Gone are the days when we used a single browser on our only computer. Today, many of us constantly switch between desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and tablets, all of which are outfitted with various browsers and obviously a connection to the Internet. Keeping all of your bookmarks with you and automatically synced on that many devices can be a challenge.
Unless you have entirely bought into the world of Apple, you actually have to put a bit of thought into your setup. Fortunately, there are many great solutions to keep not only your bookmarks, but also passwords, tabs, browser history, and other information. This article introduces you to four of the best tools to safely sync your bookmarks across browsers, devices, and platforms.
Multi-Browser & Multi-Device Solutions
Xmarks, formerly known as Foxmarks, is probably the most popular sync tool for bookmarks. Xmarks stores your bookmarks and open tabs online and thus allows you to sync them across computers and browsers.
The free browser add-on is available for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Being a browser add-on, it can be used on all systems that run one of the mentioned browsers, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. The premium version supports iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and offers additional advanced features.
We have previously reported about Xmarks - XMarks Syncs Bookmarks & Passwords Between All Major Browsers. Note however that Xmarks was acquired by LastPass and since then, it no longer stores and syncs bookmarks.
If you are just looking to sync bookmarks between desktop computers and various browsers, Xmarks should do the job. If you want to involve mobile devices and don’t want to invest in a premium add-on, however, you have to look into alternatives.
Syncing your bookmarks between your desktop computer and your Android isn’t straight forward, not even if your default browser is Chrome. What you need to do is set up bookmarks syncing on Chrome on your desktop computer (see description under single browser solutions below) and install the ChromeMarks app on your Android.
ChromeMarks Lite will sync your bookmarks to your Android device, however, it will not sync bookmarks with Android browsers.
For more detailed instructions, read my article on how to Sync Your Google Chrome Bookmarks With Your Android Device Using ChromeMarks.
If you are looking for an app to sync your tabs, have a look at TabCloud: How To Restore Tabs In Chrome & Firefox Across Machines With TabCloud
Single Browser Solutions
Maybe you are using only a single browser on different computers and wish to sync bookmarks. If the browser is called Firefox, Chrome, or Opera, you can use a native feature, meaning you don’t have to bother with a browser add-on.
With the release of Firefox 4 in early 2011, Mozilla integrated Firefox Sync, which was previously available as an add-on only. With this now native feature you can sync a lot more than just bookmarks. Firefox Sync also backs up and syncs your add-ons, passwords, preferences, history, and tabs.
Find the feature by clicking the orange Firefox button in the top left of your browser, then go to Options and switch to the Sync tab.
We wrote about Firefox Sync when it was first introduced: How To Keep Your Bookmarks Synced Across Computers With Firefox 4
Chrome can sync your bookmarks with your Google account. This requires that you sign into Google via Chrome. The feature can be found by clicking the wrench icon and going to Settings, then clicking the Sign in to Chrome button.
Apart from bookmarks, Chrome can also sync your apps, forms, extensions, history, passwords, settings, themes, and open tabs.
As a Chrome user, you should also look into this article: 3 Cool Tips To Get More Out of Your Bookmarks in Chrome
Opera & Safari
While I don’t personally use Opera or Safari, I want to mention them for the sake of completeness. Opera offers Opera Link, which syncs your bookmarks and Speed Dial across computers and devices. With Safari you can set up sync to iCloud on both your Mac and Windows.
What browser and devices are you using and what have you found to be the most effective way to keep your bookmarks in sync?
Image credits: Browser Bookmark via Shutterstock