Tag Archives | backup

How to Backup Firefox Bookmarks

Backing up your bookmarks is one of those chores you have on your to-do list but never get around to it.  Then when they are lost, you say – I wish I would have.  Here are a few Firefox bookmark backup techniques to help you out.

How to Backup Your Bookmarks Manually

From the Firefox menu bar go to Bookmarks >  Organize Bookmarks to bring up your bookmarks manager.  Now you want to click the top button that says Import and Backup.

backup1

Next, select Backup.  This will bring up a “Save As” box where you can save your bookmarks to any location.  Make sure you leave the bookmark as a .json file too.  Since Firefox 3, this is the type of file Firefox uses for backups.  If you wish to export your bookmarks as an HTML file, go to Import and Backup > Export HTML.  That will give you the more traditional .html backup.

Recover Firefox’s Internal Bookmark Backups

bookmark-backupsDid you know that Firefox has been backing up your bookmarks all along?  They are in your Firefox profile folder.  First thing you need to do is find your profile folder for Firefox.  Depending on your operating system this may be in a different location.  If you are unsure, be sure to check out this previous post: 

Once you make it in there you should see a folder named “bookmarkbackups”.  Double-click that folder, and there you have some of your saved bookmarks that you thought you had lost waiting for you to restore them.  If you want more backups to be saved (default is 5) then check out this previous article on the simple about:config tweak you will need to do.

Backup Your Bookmarks with an Add-on

There are many extensions for Firefox that will help you backup too.  My personal favorite is Foxmarks, which comes with the additional feature of syncing them with another PC (another good backup technique in its own right).  Here are the best:

  • FEBE – The perfect add-on for those backing up and don’t wish to rely on other services.
  • Foxmarks – The greatest backup and syncing extension out there today.
  • Delicious Bookmarks – Yes, syncing with services like Delicious is another great way to backup your bookmarks.

Now the question is how do you and when did you last backup your own Firefox bookmarks?

Foxmarks Gets the Bookmark Syncing Right

It took me a long time to give Foxmarks a second shot.  All I remember from the first time around I used it was I didn’t like it.  Seems as if it bugged me a lot or didn’t want to work.

Having given it a round two now, I am happy to say I have done so.

After the death of Google Browser Sync, I was looking for a new way to keep my bookmarks on my desktop and my bookmarks on my laptop the same.  Foxmarks does the trick with what they call Seamless Sync.  I have not had to mess with it once since I installed it. It just works.

With a service or extension like this I’d like to pretend it isn’t even there, and Foxmarks makes it very easy to do just that.  Some of the other nice features of Foxmarks are:

  • Easy Backup & Restore
  • Web Access to your Saved Links
  • Mobile Access
  • Share Bookmarks with Friends
  • Import & Export Your Saved Links

I am delighted to say that Foxmarks has earned a spot on my hall of fame add-ons list for being one heck of a nice addition to Firefox.  If your looking to keep your bookmarks synced up, there is no better solution out there right now.

Google Browser Sync = Back from the Dead

retun-of-gbs

Told you last week about Google’s plans to kill off the semi-popular Google Browser Sync extension.  According to Ars Technica, while they were tossing the dirt in the hole – somebody decided to do this:

Google is distributing the Browser Sync source code under the BSD license and is making it available through a Subversion source control repository on the Google Code website.

Good news for those of us who really liked this add-on.  The reason for its popularity is that it didn’t just sync up your bookmarks.  It also would transfer your passwords, history and cookies.

Personally, I am looking forward to giving Weave a shot (Mozilla’s version of the same service) due to the fact that Mozilla would know how to do it best.  Right now from what I have seen, it looks like it is still kind of buggy.

Not much is up on the Google Code page for BrowserSync but will be worth keeping an eye on in the next few weeks and months ahead.

What to Backup Before Moving to Firefox 3

bookmark-backups If you haven’t made the jump yet, there are a few files you may want to make sure you back up before going from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3.  The first would be your password files.  These files are located in your profile folder

Backup the Firefox files called:

  • signons.txt
  • signons2.txt
  • key3.db

Copy and past them into the place you want to back them up to, and you are done.  To restore them, make sure you don’t have Firefox running and then go into your current profile folder and copy and move them in.  They should replace the ones in there currently.

Now to backup your Firefox 2 boomarks, dive back into your profile folder and look for a file called “bookmarkbackups”.  Double-click that folder, and there you have some of your saved bookmarks that you thought you had lost waiting for you to restore them.

bookmark-manager-firefox-3

To restore your bookmarks in Firefox 3, go to Bookmarks and then Organize Bookmarks.  In the Library, click on Import and Backup and click on “Import HTML”.  The on screen wizard should walk you through the rest of the steps.

Backup Firefox Passwords (the Manual Way)

Sure there are tools, downloads and services that may do this for you, but what fun is that?  Just in case you don’t feel the need to download another addition to the browser just yet – here is how you can backup your Firefox saved passwords the manual way.

