XMarks Reviews

Repeatedly Disorganizes and Duplicates My Bookmarks

Review by arlie
about XMarks Mar 2016

I used to love xmarks. It synchronized my bookmarks reliably across all four browsers I have to use (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer), with multiple copies of several of them. And it let me select which bookmark sets to synchronize to which browsers, so I could have the full set at home and an appropriate set at work.

I have a lot of bookmarks, organized into a hierarchy of folders. I add to them regularly from multiple locations. When possible, I put the bookmarks directly into the appropriate folder, but sometimes add them to misc. and sort later.

Problems started when I took a job with a company where chrome was the standard browser. Because of this I connected xmarks to 2 copies of chrome (home and work), and logged into gmail from both of them. Chrome has a sync feature, enabled by default, which causes bookmarks to be repeatedly reduplicated when xmarks is also in use.

Folks on the xmarks site were very helpful in identifying this well known problem. I disabled the misfeature on all instances of chrome, rolled back to a good bookmarks set, and thought this would be the end of it. But it was not.

Duplication and misarrangements kept appearing. Some browsers had extra copies of folders which did not appear on the xmarks site, but empty. (E.g. if I had one folder named "linux" with 20 bookmarks in it in one of my browsers, another might end up with 2 folders, one empty and one containing the 20 bookmarks.) Folders were rearranged into different orders on different browsers. Attempts to correct this in one place (often via the xmarks site) resulted in more weirdness in other places (other browsers).

About 3 months ago xmarks become unable to sync my bookmarks. They also could not be edited on the xmarks site. Apparently my account had become corrupted. I figured this was the result of the ever escalating mess I'd been experiencing, and blamed the whole thing on google.

I created a new account on xmarks, exported my existing bookmarks from both the old xmarks account and all of my many browsers, and deduplicated and sorted the resulting mess with the aid of various ad hoc shell scripts, eventually producing a good html file. I then cleared out all bookmarks from one browser, imported the new html file, and set that browser to sync with my new xmarks account. I then gradually moved other browsers to the new account, telling them to allow the server to overwrite any local bookmarks.

All was well for some time. But today I noticed that my bookmarks were once again messed up, both locally and on the xmarks site. I.e. the new account only took 3 months to succumb to bit rot. I have never logged into gmail on any instance of chrome since that problem occurred, and never will. For a long while I never even imported the new bookmarks into chrome, and tried to disable xmarks entirely on all chrome instances.

I think I may have enabled xmarks with the new account on exactly one copy of chrome, last weekend. (It kept giving me popups complaining of xmarks sync errors, without identifying the popup as coming from chrome. I may have given it the new xmarks account while attempting to shut it up.)

I'm now on this site looking for an alternative which will not undo all my organizational work, while still having xmarks' core features
- works on all browsers
- allows selection of which bookmarks to sync where

The alternative would be to nuke chrome from orbit - which is tempting, but my current employer writes non-conformant web apps, and there's a key one that only works halfway reliable on chrome. sigh


Used to be great, but now it's terribly bloated

Negative Review by brandontaylor2015
about XMarks Jan 2016

I used to love Xmarks for synchronizing my bookmarks between Firefox and Chrome (and sometimes Internet Explorer too), but now, sadly, it seems to have jumped the shark. It is painfully slow to synchronize now. I think it is because it has become quite bloated. I hope LastPass fixes this issue soon; otherwise, I'll have to find another place to store my bookmarks.


Sync is insanely slow, cannot run in the background

Negative Review by endolith
about XMarks Dec 2013

The best you can do is have xmarks sync when you shut down firefox, but even then it's insanely slow, even if your bookmarks haven't changed at all.