Sync bookmarks across browsers, sync bookmarks across devices

Move your bookmarks out of the browser into an online store

Use a cross-platform cross-device bookmark manager, Booky.io, to sync bookmarks between Chrome and Safari, Edge, Firefox, iPhone and iPad. Access bookmarks from anywhere and on any device.

Did you know that Google has a bookmarks manager? No, not the one in Chrome, the one at www.google.com/bookmarks although if you are reading this in a year’s time, that URL may not work. A notice on the site says that Google Bookmarks will no longer be supported after September 30th 2021.

Google Bookmarks is or was a platform-independent website bookmarks service and I for one, found it useful. Your bookmarks were stored online at the site, which is part of your Google account, and could be accessed on any device with a browser, like a computer, tablet or phone. It did not matter which browser or device you used, your bookmarks were there.

Google Bookmarks
Google Bookmarks website

Sadly, it will be another addition to Killed by Google, the graveyard of discontinued products from the Alphabet company. If you are or were a user, you need to move to another cross-platform cross-browser bookmarking service.

Cross-platform bookmarks and syncing

There are many reasons for choosing a bookmarks manager that exists outside of the browser, platform and device. The main one is keeping bookmarks in sync between computers, phones, tables and browsers.

Syncing mainly affects people that use multiple browsers on the same or multiple devices. If you are in Safari on a Mac or iPhone, for example, it is easy to save a bookmark, but the downside is that it is only available in Safari. Although it does sync across Apple devices, you will not see it in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, a PC, Android phone and so on.

An independent web-based bookmark manager is best if you want to sync bookmarks between browsers, devices and operating systems. They sync bookmarks so that you can access them anywhere and on anything.

Often bookmarks managers come in the form of a web browser extension. If the extension is available in all the browsers you use, then there is just one bookmark collection to use and manage. Any new bookmarks can be saved to the manager and are then available everywhere and on everything. One drawback with this is that extensions are not available in mobile browsers on phones and tablets, but there solutions to get around that.

Booky.io bookmarks manager

Booky.io is available as a web browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Edge and probably other Chrome-based browsers that can install Chrome extensions on Windows PC and Apple Mac. The notable exception is Safari on the Apple Mac, which is not supported. At least not by a browser extension.

Booky.io bookmarks extension for web browsers
Booky.io browser extension

Your bookmarks can also be accessed by going to the Booky.io website in any browser, including Safari on Macs. The site works well, even on iPhone and Android phones. This solves the problem of not having extensions in mobile browsers. You could even keep a browser tab open or pin it, so you can quickly switch to it to access your bookmarks.

Booky.io is free. You need to create a free account at the website to use it because your bookmarks are stored online and synced with whatever computer, phone or browser you use.

Export and import bookmarks

You probably already have bookmarks in your browser or stored elsewhere, like Google Bookmarks. Luckily, moving bookmarks from one manager or browser to another is straightforward. There is a standard file format that all bookmark managers and browsers support.

In Chrome on the PC or Mac for example, click the three dots to show the menu, mouse over Bookmarks and then click Bookmarks Manager from the sub-menu. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the page (below the browser menu) and a menu appears with an Export bookmarks option. Save your bookmarks.

Chrome bookmarks menu with import and export options
Import and export bookmarks in Chrome browser

Other browsers have some variation of this and in Safari on the Mac, click File > Export Bookmarks. Edge calls them Favorites and has a Favorites manager. Same function, different menus. No matter which browser you have, there will be an option to export bookmarks, you just have to find it and use it to save a bookmarks file.

If you care about your bookmarks and they are valuable to you, you should periodically export your bookmarks as a backup and keep them somewhere safe. Don’t lose them!

All browsers and bookmarks managers have an import function and you simply export from one place and import to another to move bookmarks. Log in to your free Booky.io account in a browser, Click Account in the menu and there are Import and Export tabs. Click Import, then drag your exported bookmarks file and drop it on the browser. Click the Import button and after a few seconds, all your browser bookmarks are in Booky.io.

Organize bookmarks with Booky.io

There are two levels or organization and they work like folders – top folders and subfolders. At the top level are collections and these can be used for broad topics like Work and Personal, or a more detailed list of your hobbies and interests, work projects or however you want to organize bookmarks. Within each collection, one or more categories can be created and these hold the actual bookmarks.

Booky.io bookmarks manager in a browser
Booky.io Bookmarks manager website

After adding your old bookmarks to Booky.io, you can organize them. Drag and drop is supported and bookmarks can be dragged to move them up or down a category list. They can also be dragged and dropped on a collection in the sidebar to move them from one place to another. Bookmarks can be edited and the title and URL changed. Notes can be added to bookmarks too.

Bookmark websites and pages

To add a bookmark at the website, select the collection you want to add it to in the sidebar and expand one of the category lists. A New bookmark button appears below so you can manually add a new site. However, you probably won’t manually create bookmarks and the browser extension is the best way to add sites.

Booky.io bookmarks manager extension for web browsers
Save a bookmark with Booky.io bookmarks manager

Click the Booky.io heart button in the browser and a form appears in which you can select the collection and category. It automatically fills in the name from the page title and adds the URL. It also adds the page’s meta description as a note attached to the bookmark. This saves you having to write notes for bookmarks yourself because they are automatically created for you. This is a useful feature.

There is also a Booky.io bookmarklet. A bookmarklet is a special type of bookmark for web browsers, which when clicked, performs some action through JavaScript. In this case, it adds the current website to Booky.io bookmarks. This is especially useful on phones because mobile browsers do not support extensions, but they can use bookmarklets.

If you are paranoid about privacy, you could use the bookmarklet to add and access bookmarks instead of installing the browser extension. The problem is that many browser extensions can see every site you visit, but a bookmarklet cannot.

Final thoughts

It is easy and convenient to save bookmarks for your favorite websites to the browser, but storing them online using a service like Booky.io has benefits, such as not being tied to a specific browser, computer or phone. They can be accessed from anywhere.

Booky.io is not the only bookmarking service and there are many alternatives, but it seems like a good one. It is a private, non-commercial, free service. However, you can donate to the project if you want to support it.

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About Roland Waddilove 402 Articles
Roland Waddilove is interested in technology: Computers, phones, gadgets, software and internet. Long ago he worked on computer magazines, but is now mostly a tech writer for the web.