Foxmarks: Frequently Asked Questions

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This page answers some frequently asked questions. If you don't find the answer to what you're looking for, add it to this page or email your query to


Download, Install, Uninstall Questions


When I try to download, I get a message saying that Foxmarks isn't compatible. What should I do?

First, make sure that you are in fact running a compatible version of Firefox (currently 1.5 though 2). You can check the version of Firefox you're running on the About menu (on Windows, in the Help menu; on Mac, on the Apple menu). If you aren't running a compatible version, upgrade Firefox by going here.

If you're running a compatible version of Firefox but Firefox still complains about version incompatibility, perform the following steps:

  1. In the address bar type "about:config".
  2. In the filter box type "version".
  3. If you see an entry that says "app.extensions.version", reset it by right-clicking on that entry and then select the "Reset" option.

After making these changes, try to install again.

(via Flashblock)

When I try to download, I get a message saying "Download Error." What should I do?

There are two possible causes for this problem stemming from your Firefox configuration. Check the following:

  • Make sure that your cache size is greater than 0. In Firefox, go to Tools / Options / Privacy / Cache and make sure that the cache size is larger than zero.
  • Make sure your cache is enabled. Perform the following steps:
  1. In the URL (address) bar type the following without the quotes: "about:config"
  2. In the filter box type "browser.cache".
  3. In the filtered list you should see an entry called: "browser.cache.disk.enable".Double-clicking on this option will toggle it between true and false. Make sure that it is set to "true".

(via Flashblock)

When I try to download, I get a message saying "Software installation is disabled." What should I do?

This is caused by a problem with the way you have configured Firefox. Please see the Mozillazine Knowledge Base for instructions on how to fix your configuration.

When I try to download, I get a message saying "Invalid file hash (possible download corruption)." What should I do?

There is a bug that occasionally causes this problem when downloading extensions from the Firefox Add-ons site. Restarting Firefox and re-downloading the extension generally appears to fix the problem.

Install, Setup

Where do I create my account?

If you intend to use the Foxcloud Server (the only configuration that we support), the setup wizard (which launches automatically after installation) will guide you through the account setup process, which you'll do exactly once.

If you're using some other server, speak to that server's administrator about setting up an account to use.

I created an account, but the Setup Wizard can't find it. What happened?

The only way to create an account for use with Foxmarks is by using the Setup Wizard. If you created an account some other way (e.g., by creating a Wiki Account), you have unfortunately gone down the wrong path. Use the Setup Wizard to create an account and the rest should go easily.

If you don't know how to restart the Setup Wizard, look here.

How do I restart the Setup Wizard?

The Setup Wizard runs automatically exactly once, and otherwise stays out of the way to avoid bothering you. If you need to start the Setup Wizard again, do the following:

From the Firefox Bookmarks menu, click Foxmarks..., navigate to the Other tab and press Run Setup Wizard.


How do I uninstall Foxmarks from my PC?

Foxmarks can be uninstalled like any other Firefox extension. See this page for step-by-step instructions.

How do I delete my Foxmarks account?

To delete your synchronization account, go to, click on My Account, provide your username and password to log in, and then click Delete acount.... Follow the instructions to delete your account.

Note that this process is irreversible. After deleting your account, you will also likely want to uninstall Foxmarks from your computer.

Account & Password Issues

I forgot my password. What do I do?

If you've forgotten your password, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and click the link that says Manage my Account.
  2. Click on the link that says "Forgot your password?"
  3. Follow the instruction provided to recover or change your password.

I'm having trouble logging into! What should I do?

Please note the following if you are having difficulties logging in:

  • Make sure you're logging in at the right place:
  • Be sure that you have used the Setup Wizard to create your account. Some people are creating a wiki account on our website, but that account is independent of your synchronization account, and most people don't need a wiki account. If you haven't used the Setup Wizard to create yourself a synchronization account, see the FAQ item on this page regarding restarting the Setup Wizard.
  • Usernames and passwords are case sensitive -- this means that MyPassword is different from mypassword. Use the same case for both username and passwords that you used when you created your account.

I keep receiving a message saying that my "Username and password appear to be invalid." How do I fix this?

For Foxmarks to work, you need to have created a synchronization account on our server, and Foxmarks needs to know your username and password so it can access that account. If you don't have an account, or you haven't provided to Foxmarks the correct username and password, you'll see this error message ("Username and password appear to be invalid") every time that Foxmarks tries to sync.

