I’m pretty sure that if you are using Mozilla Firefox you’ve managed to collect a few bookmarks (favorites) over the time. Bookmarks are those web sites or addresses that you want to save for later use, if at any later time you would need them. It is also the shortest way of connecting to the resources you would like to have close to your reach as long as we are talking about an Internet Web Browser accessible resource.
Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular and secured Internet Web Browsers available for accessing Internet resources. And this is one of the main reasons for showing you a way to back up your Mozilla Firefox bookmarks (favorites) if for example, you are changing your computer due to different reasons like upgrade, or because your old one is broken but also if you are just installing a fresh copy of Windows and you plan to use the same web browser, Mozilla Firefox. This process has no impact on your operating system and it is not different for any of the Windows versions available, no matter if we talk about Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. In the end, there will be the same web browser but on a different transparent platform.
Part 1 – BackUp Bookmarks on Mozilla Firefox when you change your computer
On your Mozilla Firefox top menu, you have an option called “Bookmarks”, select it and then if you click “Show All Bookmarks” it will send you to a Bookmarks Library with the title of “Library”. Depending on your Mozilla Firefox version, the name of the option to reach Bookmarks Library might be different. For some older versions it will be “Organize Bookmarks” instead of “Show All Bookmarks”, but the process and the steps should be similar.
Now select “Import and Backup” button and, depending on the action you need to do and the step you reached you will have to follow with the required option.
For example, if you wanna export the bookmarks in order to import (copy) them to another computer running Mozilla Firefox, you will have to click “Export Bookmarks to HTML” and continue with the selection of a location and a name for the file that will contain all your bookmarks and that you will have to copy on the new computer in order to be imported. When you are ready, click Save and the only thing left to do is to copy the file to the new computer.
The next step to do is on the new computer. Go to the Bookmarks Library and select “Import and Backup” button. Now you will have to select “Import Bookmarks from HTML” as you can see below, and find the location of your file that we previously exported using above instructions. Select it and click Open. When you access Bookmarks you should have the links added there as they were on your old computer.
Part 2 – BackUp Bookmarks on Mozilla Firefox when you reinstall Windows
The same thing applies if you are trying to back up your bookmarks in Mozilla Firefox in order to have them after a fresh install of Windows. The only difference is that you will have to copy the exported file on a portable media storage for example an USB drive or an external hard disk drive which shouldn’t be a problem as I doubt the only thing you have to back up is this file for bookmarks and I have to say that this is actually one of the less important things for you to save compared to pictures, work files if any, books and probably more. The file containing the bookmarks will have to be imported on the new fresh install of Windows after Mozilla Firefox has been installed, using above steps.
One thing you will notice on the newer Mozilla Firefox versions, while using the Bookmarks Library, are the other two options, to restore and to backup.
You can backup Bookmarks manually to a JSON extension file, which is actually another way of doing a back up of your Mozilla Firefox Bookmarks. This option was introduced with Mozilla Firefox version 3.0 as an alternative to the older Import/Export options that provides a bit more control and new options like Bookmarks restore to an earlier date (automatically created or manually saved), in case something failed with your current ones, or you just deleted some.
Importing a JSON file to your Mozilla Firefox will replace ALL of your current Bookmarks, this means they get deleted and only those that were present in the file at the date when the file was created, will be added.
Mozilla Firefox also creates automatically a number of five such files stored in Application Data, under the application name in Mozilla Firefox profiles. If you will check the “Restore” option under “Import and Backup” from Bookmarks Library you will see different dates which are actually backup files with JSON extension, that you can use to restore your Bookmarks at any given time.
You can also do a manual backup of your bookmarks by using the “Back up” option from the same menu, which will prompt you to specify a location and a name for the backup file.
By default, the files will be automatically created by the system, depending on your operating system in:
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\Your_User\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxx.default\bookmarkbackups
Windows 7 and Windows Vista: C:\Users\Your_User\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxx.default\
Note: xxxxxx after profile will be replaced by a string of alpha-numeric characters that can be anything, so just follow the path.
As an end to this article, I would advise you all to use the export and import way, as even if it is older, it is an optimized version of back up and ways to move your bookmarks from one computer to another. Back up and restore options should be used in case of faulty/corrupted bookmarks or missing resources from bookmarks.
Once more, keep in mind the message that if you confirm a restore point with Ok, even if one from the automatically list or one manually selected with “choose file” option, you will lose all of your current bookmarks and get the ones from the specified date.