Do I Lose My Bookmarks If I Uninstall My Web Browser?
Internet Explorer days are long gone, we now have many modern web browsers that do a fantastic job at bringing all the web content to you in a fast and quality manner. Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and many others offer a pleasant web browsing experience with lots of features, themes and addons.
Often times, web users prefer to access Internet using multiple web browsers on their devices for different purposes. One browser for daily browsing needs, one browser for playing online browser games, one browser for secure financial activities (e.g. accessing bank accounts), one browser for web design & development, and so on. Sometimes, you may need to uninstall a browser that you will no longer use and install a new one with enhanced features. Or, sometimes a browser may get bugged due to some unwanted extensions or malware spreading websites, and the only way to fix it may turn out to be completely removing it from your computer.
While uninstalling a web browser is a simple task that won't usually take more than a few seconds, it should be done with caution and it requires paying attention to certain things in order not to lose any important information or preferences you have stored on your browser. Website bookmarks, your saved links in other words, is one of the important things you should keep in mind while uninstalling a browser, but there are some other things that might be equally important.
Things to Do Before You Uninstall Your Web Browser
While doing the things we will mention in this section will take a bit of your time whenever you decide to uninstall a browser, they are worth keeping in mind and checking before the uninstallation if you want to save yourself from having a lot of frustration.
Check the Browser Version
If you are using an older version of your browser other than the latest one for certain reasons, take not of the version number as you may need it if you decide to install it again. Some extensions you might be relying on may not have been updated to the latest version, hence they may not work unless you install that specific version of your browser.
Check the Web History
Your web history keeps track of all the web pages you have visited online, unless you have been using the private browsing mode or deleted it. Sometimes you may have forgotten to bookmark important pages that if the history is gone, you will have difficulty recalling them. Check your web history and make sure there are no such pages or bookmark them if there are.
Check the Installed Themes and Extensions
If you have any themes or extensions installed on your browser, note their names and installation URLs if possible, so that you can easily re-install them in case you decide to install the same browser again. It is easy to forget the exact name of an extension that you are frequently using which makes it hard to find afterwards, hence taking note of them before the uninstallation is always a good idea. If you are having issues with your browser that makes you consider uninstalling it, you can also try uninstalling themes and extensions first.
Check the Options
Quickly reviewing your browser options is also a good idea to make sure there's no important information left and to have an idea which options you used to quickly adjust the browser in a future re-installation.
Sync Your Data
Most browsers have started to allow you to sync your data, bookmarks etc. across multiple devices (computers, phones, tablets) which you should do if you want to keep all the data on your browser.
Backup Your Bookmarks
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should back up your bookmarks, that is, if you want to keep them, before uninstalling your browser. We talk about this in further detail below.
Export Your Bookmarks Before Uninstalling Your Browser
When you bookmark a web page or a group of tabs, they will be stored in the bookmarks section of the browser. Bookmarks are quite handy for most web users as they allow quick access to hundreds of sites with a few clicks. Some users may go as far as collecting thousands of bookmarks over the years, which would certainly be a shame if they were lost by mistake.
As someone who has lost browser bookmarks a couple of times due to forgetting to back them up before uninstalling the browser, I know the frustration very well. So, to answer to the question that is asked in the title of this post, yes, you will lose your bookmarks if you uninstall your browser, unless you back them up first.
All web browsers offer a way for exporting the bookmarks so that you can import them into another browser or the same browser any time you want. The exported bookmarks are stored in an HTML file, which you can save a copy of on your computer, backup hard drive or on an online backup site.
Now that you know that you will lose your bookmarks when uninstalling your browser if you don't create a backup copy, you should make a habit of exporting the bookmarks every once in a while and especially before uninstallations.