If you have never created an account, run the Setup Wizard to have it create an account for you. Once you've completed this process, you should be set.

If you have created an account, make sure that the username and password provided to Foxmarks are both correct. Go to the Foxmarks Settings Dialog (Bookmarks -> Foxmarks...), correct any errors you see in the username and password fields, and press Synchronize Now to verify that all is well. If sync succeeds, you are set.

If this still does not work, you may be misremembering your username or password. To verify your account info, go to, and click on "My Acount". Use your username and password to log in. If you can log in successfully, go back to the previous step and make sure you're set the same username and password in the Foxmarks Control Panel that you just used to log in on the web.

If you cannot login on the web, click on the "forgot" link. Follow the instructions there to either recover your password or receive a temporary login credential via email. Try correcting your username and password in the Foxmarks Settings Dialog (as described in the preceding paragraph) and then try to sync again. If it succeeds, you are set.

If you find that Firefox doesn't remember your password between sessions, please see this section.

If it still doesn't work, please contact us for further assistance.

The link you sent me when I requested a temporary login didn't work. Why not?

If you've forgotten your username and/or password and used the form we provide to have us send you a temporary login link, you should note that that link expires 30 minutes after we send it to you. If you allow more than 30 minutes to elapse before using the link, you'll find that clicking on it displays the message "Access Timed Out" at the top of the screen and returns you to the "Recover Password" page. Request another temporary login, and use the link provided within 30 minutes to access your account.

How do I change my account information?

Go to and click on Manage My Account. After logging in, you'll be directed to a page that will allow you to edit your account information. If you use this page to change your password, make sure that you change it within Foxmarks, too. (Go to Bookmarks / Foxmarks... to edit your Foxmarks password.)

Note that you can't change your username once it's created. If need be, you can send us email asking us to delete your account and then you can create a new one with the new name.

Foxmarks keeps forgetting my password. Why?

Foxmarks uses Firefox's password manager to store your password. For this to work smoothly, you have to allow Firefox to store your password, which you can do by navigating to Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> Private Data -> Settings and then unchecking Saved Passwords.

How do I change my password?

If you'd like to change your password, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and click on "Manage my Account"
  2. Log in using your current username and password
  3. You will immediately be taken to page that allows you to update your account information. Change your password here.
  4. Follow instructions provided for updating the password in your Firefox extensions as necessary.

What is Master Password for the Software Security Device?

This is a feature of Firefox, not Foxmarks. Firefox allows you to set a master password to protect all of your web passwords, including your password for your Foxcloud account. If you've enabled Firefox's Master Password, Firefox will ask you to supply this password in each Firefox session the first time that Foxmarks tries to sync. If you don't need to protect access to your passwords, disable the Master Password by going to Tools / Options / Security / Passwords in Firefox and click to remove the check-mark in the box "Use a master password." If you need to keep your passwords secure (because, for instance, other people have physical access to your computer), you might consider disabling Foxmarks' automatic synchronization by going to Bookmarks / Foxmarks... and unchecking the checkbox.

If you have forgotten your Master Password, you can do the following to reset it (which will also cause you to lose your stored passwords, but those were unaccessible to you without the the Master Password anyway):

enter "chrome://pippki/content/resetpassword.xul" in the location bar and click on "Reset"

Miscellaneous Questions

Foxmarks: Error: Failed to parse sync file

If you get this message, it means that Foxmarks was unable to retrieve a synchronization file from the server, or the synchronization file itself has become corrupted.

This can happen if you cancel synchronization while Foxmarks is uploading the synchronization file.

To remedy the situation, open the Foxmarks control panel (from Firefox, Bookmarks -> Foxmarks...), go to the Other tab and select Upload Now -- this will upload a new synchronization file to replace the damaged one.

Why do I get a "certificate error" whenever I sync?

The reason why this happens is because Foxmarks is configured by default to talk to, while our HTTPS certificate is set for Our sync server does not inherently support HTTPS, so if you manually enable HTTPS, you'll get this warning message. These two domains actually refer to the Foxmarks same server, but HTTPS is particularly finicky and it complains about the mismatch between the specified domain and the certificate.

We are working on getting a new certificate soon for In the meantime, you can change the server name (on the "Other" tab in the Foxmarks Options Window) from to and your should no longer recieve the error.

