How to sync all your browser bookmarks with xBrowserSync

Here’s how to use the free XBrowserSync tool to keep all your bookmarks in sync and simplify your online life.

Close up of a web browser

Photo: Robert Avgustin / Shutterstock

Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge all offer their own built-in tools to sync your bookmarks across different computers. But these tools only work within each specific browser. If you use all three browsers, you need a way to keep your bookmarks in sync with all of them. For this task, you can turn to a free utility called xBrowserSync.

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By installing the xBrowserSync extension, your bookmarks are synced between different browsers on all your systems. Make a change in one browser and one system, and it will spread to other browsers on your other systems.

The program works in both Windows and macOS but only with Chrome, Firefox and Edge; There is no support for Safari. On the mobile front, XBrowserSync is available as an app for Android but not for iOS/iPadOS. The Android app displays a list of all your bookmarks. Clicking on any bookmark will open the site in your default browser. Here’s how it works.

How to install xBrowserSync in Google Chrome

Let’s start with Google Chrome. First, make sure your Chrome bookmarks are organized and arranged the way you want them to. Remove any bookmarks you no longer need. Move stray bookmarks to folders if necessary. Second, you will need to disable Google bookmark sync if you enable it because the Google sync process can conflict with the xBrowserSync process.

Open the XBrowserSync website where you can read about the product. When you’re ready, click the Download button and then click the Chrome Store button. On the xBrowserSync Chrome Store page, click the Add to Chrome button. Select the button to add an extension.

After the installation is finished, click on the extensions icon at the top and click on the pin icon to see xBrowserSync on the toolbar. Then click on its toolbar icon to start the setup process. In the first window, click Continue (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure a.jpg

xBrowserSync asks for permission to read and change data on the websites you visit. Click Allow. Click the toolbar icon again to continue setup. Click Next for each screen that appears. On the last screen, click the OK link. On the next screen, you will need to create an encryption password to protect and secure your bookmarks. As usual, you’ll want to set up a password that’s complex, secure but not hard to remember. Enter the password and click Next (Figure B).

Figure B

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Type the password again to confirm it, then tap Sync. Answer yes when the program tells you that it will delete all the local bookmarks before restoring the synchronized bookmarks. xBrowserSync syncs your local bookmarks.

Now, you want to be able to access your synchronized bookmarks. The easiest way is to display the bookmarks toolbar. In Chrome, go to Settings, scroll down on the screen and turn on the Show bookmarks bar switch. In the bookmarks toolbar, click the “Other bookmarks” button and hover over the entry for [xbs Menu]. You will then see folders and icons for all your bookmarks (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure c.jpg

How to sync bookmarks from xBrowserSync in Microsoft Edge

Next, let’s move on to Edge, specifically the Chromium version of Edge because Microsoft no longer supports the old version. First, make sure you disable Edge’s internal favorite sync if it’s already enabled. There is no xBrowserSync extension for Edge in the Microsoft Store. But since the browser supports Chrome extensions, you can get it from the Chrome Web Store. Go directly to the Chrome Store page for xBrowserSync. The first time you do this, you will have to click on the button at the top to allow extensions from other stores. Then follow the same steps to install the extension in Edge as you did for Chrome.

After installation, click on the xBrowserSync toolbar icon in Edge and go to the setup screens. But when you get to the screen that prompts you to enter an encryption password, click the link for Already got a sync ID (figure d).

figure d

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The next screen asks you to enter your sync ID. You can find it easily enough. Go back to Chrome and click the xBrowserSync toolbar icon. Click the Settings icon. Then tap Sync ID string. (Don’t worry, you won’t have to write this string) (Figure E).

Figure E

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The next screen displays a QR code that you can use with the xBrowserSync Android app. More easily, just copy and paste the ID. Click the button to copy the sync ID to clipboard (shape and).

shape and

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Go back to the edge and paste the string into the sync ID field. Type the password you created earlier. Then click the Sync button (shape g). Your Edge bookmarks are synced with your Chrome bookmarks via xBrowserSync.

shape g

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Accessing your synced bookmarks in Edge works the same as in Chrome. Go to Settings and select the Appearance category. Click the “Show Favorites Bar” setting drop-down menu and set it to “Always”. In the Favorites toolbar, click the Other Favorites button, hover over the entry for [xbs Menu] To see folders and icons for all your bookmarks (shape h).

shape h

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How to sync bookmarks from xBrowserSync in Firefox

Finally, open Firefox and disable internal browser bookmark syncing if you have enabled it previously. Browse to the XBrowserSync page on the Firefox add-ons site. Click the “Add to Firefox” button. Add the extension and click OK. After installation, click on the xBrowserSync toolbar icon. Then the process is the same as it was in Microsoft Edge. Follow every screen.

On the screen that prompts you to enter an encryption password, click the “I have already got a sync ID” link. On the screen that asks you to enter your sync ID, copy and paste your sync ID from the xBrowserSync settings screen in Chrome or Edge and then enter your password. Click Sync (first figure). Then your bookmarks are synced from xBrowserSync to Firefox.

first figure

Figure i.jpg

Accessing your bookmarks is a little easier in Firefox than in Chrome or Edge where you can add the bookmarks icon directly to the toolbar. Click the hamburger icon for the app menu and select the “Customize Toolbar” setting. Drag the bookmarks list icon to the toolbar. Click this icon and you will see all your bookmarks (J . shape).

J . shape

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How to install xBrowserSync on Android device

Download and install the xBrowserSync app from Google Play. The first time you open the app, tap Next to go through each of the initial setup screens. On the screen to scan your sync ID, click the button for Scan ID. In Chrome, Edge, or Safari on your desktop computer, click the xBrowserSync toolbar icon, select the Settings icon, and then click the sync ID string. Hover your Android device over the QR code to scan the ID. On your mobile device, enter your xBrowserSync password (figure k).

figure k

Figure k.jpg

Click the bullet point icon in the xBrowserSync app and select the entry for the bookmarks list. Click on a specific bookmark, and it will open in your default browser (L . shape).

L . shape

Figure l.jpg

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