How to change the number of bookmark backups in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 23, 2014

Firefox stores all bookmarks in a database file in the profile folder. To avoid issues such as corruption caused by crashes or accidental modifications or deletions, it is also storing backups of the bookmarks folder in the profile folder.

Interesting in this regard is that it will keep the last 15 backups in that folder, and only remove the oldest one of the 15 when it creates a new.

If you think that 15 is overkill, or maybe not enough for your needs, then you can modify the number easily in the Firefox configuration.

But first of all, let me provide you with information on how to look up the backups.

To do so, load about:support in the browser's address bar and select the show folder button on the page that opens up. This opens the Firefox profile of the current user in the system's file manager.

Locate the bookmarkbackup folder here and open it. Here you find listed all bookmark backups. Depending on how many bookmarks you have saved, they each may have a size of a couple hundred Kilobytes or maybe even Megabytes.

firefox bookmark backups

As you can see from the screenshot above, the 15 backups of this particular user have a total size of 2.36 Megabyte. Unless you have a lot of bookmarks, I'm thinking thousands of them, you won't save a lot of disk space reducing the number of backups.

Advanced Bookmark configuration

All of the following settings are handled on the about:config page. To open it, load about:config in Firefox, confirm that you will be save, and filter for the preference names listed below:

  • browser.bookmarks.max_backups - This preferences defines the number of bookmark backups that Firefox creates. The default value is 15, to change it, double-click the preference and change the value, for instance to 5 or 50.
  • browser. bookmarks. livemark_refresh_seconds - Defines the interval in seconds that Live Bookmarks are checked by the browser. The default value is 60.
  • browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML - Firefox 3 and up saves bookmarks in places.sqlite and use JSON as the format. If you set this preference to true, a bookmarks.html file will be saved to the Firefox profile on browser exit.
  • browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInBackground - Defines whether bookmarks are loaded in a background tab (so that the browser does not switch to it by default) or an active tab. The default is that bookmarks are not loaded in the background.
  • browser.urlbar.restrict.bookmark - Defines the key -- * in this case -- which can be used to return only bookmark results in the address bar.
  • places.frecency.bookmarkVisitBonus - Frecency is calculated by the browser to determine how sites are ordered in the browser's address bar menu when a user enters an address or search term into it. The higher the frequency, the higher up on the list an entry will be displayed. The default bonus for bookmark visits is 75. To put this in relation, the typed visit bonus is 2000.
  • places.frecency.unvisitedBookmarkBonus - See above. Is set to 140.
  • services.sync.engine.bookmarks - Define whether bookmarks are synchronized when Firefox Sync is setup. Default is true (which means yes).
Change the number of bookmark backups in Firefox
Article Name
Change the number of bookmark backups in Firefox
Offers details on how to change the number of bookmark backups in the Firefox web browser. The default value is 15.

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