We’ve all had a moment of panic when our finger accidentally hit the delete button. In most cases, it isn’t a big deal. Simply open the Recycle Bin and restore your file. What happens if you delete something that doesn’t default to the second chance bin, such as Google Chrome bookmarks? Go ahead, delete a bookmark and check the Recycle Bin. Unlike most files, the quick link simply disappears. Luckily, if you act quickly, you can get it back without any special software.
Moving bookmarks around in Chrome is often tricky and results in accidental deletions. Maybe you just clicked the wrong bookmark to remove. Either way, take a deep breath and be calm. The accident can be erased. However, it is important to correct the issue as quickly as possible. Ideally, you should attempt to restore the deleted bookmark within the next one or two times you start the browser.
How Restoration Is Possible
Google Chrome automatically backs up your bookmarks on a regular basis. While the frequency depends on how often you use the browser, odds are the most recent backup will contain your deleted bookmarks. The only problem is Chrome doesn’t make these backups blatantly obvious or easy to access. You must know exactly where to look and which file to use.
Finding Bookmark Backups
Start by opening a new instance of Windows Explorer. Basically, just open any folder. All you need is the location bar at the top of the window. Copy the following line into the location bar and replace USERNAME with your own Windows username:
If you’re not certain what your username is, open the Start menu and look at the top right side of the menu. Your name should be at the top if you’re using Windows XP or later.
You’ll see two bookmark files when the folder opens. The Bookmarks file contains all your current bookmarks. Bookmarks.bak contains the most recent backup of your bookmarks. Before you proceed, check the date on the Bookmarks.bak file to ensure it was created before you deleted your bookmarks. If the file is newer, the bookmark cannot be restored.
Restoring Chrome Bookmarks
To prevent any possible problems, back up both files before proceeding. Simply select both files and press Ctrl + C. Minimize all windows to show your desktop. Click a blank space on the desktop and press Ctrl + V. This provides a backup of the original files should something go wrong.
Now, go back to the Google Chrome folder you just opened. Right click Bookmarks and select Rename. Rename the file to Bookmarks.old. Essentially, you are making this file unreadable by Chrome. Next, right click Bookmarks.bak and select Rename. Rename the file to Bookmarks. Ensure you remove the .bak portion of the name. This turns the backup file into your current bookmark file.
Test by opening Google Chrome. Your missing bookmarks should now be restored. If everything looks right, delete Bookmarks.old and the two files you copied to your desktop.