4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones

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Browser Bookmark   4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & PhonesGone 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

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.

Xmarks Sync   4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones

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.

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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.

ChromeMarks Lite

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.

ChromeMarks Initialize Sync   4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones

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.

Firefox Sync

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.

Firefox Sync   4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones

We wrote about Firefox Sync when it was first introduced: How To Keep Your Bookmarks Synced Across Computers With Firefox 4

Chrome

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.

Google Chrome Settings   4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones

Apart from bookmarks, Chrome can also sync your apps, forms, extensions, history, passwords, settings, themes, and open tabs.

Google Chrome Sync   4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones

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

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25 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

fizzbin88

I love XMarks and have supported them for a while. It is reassuring to have my Bookmarks available wherever I am !

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Sahil Dave

Firefox Sync has a disadvantage. Basically i had all my bookmarks and password in Waterfox and made a sync account. In June i had a HDD crash and after the repairwork obviously i had lost the sync on Waterfox. Now it asks for the key for “pairing the device” which can only be retrieved via the previous computer, which eventually i cannot!

Tina

That is very unfortunate, Sahil. Could you have backed up the key or whatever generated the key?

Sahil Dave

Which means that i should backup a backup…
Key cannot be retrieved unless you have access to the old PC which is stupid. After a crash or sometimes even after reinstall of OS, who would have an access to the old PC..

Reply

Ales Mole

Xmarks is definitely a way to go…with great symbiosis of LastPass – for storing passwords.

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Stefan

I used Xmarks a long time ago but now I am a Chrome-User and I use all it’s built in sync features. The good thing is, I can now also use those functions on my iPhone and iPad. But Xmarks is still a good alternative.

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Jon Smith

XMarks is very useful indeed

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Al

Though I’m looking to sync all my devices, I first have to find something that will help me remove all the duplicated bookmarks that were created by my .mac/iCloud account…and there are now thousands of duplicates. Apparently, this is a widespread problem. Fixing the dupes seems more urgent than worrying about syncing, at least for now. So, what I’m considering is “Bookdog” to find and destroy the dupes. Any suggestions?

DarkMan72

Install Xmarks and import all your bookmarks into it. Then on the Xmarks website you’ll find tools to remove duplicates and empty folders – saved me lots of time when I had to clean bookmarks messed up by Firefox Sync.

Tina

Thanks for the tip!

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Neil Blumengarten

Instead of synching my bookmarks, I just use Diigo to keep my bookmarks in the cloud. This way, I can access them on any computer and through the Power Note app, on my phone as well.

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Rigoberto Garcia

Thanks Tina. Excelent article. I’m using Chrome and I am satisfied with the results

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Chris Hoffman

Chrome (Android 4.0+ only) and Firefox for Android also allow you to access your bookmarks and open tabs in the mobile app. I believe the same goes for Chrome and Firefox Home on iOS.

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Vampie C.

The build in sync in Chrome is good enough for me.

syncs between home and work.

I also use symbaloo.com to have my links on a central place for when I’m not at home or work.

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Salman Abdullah

XMarks is enough for me. No need other bookmark sync

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garva

how to sync all data like history bookmarks and passwords in safari in windows os

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garva

can i sync data from chrome to safari

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Joshua Kelley

What I can’t find an easy solution to is syncing from desktop Firefox to Chrome for Android.

I tried using JUST Chrome on the computer, but there are functions of Firefox I really miss, and it seems more stable.

On the other hand, Firefox for Android isn’t stable enough, whereas Chrome is.

The Xmarks app doesn’t sync bookmarks or passwords to Chrome for Android, nor does LastPass.

For now, I’m using Xmarks to sync desktop Firefox to desktop Chrome, then letting Chrome sync take care of syncing to Android. Just means I have to open Chrome any time I add a bookmark or password.

Tina

Thanks for sharing your workaround, Joshua! I’m not aware of a different solution right now, but will let you know in case I run into one.

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Jerry McIntire

I’m surprised at all the comments in favor of xmarks. It no longer syncs everything, as noted on their website. And if you’re a Mac user with Safari bookmarks, it will only upload/sync your bookmarks bar and menu bookmarks– none of the other folders! For that reason, I’m uninstalling xmarks and came to this article hoping to find an alternative.

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Justin Butlion

I believe that soon the idea of syncing bookmarks will disappear. Technology has allowed companies in this space to create solutions which remove the need for syncing. I am very passionate about improving the way we all bookmark online. The solution my co-founder and I are building through our startup, Bmark, will remove the need to sync bookmarks between computers and devices.

Justin Butlion
CEO/Co-founder
Bmark
http://www.bmarkcentral.com

Reply

Dhruv Sangvikar

unfortunately.. your article does not help me.. i want to sync between my desktop chrome and android opera :).. anywaz.. nice read

Reply

mundo

This doesn’t seem to work between profiles. I have had to individually install the extensions and import I want in each of the profiles on Chrome.

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Jan Bo

I have for many years used the bookmark4U from http://bookmark4u.sourceforge.net/
but after my ISP has upgraded the php and mysql on his server it does not work anymore, it used to work without plugin to the browser, and when accessed from a public computer, it was just a html page
Does anybody know somebody who has upgraded the php part of bookmark4U ?

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