Customize the Firefox Bookmarks location

Don’t like your bookmarks being stored in your profile folder? Want two or more users on the same computer to share a bookmarks file?
– close Firefox.
– copy/move your bookmarks.html file (and bookmarks.bak) to the location you prefer to keep it.
– open Firefox.
– enter about:config in the Firefox location bar, right-click on any of the listed preferences, and choose New -> String.
– enter the preference name: browser.bookmarks.file
– for the value, enter the new file path (including the file name) of your bookmarks.html file.

Using this method, not only can you share your bookmarks file with other Firefox users on the same computer (and possibly same network. I’m not sure.), but share the file with SeaMonkey users, or Mozilla Suite users, or Netscape users. If you share with SeaMonkey/Mozilla/Netscape, just remember that live bookmarks will not function.

If you have Netscape Communicator, you can even go as far as pointing it to your Communicator bookmark.htm file.

The \bookmarkbackups\ folder stays in the profile folder. The bookmarks.bak file travels with the bookmarks.html file.

35 Responses

  1. dolphinling April 11, 2006 / 2:31 am

    Not that I particularly care, since I don’t move between computers often, but does this work with trunk and bookmarks_history.sqlite ?

  2. Anonymous April 11, 2006 / 4:26 am

    No, places doesn’t support this.

    I’m not sure if the disk writing part of it is asynch, so it may be a perf problem if it would.

  3. Andy Burns April 11, 2006 / 11:42 am

    to use sycnhronised bookmarks between multiple computers loom at the foxmarks extension,

    [possible dupe posting]

  4. Anonymous April 11, 2006 / 4:20 pm

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Bill April 23, 2006 / 2:46 pm

    Thanks! This works very well.

    One comment – If you want to put the bookmark file in the “Shared Documents” folder so that it is accessible to all users of the computer, remember that the path needs to contain “Documents” not the name “Shared Documents” that appears in Windows Explorer. For example, if you create a “My Firefox Data” folder in your “Shared Documents” folder, and put the bookmark there, then the Windows Explorer path is:

    C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersShared DocumentsMy Firefox Databookmarks.html

    But when you enter the data value for browser.bookmarks.file in Firefox, you need to enter:

    C:Documents and SettingsAll Users DocumentsMy Firefox Databookmarks.html

  6. Adam Singer September 10, 2006 / 6:47 pm

    Thanks a million for this tip Chris, it works like a charm. I keep my bookmarks on my file server then I can access them throughout the computers in my house through our network.

  7. November 4, 2006 / 9:15 pm

    Thanks! I used this to share the bookmarks stored on one machine with the other machines in my network. Cool!

  8. Bejano December 12, 2006 / 3:27 am

    It works ! Thanks.

  9. DGunther February 7, 2007 / 4:12 pm

    Great tip! After a HDD went belly up, it sure is nice to find tools and tips to help speed the recovery towards normal operations. Love it!

  10. Todd April 17, 2007 / 4:57 pm

    Thank you for this great tip. I have been searching for this functionality for some time, and your page is the only place that explains it. There may be other solutions but yours is the only one that works without having to read reams of documentation.


  11. Dennis April 27, 2007 / 12:23 am

    This took me a week to find, but well worth it. I was able to change directories in Netscape for bookmarks and mail. I figured out the email (Thunderbirb) fairly quickly, but the bookmarks in Firefox stumped me. Like Adam Singer said, I keep my bookmarks on my file server, then I can access it from the web, using a secure connection of course. Thank you Chris!!

  12. Ed.F May 13, 2007 / 4:13 pm

    I have never thanked anyone online before for the great work they do or information they provide…consider yourself the first Chris – it was just what I needed!

  13. Stephen August 24, 2007 / 9:57 am

    Thanks Chris! This tip saved me a lot of hassles after having to restore an old backup and was very much appreciated. (And actually easy to follow!)

  14. RW September 21, 2007 / 7:17 pm

    Unfortunately, you can’t use this technique to switch from one bookmark file to another in the same directory. Firefox seems to insist on the bookmarks file being named “bookmarks.html”

    Unless, of course, I’m missing something…

    Netscape 7.2/Win98 allows you to open different bookmark files with essentially arbitrary names, though the method is not as straightforward as one would like. I’d hoped that Firefox had the same facility, but implemented in a more straightforward fashion.

    I have at least two reasons for wanting this facility: first, it allows you to break up a large bookmarks file into smaller ones devoted to separate topics; and second, if you have bookmarked sites that you don’t want Aunt Fanny to see, you can switch from “strawberry_bookmarks.html” to “vanilla_bookmarks.html”

  15. Pablo Eneas November 2, 2007 / 11:29 am

    Thanks a lot!

  16. JKAL November 14, 2007 / 7:05 am

    Great Tip Chris, always like solutions without having to install any apps, addons and alike. which only add to the potential errors, this is a clean and easy solution, thanks keep it up!

