[Tip] Enable Automatic Bookmarks Backup in Mozilla Firefox at Exit

Bookmarks (or favorites) are very essential and useful feature of any web browser. Whenever we are browsing on Internet, we bookmark many website links to read them later or to save them for future use. We also bookmark many websites which we regularly visit for quick and easy access.

Since we add several websites in bookmarks, it becomes hard for us to remember all of them and that's why bookmarks become very important for us. Almost all web browsers allow their users to export/import (or backup/restore) bookmarks to store them on safe places or to use them in other web browsers.

Many web browsers also provide built-in features to automatic sync bookmarks and other browser data such as cookies, history, preferences, etc to make users life easier. For example, Mozilla Firefox provides Sync feature which can take backup of your bookmarks, passwords, history, add-ons, preferences, etc regularly and can restore them whenever and wherever you want.

But Sync requires you to create a new user account and also it stores your important data on clouds which can be a security issue for some users. Also there is no 100% guarantee that your browsing data will always be synced successfully. Sometimes it may corrupt your important data in case of browser crash or other things.

That's why today in this tutorial, we are going to share a simple, easy to use and built-in way to take automatic backup of bookmarks in Mozilla Firefox web browser at every shutdown. In other words, after applying this trick, Mozilla Firefox will automatically take a backup of your bookmarks each time you close Firefox.

By default Firefox creates backup of bookmarks in places.sqlite file using JSON format which is not fully readable by text editors or browsers. With the help of this tutorial, you can have both HTML as well as default JSON (sqlite) backups of your bookmarks in you Profile folder.

NOTE: The HTML file of your bookmarks backup is created with the name bookmarks.html inside your Firefox Profile folder. If you don't know about Firefox Profile folder, check out following link to read more about it:

All About Mozilla Firefox Profile Folder and Configuration Files

Mozilla_Firefox_Bookmarks_Backup_File.png

There are many benefits in using this trick:

  • It'll take bookmarks backup in a single HTML file which can be viewed in any web browser
  • Your bookmarks will always have latest changes as the HTML file is updated at every exit
  • The backup is stored on your local computer not cloud so no security issues
  • No use of any 3rd party extension/add-on

So if you are a Firefox user and want to enable this automatic bookmarks backup feature, check out following simple steps:

1. Open Firefox and type about:config in the addressbar and press Enter. It'll ask for confirmation, click on I'll be careful, I promise! button.

2. Now type bookmarks in the Search Filter box and look for following boolean key:

browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML

3. The entry "browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML" would be set to false. Double-click on it or right-click on it and select "Toggle". It'll set its value to true.

Mozilla_Firefox_Automatic_Bookmarks_Export_HTML.png

4. That's it. Close Firefox window. Now whenever you'll open and close Firefox web browser, it'll automatically export your current bookmarks into HTML file "bookmarks.html" in your Firefox Profile folder.

If you want, you can copy and paste the HTML file to your USB drive or a different partition to take another backup.

PS: There was also a way to customize location of bookmarks.html file usingĀ "browser.bookmarks.file" preference. You could get the automatic HTML backup of bookmarks in your desired folder instead of Firefox Profile folder but that trick no longer works in newer Firefox versions as Mozilla has removed the preference functionality from Firefox code. Interested people can check following old article mentioning the removed preference trick:

Best Method to Backup Mozilla Firefox Bookmarks Without Using Extensions





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Posted in: Mozilla Firefox


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Comments

  • Very useful trick. Thanks.

  • hi vishal, how to disable html 5 video autoplay on firefox? i have tried flash control addons, disable webm from about:config, disable cisco plugin, but the html 5 video still default video player on firefox

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:

    Open about:config and create new boolean key "media.html5video.blocked" and set it to True.

  • thanks, but its not working vishal. html 5 still...

  • "PS: There was also a way to customize location of bookmarks.html file using "browser.bookmarks.file" preference. You could get the automatic HTML backup of bookmarks in your desired folder instead of Firefox Profile folder but that trick no longer works in newer Firefox versions as Mozilla has removed the preference functionality from Firefox code. "

    I just tried it and it still works (Firefox 46)--my bookmarks.html was saved into the specified location. Where did you get the idea that it doesn't? I'm curious because I also felt that this setting would eventually be taken out by the developers since they seem to favor bookmarks being in .json format.

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