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Summary :

Firefox bookmarks disappeared

Saving your favorite or frequently used shortcuts to the browser bookmark making it possible for you to navigate to them in seconds from anywhere in the browser. This is very convenient. However, some users said their Firefox bookmarks disappeared somehow; they want to get the bookmarks back but don’t know how to do.

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What Is Bookmark?

The bookmark is an important feature in all modern web browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (previously Internet Explorer), and more. According to Wikipedia, “a bookmark is a Uniform Resource Identifier that is stored for later retrieval in any of various storage formats”. In simple terms, the bookmark refers to a place where you can save URLs for later use. Saving web pages in a bookmark allows you to get quick access to them.

Firefox Bookmarks Disappeared

Bookmarks are used frequently; so correspondingly, there are lots of bookmark-related problems. Let’s just take Firefox as an example; you may run into these problems all of a sudden: Firefox bookmarks not showing, Firefox bookmarks toolbar not showing, Firefox bookmarks not working, etc. Considering so many people are complaining about Firefox bookmarks disappeared, I’ll discuss this issue and shows you what to do when that happens.

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My Bookmarks Are Gone

Firefox bookmarks disappeared or missing may be a result of many factors: system crash, software issue, accidental deletion, virus attack, updating or downgrading Firefox, etc. But according to users’ feedback, the update of Firefox is the most possible cause for making bookmarks toolbar gone and Firefox bookmarks disappeared from toolbar.

There is a real case I found in the Mozilla Firefox Support Forum:

Bookmarks disappeared overnight.

Looks like I was updated to version 70 of the browser. Now I have no bookmarks, no saved passwords, I have NOTHING from the previous version. How do I get them back?- from skitzos_syndrome

Firefox Bookmarks Location

Users are curious about the location of their Firefox bookmarks, so they are asking questions online, hoping to get an accurate answer.

  • Where are Firefox bookmarks stored?
  • Where does Firefox store bookmarks?
  • Where are my Firefox bookmarks?
  • And so on.

To figure out questions like these, you must know what a Firefox profile is and what it stores.

Firefox Profile: Where Your Bookmarks, Passwords, and Other Data Are Stored

Firefox (or any other web browsers) keeps your personal information including bookmarks in a set of files, which are called profiles. The Firefox profile is stored separately in a location from the Firefox program files. The default location of the Firefox profile on your PC is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\; that’s where your Firefox bookmarks are stored. It remains the same from PC to PC unless you change the Firefox bookmarks location manually.

Note: You can have more than one Firefox profile to contain a separate set of user information.

What Information Is Stored in a Firefox Profile

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ONE: bookmarks, downloads, and browsing history.

  • places.sqlite: all the Firefox bookmarks you’ve added and lists of all the files you've downloaded & websites you’ve visited are kept in this file.
  • favicons.sqlite: all of the favicons for your Firefox bookmarks are stored in this file.
  • bookmarkbackups: this folder stores the bookmark backup files, very useful for Firefox restore bookmarks.

TWO: passwords.

  • key4.db: this file is used to store all your passwords.
  • logins.json: the same function.

Firefox Profile files

THREE: user preferences.

  • prefs.js: it stores all your customized user preference settings.

FOUR: toolbar customization.

  • xulstore.json: all the toolbar and window size/position settings are saved there.

FIVE: download actions.

  • handlers.json: it keeps your preferences which are used to tell Firefox what to do when it runs into a ceratin type of file.

SIX: cookies.

  • cookies.sqlite: all the cookie-related information is stored in this file.

SEVEN: autocomplete history.

  • formhistory.sqlite: what you’ve ever searched for in Firefox and what information you’ve entered on websites are saved in this file.

formhistory.sqlite

EIGHT: site-specific preferences.

  • permissions.sqlite: it is used to save your custom Firefox permissions and zoom levels.
  • content-prefs.sqlite: the same function.

NINE: personal dictionary.

  • persdict.dat: this file stores all the custom words users have added to the dictionary.

TEN: search engines.

  • search.json.mozlz4: your installed search engines are kept there.

ELEVEN: DOM storage. It’s an alternative to storing information in cookies.

  • webappsstore.sqlite: information for websites.
  • chromeappsstore.sqlite: information for about:* pages.

TWELVE: extensions.

