Importing and Exporting Bookmarks/Favorites in Internet Explorer/Firefox

Ever wondered how to make a backup of your bookmarks in Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3? Saving all your favorite bookmarked website links can be an important part of the computer backup process. Or maybe you would like to export your priceless list of bookmarks from one of these browsers to the other?

Here’s how to import and export your bookmarks/favorites quickly and painlessly.

Subjects covered in this tutorial:

  1. Exporting Bookmarks from Firefox
  2. Importing Bookmarks into Firefox
  3. Exporting Internet Explorer Favorites
  4. Import Firefox Bookmarks into Internet Explorer Favorites
  5. Import saved Favorites back into Internet Explorer

I’ll start by exporting bookmarks from Firefox, then I’ll show you how to import bookmarks, including Internet Explorer bookmarks, into Firefox. Once I’ve done that, I’ll open Internet Explorer, and repeat the process in reverse.

Exporting Bookmarks from Firefox

mozilla firefox

Open Firefox, and on the Menu bar, select the Bookmarks tab. You’ll get a drop down menu – select Organise Bookmarks.

firefox - export bookmarks

Now you’ll get a new window called Library. Select the Export HTML option.

Export bookmarks - Firefox

For this tutorial, I’m choosing to export to a folder called Tutorials, which I have placed on my Desktop. I’d suggest somewhere a little safer, though, as its a good thing to keep this file in case of emergency!! I have a folder in My Computer called Backups for important little goodies such as these, as nothing will ever get ‘accidentally’ deleted from there, but its still easily accessible.

Just click Save and you’re done! You have saved your bookmarks in HTML form. This file will include all folders and subfolders in your bookmarks.

I still have Firefox open, so I’ll move on to importing bookmarks in Firefox. This is what you’ll need to do if you have just installed Firefox, or you have had issues with it and uninstalled and reinstalled it.

Firefox bookmark library

Importing Bookmarks into Firefox

I’ve already demonstrated above how to get to the Library page, so I’ll just skip straight to here. This time, I’ll select Import HTML.

Firefox import wizard

Now we can see options, and whoa… Internet Explorer is listed! If you want to import your Internet Explorer Bookmarks into Firefox, you’ve just discovered how to do it ! All you need to do is select Internet Explorer instead of the HTML file option, click next, and Firefox will find and add your Internet Explorer bookmarks automatically. It happens in a second or two with no fanfare – it just says its successfully imported your bookmarks, and if you open bookmarks now on your Firefox Menu, you’ll see that they are already there.If you want to restore your old Firefox bookmarks though, you can use the HTML file we just made. Select the HTML option and click next.

Import bookmarks file

Navigate to your HTML file, click open, and you’re done! Firefox won’t send up any fireworks, it will just add it and close the browse window, but if you now look in your bookmarks, they will all be there, good as new!

Exporting Internet Explorer Favorites

Exporting Internet Explorer Favorites

Open Internet Explorer, and click on the File option on the Menu bar. Select Import and Export from the drop down menu.

IE7 import/Export settings

You’ll be asked how you want to import or export your settings. Since I’ll be exporting first, I’ll select Export to a file, and click next.

Exporting Internet Explorer Favorites

Now you’ll be asked what you want to export. This is a bookmark tutorial, and Favorites are bookmarks, so I’ll select Favorites, and click next.

Import IE7 favorites to Firefox

I need to choose which folder I want to export my Favorites from. All of my important bookmarks are in the Bookmarks Menu, as I don’t use the Favorites bar, and I have no interest in the Microsoft website bookmarks. If you have more than one folder you want to back up , you are going to have to repeat this whole process for each of those folders (being sure to use a different name for the file each time, or you’ll overwrite the previous one!). I’m just going for the Bookmarks Menu folder here….

save bookmark file

Where to save it? Once again, I’ll use the tutorial folder I have on the desktop. Once again, I’ll suggest a different place would be a safer option. After browsing to my tutorial folder, I click save.


