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Is there an app, tool or at least script which will keep my saved bookmarks in sync between IE, FF, Chrome and Opera?

  • Online bookmark storage is an advantage, but it is not a requirement.
  • It can be either free or paid, but possibly one-time payment, not a subscription.
  • Sync between IE, FF, Opera is sufficient for me. I’m less interested in Chrome and Safari support.

EDIT: I accepted XMarks answer because of its features, however if you care about what can be done with your data, find and read entire License Grant paragraph at XMarks Terms of Service before you decide to go with them. (Or check answers and comments below.)


EDIT 2018-09: XMarks is dead and hundreds of created bookmarks actually kill the browser experience so I switched to easy and satisfactory solution for my needs.

7

As Nick Wilde (hey, my name is also Nick!) already said, Xmarks is a great solution to sync your bookmarks. However, I feel the need to give some additional information.

The Xmarks extension syncs your bookmarks (and passwords) in various browsers.

It does this by uploading the bookmarks to their website, and then the extension will download them to the other browsers you're using, provided you've installed the extension, and you're logged in to the extension with your Xmarks account. Syncing passwords is also available.
With the premium subscription you can also sync on mobile devices.

This extension is designed for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari (Only for Mac OS X). There is no official version for Opera.
However, with a few 'hacks' you can install the Chrome version in Opera. You will need at least version 16 of Opera for this, which uses a new engine similar to Google Chrome's (if not the same one).
EDIT: There are plans to make an official opera extension, but until it's actually available, you'll have to use the method below.

What is on your roadmap?

We plan on continuing to expand where you can access your data. This includes more browsers (Opera) and more mobile devices (we just added Android and BlackBerry, etc).

  1. Go to "opera://flags" and search for "Bookmarks". Enable the bookmarks toolbar if it isn't already enabled by default.
  2. Afterwards go to "opera://settings" and select "Show the bookmarks bar" to display the toolbar (if it isn't already selected).
  3. Install this extension: Download Chrome Extension. It will allow you to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
  4. Go to download.xmarks.com, and click on the button with the Google Chrome logo on it. Then click on the red "+ Free" button.
  5. You might see a notification underneath the bookmarks bar saying that the extension was disabled. Click on the "Go" button to go to the extensions page and click on "Install" next to "Xmarks Bookmarks Sync".
  6. Click on the "Options" button that appears.
  7. Follow the setup wizard ("Run Setup Wizard").

For all other browsers you can just go to download.xmarks.com and click on the "Download Xmarks" button for the current browser. After installing, run the setup wizard. (I have also included direct links to download the extensions at the top of my answer)

Other options for syncing bookmarks are Sync2It BookmarkSync and tidyfavorites

  • Really nice looking :) (better than mine I'd have to say) – Nick Wilde Apr 16 '14 at 21:52
  • Thanks :) But you beat me in answering first ;) – nidunc Apr 16 '14 at 21:55
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    Xmarks announced an official version for Opera: "We plan on continuing to expand where you can access your data. This includes more browsers (Opera) and more mobile devices (we just added Android and BlackBerry, etc)." xmarks.com/about/acquisition – Apfelsaft Apr 17 '14 at 9:05
  • Thanks, Apfelsaft. Edited my answer to include that – nidunc Apr 17 '14 at 14:09
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    XMarks requests me to expressly grant, and represent and warrant that I have a right to grant, to Xmarks a royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, list information regarding, edit, translate, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, and make derivative works of all such User Content and my name, voice,... What a demanding license! I think I WON'T GO with them. (Only if some bookmark folders could be excluded from syncing...) But I'll mark the answer though. – miroxlav Apr 17 '14 at 23:52
3

Like many I've been searching for a bookmarks synchronization solution that is cross-browsers and cross-platforms for years. To my knowledge, all-in-one ready to use alternatives are but none. But once you accept that there's a solution.

A note on some Xmarks alternatives.

  • Sync2It BookmarkSync looks dead.
  • tidyfavorites is Windows only. So is Outertech's Linkman. Quite limitating, and I have seen no information on their encryption process.
  • GoodieBox and MyBookmarks security and privacy are in full accordance with their websites' logo and font tastes: inexistant.
  • Firefox Sync 1.5 only syncs with the Mozilla fundation's browser v>=29 and its "close forks" like Seamonkey, Icekat(?) but not with Palemoon nor K-Meleon or any non-Gecko browser. Sync 1.1 syncs only with pre-Australis Firefox and forks. Is far from perfect. I bet it's equivalent for Google Chrome and its forsk (not using them).
  • Bookmarks social managers like Lastpass' Xmarks or Diigo can import bookmarks from the browser, allow for bookmarking with a single keystroke, have nice features including highlighting, annotating, outliners (think Storify) for single and team. New bookmarks can be auto-added to the browser's (Firefox only).

