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Recover Deleted Bookmarks in Chrome

Google Chrome automatically creates a backup of your bookmarks each time you launch Chrome from a closed state. This is a lesser known feature, and it can save your butt if you ever accidentally delete a bookmark or even worse, a group of bookmarks.

Accidents happen. The delete key is easy to hit. And unlike Internet Explorer, deleted Chrome bookmarks don’t go to the recycle bin –- they get permanently erased on the spot. The only chance of recovery is a backup, so unless you regularly export / backup your bookmarks, the automated backup is your best bet. The only side affect, is that any new bookmarks you’ve created since launching Chrome will also be lost unless you back them up right away.

chrome bookmarks deleted on accident

If you’ve just accidentally deleted a bookmark, whatever you do, don’t close and re-open Chrome. You will lose your backup file. You need to swap the automated backup file first. It’s located at the following location in Windows 7.

%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

Find the file named Bookmarks and Bookmarks.bak. In order to see the .bak extension, you’ll need to have File Extensions set to Visible. The plain Bookmarks file is your current set, including the accidental deletion. You don’t want it. But before you do anything, it’s a good idea to completely exit Chrome.

bookmarks.bak

Right click on the Google Chrome icon from the taskbar and select Close all windows.

Be careful that you do not re-open Google Chrome yet. Doing so will overwrite the backup file.

close all chrome windows

Head back to your default folder and delete the (current) plain Bookmarks file. Then, rename Bookmarks.bak and remove the .bak extension so it matches up with the name of the file you just deleted.

delete bookmarksrename bookmarks.bak

In the end result, you’ll have one Bookmarks file in your default folder; the one that used to be Bookmarks.bak.

just a bookmarks file hanging out in the default folder all by its lonesome

Restart Chrome. The accident will have been reversed and your bookmarks will now be back to normal. Enjoy!

bookmarks restored in chrome

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18 Responses to Recover Deleted Bookmarks in Chrome

  1. Ziggy June 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Thanks Austin. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while.

    If you like geeking around try this: In the Run command copy/paste %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

    Copy the Bookmarks file and save it in a new folder, naming it whatever you like. For example, MyGoogleChrome Bookmarks.

    Double click on this file and you will be propted to choose a program to open it. (Choose Microsoft Word or notepad or some other text editor).

    And lo and behold, you have a record of all your Chrome bookmarks, https and all. Enjoy!

  2. JK Kumar July 2, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Another easy thing if you close your browser also below method works fine.
    Follow this way.
    C:UsersNAMEAppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser DataDefault.

    File name: Bookmarks
    in Win 7–> Right click on above file in above location (NAME – make it the account name of yours) and select Restore with previous versions option. this will open another pop up window.
    in that window, check the date modified and restore point things, and try to copy it to different location and try to move it to this above folder again and replace. your old deleted bookmarks will come back without creating any fuss.

    • Steve Krause July 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Great tip @google-8a368df68e3f6b5ff0324799d738ca42:disqus Thnx for the comment. I always seem to have problems getting “Restore Previous Versions”…… I’ll need to play around with it. Great tip however!

    • Stefano April 7, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks! ONLY this great tip saved my life! It would be nice if my bookmarks stay in google cloud too..

        • Stefano April 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

          Thanks Austin!
          I Fear that all started from this sync feature.. i use chrome on my pcs and tablet and all are synchronized.
          Let me explain, and forgive my english.
          I’ve recently formatted an old pc for a friend, and while working on it i’ve installed Chrome and logged in to check my emails. Once done i’ve delete my profile but strangely my bookmarks were still there, so i manually deleted them from the bookmark toolbar. Yesterday i’ve formatted another friend laptop and remembering that behaviour i’ve erased al the bookmark BUT while still logged in, so when i opened my laptop all the bookmark were gone. With the help of this site i’ve managed to restore them from a two days older version.

          So, as far as i understand, there’s no “backup” of my bookmarks on google, and i have only to pay more attention while managing them..
          And yes, i’ve just saved all my bookmark in an handy html file!

          Thanks again to you and JK Kumar!
          Ciao!

  3. Mike August 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    JK Kumar, you have just saved my life

  4. Savannah December 3, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I can’t seem to find my app data folder. I tried searching in the windows explorer search bar but no luck. Any help?

  5. Jonathan Staebler March 20, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Nice comment – but I have a Mac, running OS 10.9.2 (Mavericks). Can’t seem to figure out where the backup folder is – maybe a hidden folder. Can anyone help? Thanks.

  6. Adam Shane November 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Kindly discard my previous Post!

    Check Chrome Bookmarks Recovery Solutions Here: http://superuser.com/questions/840672/permanently-deleted-chrome-bookmarks-recovery-or-appdata-full-recovery-any-lev

    Might be helpful in someway for recovering your Chrome bookmarks back.

    Thanks and all the best!!

  7. Pasquale May 17, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    What if i re-launched my chrome just like everyone is saying not to do. What can i do then. I don’t even care that they are gone but chrome won’t let me bookmark any pages now

  8. Annette August 16, 2015 at 1:10 am #

    Hello, I upgraded to windows 10 July 31st. I didn’t like it because I was only able too use IE for a browser when I clicked on a link so I went back to 8.1. I just read that you have too reinstall Google Chrome so you can make it your default browser after you upgrade to 10. Do I have to uninstall Google Chrome first then reinstall it and what about my bookmarks? Will I get them back by signing back in? Just want to make sure I don’t lose them as I have a lot. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. Annette

  9. Annette August 16, 2015 at 1:54 am #

    Hello, just wanted to let you know that you don’t have too reinstall the browser. You just type in ‘default browser’ at the bottom in the Dutch engine and you have Google, Google Chrome, Firefox, Mac, Windows 10, Definition and Bing. It wasn’t like that when I upgraded to Windows 10 the first time, when I got my email up and running I clicked on the email from your website to sign up for your email tips and it went to Google Chrome! Very happy with it now, that was the main reason I changed back before. Can’t wait for tips from your site. Thanks, Annette

  10. Jasmine May 5, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    Please help! I don’t have a bookmarks.bak

  11. Milla May 5, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    Hey! What if I do not have the bookmarks.bak? Every site says I need to go and find it but I really don’t have that? What do I do?

  12. Sue June 6, 2016 at 2:56 am #

    THANK YOU times a million!! Crisis averted 🙂

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