Can you help me get my IE favorites file back?
Though most users interact with the IE favorites file through Internet Explorer, the file itself is stored on your computer's hard disk. By default, your Internet Explorer bookmarks are located in a folder aptly named "Favorites." This folder is stored in your Users\[user name] folder.
Since your computer is capable of supporting many different users, each user has his own set of personal folders. For example, you can have your own set of Internet Explorer favorites while your partner could have a different set. If you are signed into your computer as a different user or under your computer's guest account, your Internet Explorer favorites will not appear. Make sure that you are signed in as you.
Once you've confirmed that you are signed in as you and that the file is
still missing, you can begin troubleshooting. Start by assuming that the
file was accidentally deleted. Deleted files are temporarily stored in the
Recycle Bin where you have the opportunity to restore them before they're
permanently deleted. Open the Recycle Bin and look for a folder labeled
"Favorites." If it's there, right-click it and choose Restore. This will put
your IE favorites file right back where it belongs and your problem should
You may not find the file in your Recycle Bin. If it's not there, try searching your computer for it. There's a chance that it was moved into another folder by accident. While you could manually open folders and look for it, Windows has a search tool that will do the job for you in an instant. In Windows Vista and above, click Start and enter "Favorites" into the search bar. If the file is found, Windows will display a link to it in the Start menu. You can either click the link to open it in Windows Explorer or you could right-click it to view its properties to determine its actual location.
If IE favorites file is not found at all, then your only remaining options involve restoring it from a backup, using data recovery software to attempt to find a recoverable version of the file, or starting over from scratch.
In general, computer backups store backup copies using the same file structure as your computer. Open your computer backup and look for a backup copy in the User\[user name] folder. If you find it, use the restore procedure prescribed by your backup software.
Data recovery software may be able to find a salvageable copy of a deleted IE favorites file. For example, if you deleted the file and emptied the Recycle Bin before realizing the mistake, that file may be recoverable with a data recovery program. These programs usually cost money, so weigh the importance of the file's contents before spending money to get the file back.
Depending on how many URLs you had stored and how often you used them, it might be easier to create a new file and enter your favorites manually. No matter what you decide, backup your new file to avoid this situation in the future.