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IE stores bookmarks thoughtfully as shortcut files in C:\Users\%USER_NAME%\Favorites. In this manner, they are easy to manage, transfer and backup. If other browsers follow the same method, the bookmarks are also easy to sync among them and other apps. Unfortunately, they don't. Is there any third-party tool to sync browsers bookmarks with the C:\Users\%USER_NAME%\Favorites folder?

I am not looking for an online service such as xmark. Also I know that I can import other browser bookmarks to IE manually.

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    Firefox has the option to import data from another browser in the bookmarks manager where it automatically retrieves your bookmarks from IE – Tymric Dec 23 '14 at 12:19
  • @Timmy My question is not about importing/exporting bookmarks. Its about keeping bookmarks in the Favorites folder as URL files. – PHPst Dec 23 '14 at 12:49
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    @PHPst I used transmute for some years to sync my bookmarks from Opera to Chrome/IE/Firefox. It can be done via command line (only pro version) and this way automated. I placed it in my startup folder. Would this be enough? – nixda Dec 24 '14 at 1:25
  • PHPst's last comment seemed to clarify that they do not consider manual import/export or syncing tools (like xmark or transmute) to apply to the question. I believe the only thing PHPst wants is a way to use the IE favorites folders as a native bookmark system in other browsers. A very critical clarification, since the original question asked if there was "any third-party tool to sync browsers bookmarks with the [IE Favorites] folder?"...which is certainly inclusive of both unwanted approaches. @PHPst: Clarification of the original question might be beneficial to everyone ^^ – chronometric Dec 24 '14 at 2:06
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There is one tool capable of doing precisely what you want: the PlainOldFavorites plugin for Firefox. The author's site describes its intent and function:

Some users still wish to keep some or all their bookmarks in the Windows Favorites folder. There can be several reasons for this. First, some new Firefox users might find the transition to Firefox smoother if they can still use their familiar Favorites folder. Also, a link to the Favorites folder can be found in several places throughout Windows, which makes it a convenient option for storing links. PlainOldFavorites allows using the Favorites folder directly from Firefox without needing to import or synchronize the bookmarks first.

Now, the author abandoned development and maintenance of this software in June 2011. The intervening time has seen certain FF revisions which made the program much less compatible (v22 and v29, or so); without updating the code with each rapid-release update, the last release version (v1.4.1) became increasingly unstable and eventually unworkable. The addons.mozilla.org plugin page lists it as incompatible with current FF and does not offer a way to install.

However, in reading the past few dozen interactions in the plugin'suser reviews, it seems some got it to work in versions after FF22, and then again FF29.

INSTALLING: The solution to bypassing the incompatible addons.mozilla.org plugin is to install a slightly earlier release (v1.3.1) directly from the author's website: http://www.iosart.com/firefox/plainoldfavorites/PlainOldFavorites_1.3.1.xpi. Loading the link to this .xpi file in the address bar should initiate installation identically to 'official' addons.mozilla.org plugins.

Now, this is obviously a workaround to a re-implement a piece of code that was technically deprecated 3 years ago. If you want to maintain functionality, you may want to avoid upgrading to new versions of FF, or testing it in a portable FF instance. And I cannot guarantee that this is a stable and permanent solution. That being said, I am testing it in current release v34.0.5, and the plugin's few functions seem to be working.

The plugin creates a Favorites menu in Firefox's menu bar to the right of the Bookmarks menu. (Note that in a fresh install of FFv29+, the menu bar (File, Edit, etc.) is hidden by default. It can be toggled by tapping ALT, or returned permanently.

So the FF bookmark and IE integration exist side-by-side, but their behavior is not synchronized. FF bookmarks do not create IE links, and new IE links do not appear in the FF system. But new IE Favorites do appear instantly in the FF Favorites menu. So, since you want to "replace" the FF bookmark system, you should enable the option in the PlainOldFavorites addon optons to Hide Firefox Bookmarks Menu.

One problem still remains: the CTRL+D keyboard shortcut will send bookmarks to the hidden FF bookmarks. Repurposing the bookmark shortcut key: Download another unsupported addon called KeyConfig (by clicking the Keyconfig link at the top of this post. Restart firefox, and go to the options for the keyconfig addon. Disable all the "Bookmarks..." functions. Then Add a New Key, name it something like Favorites, and replace what's in the code box with gPofUI.openAddToFavoritesDialog();. Click OK, then hit the key combo CTRL+D n the small text box, and hit the Apply button. Restart firefox again, and now wen you hit CTRL+D, it will open the Add to Favorites dialog window.

With that, you've effectively circumvented the firefox bookmarks system *or at least swept it under the rug), and replaced it with an IE Favorites clone that uses the same data directory as IE (in effect, instant syncrhonization with no 3rd party intermediary).

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  • @PHPst: I'll say a bit about the other two browsers tomorrow or after Christmas...that took a little longer than I expected, and santa waited very long to do his shopping this year ^^; – chronometric Dec 24 '14 at 5:58
  • Thanks a lot for the answer. I will wait for other browsers. Personally, I use Opera as my main web browser. – PHPst Dec 24 '14 at 9:53
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There is an Add-on named "Windows Favorites" which lets you use Internet Explorer Favorites directly in Firefox without syncing or importing. Check it out: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/windows-favorites/

It is compatible with x86 and x64 versions of Firefox and Firefox Developer Edition and works on all operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and even Mac OS X.

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