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All my bookmarks are gone after crash. Eventhough I have a backup I can't get them back, every solution Firefox gives doesn't work. HELP!!!!

  • 18 uphendule
  • 4 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu cor-el

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I have had a bug in my harddisk, so this harddisk is replaced for a new one. But now I want to get my bookmarks back, and all I get is an SQLite file with all my bookmarks in it. And that's not the worst, I have downloaded a program that can open it, but I don't understand a word of what's in this file. I thought that if I opened it, I should read the titles of my bookmarks. But nothing at all, no titles, I'm probably thinking like a fool, but after three days trying every possibility Firefox gives me and three days failing I'm so very upset now. Is there anybody who could help me in clear terms, and is there somebody from Mozilla who can change this, because this is not fun.

All Replies (18)

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If you have a places.sqlite file from the profile folder of the old hard drive, simply put a copy of it in your current profile folder while Firefox is closed. Note that you will have to overwrite the current places.sqlite file, which will replace your current bookmarks and history.

If you have a bookmarks-<date>.json file, follow the instructions below to restore the backup.

If you have a bookmarks.html file, follow the instructions below to import those bookmarks.

Okulungisiwe ngu Gingerbread Man

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As a footnote to the above, if you have already saved new bookmarks and don't want to lose those, you can use the export/import option. That would be:

(1) Export current bookmarks to an HTML file: Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks

(2) Exit Firefox and replace your current places.sqlite file with the one from your previous computer

(3) Start up Firefox and confirm that you got your old bookmarks back, then import the ones you saved in step #1: Import Bookmarks from an HTML file

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It is best not to open the places.sqlite database file because it is organized in a way that is not easy to comprehend and uses a complicated set of tables.

You can opt to create a separate profile to inspect and possibly export the bookmarks that are stored in this file.
If both profiles are open at the same time by using the -no-remote command line switch then you can also move bookmarks via the clipboard.

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Hello Gingerbread,

Thanks for willing to help me. I don't understand... You ask me to close Firefox, but I can only come to Bookmarks in Firefox, not when it is closed. I can't find two profiles, but just one. And from the one I found, I did copy places.sqlite to bookmarks, but it doesn't do anything. I think that I'm doing something wrong, and the case is that I don't speak so very well English that this is easy for me. So I hope that you still have a little bit more patience with me. I'm sorry.

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

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder)
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Hello Cor-el,

The trouble now is that I can't see the profile in the backup of the old hard disk. That's the one I need to get my bookmarks back. And I'm to fresh to know how I can do that.

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The "Application Data" folder in XP/Win2K and the "AppData" folder in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and later versions are hidden folders.

Because this is on another hard drive (i.e. not the current system drive) you need to make sure that you can see hidden folders or use a file manager that doesn't care about the Windows OS setting.

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Hello Cor-el,

I'm sorry that it took so long to answer you, I have tried your solutions, but nothing will work. I can indeed find my Profile, but places.sqlite won't open, and if I can open places with SQLite manager then I don't understand a word what's in there. I don't understand that people who make this can't understand that this is to difficult to do for a normal customer who wants to use a computer... !!!! I hate to say this, but I'm defeated... Is there anything that I still can do to find the bookmarks back or do I have to search them again...because that's gonna cost me more than half a year, especcially the more scientific pages... I'm sorry for this, maybe I'm just to stupid for a computer... Thanks

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Hi schansspringer64, take a deep breath.

Please do NOT try to open places.sqlite and try to extract data from it. Everyone has recommended against that from the start. Instead, let Firefox read it.

Here's what I suggest, there are five steps. In overview:

  1. Move your existing places.sqlite database from your profile folder to a safe location (e.g., Documents)
  2. Copy the old database into your profile folder
  3. Start Firefox and create a bookmark backup, then exit Firefox
  4. Remove the old database from your profile folder and copy back the database from step 1
  5. Start Firefox and restore the bookmark backup.

