XMarks vs Chrome Means You Lose

Yah, I’ve just managed to lose all of my important bookmarks thanks to a fight between Chrome and XMarks. To be fair this is a known issue but it’s easy to accidentally cause the problem and the only loser in the whole mess is the end user.

The other day I set up a new computer and, as always, the first thing I did was install Chrome. What I didn’t realize was that it came set with “sync everything” on by default so when I signed into my Google account it dutifully went off and started to sync my bookmarks and plugins. This was all going well until XMarks spotted something had changed and threw up an alert saying it needed to re-sync. That should have caused alarm bells to ring but it was late so I just hit the re-sync button and thought nothing off it. Today, however, I find that most of my bookmarks have been duplicated half a dozen times (not great but ok) but my most important bookmarks are completely gone (terrible).

Fortunately XMarks maintains snapshots of your bookmarks (bit creepy feeling as I didn’t realize it did that but useful now) and you can roll back your bookmarks to a previous point in time such as before you caused the two sync systems to slug it out.

  • Visit xmarks.com (link on the XMarks context menu)
  • Select ‘My Bookmarks’
  • Select ‘Tools’
  • Select ‘Explore and Restore Old Bookmarks’
  • Pick a numbered back up and “View” it.
  • If it looks good select “Restore”. This will restore the bookmarks to the server.
  • To restore the bookmarks to your machine the easiest method is to select XMarks Settings on your machine
  • Select Advanced
  • Click “Download Bookmarks” which will overwrite the rubbish that is currently on your machine.

At this point I’m just going to ditch XMarks altogether. It was good before Chrome Sync was available and to sync between Chrome, Firefox and IE but to be honest I’ve basically given up on Firefox now and I only use IE for testing sites.