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Lolu chungechunge lwabekwa kunqolobane. Uyacelwa ubuze umbuzo omusha uma udinga usizo.

A Windows update caused all my bookmarks and history (and most cookies) to disappear. Im on Firefox 68.10.0esr

  • 10 uphendule
  • 1 inale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu Terry

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Edited to correct some history -- so the followng transcript may be a bit out of synch -- I will state my current question below.

Two things happened at the same time -- I uninstalled Adobe Flash, and a Windows Update ran. I didn't notice the Windows update, so I blamed the wrong thing, the Flash uninstall. It was WIndows.

The Windows update caused all my bookmarks and history (and most cookies) to disappear. I'm on Firefox 68.10.0esr

I found my Profiles at C:\Users\[me]\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles but I don't understand what's in there enough to fish the bookmarks out, and I don't see anything that looks like "15 backups" promised by the Mozilla help pages.

Where are my Bookmark backups?

Okulungisiwe ngu BostonBowTie

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I wrote my question poorly. Let me try again.

I am trying to restore the bookmarks. I have no interest whatsoever in the internal file structure. I found a help page that said Firefox keeps fifteen generations of backup. How do I restore bookmarks from that backup?

The reason I wrote the question that way is that most of the help pages I found directed me into the weeds of the implementation. Apparently there's no user-meaningful interface for finding these backups and restoring from them? The only way to get a restore from a specific backup is to identify a specific .json file, figure that out by hand, and then restore from that? Is that true?

After uninstalling Flash, I noticed that a reboot took a long time. It's possible that there's an update to Windows that self-applied at the same time.

In File Explorer, I navigated to C:\Users\[me]\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox and then searched for a file with "bookmark" in the filename. "No items match your search." I suspect that means they're gone gone, and I can stop trying to restore.

Okulungisiwe ngu BostonBowTie

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\AppData\Local\ is the wrong location for profile data like bookmarks.

Backups for the bookmarks in the current profile should appear in the Bookmarks Manager (Library).

  • Bookmarks -> Show All Bookmarks -> Import & Backup -> Restore

Firefox uses two locations for the Firefox profile folder, so make sure to look in the correct location. Location used for the main profile that keeps your personal data (Root Directory on about:profiles).

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>

Location used for the disk cache and other temporary files (Local Directory on about:profiles).

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>

See also:

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Sigh. I went to ALT -> Bookmarks -> Show All Bookmarks -> Import and Backup -> Restore I have 15 versions --

     January 1, 2021 (today) -- the clobbered one with the 16 default entries
     Thursday Sept 26, 2019 -- 15 months stale.
     and a bunch more extending back.  There's a nice weekly sequence for 2016 and 2015.

I had looked at those two "help" pages before. Neither were any help at all -- both assume knowledge that no real human has, and they led me in a circular reference sequence.

In case it matters, the only profile listed is the "profile in use and it cannot be deleted" one.

Sounds like I'm screwed. Since everyone answering questions assumes I'm interested in pawing through directories and help pages that are written in terms of underlying implementation (none of the help pages are written as sequential "do this, then this, then this" order that helps real users solve real problems using the knowledge that real users have), I should give up. It'll take only two or three hours to reconstruct my bookmarks, which is probably less time than it'll take to find a useful backup, even if it exists, which I no longer aspire to find.

How do I turn a useful backup function back on? Like daily or weekly? In English, please?

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Looks that you only used this profile intermittently.

You can check if you have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop in case the Refresh feature in Firefox has been used.

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In This PC > Desktop/Old Firefox Data folder, there's a "bookmarksbackups" but it's also all back in early 2019.

Time to give up.

Thank you.

Please reinject "robustness" into the design principles. Don't change file forms unless it's an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY. The file format change about two years ago has had so many unhappy echoes for so little (observable) gain...

Okulungisiwe ngu BostonBowTie

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OK, so I have my bookmarks restored to February 2019.

Is there something I should do to make this work go-forward?

And what happened to all my cookies and saved passwords?

Was there a REALLY REALLY good reason for changing bookmarks from being stored in .html to .json (and all the other file format changes at the same time)? Was it REALLY that good a reason? It has really screwed me over.

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I figured it out. As with most mystifying things, I did two things at the same time, and one of them was an update to Windows.

There are lots of little things that all broke -- the icons displayed in Windows Explorer, hotmail, and just about everything in Firefox.

I figured out that my profile for several years has been at

    C:\Users\[me]\AppData\Roaming [not Local]\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[big hexadecimal number].default

and that's where my bookmarks were. This morning, my "about.profiles" profile is at:


So what's the robust configuration, and how do I get things pointed the right way?

Thank you.

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I figured out the problem, so now I can ask my question more accurately. A Windows update ran, and reset a bunch of things, one of which was the pathname to my profile.

The profile I used for several years was at

      C:\Users\[me]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[messy hex number]

After the Windows update, this morning "about:profiles" is showing


So what's the stable default expectation? I assume it's the profile in the [username] directory, not admin. I assume the reset to "admin" was an error by WIndows. Is that the best assumption?

What's the most stable, most correct setting? How do I make that come true?

As I keep playing around with this, I think I understand something more -- it seems Firefox thinks my default directory for stuff (profiles, downloads, etc) is C:\Users\admin rather than C:\Users\[me] And I don't see a way to set that. Does that make sense?

I don't see a way in "about:profiles" or the Help page or to attach to an existing profile ('about:profiles" only lists one profile, the one in "admin." The one in my C:\Users\[me]\ directory doesn't appear in "about:profiles"). I am afraid to use "Create a New Profile" without asking because I don't want to obliterate the existing one!

And do you have any idea how to prevent Windows updates from tampering with it?

Thank you.

Okulungisiwe ngu BostonBowTie

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"And do you have any idea how to prevent Windows updates from tampering with it?"

Fortunately, I don't have that problem. I suggest you create a backup of the profile. I do that each night with an archive manager but you could achieve the same thing by copying to another folder.