Microsoft Edge, the default Internet browser for Windows 10, calls its Bookmark feature Favorites but, besides the name, nothing has changed. Favorites are still prone to be wiped accidentally, a buggy system or Microsoft Edge update, malware attack, malicious system use, or software and hardware issues. To make things worse, it is only when the disaster transpires that people realize how quickly things disappear and that they’ve forgotten to make a manual backup. Luckily, Microsoft knows this, and there are other ways to return things to working order. With that said, let’s jump straight into how to recover Microsoft Edge Favorites or Bookmarks.
1. Restore the previous Favorites file version
This is a quick and easy way to restore Microsoft Edge favorites to their original state. Here’s what to do:
- Close Microsoft Edge.
- Open This PC.
- Go to your system drive (in most cases, C:\).
- Navigate to the Users folder, then the one with your user account name.
- Right-click on the Favorites folder.
- Select Restore previous versions.
- Open Microsoft Edge and verify that the Favorites bar is back.
2. Recover Microsoft Edge Favorites file by importing
The next best scenario includes you creating a manual backup of bookmarks beforehand. Now that you have it, here are 3 ways to import the Microsoft Edge Favorites/Bookmarks file:
1. Microsoft Edge Chromium version
If you created a Favorites backup in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, do this to get it back:
- In Microsoft Edge, click on the Favorites icon (star) in the top right corner.
- Click on More (3 dots), then Import Favorites.
- Under “Import from”, select Favorites or bookmarks HTML file.
- Click on Choose file.
- Find your backup, select it, and click on Open.
- Restart Edge if Favorites don’t get restored immediately.
2. Microsoft Edge Legacy
Although a bookmark created in Microsoft Edge Legacy (pre-Chromium version) has the same file extension, you might struggle. Do the following to import it successfully:
- Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
- Select Microsoft Edge Legacy under “Import from”.
- If successful, follow steps 4, 5, and 6 above.
- If you get an error or nothing happens, do this:
- Open a new tab.
- Type “edge://flags” into the URL field and press Enter.
- Search for “import”.
- Find the “Import data from Microsoft Edge Legacy” option and change Disabled to Enabled.
- Click the Restart button below.
3. Other browsers
Leave this option as a last resort. If all else fails, you can transfer the bookmarks from Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge. This is great if you’re simultaneously using both (or all 3) browsers, but even if that’s not the case, at least you aren’t starting from scratch. To do this, follow steps 1 and 2 in method 2, sub-method 1 above. Select Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox – default release under step 3.
3. Overwrite Microsoft Edge Favorites
Some users don’t trust the built-in way of importing and decide to create a copy of the folder that contains Favorites. Others reset their PC and choose to preserve the old version of Windows. The third group of people is victims of malware, hacking, or malicious use. All three groups benefit from learning to recover Microsoft Edge Favorites/Bookmarks by overwriting:
This method is primarily used for the Chromium Microsoft Edge browser, although it can work on older versions too. If you have the Favorites backup folder ready, do this:
- Open This PC.
- Paste the following file path into the address bar:
- Replace <username> and <profile name> with the actual ones.
- Note. If you reset your PC and kept an older version of Windows, go to “C:\Windows.old\Users\<username>\…” and copy the bookmarks folders.
- Make a copy of the folders inside the Default folder for safekeeping. You can also rename them by adding -old.
- Paste your backup files to the Default folder.
- Open Microsoft Edge and see if the Favorites are back.
This method is commonly used for the pre-Chromium versions of the browser. Follow these steps to recover Microsoft Edge Bookmarks/Favorites:
- Launch This PC.
- Navigate to the following location:
- Rename DataStore to, for example, DataStore-old.
- Paste the DataStore folder you backed up in the past.
- Note. Lost Edge Favorites as the consequence of resetting your PC? Add Windows.old in front of Users as we suggested in the note in the previous method.
Microsoft Edge still doesn’t show Favorites. Why?
You did everything right and yet Edge still won’t load the bookmarks? Some users found this workaround:
- Open the Default or DataStore folder.
- Type “bookmark.bak” into the search bar in the top right corner.
- When you find it, remember its location.
- Make a copy, and name it something like bookmark-old.bak.
- Delete the original file, then open Start.
- Type “notepad” then click on Run as administrator below Notepad.
- In Notepad, click on File > New Window in the top left corner.
- Open the bookmark-old.bak file via File > Open.
- Copy its contents to the new file you created.
- On the new file window, click on File > Save as.
- Navigate to the location of the original file.
- Change “Save as type” to All Files.
- Name it bookmark.bat and click on Save.
4. Use the Windows File Recovery tool
Now, here’s how to proceed when your Favorites file is nowhere to be found. Microsoft has your back, provided that you’re using Windows 10 2004 (19041.0) version or higher. Follow these instructions to recover Microsoft Edge Favorites or Bookmarks:
- Download the Windows File Recovery tool by clicking on Get.
- After brief installation and opening, you’ll see an identical interface to Command Prompt.
- After the tool makes necessary changes, enter the following command before pressing Enter:
winfr C: <drive letter>: /n file path
- Replace <drive letter>, <username>, and <profile name>. Then, enter either of the file paths from method 3, sub-methods 1 and 2.
- We’ll use the first sub-method for demonstration, which looks like this:
winfr C: C: /n \Users\DataRecoveryPit\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge\UserData\DataRecoveryPit\Default\
5. Use third-party data recovery software
If the Windows tool produced no results, it’s time to bring out the big guns. We’re referring to any top data recovery software for Windows. For practical application, check the 3 sub-methods in the last method (“How to recover deleted files from a Pendrive”) in our guide on retrieving hidden files from Pendrive.