Friday, May 2, 2008

Tech Tip: My Firefox bookmarks disappeared?!

I switched on my laptop this morning and realise all my bookmarks in Firefox all disappeared! I mean literally disappeared! No bookmarks at all, not even the default ones from Firefox.

I kinda freaked out because I was doing some removal of programs from my laptop and I thought that I had changed or accidentally deleted my bookmarks. Anyway, after the initial "freak-out", I did what other sensible blogger would do. I Googled for a solution, and thankfully I manage to recover my bookmarks.

So here's the solutions to retrieving back your Firefox bookmarks.

Solution #1
If you are using Windows XP or higher, you might have something called System Restore.

Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore, and just click on an earlier restore point to retrieve back your bookmarks.

Note: This only works if you enable System Restore on your computer, if not, continue reading.

Solution #2
Now if you didn't enable System Restore, or if you are like me, doing that will undo all that changes that you have done to your PC/laptop earlier, then this option is for you.

Note: This only works if you have the latest Firefox installed. Earlier versions might not work, especially those before version 1.5. Also, if you are 5 days away from the day you lost your bookmarks, Firefox might have already deleted your bookmarks.

1. You need to show your hidden files and folders before you proceed.
  • Open My Computer and do the following.
  • Go to Tools > Folder Options
  • Click on View Tab
  • Under Advanced Settings, Select Show hidden files and folders.
  • Click Ok
2. If you go to C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[a weird name folder]\bookmarkbackups, you will find all your bookmarks saved in the last 5 days.

3. Open your Firefox browser

Now do the following steps:
  • Go to Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks, the bookmarks manager will open
  • Now go to File > Import
  • Select From File
  • Click Next
  • Here you need to find the bookmarkbackups folder that I mention earlier on step 2 and select the bookmark file you want to import.
  • Once you find it, select the file.
  • Click Open
And you are done! You will find your bookmarks back into Firefox.

Final note

There are other ways to retrieve back your bookmarks if you search from the internet but the ones above are the best solutions that have worked for me. I hope you'd bookmark this page and tell your friends about this if they experience this problem.

I recommend you go to this site, if you wish to know in detail about dealing with lost bookmarks in Firefox.

So, what caused my Firefox Bookmarks to disappear

I tracked back my actions and I found out why my bookmarks disappeared. For my case, when I start Windows Xp, I accidentally click a different Profile. Now, instead of restarting my laptop, I logged off and Select My [Username] profile.

This somehow affected my firefox to think that I am still using the previous profile instead of my existing profile. So it didn't load my bookmarks. I didn't realise that even Firefox has different profiles.

How to prevent this?
  1. Do not select a different profile other than yours.
  2. If you want to change profile, restart the computer rather than selecting Switch User or Log Off.
  3. If you are not too discreet about your bookmarks, make it your bookmarks available in every profile.


Kevin Moriarty said...

Excellent instructions, helped me out.

Let me know what you are working on, I may be able to offer some useful input/resources as my way of saying thanks.

Samuel Menezes said...

Thanks a lot dude!