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Backing Up and Transferring Browser Data

There was a time when the majority of PC users would just use Internet Explorer to browse the internet. It was the default browser that came with the computer and the majority of people saw no need to change, or simply didn’t know they could. However, things are much different nowadays. There are a lot of different web browsers out there, including Opera, Firefox and Chrome, which means you have a much wider choice when it comes to browsing the internet.

All of these browsers store their own individual data. Things like your browsing history, cache and favourites are all considered a part of this. There may be times when you need to create backups of this data. If, for example, you are moving system and want to take all your history and favourites with you, or you’re just wanting to integrate it as part of your overall backup schedule.

There are different methods when it comes to backing up your browser data. The first of these is to use a third party program called FavBackup. Their website lists the browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Chrome and Flock) and the respective versions that the software supports. The program hasn’t been updated in a while, however. Another program that does a similar thing is called BrowserBackup Pro, which was updated more recently. Both of these downloads are good for users who work across multiple browsers and want to back up all their data in one go.

Each browser has its own individual method of data backup. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular browsers and how to go about it.


Firefox backs up all your data to a profile on your computer. To locate your profile, open your Windows Start menu and type ‘%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\’ into the search box. A list of profiles will come up (although the folder names won’t be very identifiable). Simply copy the profile folder over to your backup device to create a copy of everything inside.

If you want to restore the data then go to the main ‘Profiles’ folder and copy over the profile you made a backup of. The file name must be exactly the same as it was before, so never alter it at any point.


The best way to back up data in Chrome is to login with your Google account. This will store everything in the cloud and mean that your data will be instantly accessible on any computer. You can choose precisely what you want to sync (like Apps, Autofill and Themes) and your data will also be encrypted for extra security.


Opera stores different data in certain folders. To locate your profile, go to ‘About Opera’ in the browser and it’ll give you the path where your data is stored. You can pick and choose what you want to back up by selecting specific files and folders. For example, the ‘operaprefs.ini’ file is your general settings and the ‘Keyboard’ folder is your keyboard preferences (although this won’t exist if you’ve never altered them). For a list of what each file means, refer to this Opera support page.


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