Synchronizing Favourites and Bookmarks

28 10 2012

In preparing to move from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and to sort out my bookmarks from a range of systems I looked for the best way to manage these bookmarks. 

Firstly I wanted to export bookmarks from an iPad. The way I did this was to download iCloud Control Panel onto my Windows 7 computer.  Using this and following instructions from the http://www.solveyourtech.com/how-to-export-ipad-safari-bookmarks/ I was able to Sync bookmarks from IE on my PC to Safari on my iPad.

I subsequently used both 1) Google Chrome in conjunction with a google account to sync bookmarks between various installations of Google Chrome – including one on an iPad, and 2) xmarks (www.xmarks.com) to synch between Google Chrome and IE.

I had not previously used xmarks but found it excellent and given that I’m not aware of any standard way to Synch IE favourites from (pre windows 8 version of) Windows computers – xmarks was also able to do this as well.  Another great feature of xmarks is that it keeps a history of favourites – so when you accidentally remove all your favourites it provides backed up versions of them.

Going forward I am likely to have Windows RT and Windows 8 devices.  Windows 8 and RT will sync favourites between the devices using Microsoft’s cloud services.  However, these don’t currently Sync with older version of Windows/Browsers nor other operating systems/browsers.  In addition xmarks does not currently run on Windows 8. Hence going forward I’m likely to want to synch everything first with xmarks, then perhaps also using google sync services, and let Windows 8 and RT use it’s own synch services.  To synch favourites/bookmarks between Windows 8/RT and other systems I may have to use a manual export/import step.   I may also need to use Apple’s iCloud occasionally if I continue to save bookmarks using Safari on an iPad (a habit I am trying to break – with the aim of using Chrome on the iPad in the future).  This is relatively complicated but on the other hand apart from xmarks the other services are pretty much just there anyway. At least in the short term xmarks will prove the glue between the different operating systems and browsers.

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