Computer Q: All my bookmarks disappeared!

seekingadviceJuly 31, 2006

I don't have them backed up and it appears I lost LOTS of carefully saved websites/pages. I don't even know how. I have dialup and when I signed on this morning, they had just vanished. Restarting didn't help. Saving a new website did not bring the old ones back. When I switched screen names to check dh's account, his was fine. I did get bumped offline last night, but that happens fairly often and I just shut down the computer and went to bed.

I contacted AOL Help, but their fix did not work (changing the settings on Art files or something and then changing it back).

Is there some way I can recover the lost bookmarks?

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I had the same problem happening on almost a daily basis...... just before my laptop crashed last spring. What I was doing was a system restore-- I'd restore it to a date just a few days before the first time it happened.

Only learn from my mistake-- do it this once, and back up your files, and then get it in to be looked at, rather than waiting till they CAN'T be accessed!!

The only way I was able to get most of my links back was by going to the links page on my website, and then it was only the tile links I was able to save!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 5:52PM
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Ouch! On my iMac with Tiger OS X, I also lost all of my bookmarks but I found each of them using the "Spotlight" internal search engine on the computer. All I needed was a keyword from the bookmark name. Does your computer have some sort of internal/self-search function? Those bookmarks are too precious to lose. I'm so sorry and I hope you recover them quickly.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 6:51PM
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Are you using firefox or explorer? There's typically a bookmark file you can go look at to see if it's actually been wiped. If it's still there then you can just import it. Also, with firefox it can sometimes get confused and switch profiles, but the bookmark for your correct profile should still be out there.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Thanks to all! So far, no luck.

Bill, I tried the system restore but it didn't bring back my bookmarks :( I hope my computer isn't about to crash!

cupofkindness, I don't know whether or not I have an internal/self search function. Any clue as to where I would look to find it? I don't see anything but system restore in my system tools.

chiefneil, I use aol which utilizes IE but is different. I'm not sure how that all works. If I go directly to IE, I have a different set of favorites than what I have under my aol settings.

I appreciate all of the suggestions. I am still hoping I can recover the MANY MANY sites I lost. Ugh! Kicking myself in the fanny for not figuring out sooner how to save them all. A good deal of them came from this forum.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 7:13PM
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It's been quite a while since I used IE, but I did a little poking around on my computer and it looks like the IE bookmarks are stored in a folder called "Favorites" under the C:\Documents and Settings directory structure.

Try searching your hard drive for files and folders with the string "favorites" in the name, and see what comes up. If you weren't using AOL I could tell you exactly where to look, but I'm not an AOL user so you'll have to do a little detective work on your own to see if you can find the missing bookmarks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 9:44PM
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As above, there should be a file in "C:\Documents and Settings\"your name"\Favorites that has all your bookmarked sites. Has it somehow moved? Do a search for "Favorites" on your harddrive and see what comes up.

You can also go to "Organize Favorites" in the Favorites link at the top of IE and see what happens. If IE can't find your favorites in their "usual" location, it will do a search.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:33PM
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I did all of the above. While a couple of old sites came up in a search, most of them were still missing. The trouble is that AOL uses IE but also has its own system, which is different. I am able to pull up the IE favorites but not the AOL favorites (which is most of my bookmarked sites).

Then I read through all of the tutorials in the AOL Help section that pertain to Favorites. It says that they now use a system that does not save your favorites on your computer. Here is the exact language:

Determine if 'Only Store my Favorite Places on my Computer' Is Checked. If it is not checked, it means your Favorite Places are saved online. AOL appreciates your patience during times when popular features may temporarily be unavailable. The AOL® System is sometimes very busy and may experience temporary issues that can lead to delays or slow response.

Note: With AOL® 8.0 and higher versions, your Favorite Places are now stored on AOL® servers rather than on your computer. This allows you to access your Favorite Places from any location or computer that you use. For example, if you sign on as a guest on another computer, you will automatically have access to your Favorite Places. Or, if you buy a new computer, you won't have to worry about how to transfer your Favorite Places.

I still can't find my Favorites :( I will have to contact AOL again and see if they're stored somewhere in their cybervault.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 6:55PM
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