Edge Bookmark Backup

Ho do I backup my bookmarks on the Edge Browser

Question Info

Last updated August 20, 2019 Views 54,044 Applies to:

Looks like I may have found the new ESE database storage location:

This is the new Microsoft Edge settings/information database where (amongst other things) your favorites and readinglist are stored:


The Favorites are at the bottom of the file.

Well, they are at the bottom of the data (using Notepad) as the file itself is about 3\4 empty.

Here is a database viewer by Nir Sofer http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/ese_database_view.html to view the (individual) Favorites and Reading List Tables.

This is where the Favorites Icons are stored:


Edit May 11

Depending on the setting of the 'Sync your content' *,**) switch there are also sync files generated for each valid bookmark/readinglist item (in the spartan.edb database) in the RoamingState folder, at this location:


The .JSON sync files here are single files -one per database record- that hold the information for the bookmarks (and readinglist) as found in the database records, as well as holding the accompanying Icon, both stored in textual format. When the 'Sync your content' switch is set to 'On', the existence of a .JSON file here either determines whether the referenced bookmark is valid or needs to be updated, is new (has to be added to the database), or has to be deleted from the database when that particular file is absent (retracted, deleted, nonexistent).

JSON files can be viewed intelligibly with a JSON viewer such as one by Eyal Post's  JSONViewer

To summarize, the sync file has two functions:

1. Being a vehicle to transport the bookmark/item to or from another device (through the cloud) for update (i.e. add or modify) and

2. A semaphore to signal what is to be done with it in the Edge database or cloud (keep or delete).

This is how syncing basically works:

Edge database device 1 -> RoamingState -> Cloud -> RoamingState -> Edge database device 2

Edge database device 1 <- RoamingState <- Cloud <- RoamingState <- Edge database device 2


Failing to backup the sync files along with the database file will result in deletion of all bookmarks in the database on the system that the bookmarks are restored to, IF/When the 'Sync your content' switch was 'On' prior to when the database was restored. Make sure that 'Sync' is 'Off' before you start Edge with the new database backup in the absence of sync files. After that, the Sync switch can be returned to 'On' again and the [missing] sync files will automatically be generated from the database file. Or use the alternative method, coming next.

*) 'Sync your content' is now called 'Sync your favorites and reading list' in the v38 version of Edge and higher.

*) 'Sync your content' is now called 'Sync your favorites, reading list, top sites and other settings across your devices' in the v40 version of Edge and higher.

**) Sync is only available on Microsoft accounts, not available on Local Accounts.

Alternative backup:

An alternative method when you have Sync 'On' on the host system is to backup the sync files in the RoamingState folder rather than the database (folder) itself and have Edge on the target system repopulate the empty database based on the sync files in RoamingState by switching Sync to 'On' (if it's not already on, (as it is the default)).

If Sync was 'Off' on the host system you can still generate the sync files by temporarily switching 'Sync' to 'On' and then switch it Off again.

Resetting/reinstalling Edge

If you choose to Reset Edge by deleting the whole Edge User environment and run the PowerShell reregister commandlet to recreate a clean user environment, Windows will automagically restore/repopulate the RoamingState folder for you with data from the cloud. Caution: In a multi device environment it may actually have the opposite effect and also sync and thereby delete your bookmarks on the other devices too on the assumption that you deleted them on purpose (which you did).

Lost all bookmarks but have no recent backup?

Some users experience a reset of Edge's user settings and user history to look like Edge was just newly installed and never used. This often as a result of a Windows Update but can also occur without any (known) precedent.
There is a good likelihood that the existing Spartan Database and the RoamingState folder as a result of this were deleted and replaced with empty ones.

Fortunately the later Windows's (post XP) have a feature called 'Shadow Copy' which records deleted or replaced files in special Shadow Copy volumes on the harddrive. To support this feature, File Explorer has an item right-click menu called 'Restore previous versions' to access the Shadow Copies (known as Restore Points) to show available backups of the item. This however may not work on Windows10 anymore (doesn't find any).

Nir Sofer has recently produced 2 alternative applications to retrieve 'previous versions'  that are closely related to each other but offer different perspectives on how to go about it:

The one called Previous Files Recovery lets you navigate to any folder on your disks and then allows you to search through all Shadow Copy volumes for occurrences of this folder and/or files in it and offer to restore them or create an after the fact personal backup somewhere else. Shadow Copy View follows a different path by showing all the available Shadow Copy volumes and let you explore each volume individually and then also allows to make restoration copies elsewhere.

As there is no progression in the development of both apps I recommend the next

There is also a somewhat older (yet still applicable) application named System Restore Explorer by Nic Bedford that allows you to mount any Restore Point (aka shadow copy volume aka system snapshot) in File Explorer and enables you to access all the files in the restore point directly by e.g. using Notepad or ESEDatabaseView for testing on the spot, and it makes the files directly available for copying off to the restore destination using File Explorer.

You can use the earlier presented storage locations for navigating either the Nir Sofer apps or the System Restore Explorer mounted Restore Points in File Explorer (after having File Explorer expand the copy/paste %environmental% variables and then stripping off (or replacing) the resultant drive letter (usually  "C:\") where necessary).  

Important edit (October 2017):

It appears that copying large files (such as the database) from a mounted snapshot is broken right now in Creators Update 1703.

The files have the correct header but are empty otherwise.

Copying the [small] sync files from RoamingState should still be OK though **). As stated above, the sync files are sufficient for rebuilding the database automagically when Sync is 'On'.


Unfortunately the small files are also affected. I had ~ 15% loss due to duds. Your mileage may vary though.

In Fall Creators update 1709 the situation appears to have worsened, now 1 in 3  sync files is bad.

Do not use System Restore, it won't restore user files like the bookmarks anymore. You shoot yourself in the foot as it will create a 'Restore operation' Restore point that will likely cause an older Restore point to be deleted and rob you of an potentially unrealized opportunity to restore your bookmarks.

Important edit (November 2017):

Starting with W10 v1709 Edge v41, Edge now creates a .html backup of the Favorites in


at approximately 24 hour increments. A new backup replaces the older one so it is essential to restore to this backup before Edge starts to replace it with a backup of a/the reset database on the next interval and render it useless.

This file is not intended to be a user backup but to serve as a backup to restore from when performing an Edge Reset.

Important edit (may 2018):

In Edge v42 W10 1803 Microsoft changed the Edge backup again, replacing the html file with a dedicated backup of the database and they also included a backup for Cookies and another for Settings.


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