Sunday, February 27, 2022

Firefox history and bookmarks are not displayed

problem: Firefox history and bookmarks are not displayed

I had an issue with Firefox 97.0.1 (64-bit) whereby I could not see history or bookmarks.

CTRL+B bookmarks and CTRL+H history panels were empty, and CTRL+SHIFT+O Library window was also empty. Strangely the bookmarks bar CTRL+SHIFT+B was showing its bookmarks.

When I exported bookmarks via the empty Library, I could see in the raw file that the bookmarks were still present, so it appeared to be a display issue not a data issue.

I'd recently had to force close (via task manager) the browser a few times because something was causing instability during browser startup. I suspect it was some tabs trying to access files on a smb share that was currently offline. This may of contributed

impact: not able to access history or bookmarks

For some people this loss or inaccessibility could mean a major productivity kill on current or historic research. The loss of bookmarks could mean a lot of time, effort and research could be gone.

solution: start/restart Firefox in Troubleshooting Mode aka Safe Mode

  1. WARNING ⚠⚠⚠ Don't click on "Refresh Firefox" on the following prompt.
  2. Prior to launching Firefox hold the SHIFT key to launch the browser in troubleshooting mode.
  3. Click "Open" button.
  4. Firefox will load up with extensions disabled and I'm assuming runs some settings and/or data integrity checks and clean up routines.
  5. Once fully loaded, Exit Firefox.
  6. Launch Firefox as normal and see if the issue is resolved.


An alternative way to restart Firefox in Troubleshoot Mode is to browser to about:profiles and use the provided buttons:


Mozilla Support - Diagnose Firefox issues using Troubleshoot Mode

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