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How to retrieve bookmarks and history?

  • 10 uphendule
  • 2 zinale nkinga
  • 1497 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu gundali

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Something went wrong with my Windows 8 so I had to Refresh it through the Recovery option . I ended up losing my firefox and had to download it again. Sadly, I have no backups of my bookmarks and history and they are very, very important. Is there any possible way I could get them back?

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Do you recall any questions posed by the installer about what to do with the data that was already on the hard drive? Some options may lead to a special folder being created.

To explore, you'll first need to turn on viewing of hidden files and folders: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/show-hidden-files

Then check here:

C:\Windows.old\Users\your-user-name\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

Assuming you find one or more folders there, one of them most likely will have your earlier Firefox data. Any luck?

If that doesn't exist, try a global search of your "C" drive for bookmarkbackups which is a standard Firefox folder. Hopefully you'll find more than just your new one.

Funda le mpendulo ngokuhambisana nalesi sihloko 👍 2

All Replies (10)

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Hello,

Firefox automatically creates backups of your bookmarks, which can be helpful if your bookmarks are lost or missing. 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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Thanks but it does not help. My old firefox is deleted and so is all of its data, which includes those backups. Is there any way the firefox servers have a copy of my bookmarks saved or something maybe?

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Do you recall any questions posed by the installer about what to do with the data that was already on the hard drive? Some options may lead to a special folder being created.

To explore, you'll first need to turn on viewing of hidden files and folders: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/show-hidden-files

Then check here:

C:\Windows.old\Users\your-user-name\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

Assuming you find one or more folders there, one of them most likely will have your earlier Firefox data. Any luck?

If that doesn't exist, try a global search of your "C" drive for bookmarkbackups which is a standard Firefox folder. Hopefully you'll find more than just your new one.

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@jscher2000 Thank you very much, Sir. The first solution worked! :)

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@jscher2000

Today after I started my Firefox, there was a message window that popped up at the bottom of the screen to notify me that my Firefox is running slow and asked if I would like to fix it. I clicked on ok to refresh it without knowing that it would delete everything! I have hundreds of things bookmarked and I need those back desperately.

Anyway, per your recommendation, I found the bookmarkbackups folder with a list of jsonlz4 extension files. I am far from tech savvy - please advise on what I need to do next to restore my bookmarks. I am getting desperate!  :(

I tried to open one of the jsonlz4 files with WINRAR but I got an error message: "The archive is either in unknown format or damaged."

What did I do wrong? How can I restore my bookmarks from here? Please advise. Thank you!!

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Hi gundali, normally a refresh preserves your bookmarks, so sorry to hear that didn't work correctly.

To restore a bookmarks-2016...jsonlz4 file, you can use the Library dialog, Restore feature, Choose File menu item. Please see this article for more information:

Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer

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@jscher2000

I did try that already....that was the first thing I tried before I tried your recommendation. It did show me a list of my backup files but when I chose to restore any of the files, I got an error message "Unable to process the backup file."

Sigh.... So much time invested in creating and organizing my folders of bookmarks....now down the drain.  :(

Is there anything else I can try?

Is there any way I can "undo" this refresh and restore everything to what it was? So frustrating. Just spent the last couple of hours trying to fix this without being able to get any of the things on my to do list today done because of one wrong click!

I also lost all my history. So now when I type my URL, nothing pops up anymore where I can choose from...I have to type the full URL.

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Try to delete all places files in the Firefox profile folder to see if that allows to restore the backup.

You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder:


If the Places Maintenance extension can't repair the places.sqlite database then remove all places.sqlite file(s) in the Firefox profile folder to make Firefox rebuild the places.sqlite database from the most recent JSON backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

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gundali said

Is there any way I can "undo" this refresh and restore everything to what it was?

There's no one-click undo, but here is a procedure to revert to your pre-Refresh data. It takes 5 minutes, but that may be faster than recovering individual files and loading those into your new profile.

Check inside the "Old Firefox Data" folder that Refresh adds to your desktop for a folder with a semi-randomized name. If there's only one, that probably has your old settings and add-ons. If there's more than one, you'll want to work with the one that was updated most recently.

Once you have identified the profile folder you want to restore, here is my suggested "old profile resurrection procedure":

Overview

These are the steps described in more detail below -- you may want to print, copy/paste, or view in a different browser since you will need to close Firefox during this process:

  1. Create a new Firefox profile
  2. Remove everything from that new profile folder
  3. Copy in everything from the old profile folder

Create a new Firefox profile (Windows)

Exit Firefox completely, and then start up in the Profile Manager by pasting the following into the Start menu search box, or the Start > Run dialog, and pressing Enter:

firefox.exe -P

Note: Any time you want to switch profiles, exit Firefox and return to this dialog.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like OldSettings, and skip the option to change the folder location. Then select that new profile in the dialog and start Firefox.

Open the New Profile folder in Windows Explorer

Firefox in the new profile should look like a factory fresh installation. Open the Troubleshooting Information page using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • Help menu > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table, click the "Show Folder" button. Firefox will launch your brand new profile folder in Windows Explorer.

Leaving that folder open, switch back to Firefox, and Exit using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
  • (menu bar) File > Exit

When Firefox closes, the profile folder should be front and center, or you can activate it using the Task bar.

Copy Old Data in Place of New

In that new profile folder you just popped open -- NOT the one on your desktop -- select all the contents (you can use Ctrl+a) and delete (you can press the Delete key on the keyboard).

Leaving that window open, open or switch over to your Old Firefox Data folder. Drill down into your old profile folder. At this level you should see a folder named bookmarkbackups among other things.

Select everything (Ctrl+a) and Copy (either right-click > Copy or Ctrl+c).

Switch to the empty new profile folder in other window and Paste (either right-click > Paste or Ctrl+v). This may take a minute since some of the files are large.

Start Firefox

Firefox should start up in that "new" profile with the resurrected old profile data. Success?

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@jscher2000 and @cor-el

I was just about to get ready to try your suggestions when I decided to try to exit out of Firefox and reopen it. And guess what...suddenly everything reappeared and restored!! Unbelievable...after hours of trying to fix this to no avail! But I am grateful that I got everything back! It feels like I got a few years of my life back! Ha!

I sincerely want to thank you for all your effort to help! Really appreciate it! I will be bookmarking this thread and keep your notes for future reference in the event this happened again (though I hope not!). I will think twice the next time I am prompted to refresh Firefox!

Thank you so much again for all your help!!