How to Backup Firefox Bookmarks (& Restore Them) in 2021

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2020-07-06T13:17:09+00:00

Backing up your bookmarks is a crucial feature of most web browsers, and Firefox is no exception. Whether you’re switching to a new browser, setting up Firefox on a new device or simply keeping your list of favorite websites safe, knowing how to backup and restore Firefox bookmarks is incredibly useful.

Luckily, Firefox provides a bunch of different ways to do this, from backing up in a Firefox-specific JSON file to importing and exporting in an HTML format that’s readable by all web browsers. If you’re not already using the browser, be sure to read our Firefox review to find out if it’s the right fit for you.

If you use Chrome (read our Google Chrome review) or Opera (read our Opera review), then you can also check out our Opera vs. Firefox and Firefox vs. Chrome battles to see how Firefox compares to your current browser.

How to Backup Firefox Bookmarks

If all you’re looking to do is create a backup of your Firefox bookmarks so that they’re safe in the event of a device crash, then you can create a JSON archive that you can easily import back into Firefox at a later date.

Bear in mind that if you’ve registered for a Firefox account, then the browser automatically syncs your bookmarks so that they can be imported automatically on a new device or with a fresh install. However, this guide will focus on how to manually perform this task.

Firefox-Library

Start by launching the browser and press Ctrl+Shift+B. This will bring up the bookmark section of the library, where you can select “import & backup” in the top toolbar. Then proceed to choose where you want to save the JSON file, and that’s it.

Firefox-Backup-Dialog

Note that this isn’t necessarily enough to protect your bookmarks, as all you’ve done is create a local file to house them, which is just as vulnerable to crashes or data loss as the Firefox files themselves. In order to ensure that you’re properly protected, you’ll need to save the JSON file to some sort of cloud storage or online backup.

JSON-Archive

If you don’t already have a cloud storage service or online backup solution, you should look into getting one as soon as you can. It will allow you to securely backup not only your Firefox bookmarks, but also any other files you may need to recover in the event of a crash.

If you don’t need to backup your whole system, use our chart to compare online storage services or skip straight to our Sync.com review, which is our top pick.

On the other hand, if you’d like something that automatically backs up your entire system to the cloud, what you want is an online backup service. You can read our IDrive review, which is our favorite provider, or check out the full list of the best cloud backup services to get a full picture of the field.

How to Backup Firefox Bookmarks

  1. Launch Firefox
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+B
  3. Click on “import & backup” in the toolbar
  4. Select “backup bookmarks”
  5. Choose the save location for the JSON file

Exporting Firefox Bookmarks

Although backing up your bookmarks by following the above steps will allow you to restore Firefox in the future, it won’t be much help if you want to export Firefox bookmarks to an entirely separate web browser. However, if you export bookmarks from Firefox, then you can import bookmarks from Firefox to Chrome or any other browser.

HTML-Archive

For that, you’ll need to export your bookmarks as an HTML file. The process is almost identical to performing a backup, as you start by launching Firefox and pressing Ctrl+Shift+B, followed by clicking on “import & backup” in the top toolbar. Then you need to select “export bookmarks to HTML” before choosing the save location of the file.

Firefox-Export-Dialogue

Once again, make sure to properly secure this file by saving it to the cloud (for example, with OneDrive or Dropbox) or running your backup service once you’ve completed the export.

How to Export Firefox Bookmarks

  1. Launch Firefox
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+B
  3. Click on “import & backup” in the toolbar
  4. Select “export bookmarks to HTML”
  5. Choose the save location for the HTML file

How to Restore Firefox Bookmarks

Once you’ve backed up your Firefox bookmarks as a JSON file, you can use this to easily restore your Firefox bookmarks, whether it’s because you want to reinstall Firefox or set up the browser on a new device. 

As with backing up, this is something Firefox does automatically if you’ve signed into your account, but the following instructions will give you the ability to do so manually.

Firefox-Sync

Just like the earlier instructions, the steps are simple. All you need to do is launch Firefox and press Ctrl+Shift+B to bring up the bookmark library. From here, click on “import & backup” and select “restore.”

Firefox-Restore-Dropdown

You can now either choose a backup from the list generated automatically by Firefox or click on “choose file…” to manually select one. This will bring up a file dialogue where you can select the JSON file you created when backing up and, voila, all your bookmarks will now have been restored to Firefox.

Firefox-Restore-File-Dialogue

How to Restore Firefox Bookmarks

  1. Launch Firefox
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+B
  3. Click on “import & backup” in the toolbar
  4. Select “restore”
  5. Either choose a backup from the list or click “Choose file…” and select the specific backup file you want to restore from

Import Your Firefox Bookmarks

Unlike the restore option, importing lets you get all your bookmarks from any source, as long as they’ve been exported into an HTML file beforehand. This allows you to, for example, restore Chrome bookmarks to Firefox if you’re switching from one browser to another.

To import Firefox bookmarks, all you need to do is once again launch the browser, press Ctrl+Shift+B and select “import & backup” in the toolbar. Now click “import bookmarks from HTML” and select the relevant HTML file in the dialogue you’re presented with.

How to Import Bookmarks to Firefox From an HTML Archive.

  1. Launch Firefox
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+B
  3. Click on “import & backup” in the toolbar
  4. Select “import bookmarks from HTML”
  5. Choose the HTML file you want to import from

Final Thoughts

There you have it, everything you need to know about backing up, restoring, importing and exporting your Firefox bookmarks. Armed with this knowledge, you can make sure you never lose access to your list of bookmarks, and you can also set up new browsers or devices with a few simple clicks.

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What do you think of our guide on how to backup and restore Firefox bookmarks? Have you gained an understanding on how to do so, or is there still part of the process that you remain unclear on? Let us know in the comments below. As always, thank you for reading.