  • extensions: this is a folder to save files for the extensions installed in Firefox.

THIRTEEN: security certificate settings.

  • cert9.db: it stores your security certificate settings and the imported SSL certificates.

FOURTEEN: security device settings.

  • pkcs11.txt: your security module configuration is kept in this file.

FIFTEEN: stored session.

  • sessionstore.jsonlz4: it saves the opening tabs and windows.

SIXTEEN: containers.

  • containers.json: all information about the containers used by the Container Tabs feature is stored in this file.

I found many people asking “how do I transfer Firefox bookmarks from one computer to another?” online. That’s not a difficult question to answer. Transferring Firefox bookmarks means transferring the profile since they are contained here as some files. Please read this page to know how to transfer:

transfer firefox profile to new computer thumbnail
How To Transfer Firefox Profile To A New Computer

You may need to transfer Firefox profile to another computer in order to retain your settings, extensions, password, and bookmarks.

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Restore Missing Firefox Bookmarks

It’s not a difficult task for even ordinary users to recover Firefox bookmarks. In this part, I’ll discuss how to restore Firefox bookmarks in several situations.

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Situation 1: Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar Missing

By default, the Firefox bookmarks toolbar will be loaded when you open the browser. You can get quick access to your favorite bookmarks via the toolbar. However, the toolbar may disappear suddenly if the option to display the Bookmarks Toolbar may be turned off unintentionally. Can you restore bookmarks Firefox? How to get the toolbar back?

  1. Open Firefox as you usually do.
  2. Right click on any blank area in the top navigation bar.
  3. Navigate to the Bookmarks Toolbar option in the context menu.
  4. Select Always Show (you can also press Ctrl + Shift + B) or Only Show on New Tab.

Restore the Bookmarks Toolbar

Situation 2: Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar Button Missing

Unlike the Bookmarks Toolbar, the Bookmarks Menu button is not shown by default. But you can make it appear by doing this:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click on the Application Menu button (represented by three horizontal lines).
  3. Click More tools and select Customize toolbar.
  4. Locate the Bookmarks menu item.
  5. Drag and drop it into the toolbar or the overflow menu.

Add Bookmarks menu button

Situation 3: Only the Default Set of Bookmarks Exist

There are chances that a new profile containing the default set of bookmarks is created. The default bookmarks will be displayed when the profile is activated, leaving you the impression of losing your Firefox bookmarks.

How to restore bookmarks in Firefox? You should first determine whether a new profile is created and whether your data is available in a different profile.

  1. Type about:profiles into the address bar of Firefox and press Enter.
  2. Take a look at the About Profiles page: there may be one or more profiles.
  3. Locate the This is the profile in use and it cannot be deleted It contains the currently displaying bookmarks in Firefox.
  4. Look for another profile in the list; it may contain your missing Firefox bookmarks.

Then, you need to open the profile in a new window to restore Firefox bookmarks:

  1. Locate the profile that you think may contain your lost bookmarks.
  2. Click on the Launch profile in new browser button below it.
  3. If the new window doesn’t contain your needed bookmarks, close it.
  4. If it does contain your missing bookmarks, please go back and click on the Set as default profile button.
  5. Close and reopen Firefox to get back your missing Firefox bookmarks.

Launch profile in new browser

Situation 4: Can’t Find Bookmarks Imported from another Browser

The bookmarks that you’ve imported into Firefox from another browser won’t be displayed like other Firefox bookmarks; they’ll be kept inside a specially-named folder.

How to restore bookmarks imported from Chrome, Edge, etc.? That depends on the source browser. Where do you need to check?

  • The end of the Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar
  • The bottom of the Bookmarks list inside the Bookmarks Menu button
  • The Bookmarks Library from Bookmarks menu -> Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks

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Situation 5: Bookmarks Disappeared after Installing Add-ons

If you find your Firefox bookmarks disappeared after installing one or more add-ons, you should restart the browsers and see what happens.

If the bookmarks are still not showing up, please try to fix the issue by restarting your computer.

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Recover Lost/Deleted Bookmarks in Firefox

If your situation is none of the above, you should suspect that your Firefox bookmarks are really lost or deleted unintentionally. Can you restore Firefox deleted bookmarks? Luckily, yes. You’re provided with 3 simple ways to recover bookmarks Firefox.

