With XMarks hovering between closing their doors to the public on January 11, 2011, or making the change towards becoming a paid service, you’re probably going to want to export your bookmarks and find a new way to sync your bookmarks elsewhere. XMarks offered a quick and painless way to sync your bookmarks across browsers and computers, running quietly in the background, and was one of the only truly cross-platform, cross-browser options out there that worked like a charm.
There are a few XMarks alternatives out there, that you can use as a replacement to XMarks. None of them are identical to XMarks but rather, have similar options or achieve the same end result.
The first step when making the move from XMarks to another service is to export your bookmarks. Log into your account, go to tools, and select “˜export bookmarks to HTML,’ and make a note of where your bookmarks file is saved.
Google Bookmarks (Firefox & Chrome, Multi-platform)
One option when moving away from XMarks would be to use Google Bookmarks. It has the same end result – saving your bookmarks in the cloud, but using a more direct approach. Rather than working in the background quietly syncing your bookmarks, you manually add your bookmarks to your Google account rather than save them locally. With the use of the Gmarks add-on [No Longer Available], the process is quick and easy for Firefox users.
Chrome users have this feature built into their browser allowing them to sync their bookmarks automatically to their Google accounts. Import your XMarks bookmarks by logging into your Google Bookmarks account and click on the ‘Import Bookmarks‘ link in the left-hand sidebar.
Firefox Sync (Firefox, Multi-platform)
Firefox users can install the add-on Firefox Sync which allows you to not only sync bookmarks but also your settings, passwords and other customisations. If you’re using Firefox 4 Beta, you don’t need to install the add-on as the feature is native to the browser. If you’re using an earlier version, the setup process is quick and easy. Sign up for a free account by choosing a username, password, and providing your email address.
You will then be prompted to enter a secret phrase of at least 12 characters, and choose your sync settings.
Repeat the process on each machine you want to sync and your bookmarks, and access all your Firefox data from all of your computers. You can also make use of this feature on the go, using the free iPhone app, Firefox Home (iTunes link), the Maemo app for the N900, or any compatible mobile phone.
Sync2It (Internet Explorer/Safari, Windows/Mac)
Windows and Mac users can make the switch to Sync2It, which works in exactly the same way as XMarks. It will work in the background, automatically backing up and syncing your bookmarks on any computers where you have the program installed. If you’re on your Mac, it will automatically sync your Safari bookmarks, and on a PC, it will automatically sync your Internet Explorer bookmarks.
The Mac version of Sync2It sits in your taskbar, and the only option you have when using it is to force a sync. The Windows version, on the other hand, allows you to access your bookmarks from the taskbar. Sync2It also allows you to subscribe to other user’s public collections listed on their.
It has to be said, in comparison to XMarks, the web-based version of Sync2It is sorely lacking and navigation is anything but easy. To access your links online, click on “˜View‘ in the sidebar menu.
Delicious Or Diigo (Firefox & Chrome, Multi-Platform)
Like Google Bookmarks, there are many other online bookmarking services with toolbars, bookmarklets and add-ons that make it easy to add your bookmarks to your online account, and effectively sync them across different computers, regardless of your OS or browser or choice.
Check out this in depth review of Diigo , which might also convince you not to use Delicious at all. Diigo doesn’t sync your bookmarks per se, but rather saves them online, and by having the Diigo toolbar installed on each machine, you will achieve the same effect. Diigo makes it easy to import your bookmarks in one click.
If you’d rather give Delicious another go, there are a variety of add-ons that make it easy to access your bookmarks from within your browser including aand a Chrome add-on.
To import your bookmarks to Delicious, log into your Delicious account, go to your settings and select ‘Import bookmarks.’
What service are you going to use to replace XMarks? Let us know in the comments.
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