Is encryption supported? If not currently, are there future plans for it?

Encryption isn't currently supported on the Foxcloud server. We likely will support encryption at some point in the future, but there is no formal plan in place yet.

Help! Something strange happened to my bookmarks. What do I do?

If you believe you have discovered a bug, please let us know! Follow the instructions here to add your bug to our list so we can fix it. Or you could send mail to

If you've lost your bookmarks (sorry!), you can revert to one of the backups that Firefox automatically makes for you.

If you do restore your bookmarks from backup, it's important that you immediately perform an Upload (see below) in order for Foxmarks to know about your restored bookmarks.

When I use Foxmarks, I see an empty dialog that says "Status" and shows a "?". What should I do?

This can happen if Foxmarks has been incompletely installed, a problem that we've seen occasionally on Mac OSX. We don't yet know what causes the problem, but it can usually be fixed by uninstalling Foxmarks and re-installing it.

Move to "Product Feature" page

Product Features

What does Foxmarks do?

Foxmarks is an extension for Firefox that allows you to synchronize your bookmarks across multiple computers. Install Foxmarks on each machine that you want to keep synchronized, and Foxmarks will automatically propagate bookmarks changes that you make on one machine to all the others.

How does it work?

Foxmarks relies on a server (you can set up your own, or use the Foxcloud server that we provide free) to store your bookmarks. Changes you make to your bookmarks are uploaded to the server, where your other computers running Foxmarks can download them.

(Okay, this is admittedly an oversimplification. But this is the general idea.)

How does automatic synchronization work?

Foxmarks works hard to keep your bookmarks synchronized across all of your computers with minimal involvement on your part. Here's how.

Whenever you make a change to your bookmarks, Foxmarks notes that change and starts a 5 minute timer running. If you make more changes, it resets the 5 minute timer. If the timer counts down to 0, Foxmarks initiates synchronization, which merges the changes you made locally with any changes that are currently recorded on the server. If you quit Firefox while the timer is still running, Foxmarks will ask you whether you want to synchronize those changes before quitting. (You can control this behavior on the Foxmarks Control Panel).

Every hour, Foxmarks initiates synchronization regardless of whether there are changes detected locally in order to synchronize with changes that may have originated on other computers that you're syncing with.

The net result is that bookmark changes you make are typically made available to other computers within 5 minutes. And those changes are automatically synchronized into every other computer within 60 minutes, or sooner if you synchronize manually.

Note that if there are no changes to synchronize, the synchronization process is extremely quick, so fast that you might not even notice it happening.

If you want, you can disable automatic synchronization by turning off the checkbox in the Foxmarks Settings dialog. This will disable both the minute-to-minute and hour-to-hour synchronization. At this time, there are no other controls that affect how automatic synchronization operates.

What keyboard shortcuts are available for Foxmarks?

There are two keyboard shortcuts: ctrl-shift-S (Mac: cmd-ctrl-s) initiates synchronization, and ctrl-shift-F (Mac: cmd-ctrl-f) displays the Foxmarks Control Panel.

I just tried using the shortcut to sync Foxmarks. It doesn't work. - Patricknoddy 15:44, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

What happens to my existing bookmarks when I install Foxmarks? Will my bookmarks get overwritten?

Foxmarks works by creating a single master file which contains all your bookmarks. When you install Foxmarks on a first machine, the master file contains all the bookmarks on that computer. When you install Foxmarks on a second or subsequent machine, Foxmarks offers you several alternatives:

  • Erase the bookmarks on the newly installed machine, replacing them with the bookmarks from the master file;
  • Erase the bookmarks in the master file, and replace them with the bookmarks from the newly installed machine;
  • Merge the bookmarks in the master file with the bookmarks on the newly installed computer.

Most people will choose the last option, as it's the one that guarantees that you won't lose any bookmarks. But sometimes you'll install Foxmarks on a machine that doesn't have any bookmarks that you want to keep; in that case, one of the other two options becomes more useful.

If you choose to merge the master file with the bookmarks on the newly installed computer, Foxmarks will join the two sets together, attempting to match up bookmarks that it finds in both sets so as to eliminate duplicates. More precisely, it will use one set of bookmarks as the initial list of bookmarks and will add to that any new bookmarks or folders found in the second (or subsequent) set of bookmarks. (Thanks, Enzo.)

