Losing your Chrome bookmarks can be devastating. I’ve personally curated zillions of bookmarks, keeping them all, down through the ages since the inception of AOL. Recently though, I ran into a rare bug. Others online have reported losing all of their bookmarks, sometimes while syncing Chrome to a new computer, and sometimes randomly and for no perceivable reason. In my case, All of the bookmarks I’d put into folders disappeared, but the bookmarks outside of any folder were still around. I couldn’t find a single fix for my issue, aside from what I’m about to share below.
How to Recover Your Chrome Bookmarks
The only surefire solution, and one you should be practicing already, is to keep a backup of your bookmarks file at all times. To get to this file, go to your file explorer and use this pathway: (C:) > Users > (Your Name) > AppData > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data > Default. The file you’re looking for is called Bookmarks.bak. Copy this file and keep it in a secure location, either on a flash drive or a cloud drive like Dropbox. That way you’ll always have it with you in case your bookmarks randomly disappear from any of your devices, and you can immediately retrieve them using Chrome’s import feature. To do this, click on the Chrome menu button at the top right of your screen, go to Bookmarks, then Bookmark Manager. Here, you’ll see a list of your bookmarks, above which is a dropdown menu labelled Organize. Click that, and the option to import an HTML file will appear. Find the Bookmarks.bak file where you saved it, and you’re done. All of your bookmarks will reappear in a folder marked “Imported.” It’s not an elegant solution, but it’s the best solution to a novel problem.
If this didn’t help, you may need to revert to the basics. Try signing into your Google account, because it’s possible that you were simply signed out without your knowledge. If that’s the case, your bookmarks will show up as soon as you’re logged back in.
It’s also possible that you’ve accidentally hidden the bookmarks bar from view. If that happens, just hit ctrl + shift + B, and it’ll pop right back up.
If those solutions fail to solve your problem, try uninstalling and reinstalling Chrome.
If you aren’t able to retrieve your bookmarks after hours of troubleshooting, make sure to submit a bug report to Google. Click the Chrome menu button > Help > Report an Issue.
Tips: Make sure that you have the bookmarks box checked under advanced sync options if you’re trying to sync your bookmarks onto a new device. If that doesn’t work, manually import the Bookmarks.bak file.