How to Backup and Restore Edge Favorites

How to Backup and Restore Edge Favorites

Background

Your browser favorites are an important asset... and unfortunately the Edge browser has been known to arbitrarily lose favorites. So, performing a backup of your favorites is a very good idea.

Take a look at this related article: How To Recover Lost Favorites

Modern versions of the Edge browser no longer store your favorites as individual files and folders like you may have become accustomed to. Instead, they are now stored in a database. The database wasn't designed to be "human readable", so you'll need some specialized software to be able to do anything useful.

For completeness, the location of the database is at:

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\AC\MicrosoftEdge\User\Default\DataStore\Data\nouser1\120712-0049\DBStore\spartan.edb
            

The most recent versions of Windows 10 have an automatic backup mechanism for your Edge favorites. However, this backup is overridden every day, so it can easily be corrupted with bad data. Therefore, it is not a good substitute for making backups yourself

Note: The techniques described here require that you install the free 3rd-party application called EdgeManage. Here is the link to the installer: SetupEdgeManage.msi

Techniques

There are 3 major options for performing a backup and restore of your Edge favorites. One option that only works if you're using the Edge "Sync your content" feature, another more universal approach that uses a text-based bookmarks.html file, and lastly, a option that creates a zip file of the needed files

Option Advantages Disadvantages
1 Doesn't require a 3rd-party application.
Also includes the reading lists
Requires that the synchronization system be enabled.
Deals with hidden folders and potentially hundreds of files
2 Produces a single file that's easy to carry.
The backup can be used to import into practically any browser
Requires at least EdgeManage v2.1.4
3 Also includes the reading lists Backups can only be restored on the same version of Edge

Personally... I use Option 2

Backup

Do you have Edge synchronization enabled?

Sync option

Take a look at this related article: How Edge Synchronization Works

Option 1

If you are using "Sync your favorites...", then there is a hidden folder that contains a list of JSON files that are normally used for synchronization. You can use the File Explorer to copy the contents of the %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\RoamingState for safe keeping. And then just copy it back after a crash/reset.

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\RoamingState

Note: This is in a hidden folder, so just copy the entire folder name from above and paste that into the address bar of the File Explorer to aid you in finding the folder

Option 2

You can use EdgeManage to perform an "Export to a HTML file". This will create a text-based bookmarks.html file that you can use to perform an import operation on practically any browser. This file can also be used as a portable way to "carry your favorites with you" (on a USB flash drive, Cloud storage, etc.)

The Data menu

Note: The native import/export feature of Edge does not include the necessary information to keep the synchronization system intact, so you should use EdgeManage instead.

Option 3

You can use EdgeManage to create a complete backup of the Edge database. This will create a zip file that you can later use to restore the database. Note: This technique works best when you have the exact same version of Edge... so it is not well suited for a long term backup solution (where the Edge version may change)

The Utilities menu

Restore

Option 1

First you should navigate to that hidden folder and delete all of the files that appear there. Then you would use the File Explorer to copy the contents of saved folder back to its original location. Your favorites will appear in Edge in just a few seconds

Option 2

You can use EdgeManage to perform an "Import to a HTML file". This will restore the favorites to their original location by default.

Note: The native Edge import/export feature does not include the necessary information to keep the synchronization system intact. In addition, if the database is not completely empty, Edge will put all of the imported favorites into a new folder (called "Imported from..."). Therefore you should use EdgeManage instead.

Option 3

You can use EdgeManage to restore a complete backup of the Edge database

Related Video

Take a look at the following video for help with copying favorites to another PC: Transferring EdgeManage Favorites