How to sync all your browser bookmarks with xBrowserSync
Here’s how to use the free XBrowserSync tool to sync all your bookmarks and simplify your internet life.
Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge all offer their own built-in tools for syncing your bookmarks across different computers. But these tools only work in each specific browser. If you are using all three browsers, you need a way to sync your bookmarks with each other. For this task, you can turn to a free utility called xBrowserSync.
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By installing the xBrowserSync extension, your bookmarks are synchronized between different browsers on all your systems. Make a change in one browser and on one system, and it propagates to other browsers on your other systems.
The program works both under Windows and macOS but only with Chrome, Firefox and Edge; no support for Safari. On the mobile front, XBrowserSync is available as a app for android but not for iOS / iPadOS. The Android app displays a list of all your favorites. Clicking on any bookmark opens the site in your default browser. Here is how it works.
How to install xBrowserSync in Google Chrome
Let’s start with Google Chrome. First, make sure the bookmarks in Chrome are organized and laid out the way you want them to. Delete any favorites that you no longer need. Move parasitic bookmarks into folders if necessary. Second, you will need to turn off Google’s bookmark sync if you’ve enabled it, as Google’s sync process may conflict with xBrowserSync’s.
Open the XBrowserSync website where you can find out more about the product. When you’re ready, click the Download button, 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.
Once the installation is complete, click the Extensions icon at the top and click the pin icon to see xBrowserSync in the toolbar. Then click on its toolbar icon to start the configuration process. In the first window, click Continue (Figure A).
xBrowserSync requests permission to read and modify data on the websites you visit. Click on Authorize. Click the toolbar icon again to continue with the configuration. Click Next for each screen that appears. On the final screen, click on the Got It 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 create a password that’s complex and secure, but not hard to remember. Enter the password and click Next (Figure B).
Type the password again to confirm it, then click Sync. Answer yes when the program tells you that it will delete all local bookmarks before restoring the synced bookmarks. xBrowserSync synchronizes your local bookmarks.
Now you want to be able to access your synced bookmarks. The easiest way is to show the bookmarks toolbar. In Chrome, go to Settings, scroll down, and turn on the Show bookmarks bar switch. In the bookmarks toolbar, click the More bookmarks button and hover over the entry to [xbs Menu]. You will then see the folders and icons of all your bookmarks (Figure C).
How to sync bookmarks from xBrowserSync in Microsoft Edge
Next, let’s move on to Edge, specifically the Chromium version of Edge as Microsoft no longer supports the old edition. First, make sure to turn off Edge’s internal favorites sync if it’s already on. There is no xBrowserSync extension for Edge in the Microsoft Store. But since the browser supports Chrome extensions, you can grab it from the Chrome Web Store. Go directly to Chrome store page for xBrowserSync. The first time you do this, you will need to click the button at the top to Allow extensions from other stores. Then follow the same steps to install the extension in Edge as for Chrome.
After installation, click on the xBrowserSync toolbar icon in Edge and go through 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).
The next screen asks you to enter your synchronization ID. You can find this quite easily. Go back to Chrome and click on the xBrowserSync toolbar icon. Click the Settings icon. Then click on the synchronization ID string. (Don’t worry, you won’t have to type this string) (Figure E).
The next screen displays a QR code that you can use with the xBrowserSync Android app. More easily, however, just copy and paste the ID. Click the button to copy the synchronization ID to the clipboard (Figure F).
Go back to Edge and paste the string in the Sync ID field. Type the password you created earlier. Then click on the Sync button (Figure G). Your favorites in Edge are synced with your Chrome favorites via xBrowserSync.
Accessing your synced bookmarks in Edge works the same as in Chrome. Go to Settings and select the Appearance category. Click the drop-down menu for the Show Favorites Bar setting and set it to Always. In the Favorites toolbar, click the Other Favorites button, hover over the entry corresponding to [xbs Menu] to see the folders and icons of all your bookmarks (Figure H).
How to sync bookmarks from xBrowserSync in Firefox
Finally, open Firefox and turn off the synchronization of internal browser bookmarks if you had it enabled previously. Navigate to the XBrowserSync page on the Firefox browser add-ons site. Click the Add to Firefox button. Add the extension, then click OK. After installation, click on the xBrowserSync toolbar icon. The process is then the same as for Microsoft Edge. Follow each screen.
On the screen that prompts you to enter an encryption password, click the link for Already got a sync ID. On the screen that asks you to enter your sync ID, copy and paste the sync ID from the xBrowserSync settings screen in Chrome or Edge, then enter your password. Click Sync (Figure I). Your bookmarks are then synchronized from xBrowserSync to Firefox.
Accessing your bookmarks is a bit easier in Firefox than in Chrome or Edge because you can add a bookmarks icon directly to the toolbar. Click the hamburger icon from the Application menu and select the Customize Toolbar setting. Drag the Favorites menu icon onto the toolbar. Click on this icon and you will see all your bookmarks (Figure J).
How to install xBrowserSync on an Android device
Download and install the Google Play xBrowserSync app. 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, press the button to scan the ID. On Chrome, Edge, or Safari on your desktop computer, click the xBrowserSync toolbar icon, select the Settings icon, and then click the sync ID string. Mouse over your Android device over the QR code to scan the ID. On your mobile device, enter your xBrowserSync password (Figure K).
Tap the bullet icon in the xBrowserSync app and select the menu bookmarks entry. Tap on a specific bookmark and it will open in your default browser (Figure L).