For #1: Open your current Firefox profile folder

You can use this button:

Help > Troubleshooting Information > "Show Folder" button

Leaving that folder open, switch back to Firefox and Exit

Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then move places.sqlite to a safe location like your Documents folder

For #2: Copy the old places.sqlite database into your current Firefox profile folder. Keep this folder open, you will return in Step #4.

For #3: Start Firefox

What you would expect is to see your old bookmarks and old history. Good so far?

Create a "manual backup" following the steps in this article: Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer.

Save that in a safe location, such as your Documents folder.

Exit Firefox.

For #4: Rename the (old) places.sqlite in your current Firefox profile folder to something like places.old

Now copy the places.sqlite from your Documents folder into your current Firefox profile folder. I recommend copying in case something goes badly wrong in Step #5. (You can Ctrl+drag or right-click>Copy then right-click>Paste to copy the file from one folder to another.)

For #5: Start Firefox

Restore your manual backup following the steps in the above article. You will use the "Choose File" option to find the manual backup in your Documents folder.

Expected result: your old bookmarks in your new Firefox.

Does it work?

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I should add: if you don't care about your newer history, you could just stop after step #3: Start Firefox.

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Hi Jscher,

Thanks for don't understand. I didn't make a backup from my bookmarks because I didn't know that I had to do that. But I have a total backup of my computer. That is what I have been putting back into my computer, and everything did come back, except my bookmarks. And that is the trooble, I can't find my old profile anymore. So I tried the places.sqlite that I can find now, but there's nothing happening. And it makes me so angry that I can't get it back, that must be someting that the makers of Firefox have to change. The thing is that your recommends are very light to do, you are very clear. If anybody could tell me where I can find my old profile on the backup, I would do that immidiately. That's the problem. Can you do something with that, because I'm believing now that my files are gone.

I try to make a bookmark backup now and copy places.sqlite in there, you will hear the answer. But I don't think that this is working. I'm sorry.

Thanks schansspringer

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Hi schansspringer64, I understand you have places.sqlite. That is why I wrote the steps starting with places.sqlite.

However, because you have a backup, could you check something. In your backup, can you locate the AppData folder?


AppData is a hidden folder. If you are not displaying hidden files and folders, this article has the steps to turn that on:

If you can get into the AppData folder, drill down to


From here, you may have one or more profile folders. Starting with the most recently modified, look inside for a folder named bookmarkbackups.

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Hi Jscher 2000,

Thank you for replying, and sorry for the long time it took to answer you, I have had a terrible flue, since this week I'm a little bit human again instead of zombie. I have tried your method, but it won't work. I still get one folder, and that's the new one from after the re-newing of the harddisk. I'm still missing my bookmarks. The problem is that I didn't wrote down wich one I had. By the way...I have a folder AppData, I presume I have to open that one, but next to it is a folder ApplicationData, for that I'm not allowed to open it, so says my computer. I think I had the good one, but if it's wrong, you tell me... Hope you can think of another solution, but I'm thinking that I have to search again for my bookmarks on internet.


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Hi schansspringer64, in your original post, you mentioned having a SQLite file with your (old) bookmarks in it. Do you still have that file anywhere? What is it called?

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Hi Jscher 2000,


But I still don't know if my old bookmarks are in it, I don't think so.

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Did you find the Firefox profile folder on the old drive backup?

If you have then there should be a bookmarkbackups folder there that has 10 JSON backups and you could restore the bookmarks from the most recent JSON backup (bookmarks-####-##-##.json) in that folder.
That would be the easiest to do.

Okulungisiwe ngu cor-el

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Hello Cor-el,

No, I can't find it. Maybe because I'm wrong, or maybe because it's not there, but I can't see it.

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That folder is in a hidden location, so you need to make sure that you can see hidden folders.

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

The "Application Data" folder in XP/Win2K and the "AppData" folder in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and later versions are hidden folders.