Bookmarks are getting pretty outdated in modern day browsing as more and more cloud services take over the functionality of keeping track of the pages, page content and the URLs that you want to visit later. The cloud services and sync functionalities in the browser give you several good features such as keeping the bookmarks in sync and the ability to access them from different devices.
In spite of these advantages, the local bookmarks are still the easiest and fastest way to save URLs that you want to access later. One of the underrated uses of local bookmarks is that it aids the browser in auto-completion of the URLs in the location bar as you type.
Many a times, you would want to have your bookmarks backed up or saved. There may be several reasons you might want to do this: If you are re-installing the Mozilla Firefox for any reason or want to start from a brand new profile, then you might want to save your bookmarks so that it can be imported later. It can also work as a way to transfer bookmarks between machines, even though using sync functionality in Firefox might be a better option.
You can either Save your bookmarks or Export them. Even though both effectively does the same function, there are some differences between the two processes.
In order to export your bookmarks, follow the steps below in your Firefox instance
- At the top of your Firefox window, locate the menu item Bookmarks in your menu.
- Click on the sub-menu Show All Bookmarks. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctl+Shift+O
- In the pop-up Library window, select the All Bookmarks in the left side tree. You may also select any of the other children in the tree instead, if required.
- On the top of this window, locate the button which says Import and Backup your Bookmarks
- Click on the button to display the options
- Select or Click on the option to Export Bookmarks to HTML
- In the file selection window that pops up, Choose a folder and file name that you want to save this as. (bookmarks.html is the default)
- Click Save
- Close the Library Window
- Your bookmarks have now been exported in HTML format to the specified folder.
In order to create a backup of the bookmarks, follow the same steps as detailed above. In the step 6, instead of selecting the option to export, choose the Backup option. This will save the bookmarks in the JSON format to the file you specify.
Backup Vs Export
Even though the process of backup and export are pretty similar, there are some difference between the two.
- The Backup process saves the bookmarks in JSON format while the Export saves them in HTML format. Which of them you need will depend on your requirements.
- The JSON format and the backup make it harder to merge two different bookmark files. Select the backup option if you want the copy from the source to completely replace the bookmarks at the destination.
- Choose the backup option if you intend the file to be a true backup. Something that you archive so that you can replace it if the original is corrupted.
- Export option is the best if you intend to import them into another instance. Choose the Export option, if you want the contents of the file to be merged with what exists in the target instance.
- Choose the Export Bookmark option if you want to import multiple bookmark files into the same instance or if you want to merge them. A word of caution while you import multiple HTML bookmark files though: If the same bookmark exists in multiple files, then it will produce duplicates when imported which you will need to clean up manually later.
The above are just some examples, But it should give you an idea as to what your best option is for your requirements.