Now I’m asked to confirm my selection. I’ll do that by clicking export. After clicking on export, I’ll get one more window (no screenshot here, as I don’t think its necessary), which simply says I have succeeded in exported my bookmarks, and I’ll click Finish. That’s it ! I’ve now exported my Internet Explorer bookmarks to the folder Tutorials, named as bookmarks.htm

Import Firefox Bookmarks into Internet Explorer Favorites

Import Firefox Bookmarks into Internet Explorer

Now I’ll import Firefox bookmarks into Internet Explorer. This is very simple. Open Internet Explorer and select File>Import and export

Import from another browser

This time, I’ll choose Import from another browser.

Import Export bookmarks favorites

Firefox is an option, so I’ll select it. I’ll click on Import, and I’ll get another window confirming my success (no screenshot supplied). My Firefox bookmarks are now in Internet Explorer Favorites!

Now all I have left to demonstrate here is how to import the Favorites file I exported from Internet Explorer earlier.

Import saved Favorites back into Internet Explorer

Import Firefox Bookmarks into Internet Explorer

Using the same File> Import and Export path I took before..

I’ll choose Import from a file.

I only exported Favorites, so that’s what I will import.

I’ll now get a browse window, and I will navigate to my tutorial folder where I saved the exported Internet Explorer Favorites earlier.

Again, I’ll get a confirmation dialog..

Import Firefox Bookmarks into Internet Explorer favorites

I’ll just highlight Favorites as a destination folder, and click Import. The next window once again will be a window which tells me I have succeeded( no screenshot supplied). My saved Favorites are now in Internet Explorer!

I hope you’ve found this tutorial clear and easy to understand. If you have more questions, feel free to visit our FORUM and we’ll be happy to help.


  1. Carol says

    If you export from say IE to Firefox, do the bookmarks actually MOVE or is it a COPY that moves? I am not really clear on that aspect of importing and exporting. And complicated by the fact that I have to go between computers, each using a different version of Windows. But I have instructions for doing that. I am not shutting down my older one though. Just really want to “share” so I don’t have to keep sending myself links in email Thanks!


  2. Eugene Glen says

    I have Windows 7. I also have Vista Home Premium. I back up my computer every Sunday night to a Verbatim external hard drive. When I try to check if my favorites are backed up it shows this folder is empty. I can’t seem to find out if my favorites are backed up . Can you help me? Thank You.

    • says

      Hi Eugene
      Do the other folders look right Are the files in them? What about you export your IE favorites manually to see if the files works that way first…
      You can do this by pressing on the star..clicking the drop down arrow nest to favourites and then choosing import/ exprt…

      After doing that I would check the backup settings to see if you have missed this option?

  3. L Weldon says

    I tried the process outlined above for Explorer. I saved the bookmark.htm file to my desktop, then imported it. I get the message “Some settings were not imported successfully.” And no Favorites.

    I’m in IE 8 on Windows 7 Enterprise. My favorites started disappearing last week when I’d click on them, then I wasn’t allowed to add them back (I’d get an “unspecified error has occurred” message. I’ve followed several processes outlined on various sites (checking the location tab – I don’t have one) and clicking on a certain key under regedit (Also don’t have that). I’m at a loss and my IT guys don’t seem to know what to do either.

  4. Scott says

    Thanks for the effort but this article takes for granted that you have both Firefox & IE installed on the one computer, I do not. I have IE on my laptop and I have sent my backed up bookmarks via email from my Desktop, in this situation IE does not recognize the Firefox file (probably because Firefox is not on the laptop) and it will not allow me to “import from another browser”

  5. Linda Kay says

    Dear Tips4PC…

    I want to backup the bookmarks on my laptop and also want to save the data files on my desk top. Both are old. Desktop is a ME edition (2000) and the laptop is an IBM ThinkPad that I purchased from my previous employer and it is probably 10 years old as well. Where and what product is the best place to save this information (flash drive or external hard drive)? Plus I do not know how to do this backup on each computer. I am just a grandma who is not very technical and don’t have the extra money to pay a computer guy to assist me. Please share your experience as to what and where is the best way to safe this information when you have a moment. Many many thanks!!! Linda Kay

    • says

      Hi Linda
      When you say you want to backup your bookmarks does this mean you are using Firefox or are you using internet explorer?
      Also let me know if you have email contacts to save and what program you are using for this…and what type of data…photos, word docs, … Let me know..
      If it is not too much stuff then I suggest a usb flash drive.