When the process is complete, your two computers will have identical bookmarks, and Foxmarks' continued operation will keep them the same: changes made on one computer will also be made on the other.

Which of the bookmark fields are synchronized (name, location, keyword, description)?

We synchronize essentially everything we can -- with the exception of favicons, which will generally be retrieved by Firefox the first time you access a bookmark. Specifically, for bookmarks we sync:

  • name
  • description
  • location (url)
  • keyword
  • open-in-sidebar toggle
  • bookmark added date

For folders:

  • name
  • description
  • folder added date
  • folder contents and position of contents within the folder

For Livemarks:

  • name
  • description
  • feed url

For separators:

  • name

How do I upgrade to the latest version of Foxmarks?

Getting the latest version of Foxmarks is easy. Follow the procedure outlined here.

I only want to sync part of my bookmarks, is this possible?

Not yet, but we're working on it. (See Foxmarks: Suggestions for Improvements).

What are the "Upload Now" and "Download Now" buttons for?

In normal operation, once you have performed initial synchronization, everything should be smooth sailing. Occasionally, though, you may encounter difficulties that will require you to perform some maintenance operation. The "Upload" and "Download" buttons allow you to force your synchronization into a known state. If you press "Upload Now," whatever bookmarks are on your computer will become the new appointed set of bookmarks (stored on our server) to be synchronized across all other machines..

If you press "Download Now," the set of bookmarks on your computer will be erased, and the set of bookmarks on the server will be installed in their stead.

Note that neither of these are "Synchronization" operations -- changes that you might have made (on other computers that you use in the case of "Upload Now" or on the computer you're using now in the case of "Download Now") will be lost. Tread lightly, and employ these options only when absolutely necessary. Normally, you shouldn't need to use these actions.

What are its licensing terms?

The Foxmarks Extension for Firefox is free software distributed under the Apache 2.0 License. Please refer to the Terms of Service for more information.

Using Other Servers

Can I use Foxmarks with my own server?

Foxmarks currently supports both FTP and WebDAV (via HTTP or HTTPS). Just fill in the appropriate server settings on the Foxmarks dialog (including the "Advanced Server Settings" on the "Other" tab) to connect Foxmarks with your server. In our experience, WebDAV is faster and more robust than FTP, but both work. Recently we've made some improvements to optimize network utilization, but those improvements are available only to WebDAV installations. Moving forward, FTP will probably not be so well supported, as it's just a more limited server.

If you use your own server, we're less able to help you with problems that you might encounter. Caveat switchor.

The Setup Wizard assumes that you're using the Foxcloud server, and knows how to set up accounts only on If you're using your own server, don't use the Setup Wizard (press Cancel when it starts).

While we can't provide support if you're using your own server, we're collecting information provided by users who choose to go that route.

Can I run my own Foxcloud server?

You can run parts of it yourself. Foxcloud was once based on the Open Source Application Foundation's Cosmo Server, which you can download and install yourself. For a variety of reasons mostly related to the volume of traffic we handle, we're no longer using Cosmo, but Foxmarks remains compatible with it.

Foxmarks should also run relatively well with any WebDAV server and less well with any FTP server; see the question above. --Todd 11:06, 2 March 2006 (EST)

Is Foxmarks compatible with proxy servers?

Often not. If your browser is configured to use a proxy server, you'll probably find that you have to disable it just for Foxmarks' communications with the Foxcloud server. See this page for more information.

Comment: Many companies require a proxy be used for any access to the Internet. It ain't optional. So fixing problems with proxies would be a good thing to so. However, I've had no trouble going through a proxy myself (so far). -- 07:11, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

Tip if synchronizing fails: first connect through the proxy by requesting a webpage. The proxy will ask for username and password, and afterwards the update succeeds.

Can I view my bookmarks when I'm not at my own computer?

Yes! If you're traveling or otherwise away from your normal computers, just visit and enter your username and password for your account. After logging in, you'll be able to access your bookmarks much like you can from your own computer.

At this time, you can only view (not add, modify, or delete) your bookmarks using this facility.

Note that this system is available only if you're using our server to store your bookmarks.

Please Note: I've tried accessing from a web enabled Pocket PC device running Pocket IE, and I could not expand the bookmark folder links in the left frame. To fix this, Foxmarks should consider a text link version for Mobile Users.