Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Internet Explorer Favorites Are Missing

Bookmarks (called “Favorites” in Internet Explorer) make returning to our favorite Websites an easy task, and I — for one — rely on mine. The other day I got a call from someone whose Favorites had disappeared. Quite naturally, I think, they wanted to get them back, and came to me for aid.

An important thing to understand is that Favorites and Bookmarks are shortcuts.. just like the icons on your Desktop are shortcuts to programs (.exe’s) located in your c:\Program Files folder. Your “Favorites” are simply a list of shortcuts to URL’s, and when you click on the gold star Favorites icon, this list is displayed. You can (and should) “export” this list to other browsers, a comma-separated-values (.csv) file, or a HTML file.. And you can add and delete items from this list as your heart desires.
[note: Firefox answer is here: Restore Bookmarks in Firefox– quick tip]

Tip of the day: IE is a integral component to Windows, and Windows stores your custom configurations in your User Account– your Desktop icons, Theme, Settings, etc.. Windows allows for multiple users, and each person who uses the machine should have their own user account– it also has some built-in accounts, like Administrator, and Guest (or “Public”).

If your Favorites list is empty, and not displaying any shortcuts, the first thing you should check is that you’re logged into your User Account. Click the Start button, and then choose “Log off” (or “Switch User”, depending) and verify that you are indeed logged into your user profile (and not Guest or Admin..).

If this is not the issue, navigate to the folder that contains the shortcuts list– this is called “Favorites”, and it’s located in your User folder. In XP, your User folder is in the Documents and Setting folder, so your path is C:\Documents and Settings\username*\Favorites.
In Vista and Windows 7, it’s C:\Users\username\Favorites.

Open the Favorites folder and see if your bookmarks are there. If they’re not, well, something’s happened to them somehow, and this might very well be a cause for concern (has a hacker been playing on your machine?) or it might be just ‘one of those things..’ we Windows users sometimes experience.
To restore the shortcuts, you can “import” a .csv, or .html ‘export’ you made earlier (hint, hint).. or copy the contents from a backup copy of your Favorites folder (which, because you follow my advice, you have on CD/DVD and/or another drive).

Or, you have never exported and haven’t backed up your files and folders.. (ahem), well, here is where you can try System Restore to revert your computer to an earlier date. System Restore does not restore deleted files, but it does store User Account information, and so you may have luck this way.
My article on using System Restore is here.

Today’s free download: PowerISO is a powerful CD/DVD image file processing tool, which allows you to open, extract, create, edit, burn, compress, encrypt, split and convert ISO files, and mount these files with internal virtual drive. It can process almost all CD-ROM image files including ISO and BIN.

Today’s quote:People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Let’s review: If your “favorites” list is important to you, back it up. “Export” it to a file. Like, now. (Maybe.. email the file to yourself, too.) The How To steps are here.

Note: You may have noticed from the dates on the screenshot that this article was first published back in 2008. Back then, I used to urge people to “make a backup” at least once a month. Years ago, I gave up .. “wasting my breath”. But, since it is NCSAM, I’ll say it one more time (though the evidence is in and it’s conclusive: not one person will get smart, and follow through. Oh, well. Your loss, tears, and heartache.)

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

October 27, 2012 - Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet | , , , ,

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