Salvaging Old “Favorites”

Hi Fred, I recently had to reinstall Windows XP due to some corrupted files that would not let me boot back into Windows, Safe Mode included.  I kept the old Windows directory by reinstalling into a new Windows directory, hoping I could salvage some of the old information.  Is it possible to restore my old IE Favorites links?  I know they are still there after doing a search of the hard drive, the problem is getting IE 6 to use them.  Using Google I found how to do this, but only if I am using IE 5 or earlier.  Help! —[a reader]

The "Favorites" list is really just a folder containing shortcuts to web pages. In older versions of Windows, the folder usually was WindowsFavorites . In newer versions of Windows, it’s usually in Documents and Settings[username]Favorites . In any case, as you discovered, you can find the Favorites simply by hunting for any/all folders with "favorite" as part of the name.

Once you’ve found them, you can access and edit these folders the same way you can any other folder. (If you can’t see or access some of your files and folders, such as system folders, see tip #2 here: http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20011204S0009 ). You can copy URLs into or out of a Favorites folder at will; rearrange, rename, sort, create subfolders, copy/paste URLs from other locations or other Favorites folders; do whatever you want! When you’re done, open IE normally, and click Favorites: You’ll see your changes reflected there.

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.