How to Synchronize Your Internet Explorer Favorites

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Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera – they all offer bookmark synchronization. Internet Explorer users don’t have to be left out. There are several ways to sync your favorites, including an integrated method on Windows 8.

If you’re using Windows 7 or below, try placing your bookmarks folder in a cloud-storage folder or using Xmarks. Windows Live Mesh users should switch to another solution as soon as possible – Live Mesh is being shut down soon.

Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8

If you’re using Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8, you’ll be happy to know that Internet Explorer now offers integrated favorites synchronization. This is enabled by default as long as you’re logging into Windows 8 with a Microsoft account.

To check this setting, use the PC settings app – press Windows Key+C, click Settings, and click Change PC settings to open it.

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Select Sync your settings in the sidebar and ensure that the Browser slider is set to On.

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Use SkyDrive, Dropbox, or Another Cloud Storage Service

If you’re not yet using Windows 8, you can use a trick to sync your browser’s settings with SkyDrive, Dropbox, or any other cloud storage client you have installed.

This trick relies on the fact that Internet Explorer stores your favorites in a folder. First, locate your Favorites folder – you’ll find it under C:\Users\NAME on your computer, where NAME is your Windows user account’s name.

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Right-click the Favorites folder and select Properties. On the Location tab, click the Move button to move your Favorites folder elsewhere.

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Select the cloud storage folder where you want to store your favorites. For example, if you want to synchronize them with SkyDrive, select the C:\Users\NAME\SkyDrive\Favorites folder.

Remember to create a subfolder in your cloud-storage folder or your favorites will spill out into your main SkyDrive folder, making it a cluttered mess.

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Repeat this process on each computer you use to ensure that they’re all looking at the same SkyDrive (or Dropbox) folder. Your bookmarks will automatically sync between your computers.

Windows Live Mesh 2011

Windows Live Mesh once offered built-in, easy-to-use favorites synchronization. Unfortunately, Microsoft has now announced plans to shut down Windows Live Mesh on February 13, 2013.

If you still use Windows Live Mesh to synchronize favorites, files, and Microsoft Office settings, you should migrate to another solution as soon as possible.

Xmarks

Xmarks is a cross-browser synchronization tool that supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Install Xmarks and you’ll be able to synchronize your bookmarks between the IE browsers on all your computers – you can even sync them with any other browsers you use. Xmarks is free on the desktop, but the mobile app requires the paid, premium version of Xmarks.

Xmarks is a more integrated, easier-to-use solution that Internet Explorer users on Windows 7 and older versions of Windows will appreciate.

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Are you an IE user? How do you sync your favorite websites between your computers and back them up online? Leave a comment and share any tips you have.

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+.