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backing_up_browser_data

Backing Up Browser Data

Browser data can be just as important as your files. However, it does not live in your Documents folder so backing it up might not be straightforward at times. Often times each browser has its own way of storing and exporting its data. Most browsers have two ways to export data, depending on your needs you can decide what method to use.

Google Chrome

From Google Chrome you can either export only your bookmarks, or back up your entire profile. Exporting your entire profile is more complicated, but will also allow you to back up your extensions, preferences, history, and passwords.

The easiest and safest way to back up your Chrome data is to sign in to Chrome.

Sign In to Chrome

When you sign in to Chrome, your browser settings are synchronized to your Google Account so that they can be accessed from any device you own.

Follow these steps to sign in:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Chrome menu Chrome Menu on the browser toolbar.
  3. Select Sign in to Chrome.
  4. Sign in to your Google Account in the dialog that appears.
    1. You may use your LSHS email account, or a personal Google Account.
  5. In the “Confirm sync settings” dialog that appears, choose what you want to sync.
    • Sync everything: Click the “OK, sync everything” button.
    • Choose specific items to sync: Click “Advanced” and select “Choose what to sync” from the drop down menu. Select the checkboxes for the items you want to sync.
      • Apps from the Chrome Web Store
      • Autofill (except for credit card numbers)
      • Bookmarks
      • Extensions from the Chrome Web Store (except those containing plug-ins)
      • History
      • Passwords
      • Themes
      • Open tabs
      • Settings
  6. Optional: Advanced encryption settings
    • By default, your passwords are encrypted with your Google Account credentials. You may choose to encrypt all your synced data with your own sync passphrase.
    • If you change your encryption method on one computer, you might receive a sync error notification on other computers where you’re syncing your data. Enter the new sync passphrase on other computers to resolve the error.
  7. Click OK.

Exporting Chrome Bookmarks

Chrome allows you to export your bookmarks to an HTML file. This is accomplished with the following steps:

  1. In Chrome, click on the wrench icon at the top-right of the window.
  2. Go to “Bookmarks”, then click on “Bookmark Manager”.
  3. In the Bookmark Manager, click on “Organize”, then “Export Bookmarks to HTML File…”.
  4. Choose the name and location to save your bookmark backup to and hit “Save”.
  5. You have successfully backed up your bookmarks to an HTML file.

Importing Chrome Bookmarks

Chrome allows you to import your bookmarks from an HTML file you exported at a previous point in time. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In Chrome, click on the wrench icon at the top-right of the window.
  2. Go to “Bookmarks”, then click on “Bookmark Manager”.
  3. In the Bookmark Manager, click on “Organize”, then “Import Bookmarks from HTML File…”.
  4. Find and select your bookmarks file, then click “Open”.
  5. Chrome will add your bookmarks to a folder named “Imported. From here, you can use the Bookmark Manager to move your bookmarks from that folder if you like.

Backing Up a Chrome Profile

To back up your whole Chrome profile, which includes passwords, bookmarks, and other preferences, follow these steps:

  1. If Chrome is running, close it.
  2. Open an explorer window either by clicking “Computer” in the Start Menu or using the shortcut Windows Key + E.
  3. In the address part of the explorer window, type %localappdata% and hit enter.
  4. Find the “Google” folder, and then inside of it, the “Chrome” folder.
  5. Copy the “User Data” folder to another location (such as a flash drive). It is this folder that contains your Chrome profile.
  6. Once the copy is complete, you have successfully backed up your Chrome profile.

Restoring a Chrome Profile

You can restore a Chrome profile by copying the “User Data” folder you backed up to it's proper location.

  1. If Chrome is running, close it.
  2. Open an explorer window either by clicking “Computer” in the Start Menu or using the shortcut Windows Key + E.
  3. In the address part of the explorer window, type %localappdata% and hit enter.
  4. Find the “Google” folder, and then inside of it, the “Chrome” folder.
  5. Delete the existing “User Data” folder.
    1. Warning: This will delete the current Chrome profile on the machine!
  6. Copy the “User Data” folder from the backup you made to the Chrome folder you have open.
  7. Once the copy completes, you have successfully restored a Chrome profile. The next time you launch Chrome, all of your settings should be restored.

Internet Explorer

In Internet Explorer, you can back up your Favorites by backing up the “Favorites” folder in your user profile folder. When you copy your entire profile folder as instructed in Backing Up Data, you are also backing up your Internet Explorer favorites.

You cannot easily back up your entire Internet Explorer profile. This option is left as an exercise for the reader.

The safest and easiest way to back up your Internet Explorer bookmarks and settings is to use the Windows 8.1 sync capability.