  17. GK November 22, 2007 / 12:05 pm

    Thanks for the tip! However, there’s a caveat with sharing bookmarks file between different computers. It appears that FF saves bookmarks on exit (and it always saves them, even if changes weren’t made). So let’s say if I open FF on computers 1 & 2, add a new bookmark on computer 1 and close FF, then close FF on computer 2, I lose the changes I made on computer 1 as computer 2 overwrites the bookmark file on exit. Is there a way to force FF to update bookmarks file in real time and not update it on exit?

  18. Pappy January 4, 2008 / 5:23 am

    Excellent, but how do I put the backup bookmarks on another path?
    I want all my bookmarks on a separate harddrive (encrypted) and not have som backups on my windows harddrive.

    I personally would like to nuke the hell out of “Documents and Settings” and not store anything there.

  19. Buck Nasty February 9, 2008 / 8:34 pm

    I use a USB Hard drive for Files, Outlook.psts and now for my bookmarks. Thank you Chris, goodbye Yahoo bookmarks.

  20. Zagra147 February 26, 2008 / 10:54 am

    I will try this. I recently had a HDD crash (the usual BSOD) and lost Firefox bookmarks. Since I use multiple logical drives (C:\ is OS only) I think it would be a good feature in Firefox to ask where one would like the bookmark folder to be placed.

  21. LRJ May 8, 2008 / 9:22 am

    Thank you! I often need to go back to an earlier ghosted image of my OS which elminates my most recent bookmarks. I now squirrel them away on a different network drive. And the ability to share bookmarks among different computers is a plus.

  22. DanArwed May 27, 2008 / 3:50 am

    Thans a lot, that did the trick, works for me now with swiftweasel. This should be exlpained better in the mozilla documentation! Since I want to share my bookmarks via my own virtual server between home and office computers, and since I use the SCM mercurial to synchronize miy home directories, this tip is very very useful!

  23. AMJ Cornellier July 16, 2008 / 10:33 am

    As of Firefox 3.0 your bookmarks are stored in your user profile, so you must move the entire profile then point to it via an ini file. Search the Firefox KB for instructions.

  24. andrew July 25, 2008 / 3:13 pm


    I tried this, storing the bookmark file on a network drive. It now shows the same bookmarks on both PC’s. However if I add or delete a bookmark on either computer they don’t change on the other one. Its like Firefox has cached the network bookmarks????

    Any ideas?

  25. Michel M August 19, 2008 / 7:49 am

    Thanks for the trick Chris! I am trying to make a script to backup/restore Firefox’s bookmarks file for every user on the network. This trick definitely helps. Has someone tried to use variables in this bookmark path? Like %AppData% or %UserName%. It doesn’t work for me. The bookmark path cannot be relative, it has to be absolute I guess.

    Any Ideas?? Thanks.

  26. Oren September 14, 2008 / 5:19 am

    I have a Firefox 3.0.1 installed on XP and i can not find the bookmarks.html file.
    I also can not find the entry browser.bookmarks.file in the config section.
    Where does Firefox saves its bookmarks list?


  27. Kevin December 27, 2008 / 6:02 pm

    I have a problem that I have never seen in any other page (at least that’s what I think). I have all my bookmarks in firefox, but they are not in the mentioned file. How can I get this synced? I’m using windows vista btw.

    Thank you

  28. Charles Breinig February 16, 2009 / 2:25 pm

    On two computers, I created the string “browser.bookmarks.file” and then entered the value of N:\bookmarks\bookmarks.html for both computers, (this is a mapped network drive); but the two machines each see different bookmarks. (I copied one of the bookmarks.html files to this directory. Any ideas?

  29. Lisa March 25, 2009 / 3:03 pm

    It doesn’t seem to work for me. I set the location to a mapped network drive but the file there does not get updated so firefox seems to be storing new bookmarks somewhere else where I cannot find them (though they do get saved). Any ideas where they might be?

  30. Ahmad Rumman April 29, 2009 / 9:01 am

    if went to move bookmarks from Firefox to internet explorer:
    1- in bookmarks tap choose organize bookmark and then choose export them to the desktop.
    2- go to the internet explorer in file tap click on import and export and lead the direction to the bookmark you saved previously in desktop
    3-now bookmarks available in internet explorer and. (every body know were favorites saved in internet explorer).

  31. Sang August 25, 2009 / 8:37 pm

    Do you know how to customize the location of bookmark for firefox3.5?

    I am still using 2.0 until I know how to change the location of bookmarks.

    You explained very nice on the top of this page for 2.0. How about for 3.5.

    Many thanks for help

  32. pmorton November 22, 2009 / 7:11 pm

    Firefox 3.5, now uses sqlite, so forget bookmarks.html. The relevant file in the profile folder and is called places.sqlite. Use sqlite3 and sqlite-manager (the app or the firefox extension) to open it if you want to look inside.

    To move it elsewhere, onto a remote host for instance, use the mv command, then create a symbolic link in the profile folder pointing to the physical file.

    Eg while in /home//.mozilla/firefox/.default/ do:

    mv places.sqlite /mnt/server/my_mozilla_store/
    ln -s /mnt/server/my_mozilla_store/places.sqlite places.sqlite

    Firefox will follow the link to the new location.

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