Your bookmarks are still there, I promise!

Note: anyone finding this post now, I’m probably not going to see your response if you ask for help here. If the fixes below don’t work for you, or you need help applying them, please see for help options including forums and live chat (IRC).

I understand how scary and angering it can be to install a new app and then bam, important info is gone. Fortunately this time, they’re not actually gone! Take a deep breath (I’d need one about now if this happened to me) and I’ll explain how to get them back.

Bookmarks missing after installing Firefox 2

Quite a number of people are reporting that after installing Firefox 2 their bookmarks are missing. This is a different issue and much easier to fix than the usual crash issue. The bookmarks are also NOT lost. In some cases the installer isn’t exiting existing Firefox processes properly and not updating some of the old files. This causes several odd issues including tabs not working properly, and for bookmarks to not show up. A bug has been filed, a permanent fix will be available ASAP. Bug 357922

The fix

There are two ways to fix this:
* Uninstall Firefox, delete the install folder (C:Program FilesMozilla Firefox by default) and install Firefox 2 again. Everything will be back to normal, including the bookmarks. This will not cause any loss of any other personal data. That data along with bookmarks are kept in the profile folder in Application Data.

* Install Firefox again using the custom install option and chose to install it to a new folder. Again, no loss of personal data as this installation will still detect and use your existing profiles.

Everyone has reported both of this fixes clear the issue right up and that no other issues are encountered.

Update: You shouldn’t have to delete the install folder for a reinstall to be effective. Uninstall Firefox 2, then make sure firefox.exe isn’t running in the task manager (be sure to check other users) and then install again. The files causing the problem should be overwritten.

To avoid this issue on installation

Until the bug is fixed you can absolutely avoid this problem by closing firefox before running the installer (check the processes tab in task manager), or by using the custom install and installing Firefox 2 to a new folder.

We are still working to narrow down exactly why this is happening to some users and not others. So far we’ve had several people install Firefox 2 with running and they’re not hitting the issue. This might be caused by another issue that is preventing the firefox process from exiting, for example some extensions do this on occasion. I’ll be sure to update this blog, and the bug as more information becomes available. If you have experienced this issue yourself and would like to help narrow it down, comment here, or on the bug or come find us in #firefox on

25 Responses to “Your bookmarks are still there, I promise!”

  • Your bookmarks aren’t lost, they’re just hiding. « Digged Stories

    […] take to make their bookmarks appear again, without having to restore them from a back-up. read more | digg story This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 7 […]

  • Firefox 2.0:Your bookmarks aren’t lost, they’re just hiding. « The vOolt

    […] now if this happened to me) and I’ll explain how to get them back. more.. This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 2:51 p […]

  • Photo Enforced

    Check it out… YES!! I get my bookmarks back

  • Eric Skiff

    I hit this on Firefox on my work machine. Bookmarks were missing and tabbed browsing was also broken. Specifically, I could open a new tab, but the address bar still sent the URL to the first tab. I also could not close the first tab.

    I uninstalled Firefox 2, removed all plugins, and deleted my installation folder.

    My new install works perfectly, and bookmarks are here.

  • Andrew

    I’m really glad to see that Mozilla has acknowledged and even begun work on a patch this quickly. Makes me proud to be a FF user.

  • Sohail Mirza

    Might this be related to an existing issue that I believe affects Windows users with hyperthreading enabled on their CPU? I’ve experienced the issue myself when attempting to close Firefox, where the process does not terminate correctly.

    The correlation to hyperthreading was asserted in a bugzilla bug, the ID of which I cannot recall at the moment.

  • Jedi Wright

    What uncanny timing! I just blogged this very issue last night about how bookmarking, app launching and such have now been virtually replaced for me (and potentially many others) by a beta release earlier this week called “Catapult” (credits: Adam Wiggins) which is a command-line interface, taken to new heights of novelty.

    You can view my blog here (regular blog events will soon be live at

    And the direct link to the app here:

  • Ed

    Thanks! I spent ages fidling, didn’t think to try installing to another folder… This really should have been caught in QA… Tut tut.

  • 最新Firefox 2.0相关链接 at 爱晚尚明

    […] 入:about:config,过滤器那儿输入,把值改成3就行了 Your bookmarks are still there, I promise! […]

  • Lucy

    Ed- Yes, and the second question we asked ourselves after “what’s causing this” is “why didn’t QA catch it?” Of course a lot of the answer to question 2 is wrapped up in question 1.

