete this file or can I just turn the sync back on my laptop, wait for several hours then turn my desktop back on sync? Hoping it will sync both machines with the proper bookmarks. Or should I delete the places.sqlite database file as planned then turn the sync on. Thoughts?

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the-edmeister said

Delete the places.sqlite file and all the bookmarkbackup JSON files, with Firefox closed. When you start Firefox you should have a fresh start with only the default bookmarks that come with Firefox. As long as there's no problem on the Sync server or with your laptop, Sync should return a cleaned set of bookmarks from the laptop via the server when you connect back to sync account.

If you don't delete all your bookmarkbackups files, when you start Firefox it might restore the most recent backup - thus probably "restoring" the corrupted data.

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I executed the instructions several times and the results did not change. The last time that I went into the files I deleted and file that contained .sqlite and json. I realized that when I had removed Firefox and reinstalled it that a file was placed on my desktop with the Old Firefox data which also had some of these files, I deleted them as well. When the Browser came back up all the files were back… what did I miss? I added a screen print… help... Why am I getting all of these redundant items?

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If all the JSON backups are already corrupted then if may not be easy to repair the database.

Does Places Maintenance report any issues?

You can try to create an HTML backup and open the file in a Firefox tab or an editor for inspection.

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These might help, but use with great caution.

Bookmark Duplicate Cleaner {web link} Scans for bookmark duplicates and allows you to delete them

Bookmarks Checker - check for bad links {web link} Check favorites for broken or bad links. It checks for bad links and displays a report if it finds something. Check for 404 links, timeout links.

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A couple of questions: • Last night I re-executed the instructions again deleting all files that contained .sqlite and json and I also deleted the bookmarks back ups the results seem to be successful. • When attempting to place both my Desktop and Laptop back on syncing what should my process be? • I have attached a sreen of how my Bookmarks appear, how do I show them without having to follow the Bookmarks Toolbar Menu path?

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Looks like you have something royally screwed up. I see no point in having so many bookmark folders on the Bookmarks Toolbar / in that Bookmarks Toolbar folder. And what happened to the Bookmarks Menu folder? That is where all those folders should be.

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the-edmeister... you are the perfect questioner. As soon as I saw your comment I moved the Bookmark Menu back in place and set my Bookmarks back to their original position before all this happened. The only open piece is how I turn the sync back on,. Should I use any particular process?

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Sync the device that is fixed first, leaving Firefox open for many hours to allow the process to run its course. And you may want to limit the data types which are set in "Sync My" to bookmarks initially. Then at least 24 hrs later connect the 2nd device to your Sync account and allow the bookmarks to synchronize there from the Sync server. You can use the first device while the 2nd is getting its initial Sync, but I wouldn't add or delete or re-arrange any bookmarks on the 1st device until the sync process on the 2nd has run its course - as in many hours.

After a few days to see if that "duplication of bookmarks" issue is solved on both devices, then you can start synchronizing the other types of data.

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Incredibly as I got back on to my Desktop (sync running again) today Bookmarks Toolbar, BookmarksBar and Getting Started Re appeared. I ran the duplicate cleaner and a few other helpers but I have to walk away until perhaps in the future I can see some progress. Thanks for the help!

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I know this probably isn't the answer that you're looking for, but you could try using the Xmarks Sync extension to sync your bookmarks instead of Firefox Sync and see if you still experience the duplication problem. Since Xmarks supports Chrome as well as Firefox, you could try deleting all of your bookmarks in Firefox and then restoring them by syncing them from Chrome.

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I would try this sync option if I have to but I still need to understand why “Getting Started” continues to populate my browser and want to know if Firefox can fix the root cause. I appreciate the efforts but think this is a more reasonable direction instead of these work around.

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