If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you undoubtedly have bookmarked many web pages so you can return to them later. Whether they are cheat sheets for your work, special recipes you want to try, YouTube videos or whatever else, they are important to you or you wouldn’t have bookmarked them in the first place.
But what if your computer crashes? Assuming you have backed up all your files – which you should have – you’ll be ok but what about your bookmarks? It may not seem like the most important thing in the world but it might be tricky to find those things again. Do you remember exactly what you searched to find it in the first place? Or which website linked to it?
Maybe you don’t remember everything that was bookmarked but you know it was important to you. Make sure your bookmarks are safe. Even if your computer does not crash, these days most people don’t use just one computer so it can be handy not just as a backup but as a way to access your bookmarks from home, work or anywhere.
FYI Internet Explorer calls these ‘favorites’ but for this article, the word bookmarks will be used. If you use IE just remember that when we say bookmarks, we mean favorites.
First of all, if you use Chrome to browse, your bookmarks are likely already connected to your Google account. If something happened to your computer, you can access your bookmarks simply by logging into your Google account on another computer and using chrome.
Your history works the same way so if you switch computers you can go through your history if you need to find something important that you read the other day. This is called syncing. To set up syncing, open the settings menu and choose options. At the top, you will see the option to sign in (you may already be signed in). Click on Advanced sync settings and select bookmarks and whatever else you want chrome to sync. When you switch to another computer, install chrome, log in to your account, restart and everything will be there ready for you to use.
Chrome and Android
To set up your bookmarks to sync with your Android device, you’ll need to allow syncing on your browser and then install the app ChromeMarks. Go into the app’s settings and select the sync option.
You will then be able to access your bookmarks from your ChromeMarks app but you will not be able to access them from the Android browser itself unless you pay for the premium version of ChromeMarks but this isn’t really a necessary feature so the free version should be fine.
Firefox can also sync your bookmarks in basically the same way that Chrome does. Just go in the options and select the sync tab. You will need to create a Firefox sync account but from there, it works the same way as the chrome version and you’ll need to install Firefox and login to access your bookmarks on another computer.
Firefox and Android
If you use Firefox on your PC but Android on your phone, you can easily sync your bookmarks to your device. Just download the Firefox app and login and you’ll be able to access your bookmarks through that.
Safari is also pretty simple to keep your bookmarks synced, just login and enter the settings. Click on Other, then select the Sync Safari Bookmarks box. Your bookmarks should now be available through safari and your iPhone or iPad.
PC to iPhone
If you prefer PC to Mac but do have an iPhone, you probably use either IE, Firefox or Chrome rather than Safari but you may still want to sync your bookmarks to your phone. If so, you can use iCloud on your Windows PC and login with your Apple ID. Click the options button to select your preferred browser. You can now access the bookmarks in Safari on your phone and they will sync back and forth.
Xmarks (for anything)
If you use Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari, install the add-on Xmarks, create your account and your bookmarks will all be saved to the cloud. Then if you want to access one of your bookmarks, visit www.xmarks.com and they will all be there. That way you don’t have to download different web browsers or mess around with settings on different PCs.
Xmarks is good because it’s non-invasive and you won’t have to install an annoying toolbar or anything. You just go to the website to get your bookmarks and it is even organised by tabs so you can save bookmarks from various computers or keep your bookmarks organised into folders (eg. Work, recipes, funny cat pictures).
The free version does not support smartphones but if you are willing to pay for the premium you can access it via iPhone, Android and BlackBerry but as of yet there are no official apps. You’ll also get some additional advanced features for paying.
When organising your backup, don’t forget about your bookmarks. When it’s this simple to save them, there’s no reason not to so you’ll never lose them and you can sync them throughout all your devices and access them from anywhere.