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Restoring .json bookmarks backup deletes current bookmarks but doesn't import saved ones
I'm trying to restore a .json bookmarks backup produced on a 60.0 firefox installation. When trying to restore it, I select the file, confirm the replace dialog and press OK. All the existing bookmarks are deleted but no bookmarks are imported. No error message is issued and no bookmarks are imported. No Firefox activity can be seen (no CPU consumption, no network or disk I/O, no increase in RAM used by Firefox). I have even waited 24h just in case, but still does nothing. I do *NOT* receive an "Unable to process backup file message.
I am able to convert the JSON to HTML using https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html, but it does not preserve neither the tags nor the folder structure and without the tags to locate the bookmarks they are all but useless.
I'm trying to restore in a laptop running Windows 10 and for the time being, I have no access to any other computer with a different Operating System.
I have tried different Firefox releases including the latest and the 60.3.0esr both 32 and 64 bits editions.
The disk of the PC where the Firefox which produced the backup is broken, so restoring the places.sqlite file or producing another backup or a bookmark export is not an option.
Do you know how can I get this backup restored?
Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
All Replies (6)
See if this can help;
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.
Thanks for your answer FredMcD, but none of the solutions in the KB works and the tool https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html is able to retrieve the URLs but the rest of the bookmars information (folder structure, tags, descriptions...) is lost.
SOLVED: Ancient release 3.6.28 is able to restore the bookmarks backup flawlessly. Now, if I create a backup in 3.6.28 and try to restore it in version 63.0.1, it fails with the error "Unable to process backup file". Problem is solved by using Firefox ESR 38.2.0 (thanks PortableApps.com!): in 38.2 you can restore the old backup and create a new backup which, in turn, could be restored in latest Firefox release.
It is however very poor software behavior and documentation. JSON parsing should be mor reliable and the backup and restore process should provide proper logs and troubleshooting information.
I will try to log a bug entry to have it fixed.
Many have reported problems when trying to restore from a JSON backup file. That is why I backup to an HTML file.
These instructions will combine the new bookmarks with the old.
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.
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/profile. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select Import Bookmarks From HTML.
I use an 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.
Hi Jon, you created the backup in Firefox 60 and you were trying to restore it to Firefox 60?
My converter is designed to preserve folders, tags, and descriptions, so there must be something unusual about the structure of the backup that I didn't encounter in the files I've tested. Hopefully that was a one-time corruption issue and won't occur again. If you want to share a file for testing, let me know.
You can try the current Firefox 60.3.0 ESR build to so if that version can restore the bookmarks. If that works then you can try to copy places.sqlite to the current Firefox profile folder.