How to Recover Firefox Bookmarks from the Profile Backup

The Firefox browser will back up your bookmarks automatically. And up to 15 backups will be saved in the profile bookmarkbackups folder. You can use these backups to restore the lost or deleted bookmarks easily.

Also, you can back up the profile manually and recover bookmarks from the backups if you have any.

Firefox restore bookmarks from backups:

  1. Click on the Application Menu button in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Bookmarks from the menu you see.
  3. Click Manage bookmarks at the bottom of the Bookmarks window.
  4. Click Import and Backup from the menu bar at the top of the Library window.
  5. The automatic backups with date information will be listed. Please choose one.
  6. Also, you can click Choose File if you’re like to restore bookmarks from a manual backup.
  7. Confirm your choice and wait for the process to finish.

Restore bookmarks from backup

How to Recover Firefox Bookmarks from an Old Profile

Sometimes, Firefox may create a folder on your PC to store a complete backup of your Firefox profile. It's called "Old Firefox Data" and can be used for bookmarks and other information restore.

Recover disappeared Firefox bookmarks by copying files from the old profile folder to the new one:

  1. Open the Firefox browser.
  2. Click on the Application Menu button in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Help from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click More troubleshooting information.
  5. Look for the Profile Folder option under Application Basics.
  6. Click on the Open Folder button next to it.
  7. Browse the files in this folder and decide which are the files containing your needed bookmarks.
  8. Right click on the file you need and choose Copy. You can also select the file and press Ctrl + C.
  9. Navigate to the new Firefox profile folder.
  10. Right click on the blank space and choose Paste. You can also press Ctrl + V inside the folder directly.
  11. Repeat steps 8 ~ 10 to transfer all files you need to the new Profile folder.

More troubleshooting information

Can you open the profile folder without using Firefox?

Yes, please follow this to navigate to the Firefox profile folder:

  • Open File Explorer as you usually do.
  • Copy and paste %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ into the address bar.
  • Press Enter on the keyboard.
  • Double click on the profile folder you want to open.

Attention:

You may copy over the file that is causing the problem you want to fix, so I advise you to:

  • Copy only the minimal amount of files containing the most important data you need.
  • Copy only a few files at a time and check whether the problem occurs again.

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How to Recover Firefox Bookmarks using Recovery Software

Sometimes, the file storing your bookmarks may be deleted by mistake or due to a virus attack, system crash, and other reasons. In this case, turning to the backups can’t restore the bookmarks for you. What else to do? You can scan your drive using a powerful recovery tool to try to get back the deleted Firefox bookmarks.

Step 1: download and install the recovery software.

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  1. Please click on the button below to download the setup file.
  2. Then, wait for the downloading to finish.
  3. Double click on the setup file to start installing it.
  4. You should follow the instruction to continue.

Free Download

Step 2: run the software and scan the target drive.

As mentioned earlier in this article, your Firefox bookmarks data are contained in the profile folder and the default location is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\. You should scan C: drive unless you have changed the profile location manually.

  1. Launch the recovery software and wait a few seconds to enter its main interface.
  2. Keep Logical Drives selected and navigate to the C: drive.
  3. Click on the Scan button and wait.

Scan C: drive

Step 3: select the needed files to recover.

  1. Browse the scan results.
  2. Select the files you need that contain your deleted bookmarks.
  3. Click on the Save button in the lower right corner.
  4. Choose a storage path for the files and click OK. Please don’t save them to the original folder.
  5. Wait for the recovery to complete.

Step 4: copy back the files to the profile folder.

  1. Navigate to the storage path to select the recovered files.
  2. Press Ctrl + C to copy them.
  3. Navigate to the Profile folder you're using and press Ctrl + V to paste the files.
  4. Close the Firefox browser and restart your computer.

That’s all about how do I get my bookmarks back in Firefox.

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Conclusion

Firefox bookmarks disappeared is not a rare situation; it can be caused by lots of reasons. When you find your bookmarks toolbar is missing or the important/favorite bookmarks are gone, please don’t get anxious. This page explains 5 situations of Firefox bookmarks missing and tells you how to get them back one by one. Besides, it also offers methods for restoring disappeared bookmarks from Firefox profile backups or by using the data recovery software.

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