Most of our browser data isn’t too important – cookies expire and histories are cleared. However, bookmarks are different, which is why browsers allow you to import and export your bookmarks – ideal for creating backups and migrating between browsers.
All browsers can export your bookmarks to an HTML file. All browsers can also import these HTML files, so you can use this trick to move browsers between Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and any other browser.
Click the Chrome menu icon at the top-right corner of your browser window, point to Bookmarks, and select Bookmark manager. (You can also quickly open the Bookmark manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+O.)
Click the Organize menu and select Export bookmarks to HTML file. (To import your bookmarks later, select the Import bookmarks from HTML file option.)
Chrome will give the HTML file a name containing the current date.
Click the Firefox menu, point to Bookmarks, and select Show All Bookmarks. (You can also press Ctrl+Shift+B to quickly open the bookmarks library window.)
Click the Import and Backup menu and select Export Bookmarks to HTML. (The Backup option will create a .json file, which other browsers can’t open.) Use the Import Bookmarks from HTML option here to import bookmarks in the future.
Firefox will give the backup file a name of “bookmarks.html” by default. You may want to change the file name and add more information, such as the date.
Click the star-shaped favorites icon, click the little arrow to the right of Add to favorites, and select Import and Export.
Select the Export to a file option and click Next.
Check the Favorites checkbox and click Next.
Select the favorites you want to export – to export all your favorites, select the favorites folder at the top. (It’s selected by default.)
Provide a name for the file. It’s named bookmark.htm by default, but you may want to name it something like bookmarks_date.html. Click Export and IE will create a backup file.
Click the Opera menu, point to Bookmarks, and select Manage Bookmarks. (You can also press Ctrl+Shit+B instead.)
Click the File menu and select Export as HTML. (The Export Opera Bookmarks option exports the bookmarks as a .adr file, which other browsers can’t open.)
Enter a name such as bookmarks_date.html, replacing date with the current date.
Store the file some place safe if you are using it as a backup. While browsers have cloud-syncing solutions that synchronize your favorites between a computers, most browsers don’t have a “roll back” option. If you accidentally delete bookmarks on one computer or the sync service makes a mistake, you could lose your bookmarks. A backup HTML file will allow you to get them back.
Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.
- Published 02/4/13