The case of the missing Favorites.

One of the perks of being in tech support is being able to help my family with their computer problems. Such was the case when a family member called on me to help with a problem she was having. She was clicking around on the Web when she somehow wound up with a copy of Speed Browser which she did not want. I was watching her try to browse the web with it and ironically, Speed Browser is a very slow browser. So I removed it and set Internet Explorer as her default browser. For good measure, I did a reset without removing her personalized settings.

Then a new problem arose. She could no longer access the web sites bookmarked in her Favorites folder. The only sites in the list were the preset bookmarks that were installed with Internet Explorer, but none of the bookmarks she saved came up.

While fiddling around with the computer to see what I could do, I found the answer along with the missing bookmarks. Here’s what I did.

Using Windows Explorer, I browsed to the Users folder and selected her profile folder. To illustrate this, here’s a screenshot of the Users folder on my computer. My username is MJBDiver.MJB so to get there I just browsed to C:\Users\MJBDiver.MJB to get this list of folders under my profile. That’s where the Favorites folder is.

2015-02-03 01_08_02-MJBDiver.MJB

From there, all you need to do is right-click on the Favorites folder and pull up the properties.

2015-02-03 00_30_27-Favorites Properties

The properties window has a tab for Previous Versions. Again this screenshot is coming from my computer which has System Restore turned off and therefore there are no previous versions to restore. But on the computer I was working on, there was a long list of previous versions of the Favorites folder going back to last year. I was able to open these previous versions just like any other folder to view their contents and sure enough, I was able to see the bookmarked web sites that had disappeared from the list. I just picked the most recent backup of the Favorites folder that had all the bookmarked web sites and did a restore, which did the trick.

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