IE and Firefox bookmarks and favorites

I use several computers throughout the day: personal laptops and desktops, and work laptops and desktops. I also use both IE and Firefox throughout the day. It is nice to be able to maintain one set of "shared" Favorites/Bookmarks that I can access from any of these computers from either one of these two web browsers. Here's how to do it:

  1. Create a folder called "Favorites" in your Dropbox folder
  2. Copy your IE Favorites from their current location into this new folder: simply navigate to C:/Users/[your username]/Favorites and copy and paste everything you find in this folder to the new folder on Dropbox
  3. Repeat the above step for each laptop and computer, so you are consolidating all of your IE Favorites into one location
  4. Now on each of your laptops and computers, launch regedit and make the following registry edits:
    • Open the following key:
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
      , double-click the "Favorites" item and update the path. The new path will likely look something like this: C:\Users\[username]\Dropbox\Favorites
    • Next, open the following key:
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
      , double-click the "Favorites" item and update the path. The new path will likely look something like this: %USERPROFILE%\Dropbox\Favorites
    • Save the changes and close the registry editor
  5. From this point forward, IE uses Dropbox to access and stores its Favorites.
  6. Now, for Firefox to access the same Favorites requires a plugin called PlainOldFavorites. Click this link to download and install
  7. If you are using a new version of Firefox, then likely it will complain that PlainOldFavorites is not available for it. In this case, download and run the following installer: PlainOldFavorites_1.3.1.xpi. Running this will make sure it gets installed.
  8. This puts a new menu item called "Favorites", either in the main Firefox menu (upper left corner) for older Firefox versions, or directly on one of the toolbars.
  9. After you install PlainOldFavorites, I recommend you configure its options: Firefox - AddOns - PlainOldFavorites - Options: turn on both "Sort by Name" and "Hide Firefox Bookmarks Menu". The reason you should hide Bookmarks is so that you don't start adding bookmarks because they don't get synced to the Favorites folder
  10. Now, Firefox can access the Favorites and can add to them and organize them the same way you do in IE. So instead of using "bookmarks", use "Favorites" exclusively.
  11. Final step is to open IE and import your Firefox bookmarks or otherwise manually add them to the Favorites list. Now you should quit using Firefox "bookmarks" and only use the Favorites.

At this point, all your computers are using the same Favorites on Dropbox, and there is no need to Import or transfer them manually between IE and Firefox. Note that Firefox is smarter about automatically refreshing its Favorites list. If you add a Favorite using Firefox, it may not show up in IE until you restart IE.

A cool thing you can do: any type of file you might want to access from your browser, just plop it into Dropbox. I sometimes create notes (text files using Notepad). I just give them an appropriate name, put them into my Favorites folder, and I can access them from my browser anywhere. The browser will launch the appropriate program to open the file. AS a system administrator, I like to keep handy a list of useful commands, so I will create a text file that has useful options for find, bash, etc, and stick it into my Favorites.