First, navigate yourself to your profiles folder and then you want to copy three files, they are named:

  • signons.txt
  • signons2.txt
  • key3.db

Copy and past them into the place you want to back them up to, and you are done.  You can also move these three files to a new Firefox profile (say on a new computer, for example) if you wanted to have the same password information on your laptop.

Think You Lost Your Firefox Bookmarks?

bookmark-backups I have had a few friend and read a few horror stories Online about people who for one reason or another have lost their Firefox bookmarks and had to start all over.  What they were not aware of is that you may not have totally lost your Firefox boomarks at all.  There are backups hidden within your PC that I bet you haven’t even checked yet.

First thing you need to do is find your profile folder for Firefox.  Depending on your operating system this may be in a different location.  If you are unsure, be sure to check out this previous post:  Where is my Firefox Profile Folder?

Once you make it in there you should see a folder named “bookmarkbackups”.  Double-click that folder, and there you have some of your saved boomkarks that you thought you had lost waiting for you to restore them.  To restore your bookmarks, you can launch Firefox, then go to “File” and then “Import”. 

Also if you want to live a little more on the dangerous side (first make sure Firefox isn’t running) you could copy one of the bookmark backups, rename it “bookmarks.html” and place it inside of your profile folder replacing the one that is not right.  As a bonus, if you need more help on how to backup Firefox using other tools – be sure to check out this previous most wanted post from the Firefox Facts archives.

Mozilla Weaves the Browser with the Web

Mozilla Weave

Tis’ the season for holiday surprises, and I think Mozilla gave us all the best present of all with their new “lab” project, Weave. Best way I have found to describe it is to think of Google Browser Sync, but taken out of Google’s hands.

Here is some of the early hype about this new Firefox feature:

I am sure we’ll be hearing more about the project as time rolls on.

Password Exporter Saved My Bacon

Password ExporterIf you follow any of my other side projects, you might have noticed I got a new PC the other day. One of the not-so-much-fun aspects of getting a new computer is getting Firefox back up and running on it and getting all your bookmarks, settings and passwords moved over. For the most part Google’s Browser Sync did a lot of the heavy lifting in that regard.

Where Did My Passwords Go?!

I screwed up somewhere though, and all my saved passwords were not there. Before I freaked out (ok, I might have freaked out just a little ‘bit) I remembered about the Password Exporter extension for Firefox.

Here is a little more information about it from the developer:

This extension allows you to export and import your saved passwords and rejected sites between computers. Your passwords will be exported to an XML or CSV file and can be encrypted.

Did Password Exporter Do the Job?

I installed it on both the old machine and the new machine – then moved the exported backup (simple .xml file) from the old PC to my new PC. It worked! My passwords were not lost and I didn’t have to spend hours trying to set that whole mess back up.

So if your in a pinch and you need your passwords backed up – give the Password Exporter extension a shot. Might also not hurt to have it up and running 24/7 – so you can make a backup of your password list and store it somewhere safe.

How to Backup Firefox?

I have been getting several e-mails in this month wanting to know my suggestions and tips on what the best way is to backup your Firefox install.

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension)

Well my number one tip would be to use one extension that will make the job of backing up or syncing Firefox between two machines a lot easier. FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions and settings. It will actually rebuild your extensions individually into installable .xpi files. That makes synchronizing your office and home browsers a cake walk.

One more cool thing about FEBE is that it can preform on demand or scheduled backups for daily, weekly, or monthly unattended runs.

Google Browser Sync

Now if your using two computers on a day to day basis and you want to keep things in sync, a side effect of something like Google Browser Sync extension is that it keeps everything saved onto the other computer.

As long as you get your sync order straight – you could save your settings on your laptop Firefox install, then go back and reinstall Firefox on your desktop – put in the Google Browser Sync extension and everything should get moved back over as it was (as far as settings, bookmarks and cookies go). You’ll still need to reinstall your extensions however.

Backup by Hand (aka the hard way)

Last but not least, you could backup your Firefox by hand. What you want to do is make a copy of your Firefox profile folder. Depending on your operating system it might be in different locations.

Might want to check this page at MozillaZine for more information about where the profile folder is for your computer.

Box.net Bookmarks Sync

As if we all needed another way to backup or sync our bookmarks from computer to computer – there is now a Firefox extension that allows you to do it via Box.net and their free file hosting service.

Bookmark Backup in a Box

Here are a few kind words from the creators of the Box.net Bookmark Synchronizer extension:

Backup your bookmarks! Use the Box.net Backup tool to save your favorite bookmarks online or to sync bookmarks between multiple computers.

Does this extension do anything that the others do not? No, not really – but if you have been looking for something to do with that Box.net hosting you have, this might be one way to put it to good use.