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Loss of and inability to access and restore bookmarks and history system

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Hello, I'm using Firefox 92.0.1 for Mac OS (10.12.6). Upon restarting my computer, my bookmarks were lost. First, it was stated that "The bookmark and history system will not be functional because one of Firefox's files is in use by another application. Some security software may cause this problem." When I tried to restore the old bookmarks, it there was a list from which I could select, but every choice resulted in an "unable to process the backup file" response. Upon restarting my computer and reinstalling Firefox, It now said "for quick access, place bookmarks here on the bookmarks toolbar." That said, it won't let me do so.

I've tried the other recommendations offered through support for restoring bookmarks (though, admittedly, many were outdated, referencing links circa 2016), and have had no luck so far. If the worst case scenario is that the old bookmarks can't be accessed, is there at least a way to reestablish the bookmark and history system and start anew?

Thanks in advance. (Attached below are examples of the error message.

Hello, I'm using Firefox 92.0.1 for Mac OS (10.12.6). Upon restarting my computer, my bookmarks were lost. First, it was stated that "The bookmark and history system will not be functional because one of Firefox's files is in use by another application. Some security software may cause this problem." When I tried to restore the old bookmarks, it there was a list from which I could select, but every choice resulted in an "unable to process the backup file" response. Upon restarting my computer and reinstalling Firefox, It now said "for quick access, place bookmarks here on the bookmarks toolbar." That said, it won't let me do so. I've tried the other recommendations offered through support for restoring bookmarks (though, admittedly, many were outdated, referencing links circa 2016), and have had no luck so far. If the worst case scenario is that the old bookmarks can't be accessed, is there at least a way to reestablish the bookmark and history system and start anew? Thanks in advance. (Attached below are examples of the error message.
Ama-screenshot ananyekiwe

All Replies (3)

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Okay. First, try rebooting your system. Is the problem still there?


If you still can't access the data;

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:

https://www.jeffersonscher.com/res/bookbackreader.html

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 agree with doing a normal shut down/restart of your Mac as the first step.

There's also this help article for future reference: Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message.

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If you use Sync then best is to disconnect Sync temporarily during troubleshooting.

This could be a problem with the places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder.

  • use the "Places Database" -> "Verify Integrity" button on the "Help -> More Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page

If errors are reported with "Verify Integrity", close and restart Firefox or reboot and retry.

If "Verify Integrity" cannot repair places.sqlite, rename/remove all places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed. Firefox will rebuild places.sqlite and restore the bookmarks from the most recent JSON backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.

  • keep a backup copy of places.sqlite in case a new places.sqlite database has to be created
  • you lose the history when a new places.sqlite is created

You may have to restore an older bookmarks backup in the bookmarkbackups folder via the Bookmarks Manager (Library).

See also:

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 (Root directory).