Sync Internet Explorer Settings

Using Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1, you can sync Internet Explorer Open Tabs, as well as Favorites, History and Settings across all your Windows 8.1 devices using the same Microsoft account. First, you need to connect your Microsoft account to your domain account, then you can enable sync for Internet Explorer.

Connect your Microsoft Account

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    • (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Tap or click Users.
  3. Tap or click Connect your Microsoft account.
  4. Select the settings from your Microsoft account that you want to sync with your domain account, and then tap or click Next.
  5. Enter the email address you use as your Microsoft account, and then tap or click Next.
    • If you don't already have a Microsoft account, tap or click Sign up for a new email address, and then follow the instructions.
  6. Enter the password for your Microsoft account, and then tap or click Next.
  7. Add your security verification info, tap or click Next, and then tap or click Finish.

Enable Browser Sync

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    • (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  2. From the left pane, click OneDrive, then click Sync settings.
  3. Enable the Sync settings on this PC option on the right pane.
  4. Scroll down to Other Settings and enable the Web browser option.

Backing Up Internet Explorer Favorites

You can back up only your Internet Explorer favorites with the following steps:

  1. Close Internet Explorer if it is open.
  2. Open the Start Menu and click your username in the top right.
  3. Select the “Favorites” folder.
  4. Copy the Favorites folder to another location (such as a flash drive, or into your documents folder.

Restoring Internet Explorer Favorites

To restore your Internet Explorer favorites, you need to copy the Favorites folder you backed up to the Favorites folder in your user profile. This is done with these steps:

  1. Close Internet Explorer if it is open.
  2. Open the Start Menu and click your username in the top right.
  3. Copy the Favorites folder you backed up to your profile folder by pasting or dragging it into blank space.
  4. You will be asked if you want to merge the two folders, select yes.
    1. If asked to overwrite any files, go ahead and click yes.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox users can either back up their bookmarks only, or back up their entire profile. Backing up your entire profile is more complicated, but includes bookmarks, passwords, and preferences.

The easiest and safest way to back up your Firefox data is to set up Firefox Sync.

Set Up Firefox Sync

When you set up Firefox Sync on your computer, all of your data and preferences (such as your bookmarks, history, passwords, open tabs and installed add-ons) gets stored securely on the Mozilla servers. You can share all this information across all your devices and restore it to any device when needed.

  1. Click the menu button Firefox Menu Button, then click Sign in to Sync. The Firefox Sync page will open in a new tab.
  2. Click the Get Started button.
  3. Fill out the form to create an account and click Next.
  4. Check your email for the verification link and click on it to confirm your email address.

You can view the full guide on Firefox Sync at Mozilla Support.

Exporting Firefox Bookmarks

You can export your Firefox bookmarks to HTML format from the bookmark manager. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In Firefox, click the “Firefox” button at the top left of the window.
  2. Click “Bookmarks” in the menu that appears.
  3. At the top of the Library window, click “Import and Backup”, and then click “Export Bookmarks to HTML…”.
  4. Select the save file and location, then click “Save”.
  5. You have successfully backed up your Firefox bookmarks.

Importing Firefox Bookmarks

You can import your Firefox bookmarks to HTML format from the bookmark manager. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click “Bookmarks” in the menu that appears.
  2. At the top of the Library window, click “Import and Backup”, and then click “Import Bookmarks from HTML…”.
  3. Select your bookmark backup file and click “Open”.
  4. You have successfully restored your Firefox bookmarks.

Backing Up a Firefox Profile

To back up your whole Firefox profile, which includes passwords, bookmarks, and other preferences, follow these steps:

  1. If Firefox is running, close it.
  2. Open an explorer window either by clicking “Computer” in the Start Menu or using the shortcut Windows Key + E.
  3. In the address part of the explorer window, type %appdata% and hit enter.
  4. Go to the “Mozilla” folder.
  5. Copy the “Firefox” folder to your backup location. This folder contains your Firefox profile.
  6. Once the copy is complete, you've successfully backed up your Firefox profile.

Restoring a Firefox Profile

  1. If Firefox is running, close it.
  2. Open an explorer window either by clicking “Computer” in the Start Menu or using the shortcut Windows Key + E.
  3. In the address part of the explorer window, type %appdata% and hit enter.
  4. Go to the “Mozilla” folder.
  5. Delete the existing Firefox folder.
    1. Warning: This will delete the current Firefox profile on the machine!
  6. Copy the Firefox folder you backed up to the Mozilla folder.
  7. Once the copy is complete, you will have successfully restored your Firefox profile.
backing_up_browser_data.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/06 14:18 by abrashear