Mac Tutorial: How to Recover Deleted Bookmarks in Chrome

UPDATE: Please be aware that this post was first published in 2011. Since then, Apple has released several new OS and while this tutorial remains useful for some, others have reported that the steps below do not work for them anymore. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any support for the new operating systems as we learned our lesson the first time around and haven't had to re-learn the steps.

So, you’re sitting there, admiring how pretty Chrome is. Sleek. Shiny. Fast. And then, you notice that you’ve got this little tool bar right below the address bar and it’s got some of the bookmarks you’ve been saving there. You decide to do a little “clean up” so that you can save that space for more important websites. Websites you’ve chosen. So you’re clicking along—merrily deleting—when suddenly, some niggling doubt in your mind says, ‘Wait a second. Am I just cleaning up the bookmarks bar?’

In a sudden bout of clarity, you click on the main Bookmarks link at the top and there it is, staring you right in the face: You’ve just managed to delete a significant portion of your saved bookmarks.

But panic doesn’t set in yet. No, no. You CMD+T a new tab, go up to the address bar and type in your question, “how to restore deleted bookmarks in Chrome”. You pull up results and the pain in your chest starts to fade when you see there are other people who have had this problem but, lo and behold, the pain returns with a vengeance when you see the proffered solutions only apply to Windows users. Now it’s not just pain but panic too. All your work. Possibly years of bookmarks. Gone, poof. Life as you know it is officially over, right?


If you find yourself in this sticky situation and you’re using a Mac: FEAR NOT. Here is the way (tried and tested by yours truly) to recover deleted bookmarks in Chrome:

Open up “Finder” and go to Macintosh HD > Users > Your user name > Library > Application Support > Google > Chrome > Default

Once here, you will see two files: 1) Bookmarks and 2) Bookmarks.bak.

Copy, rename, and save Bookmarks to another location—one you’ll remember (I like my desktop). Then, go back and delete the original file (Bookmarks).

Now go down to Bookmarks.bak and rename it to simply “Bookmarks”—leaving out the .bak extension (!important).

Close finder. Restart Chrome. Give it a second or two and wahlah. Panic attack over.