Greg Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988



Backing Up Web Site Favorites and Bookmarks
Greg Gore


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Both the Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Netscape browsers allow users to easily save, organize and edit links to web sites that are frequently visited or are important for occasional reference use. Microsoft refers to these links as “Favorites ” and stores them in a folder, while Netscape uses the term “Bookmarks,” and stores them in a single html file. Because these folders and files are not stored in locations that are commonly used for data, such as the “My Documents” folder, they are easy to overlook when making backup files of important data.

One easy way to remember to make backups of these folders and files is to make backing up a routine procedure before you exit Internet Explorer or Netscape. Making backups is a simple procedure in both programs.

In Internet Explorer 6, click the “Import and Export” option under the “File” menu. The “Import/Export Wizard” will open. Click “Next” and choose “Export Favorites.” Click “Next” and select “Export Favorites Source Folder.” Click “Next” and you will have the option to “Export to an Application.” If you have the Netscape browser installed on your system, you will be asked if you want to save it to your “Bookmarks” file.

If you do save your “Favorites” folder to your “Bookmarks” file, it will be saved as an addendum to your “Bookmarks” file. You will then be able to access your Internet Explorer “Favorites” web links along with your “Bookmarks” in your Netscape browser.

Since we want to make a backup copy of the “Favorites” folder, click the second option, “Export to a File or Address,” to send the file to the name and location you enter. The folder contents will be saved as an html file. For example, to save the “Favorites” folder to a file named “favorbu.htm” on a floppy disk in the “a” drive, you would enter “a:\favorbu.htm.” Follow the wizard to finish the procedure.

The “Favorites” folder is now a single html file. If you open the “favorbu.htm” file, you will see a single web page with the hyperlinks to your favorite web sites.

When you need the backup copy, restore the file to Internet Explorer using the “Import /Export Wizard.” Essentially, you are just reversing the procedure you used to export the file. That is, start the “Import/Export Wizard” by clicking the “Import and Export” option under the “File” menu. This time, follow the instructions for importing to import the “a:\favorbu.htm” file from the “a” drive.

Again, be aware that the restored backup copy is a single html file whereas the original “Favorites” was a folder containing sub-folders and individual files. The default location of the “Favorites” folder is “C:\Windows\Favorites.” As an optional backup procedure, you could use Windows Explorer to copy the entire “Favorites” folder to a floppy disk or other location.

Because Netscape uses a file instead of a folder for your “Bookmarks,” the procedure for making a backup file is slightly different. Using Netscape 6, select “Bookmarks” and then choose “Manage Bookmarks.” Next use the “File” menu and then choose “Save As.” Next, specify the name and location for the saved file, for example, “a:\bkmarkbu.htm.”

To restore the file, first rename the file, “bookmark.htm” using Windows Explorer. Next open Netscape 6 and choose “Manage Bookmarks.” Then, choose “Import” from the “File” menu. Select the location of the backup file and click to open the file. Essentially, that is all there is to it.

You can also restore the file using Windows Explorer for the entire procedure. Copy the file from the “a” drive to the correct user folder found at “C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users.” For example, I named my Netscape profile “gvg,” so the full path for me would be “C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\gvg.” Remember to be sure to rename the file “bookmark.htm.” To use your Netscape Bookmarks in Internet Explorer, use the “Import” function in Internet Explorer and import the “bookmark.htm” file.

With each upgrade of Internet Explorer and Netscape, the process of managing and backing up “Favorites” and “Bookmarks” has become easier. If you are not using newer versions of these browsers, you should consider upgrading. One good source of information and reviews on the browsers is available on the CNET download site at From this site you can also download the free browser upgrades.


The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (

This column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on May 22, 2002. Greg Gore can be reached at

© 2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.