The solution I'm slowly implementing tries to build on these limits

  1. Long-term reference and team-working items are bookmarked and organized to eg Xmarks and Diigo; making them accessible from virtually anywhere with a connection (or not). And exportable (and exported!).
  2. Short term and private items stay within my browsers profiles. They are synchronized whether automatically and securely (locally encrypted) to their compatibles browsers, or manually from time to time. Also I can open my browser's profiles distantly via SSH + X11Forward, just in case I don't wanna sync.

While not perfect this allow for easier access/edition anywhere, reduced browser overload and easier/faster synchronization with less havoc, since there are much less of them.

This is long enough. But nothing compared to the time I lost re-organizing 8k bookmarks after each Sync havoc or trying to go the "all-in-one diy solution" ;)

BTW kuddos to @nidunc and @miroxlav for their Xmarks presentation :)

EDIT: Question out of curiosity what should one check to evaluate the security level of connections between the sync engine and server? e.g. with a packet sniffer. For server's security I use a SSL Server Test on the IP the sync connects to (eg my.xmarks.com results). Would appreciate your input.

2

(▶ see the UPDATE 2018-09-28)

Although I accepted an XMarks answer, my searching for acceptable tool continues as XMarks license is too demanding. Why should I grant irrevocable license to XMarks to publish or publicly display my bookmarks, username and even voice? That's sick. It can create not only privacy, but also security issues - think of bookmarks to backends of web apps you manage - some might not have so strong security as their frontends etc...

Continuing the search I've found that this Mashable Page from September 2007 gives nice overview of 28 bookmarks sync apps/platforms. Some projects are no longer alive, but other choices look interesting.
13 of them work between Internet explorer and Firefox. I'll give them a try and will update my answer later.


UPDATE 2018-09-28

On the long run, Excel is the best (...preferably stored in cloud).

  • XMarks is long dead
  • I switched to putting bookmarks into Excel file stored in OneDrive
    • reasons for stopping keeping most of my bookmarks in browsers:
      • browsers usually cannot quickly handle/navigate 1000+ bookmarks, some start lagging
      • it is not needed to keep all these bookmarks in browser, many are more important as archived than being all the times at hand
        • those should-be-archived bookmarks pollute search results
      • only some browsers can assign tags to bookmarks, in others, searching through the quantities is problematic
      • putting further notes to bookmarks can be cumbersome and not synced!
    • solution:
      • I put the bookmarks into Excel file with columns
        Date; URL (clickable hyperlink); Title (optional); tags (; starred; todo; notes; etc.)
        • I add title mainly only if URL does not have the title directly in the URL what typically suffices me
    • benefits:
      • I own the database and have control over it
      • I can see it in any device
      • I can quickly search it for many aspects of the data
      • I keep my browsers lightweight, without bookmarks useful only as archive items
      • I can use any browser, no sync plugin is needed
      • I can track further aspects, e.g. add star to some bookmarks, add remarks, to do etc.
      • I can analyze the data or push them further to automated processing
  • It's almost the first birthday of this answer! :-) Any update? – RockPaperLizard Apr 19 '15 at 6:36
  • Obviously not :) I'm busy on the project. I was here several times and from time to time I think about solving bookmark sync, but until now I still have bookmarks scattered between IE, Opera and Firefox. Hopefully one day... – miroxlav Apr 20 '15 at 9:17
  • Thanks for the update! And happy birthday! ;-) – RockPaperLizard Apr 20 '15 at 9:19
  • @miroxlav just as a side-note: I'm using XMarks for many years now without giving them my data. I use their Firefox addon, but sync against my own server; it allows to use your own FTP backend. – Izzy Feb 10 '17 at 12:38
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    @RockPaperLizard – here is the update you asked :) Maybe surprising but very efficient. – miroxlav Sep 28 '18 at 7:45
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XMarks will work well between Firefox & IE (also Safari and Chrome for that matter). It does not automatically support Opera. However I have read that with a very minor adjustment the chrome extension work with Opera - just enable bookmarks bar in opera://flags. Another option is to use this unofficial extension; it doesn't sync bookmarks but makes the XMarks server copy easy accessible from Opera. (I don't use Opera myself so I can't give a review on those aspects very well)

The basic functionality is free; there is a premium option but I've never used it and for bookmark syncing it is entirely unnecessary. Saves a bookmark history (up to a couple months IIRC) on the server copy. More feature details on their website.

1

I've used Xmarks for many years with Firefox for my bookmarks, it was always pretty good.

Since 3 months I'm using Xmarks with Firefox and Chrome too, only 1 account and a unique synchronization, very good but.. there's some differences between 2 bookmarks formats that create problems, like duplicate folders (empty) or all the root.

By the way, I'm still using Xmarks with both desktop browsers and to sync with mobile I use Firefox Sync and Chrome Sync.

  • I've used Xmarks for many years, but with the latest Firefox release, it has done nothing but wipe out my bookmarks on Firefox, while the bookmarks I have on IE remained untouched. No matter what I do, I'm unable to get Xmarks to sync bookmarks between IE and FF, and I can't seem to find an app that will do that. 2-10-2017 – user29539 Feb 10 '17 at 9:08

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