How to Recover My Favorites List

By Emilio Alvarez

System crashes in Windows operating systems often have repercussions on built-in programs and settings. The loss of a favorites list -- bookmarked links from Web browsers -- is a common example. These lists can often be recovered through the corresponding folder that holds the bookmark.htm file. If this is the case, importing this file can easily recover all items within the list. If this data is lost, however, the last recourse is to recover your favorites list by restoring your system to a previous date when the favorites links were present.

Internet Explorer 6

Import the bookmark.htm file into Internet Explorer 6. This will help you recover your favorites list. Launch Internet Explorer 6, click "File" and choose "Import and Export ..." from the drop-down menu. Click "Next" in the "Import/Export Wizard," choose "Import Favorites," continue clicking "Next" and choose the "Import from a file or address" option. Locate the folder where your Favorites list is located. By default, Internet Explorer favorites are stored in "C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\My Documents\bookmark.htm." Enter the correct path name, click "Next" and "Finish."

Internet Explorer 7

Importing an existing bookmark.htm file into Internet Explorer is a simple process. Launch Internet Explorer 7, click the "Favorites" button and click the "Import and Export" button, adjacent to the "Add to Favorites" option. An "Import / Export" window will open up. Choose the "Import from a file" option," continue clicking "Next" and choose "Favorites" to be imported. Click "Next." Click the "Browse" button to locate a different folder, if your favorites are not stored in the default "Documents" folder. Click "Import" and click "Finish."

System Restore

Log in to the computer system with an administrator account or user account that has administrative privileges. Click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and then "System Restore." The "System Restore" utility opens up. Select the "Restore my computer to an earlier time" option and click "Next." You need to choose a restore point, which can be a date when your favorites list was still present in your Web browser. Click "Next" and allow for the process to finish. Launch your Web browser when the system restore has completed. Your favorites list should now be present.

Internet Explorer 8

The import and export process in Internet Explorer 8 is generally the same as in the previous version. Click "Start" and choose "Internet Explorer." Click "Favorites" and click "Import and Export." Choose "Import from a file" once the "Import and Export Settings" window opens up. Click "Next" until you are prompted to choose the file you wish to import. Locate the "bookmark.htm" file, typically located in the "Documents" folder. Click "Next," "Import" and allow for the import process to complete. Click "Finish."


Keeping a backup copy of all your favorites list can prevent loss of data. Save all your current favorites list by exporting the bookmark.htm file that contains all the stored links. Launch Internet Explorer and access the "Import and Export Wizard" again. Choose "Export Favorites" this time and continue clicking "Next." You will be asked to choose a place to store this file. Click "Browse" and choose a destination. Click "Next." Click "Yes" if asked to replace an outdated file or click "No" to save it under a new name. Click "Finish" to complete the process.