How to Export and Import Chrome Bookmarks

obrBy Fergus O'Sullivan — Last Updated: 03 Aug'17 2015-07-06T12:49:37+00:00

Pretty much everyone uses bookmarks in their browser: they speed up navigation and keep you from having to scroll through your entire recent history every time you want to visit a certain site. Chrome, Google’s browser, does a particularly good job of bookmark management and it’s one of its many great features.

However, there is one problem with relying on bookmarks: when you start using a new browser, they don’t carry over. Your Google profile will, under certain circumstances, save your bookmarks, but this only works in Chrome. This means that when you switch to a new laptop or mobile device with a non-Chrome browser, your first few days of using it will be filled with annoyance as you have to save your bookmarks all over again.

Thankfully, Google Chrome allows you to export your bookmarks in a separate file. This handy little feature will not only allow you to export them to your new browser, you can also take it and put it in with all your other backed up files (you do have a backup plan, right?). As it is a bog-standard .html file, none of our best online backup providers will have any problem with it. This means that, no matter what happens, your browsing habits won’t have to suffer.

Before we get started, however, do note that we’re just talking about backing up bookmarks here, we have another article on how to backup Google Chrome entirely. We’ll also talk a little about exporting the bookmarks file to other browsers in case you feel like making a change.

Export Chrome Bookmarks

Exporting Chrome bookmarks is a process of just a few steps, each easier than the last. Let’s start by going to the “bookmarks manager,” you can access it through the menu, as shown below, or by using the hotkey Ctrl+Shift+O (that’s “O” as in “Oliver”).

The menu is in the top right, go to “bookmarks,” then select “bookmark manager.”

The bookmark manager will open up in a new tab and looks like this:

You’ll notice that I just did a fresh install of Chrome to make the screenshots for this tutorial, don’t worry, though, this way of doing things guarantees that all your bookmarks, regardless of the folder you placed them in, will be exported.

Your next step is to click on the word “organize,” just over your actual bookmarks. A menu will pop up. 

This menu will let you do all sorts of things, including adding new bookmarks as well as creating folders, but we want the option all the way at the bottom, “export bookmarks to HTML file.” Click that, and you’ll be taken to a file explorer where you can choose the location it will be downloaded to. You can also rename the file (which I recommend), though make sure you don’t accidentally change the file type, it has to be a .html for any of this to work right.

The file is then saved to your hard drive — in my case it’s tiny so it was there in less than a second — and that’s really all there is to it. If you move the file over to the folder you’re using for your backups or synced files, it should be included automatically the next time whichever of our best cloud storage or online backup solutions you’re using does its thing.

There you have it, easy-peasy. This process works more or less the same on all browsers, it’s just a question of finding where your bookmarks are stored. Let’s now take a quick look at how you import these files into your new browser.

Importing Bookmarks

In Chrome, importing bookmarks is pretty much the same process, except that in the bookmarks manager’s “organize” menu you choose “import bookmarks to HTML file” rather than “export.”

You’ll then be taken to a file explorer where you can search for your .html. Other browsers again work much the same way: in Vivaldi — my browser of choice as I’m not a huge fan of Chrome’s habit of tracking my every single move — the easiest way to do so is by going to your speed dial (the start screen, so to speak) and click on the “bookmarks” tab at the top of the page.

This will take you to the bookmarks manager, where all you need to do is click on “import” and a dialog box will pop up where you can select the browser you’re importing from (if it detects it on your system you won’t even need the .html file, as Vivaldi can import them automatically) and the location you keep the file. 

If you’re also not much into being tracked, but not a fan of Vivaldi’s interface, another great option is Mozilla Firefox. This tried-and-true browser does things pretty much the same way as Chrome does: you access the bookmarks manager with the same hotkey (Ctrl+Shift+O) and then just click on the “import and backup” button. 

What makes Firefox so handy in this particular case that it also lets you do a full backup of the browser from this screen, not just the bookmarks. It’s one of the few browsers that lets you do this and is incredibly useful right before you do a full wipe of your system or just in case something permanent happens to your computer. If it’s just bookmarks you’re after, though, just either click on “export” or “import” and you’re done. 

Conclusion

There you have it: the quickest and easiest way to export and then import your bookmarks to and from Chrome. If you’re a user of Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer and you’re wondering why we haven’t included either of them in this guide, do yourself a favor and download any of the three browsers above to find out.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful and that it helps you export Chrome bookmarks. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Thank you for reading and make sure to check out our guide on 99 free privacy tools to make your browsing experience as safe as possible.

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