How Do I Recover Deleted Bookmarks in Chrome?

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Bookmarks.bak contains your bookmarks as of Chrome's last launch.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Google Chrome's Bookmark Manager can import and export bookmarks as a backup, but if you recently deleted a bookmark -- or worse, an entire folder of bookmarks -- by mistake without a backup, you can temporarily rely on Chrome's automatic backup file. Chrome replaces this backup every time it starts, so this method only works if you have not reopened the browser since you deleted the bookmarks you want recovered.

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Step 1

Open Chrome's user data folder.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Press "Windows-R" and run "%localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default" to open the Chrome user data folder on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 and 8.1.

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Step 2

Copy Bookmarks.bak.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Select "Bookmarks.bak" and press "Ctrl-C" to copy the file. If the file's name becomes highlighted, click off to the side of the file's name and try again -- you need to copy the file itself, not its name. If performed correctly, you won't see any on-screen indication.

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Step 3

Paste Bookmarks.bak to create a duplicate.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Press "Ctrl-V" to create a duplicate of Bookmarks.bak titled "Bookmarks - Copy.bak." When you press "Ctrl-V," the window might scroll to the bottom, so scroll back up to make sure the new file exists.

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Step 4

Rename the backup copy to "Bookmarks."
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Close Chrome if you still have it open and then delete both "Bookmarks" and "Bookmarks.bak" from the folder. Select "Bookmarks - Copy.bak" and press "F2" to rename the file, titling it "Bookmarks" with no extension.

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Step 5

Click okay on the Rename warning.
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Press "Yes" on the warning that shows up when you rename the file. After you have only one "Bookmarks" file left in the folder, reopen Chrome to check if your lost bookmarks have been saved.

Tip

If your computer has more than one Chrome profile, you might need to change the directory from "Default" before looking for Bookmarks.bak. After opening the Default folder, move one directory up to "User Data" and open the folder bearing your profile's name.

Export your Chrome bookmarks occasionally to keep a backup in case you lose them again. Press "Ctrl-Shift-O" to open the Bookmark Manager, click "Organize" and choose "Export Bookmarks to HTML File."

Warning

If renaming the bookmark backup file leads to further problems -- such as the loss of newer bookmarks without successfully recovering the lost bookmarks -- close Chrome, delete the "Bookmarks" file you just created and restore the previous version from the Recycle bin.

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