How to Backup, Sync and Share Your Bookmarks

Category: Backup

I have several computers, a smartphone and various web browsers running on them. I'm tired of trying to keep my bookmarks in sync. So I'm wondering if there is a way to backup my bookmarks to a central location, and then have each device pull from there. What do you recommend?

Backup Your Bookmarks

Backing up your Web bookmarks is an important part of disaster recovery. A bookmark backup copy can also be copied to another computer or mobile device. You can even backup your bookmarks to a Web or cloud-based service so that they are always available no matter what device you're using. The procedure for backing up bookmarks is fairly simple but bookmark locations vary from one browser to another.

Internet Explorer calls bookmarks "Favorites." To make a backup copy of your IE Favorites, open Internet Explorer, then click File in the main menu bar. Click Import and Export, select the "Export to a File" option, then click Next. Check the box next to Favorites, and click Next. Select the topmost folder "Favorites" and click Next. Enter a filename where your bookmarks will be saved. The default is to save them as "bookmarks.htm" in your My Documents folder, but you might want to save them to a different folder, a USB flash drive, or some other backup media. After choosing your backup file, click Export, then Finish.
Bookmark Backup and Sync

Firefox has a built-in bookmarks organizer that can import and export bookmarks. In all versions of Firefox, start by clicking on the Bookmarks tab in the main menu bar. In Firefox 4, click "Show all bookmarks" on the pull-down menu; in earlier versions, click "Organize bookmarks." Now you should see the Library window. Click on "Import and backup" in the menu bar. Click on "Export to HTML" to make a backup copy in HTML format. Save the backup copy to a destination of your choice.

If you use Apple's Safari browser, click on File, then Export Bookmarks. Specify a folder for the exported bookmark file. You will find the file "Safari bookmarks.html" in that folder.

Google Chrome, like Firefox, has a bookmarks manager. Click on the "wrench" icon in Chrome and choose "Bookmark Manager." Click on Tools in the manager and select 'Export Bookmarks." Save the export file to a destination of your choice.

In all of these cases, the exported bookmarks are stored in HTML format, which is the language in which web pages are coded. So you can import the bookmark file into any other browser.

Web-Based Bookmark Managers

The problem is, if you add or delete bookmarks often, it's a hassle to keep the bookmarks on all your browsers and devices in sync. That's where web-based bookmarks managers shine. Use one of these online (umm, I mean "cloud based") bookmark managers to sync and share your bookmarks across all your browsing platforms.

Xmarks is a Web-based bookmark backup and synchronization service. You need to install the Xmarks browser add-on on each computer you intend to use. Then Xmarks uploads backup copies of your bookmarks to its server and syncs all of the bookmarks of all the devices. The free version of Xmarks supports Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari browsers. Premium plans expand support to Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and other mobile platforms.

Another popular web-based bookmark manager is Delicious, which they call a "Social Bookmarking" service. Delicious lets you store your bookmarks online, and optionally share them with others. Delicious also acts as a discovery tool, because you can see the most popular bookmarks in many areas of interest. Delicious is free, but has had a turbulent history.

That has prompted some to opt for Pinboard, a similar paid service. A modest fee of around US $9.00 gives lifetime access, and discourages spammers from polluting the ecosystem.

Do you have something to say about backing up or sharing bookmarks? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "How to Backup, Sync and Share Your Bookmarks"

Posted by:

14 Jun 2011

I don't know if this method would work with other browsers but for Internet Explorer, I just move my Windows Favourites folder from my C: drive to my D: drive, which is then backed up to my external drive on a daily basis for use with my laptop and/or a different PC.

Posted by:

15 Jun 2011

Firefox 4 uses Sync. it will sync bookmarks across multiple computers. i currently have 6 computers that all have the same bookmarks, 2 laptops, 1 macbook and 3 PC's.

Posted by:

Brendan Murphy
15 Jun 2011

I prefer Diigo to delicious. I love the option of highlighting and making comments on web pages before saving a bookmark.

Posted by:

15 Jun 2011

I have been using with internet explorer for close to 5 years. You can access your favorites from any computer. The info is stored their computer (cloud). I set their address to open as my homepage. It is so universal, and very easy to customize. They have a lot of features like, import, export, email, easy to find and sort, ECT. I really like it. They have a free and a paid version for more features. I am happy with the free one.

Posted by:

27 Jun 2011

Also a pretty good site that I use is

allows you to synchronize your bookmarks in one place online and never have to worry about them again

Posted by:

Pali Madra
03 Nov 2011

Seems like you loose all the tags and description when you backup your delicious bookmarks to Trunkly as a service is great though.

Posted by:

Pali Madra
03 Nov 2011

I'm sorry I (by mistake) mentioned that it seems like that with Trunkly you loose the tag and description information of your delicious bookmarks. Digging deeper I realized it is not true.

You can choose to ignore my earlier or publish my apology with the earlier comment.

Posted by:

12 May 2014

I like It's a very simple, clean interface. It doesn't have all the extra features of Diigo, but I don't really need those.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- How to Backup, Sync and Share Your Bookmarks (Posted: 14 Jun 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved