9 Ways to Sync Bookmarks

I’m writing this on a desktop computer. I also use a laptop – when I’m away from home or working from the patio. In addition, there are two mobile devices in my messenger bag that can access the Internet. Oh, and I used to work for an employer who provided yet another desktop computer.

That means five different Web browsers with different sets of bookmarks. So if I save a site to my bookmarks at work, how do I remember it when I’m at home or working from my favorite coffee shop?

Thankfully. there are plenty of ways to sync bookmarks. Basically they store your URLs on their servers and sync them with your computer – or allow access via the Web. I prefer the tools that integrate smoothly with my Firefox browsers and keep bookmarks private.

  • Xmarks: This is my preferred choice for the Firefox browser. It’s seamless, fast and easy. It also will save passwords if you like.
  • Google Chrome Sync: This is  built into Chrome so you don’t have to download or install anything.
  • Sync2It: This offers a toolbar and mobile access with your device/phone browser.
  • Evernote: A lot of people love Evernote’s features for taking notes and clipping web pages. It can serve as a bookmark storage if you use someone else’s computer or one with community access. Note this isn’t as easy as using the previous tools.
  • Gmail: Lifehacker explains how to create a bookmarklet that saves links to your Gmail account. It’s a hack and takes some work. But it may serve your needs.

If you don’t have anything to hide when you’re surfing and saving URLs, maybe a social bookmarking service is for you. There several that let you easily share and categorize the pages you think are worth saving. Plus these sites have privacy features that let you keep URLs hidden.

The beauty of social bookmarking sites is that they are great places to look for other sites you may be interested in seeing.

  • Delicious.com: One of the earliest services that’s easy to use.
  • Stumble Upon: Again, easy to use. Many bloggers and Internet marketers credit the service with increasing traffic.
  • Google Reader: If you use this RSS reader, you also can create a bookmarklet that saves URLs and clips text to a central page. Privacy and keyword categorization are available.
  • Bit.ly: Yes this primarly a URL shortener. But it does keep track of the URLs you shorten, which could end up being a handy bookmark storage system.

These services and tools also serve as backup for my bookmarks. If something goes wrong, I don’t lose the important addresses I need.

What bookmarking tools work well for you?

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Carl Natale is a freelance blogger who writes about tips and advice for small businesses. He runs the site Expensiccino.com - a site about how top brands set their prices.


  1. Bolden on the 21st July

    I use Firefox’s ‘Weave’ – which is now called Sync.
    Works great on my 3 PCs, and I can access open tabs and bookmarks using Firefox Home on my iphone.
    Obviously downside, FF only, but that works for me.

  2. Alex on the 21st July

    There’s also http://www.google.com/notebook

    • Carl Natale on the 22nd July

      I don’t think Google supports notebook anymore. If it’s working for you then they haven’t killed it. But I don’t think you can install it anymore.

      I used to use it too. Liked it. It could have been the inspiration for Evernote.

  3. Dhruv patel on the 21st July

    I have to agree with bolden here… weave, now known as sync works really well. but the biggest bookmark syncer ever is diigo. I love it!

  4. I use Google Chrome Sync. Works like a charm.

  5. Gillico on the 22nd July

    One additional benefit of using Firefox Sync (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10868/) is that it lets me access all my bookmarks on any iDevice via Firefox Home (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/firefox-home/id380366933?mt=8) in Safari.

    • Carl Natale on the 22nd July

      Firefox Home also picks up my Xmarks account.

  6. Kim Røen on the 22nd July

    It seems you forgot to mention that some of these social bookmark sites (such as delicious, which I use) also allow you to synchronize your bookmarks with an extension (or addon) to the browser.

    I use this as I then have all my bookmarks in every browser, it suggests tags and categorizes, and I also can reach all the bookmarks when I’m not on my own computer through the web interface.

    • Carl Natale on the 22nd July

      To be honest, I did not realize that. Thank you Kim for pointing it out. This would make using bookmarking services easier to use. And like you said, it allows you access bookmarks from computers you don’t own. Which is very valuable.

  7. Jay on the 22nd July

    What about Diigo?

  8. flo_core on the 22nd July

    Diigo rocks em all

  9. Yaritsa on the 22nd July

    I use Xerpi, which I really like! It’s really organized because you can have numerous tabs and sections within those. I also like that it’s not a plugin for a specific browser so it can be used anywhere. http://www.xerpi.com

  10. Mike on the 22nd July

    I’m incredibly surprised no one has mentioned Mobile Me with apple! It can sync all your bookmarks from all your mac’s, ipads, and iphones / ipod touches that run Safari. No add on’s or anything.

    I use it religiously….Of course, they get backed up to the mobile me service this way too!

    • Mike Vardy on the 22nd July


      I had nothing but issues with MobileMe when it first came out in its latest incarnation (it was .mac beforehand). Plus it runs around $100/yr. When it works, it works well; I’d rather have less expensive and consistent over premium pricing and spotty. I even used to rely on the email, but it would go down too often for my liking as well.

      Has it made some improvements over the past year?

    • James on the 23rd July

      I have a mac and a iPhone and mobile me works seemlessly accross the board. It has had its fair share of startup issues, but nothing that has really affected me in the long run!
      It is fairly expensive, but what apple product isn’t?

  11. Wilbert van Bakel on the 28th September

    Xmarks announced the ending of their service. It’s sad because it supported also the iPhone.

  12. Michael lu on the 15th June

    Just use Favekeeper, it can save and sync bookmarks from IE, Firefox and Chrome.

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  14. Cynthia on the 9th October

    I’ve used xmarks in the past but I’m totally sold to Chrome’s native functionality. It does more than just saving your bookmarks.

  15. JimmyGreen on the 14th October

    I like use google chrome to sync bookmarks

  16. James on the 15th January

    Avoid XMarks like the plague. It used to work great, but ever since it was acquired by Lastpass, it has become very unreliable and buggy. Just read the reviews since that acquisition….people are going nuts with it. I myself have had real trouble with it. It frequently crashes, and more often than not messes up your bookmarks. A number of people have seen all of their bookmarks erased….the same thing happened to me tonight and it was lucky I’d backed them up beforehand.

    Bottom line is, if you value your bookmarks, then ALWAYS back them up physically if you’re using XMarks. It is most certainly not reliable, and if you don’t back them up then sooner or later you’ll lose them, or it will screw up your folder structure to the point where you have to spend a couple of hours fixing it (that’s another point – XMarks does NOT know how to sync your bookmark’s folder structure. There are many many reports of this).

  17. Raj on the 24th January

    I am looking for a desktop solution for the same, could you propose something good for the same..?

  18. Jon on the 1st July

    Unbookmark is pretty cool. It’s designed more for anonymous private bookmarks, but their interface is fun to use.

  19. Cody on the 25th July

    I have used xmarks for some time now but from time to time I get problems of some sort. I’m trying out this tool called Favsync and I’m loving their cool features like the ability to share my bookmarks.

  20. David on the 27th January

    Check GmailMarks Chrome Extension which let you bookmark to Gmail and set label in one action, and can also save bookmarked page contents as attachment.

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