    To see this issue you have to install Firefox 2 overtop of a running instance of Firefox 1.5.0.x and the installer has to not notice the running process. If you installed a Bon Echo nightly build, it would automatically install it into a Bon Echo folder and not the Mozilla Firefox folder. So this wouldn’t have been easy to catch testing the installer on nightlies.

    The most reliable way to hit this issue is to have Firefox running in two XP profiles and then run the installer. It will see the process you’re running in the current profile, but not the other profile. I think since the automatic updates were implemented the focus has been to test the hell out of that. This sort of thing was tested in the automatic updates and they *will* see all running instances of firefox.exe and tell you to close them.

    If this testing wasn’t done for the installer, it was an oversight that will be corrected. If this testing was done, then we’ll find out why it didn’t catch the issue and add testing that will catch issues like this in the future.


    […] ox is completely closed up before you run the installer, you should be fine. — Adam Pash Your bookmarks are still there, I promise! [Ill-mannered Grandiloquence] […]

  • Firefox 2.0 (finalmente llegó) « Geekotic

    […] a de recursos donde buscar consejos y tips de configuración. A continuación algunos: En Ill-mannered Grandiloquence tenemos unos concejos para seguir por si nos pasa que al actualiz […]

  • EveryDigg » Blog Archive » Your bookmarks aren’t lost, they’re just hiding.

    […] their bookmarks appear again, without having to restore them from a more | digg story


  • Caroil


    I have Netscape 7.2 on a Mac. I have lost my bookmarks and would like to know if anyone knows how to recover them. I don’t even know where it stores them any longer. I used to be able to search for bookmarks and find them. Now I cannot.

  • Megan

    I’m sorry to say that these fixes (I’ve tried both) have given me problems.

    The first time, I uninstalled, deleted the Mozilla folder, reinstalled, and everything worked fine…. until I quit out of Firefox (normal shutdown) and restarted. My bookmarks were “gone” again.

    Just now, I uninstalled again, deleted the Mozilla folder and re-installed to a folder with custom name. Bookmarks are still “gone”. Argh!

  • macosbrain

    you can avoid these problems. just use online bookmarker like scuttle or

  • andy

    I just googled looking for help after Firefox ‘automatically’ seems to have updated for (thanks!) and wiped out my bookmarks. Followed some of the various instructions that good folks have posted, but will have to consign myself to the fact that they’re gone…

    It’s these kind of mess-ups (several years in, might I ad) that make me consider going back to Explorer. this is unacceptable…

  • PHIL Norwine

    I have not found any way to recapture some over 300 bookmarks which I have searched for and found over the past five years. What is the way to do this????? If you had not d=decided to kick the bottom out of the Netscape program without warning, I would be in a much batter shape. I have been oopposed to go to Explorer fore several reasona. I wouls like to get some help if ther is a way to locate my bookmarks.


  • Restore Missing Bookmarks in Firefox 2.0 at TechMixer

    […] marks from the backup copy via the Firefox Bookmarks Manager. According to Ill-Mannered Grandiloquence weblog, there are two ways to fix this: Uninstall Firefox, delete the install fo […]

  • Terri

    My lost bookmark folder was present a few days ago when I found a website to help me locate the lost backup folder. However, it looks like it has been aged off and now all of the backup folders are with the current empty bookmarks. How can I recover the lost backup folder once 6 days has past?

  • j-p

    After I replaced my failed HD and reloaded XP and then FF, I no longer have my old bookmarks. Will the above fix work for me?

  • Curtis Benson

    Using XP Home on a fast computer
    Firefox after proper shutdown losses all bookmarks and NONE of your fixes work at all,including moving bookmarks from application backup to profiles. My files are there, but NO GO??!!

  • Curtis Benson

    This Severe bug makes me want to FORGET FIREFOX and go back to IE7, I’m had my fill of replacing my bookmarks over and over, but no fix in sight. This is my rating IE7 4/5 Firefox 1/5 If this isn’t fixed soon I’ll GO bye bye FOREVER. This never happened in Firefox 1 series but always has in series 2

  • Zashkaser

    You know, I didn’t even see Casper’s comment when I made mine (how could I miss that?). Sorry Casper, you had it first!