Mozilla Firefox 3 Bookmarks Location Changed

by Alvin Poh | Wed, Nov 19, 2008

Miscellaneous


I was just looking at my backup scripts when I realised that something changed in Firefox 3. Browser information isn’t that critical to me, which probably explains why I only found out now. Well it turns out that in Firefox 2, bookmarks were stored in bookmarks.html. In Firefox 3, bookmarks are actually stored in a database file called places.sqlite, and not in bookmarks.html.

A plain HTML file like what Firefox 2 used to have is easier to work with because you can get all the bookmarks and export and sync with other browsers or other machines very easily. But I can see the use of a database file – it’ll allow things like tags and other metadata on top of your bookmarks that a HTML file would be hard-pressed to beat – not that it’s impossible, but it’ll win out at least in terms of efficiency.

Thankfully the people at Firefox actually put in a way to automate the whole process of exporting Firefox bookmarks to HTML still. So if you want to use bookmarks.html in Firefox 3, follow these steps to change the settings:

  1. Type “about:config” (without the quotes) in the Firefox 3 address bar.
  2. Click “Ok” when the warning message pops up.
  3. Type “bookmarks” in the filter, and look for “browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML”
  4. You should see the value as false by default. To change it, just double click on it to change it to true.
  5. That’s it! :)

Now your bookmarks in Firefox 3 will automatically be exported to HTML, so you can use bookmarks.html on top of places.sqlite. There are limitations though – bookmarks.html will not have the metadata such as tags that I mentioned. Firefox stores your bookmark location in a particular directory, so to get to your bookmarks location, it’ll be in this format:

C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ec22p8bc.default

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This post was written by:

- Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. dave Says:

    do you know how to import the bookmarks file from a MAC. it is an html file and I need to move it to a pc with firefox3.5.3

    thanks

    dave

  2. Alvin Says:

    Yea it’s really easy with Firefox in between different computers, even though they’re on Mac or Windows. Just go to Bookmarks > Organise Bookmarks, and choose backup or restore

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